Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kanarraville Falls

Buckle up friends!! We've done quite a few hikes as a family but this one is our all time favorite!  It's got it all. River trail hiking, chains and ladders to climb, towering slot canyons, even a natural water slide make this a perfect adventure for the whole family.  

Kanarraville is about 30 minutes before St. George.  To find the parking lot you'll take the exit to New Harmony/Kanarraville. Turn right on Hwy 144 and take an immediate left onto Harmony Ridge Dr/Old US 91. Continue about 4.5 miles into Kanarraville and turn right onto 100 North.  Follow 100 North 3.5 blocks until you see the parking lot on your left.  Now you can park here for $10 or you can turn around and park at the church down the street for free. 

The first 3/4 of a mile follows a wide dirt road.  Keep in mind there is no shade in this portion the trail. We did it in June and it was sweltering.   Don't worry though, there are a few stream crossings to cool you off.  Just little ones you can hop over pretty easily.

After another mile or so the trail starts to become a little tricky.  You'll be tempted to avoid the water because we moms like to keep our kids feet dry as much as possible but just go with it on this hike.  Go nice and slow to avoid slippery rocks but my advice is just to hike right in the river.  Your feet get used to it.  

Now you'll read on the internet that this hike is categorized as "moderate" but if I can do it while carrying two babies anyone can do this hike!  My mom even came along and thought it was the highlight of our trip.

 We hiked through the river trail for probably another 2 miles. 

Then all the sudden the slot canyon pops up out of no where. This was my kids first time seeing anything like this and they were completely blown away. It's cold and windy in the slot canyon so be aware of that. 

Within about 10 minutes you come to "kanarra falls"  It's really loud and windy right here.  Just kinda a fun surprise to tired little hikers.  Again, if my 67 year old mom and me holding 2 babies can make it up this ladder anyone can!!

Just above the falls the slot opens up and it's warm and sunny again.  This is a perfect spot to rest a minute.  I brought lunchables for the kids and trailmix and beef jerky for the grown ups.  

Now this a perfectly acceptable place to turn around. But, we kinda like going as far as we can possibly push it!  So after a little recharge we pushed through the canyon a little further.  The water gets deeper and slightly more difficult to boulder through.  But after about 15 or 20 minutes of that you get to the water slide!  As if the slot canyon and sneaking behind the waterfall and climbing the ladder wasn't enough you get to slide down one of the best natural water slides I've ever seen.  I had saved a bag of mini oreos from lunch so that I could entice the nervous ones down the slide.  Works like a charm!

Kanarraville Falls Hike: 5ish miles round trip
Best time of year: late spring to fall
Not Stroller friendly
Bathrooms at the trailhead
$10: if you park at the trailhead
Directions to Trailhead:  take the exit to New Harmony/Kanarraville. Turn right on Hwy 144 and take an immediate left onto Harmony Ridge Dr/Old US 91. Continue about 4.5 miles into Kanarraville and turn right onto 100 North.  Follow 100 North 3.5 blocks until you see the parking lot on your left.

Enjoy this hike!  It's one of the best out there!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Little Sahara

Little Sahara is a 4-wheelers heaven, but even if you don't have 4-wheelers (like us), it is still a place worth visiting and playing with your family. It is located about 30 miles north of Delta, UT . We went down on a cold February Saturday and it was nice to escape the inversion and snow. It was chilly, at times, but with all the climbing up and down the dunes, we were comfortable in light jackets. We brought along a picnic lunch to enjoy before heading back home. We felt that it was a fun day trip, not sure we would stay longer since unless we could take a 4-wheeler.

We had so much fun climbing up the dunes and sliding down them.

As you can see this part of the park (where 4-wheelers are not permitted) is pretty empty - we had a picnic in those shaded picnic tables. The restrooms were a life-saver, too!

The view from one of the larger dunes was beautiful in its own way.

We raced down the hill - It was a bit windy and so we had to squint often.

Even our 6 month old enjoyed sliding down on laps:

I slid down the hills with the baby in-tow. It was pretty easy to slide, but we wished we had cardboard boxes or a sled to use to go time!


The entrance road to Little Sahara is 4 miles west of Jericho Junction. From Nephi: 31 miles via SR 132 and Juab County Route 1812. From Eureka: 18 miles on US 6. From Delta: 34 miles on US 6.

$18 per vehicle for a one-day permit. Senior citizens receive a 50% discount on all Little Sahara fees.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

CEU Prehistoric Museum

One day on our way to Goblin Valley we stopped in Price to get gas and noticed the CEU Prehistoric Museum.  We decided to give it a try.  



Such a fun surprise on an otherwise boring drive.  One thing that makes their museum so unique is that their items on display were actually discovered within a stone’s throw of the actual museum location!  


They even have a guided tour you can take on your cell phone.  I tried it, but you know, kids...

It’s not just a dinosaur museum either.  They have a archaeological finds from all over the Eastern Utah area focusing for the most part on the Fremont Indians.



Best of all though would have to be the kids corner in the back of the museum.   Games, puzzles, books, and even a little digging spot made for some pretty happy kids.  


CEU Prehistoric Museum
155 East Main Street
Price, Utah 84501
Adults: $6 Kids: $3

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kings Camo TurboTent

It is no secret that I love to camp; in fact, when we got married, we registered for a nice backpacking tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pads. But as children came along, we quickly outgrew our tent. We didn't want to stop camping, but we needed a large, durable, fast tent that we could take in our car. That tent is the Kings Camo Turbo Tent! It is quite rugged and keeps the water out beautifully (we just camped in 38 degree, rainy weather and stayed warm and dry). But the best part is it literally takes 90 seconds to set up! 

The bottom of the tent is made with heavy duty waterproof material that sweeps up beautifully because if your children are like mine, they go in and out all day long tracking in leaves, dirt and pine needles.

Monday, July 18, 2016

BYU Monte L. Bean Museum

 A free, fun and indoor attraction is found at the Bean Museum on BYU campus. Don't let the outdated outside building fool you - BYU has recently remodeled the entire museum and it is pretty swell. The very first thing to do when you arrive, is to get a free parking pass from the information desk - without one, BYU police will ticket your vehicle. Then roam around as long as you'd like.

There are displays on the different types of insects - which my boys found fascinating.

But the real treat, I think, is upstairs and the displays on animals with many, many stuffed real ones! These stuffed giraffes are almost as high as we are on the second floor!  

This stuffed elephant commands an entire room to himself. Mighty impressive!

 There is also a children's play area with slides and fun things to do to get wiggles out before viewing the rest of the exhibits.

The fish/coral reef exhibit was quite life-like. I almost wanted to hold my breath. And if you look closely, by the conch shell, you can spy an orange Easter egg. During different holidays, the museum hides trinkets for children to find.

The information panels provide interesting facts and tips for all of us to help preserve the beautiful planet.

You can also reserve (for free) a reptile show! It was pretty fun to join this group and all of my children liked guessing and touching each of the different reptiles.

  • Take the I-15 to exit 269 (University Parkway) and turn east. Travel about 4.4 miles to 450 east street and turn right. Before the traffic lights, turn left and go up a small hill past the Marriott Center and the museum is on your left. Please park on the north side of the museum and remember to get a parking pass from the front desk. 
  • Open:
  •  Monday - Friday 10am - 9pm 
  • Saturday - 10am - 5pm
  • closed Sunday 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Capitol Reef National Park - Hickman Bridge

Capitol Reef National Park is the least visited and know national park in Utah, but it is our family's very favorite! And the hike to Hickman Bridge inside Capitol Reef NP is the perfect hike to start your family on becoming hikers. The hike is relatively short (1 mile each way) and flat and the end is spectacular! 

The trail is well maintained and easy to follow, but it is exposed - not much shade, so plan accordingly (go early in the morning or at least be sure to bring water). We stopped at rocks and trees to "rest".

We opted to carry both of our youngest (2 years old and 1 year old) because they love to look for/collect rocks, sticks, lizards, bugs, etc which makes even a short hike quite long. 

About half-way to the arch, there is a really cool area with boulders to climb on and and sandstone to scramble all over.  It is also a perfect photo op!

Once you reach Hickman Bridge, the rock changes to red and it is stunning! Walking down off the trail has loose rock, so you may want to hold littles' hands. 

Check out this arch! It spans 133' and 125' high! Can you spot me below taking pictures?

This boy thought it was the most fun to play in the soft, cool sand below the arch. 

Our girls ran all around finding cool "caves" and "tunnels" to play in. It was perfect for children to climb up and down and all around!

And it was also fun to explain the variation of colors, and the strata and how the bridge was formed. According to the pamphlet, "The Kayenta Formation consists of hard beds alternating with much softer layers. The bridge is firm sandstone, while next to the trail is friable red shale which crumbles easily. During wetter times, water coursed down behind the fin into which the bridge was cut, and eroded the soft shale until it broke through. Subsequent erosion enlarged the span. "

Directly below the arch, you can really see the red rock and feel how much softer it is than the hard sandstone. 

And, if you are really lucky, there is a large puddle (probably filled with ghiardia, so I wouldn't let my kids play in it) at the base, too. It was fun to throw rocks in it.

While the girls explored the walls and such, our toddlers played in the sand. 

These girls could've spent all day playing around Hickman Bridge. Plan on an hour (and if you're smart, take a light picnic to eat while there) at the arch before returning down to the trail head. 


  • There are restrooms at the trail head parking lot
  • Trail is mostly exposed, very little shade
  • Plan on 2+ hours of hiking and playing at the arch
  • No water along, so be sure to bring enough for your family

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Puddle Jumpers

In my pre-mom life, I was a life guard and swim instructor. I love(d) being in the water and helping little children be safe, but I was never a fan of life jackets and don't even get me started on those water-wings! Life jackets give children a false sense of security and they do not put a child's body in the correct position for swimming.  However, my negative feelings were before I had 5 kids in 5 years and I wasn't sure how in the world I was going to manage going to a pool with my children by myself. I had to find a solution. Enter Puddle Jumpers! These are game changers, I'm telling you! My children love to wear them because they can swim just as if they were not wearing them and I don't even worry about them. I, of course, want my children to swim on their own - we do swim lessons and encourage them to swim often to build confidence and strength - but when it's just me and the kids at a pool, the rule is: all MUST wear puddle jumpers. There are too many innocent tragedies/accidents with small children drowning and I do not want to live through that nightmare! So, hurry to your local store (even Costco carries them) and for about $15 you can have peace of mind at the pool, too! 

This hot spring is at least 30' deep and so even though my husband was with us, puddle jumpers for everyone...can never be too safe, right?!