This spring break, imagine the moment your family gets into the car to start the 12-hour journey the complaints instantly start. Can’t you hear the screaming, melt downs and the endless song of “are we there yet” and “so and so looked at me wrong.” By the end of your tiring journey, there were six meltdowns (per child), 13 bathroom breaks, one hair ripping and three personal explosions. Best of all, you get to experience the entire drive again on your way home.
Sounds fun, but instead of going out of state for your family spring break, stay in Utah. Every state has sights to see, but Utah is the only state that has five national parks, a bunch of state parks and other attractions that are just a couple of hours away. With a variety of outdoor adventures, you can plan your trip around your break schedule. Camp all week, have an overnighter, stay at a hotel like Ruby’s Inn or take a day trip, your options are endless in Southern Utah.
Here are four ideas to plan the ultimate spring break in Southern Utah:
Explore a State Park
Utah is known for its five national parks, but its state parks are just as beautiful and noteworthy. Utah has 43 state parks, which many are located in Southern Utah. Grab hiking boots, bikes or sneakers to find why these four state parks are worth your family’s time.
- Escalante Petrified Forest State Park: Grab the camera and walk through petrified trees that have been around for thousands of years. The forest is haunted, so make sure not to take any of the forest because you will have bad luck.
- Goblin Valley State Park: This park has a valley full of eroded rocks that resemble something like a goblin. The park almost looks like the backdrop of a sci-fi movie.
- Kodachrome Basin State Park: You family doesn’t want to miss out on the 67 towering sand pipes in this park. The basin has the reputation as a photographer’s paradise for its colorful rock formations.
- Snow Canyon State Park: This park is 7,400 acres of scenic land that is full of ancient lava flows and sandstone cliffs. Snow Canyon was featured in many Hollywood films, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, due to its beauty.
Discover the Charming, Small Towns
Visiting Utah’s towns is like going back in time to when the Wild West was booming. Below are a few fun towns worth your time. Heads up, one of the restaurants in Boulder, Hell’s Backbone Grill, just received Salt Lake magazine’s 2017 Best Dining award.
- Boulder, Garfield County
- Loa, Wayne County
- Kanab, Kane County
- Bryce Canyon City, Garfield County
- Springdale, Washington County
Take the road less traveled
If your family is up for more of a spur of the moment adventure, then a scenic drive is just for you. Pack snacks, a camera and some good shoes and drive down south. This area is full of scenic drives because of its vast open space and diverse landscape. With these drives your family can stop to look at the view or explore some of the trails on the side of the road.
Some of the top drives include:
- Scenic Byway 12: This road has been recognized as an “All American Road.” The highway will take you through Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks and so much more.
- Hole- in-the-Rock Road: This 62-mile drive will take you from Escalante to the Hole-in-the-Rock on the west shore of Lake Powell, the view is breath taking.
- Potash Scenic Byway: This byway travels along the Colorado River for 44 miles. The journey includes sandstone cliffs, dinosaur tracks, arches, petroglyphs and more.
- Scenic Highway 89: Highway 89 passes through some of Bryce Canyon Country into Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon.
Experience Utah’s five national parks
Last, experience Utah’s national parks. People come from all around the world to see Utah’s beautiful national parks, which is why you should take advantage of living so close. Best of all, the national parks in Utah are relatively close to each other.
Utah’s five national parks are:
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
Now the choice is yours, you can spend 12 hours driving to another state wanting to rip your hair out the entire time, or you can spend a few short hours in a car, then the rest of your tip enjoying family time exploring. It’s your call, just remember Utah is waiting for you.
Written By Hannah Lunt