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Family Travel: Moab’s Best Adventures for Kids (plus a $500+ KOA giveaway!)

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Mountain Biking Dead Horse Point State Park

Moab is the mountain bike capital of the universe and boasts several famous trails like Slickrock and Porcupine Rim for expert riders. As novices, I was tempted to stay on the Moab Canyon pathway, Moab’s newest paved trail, but we wanted more of a challenge so headed to Dead Horse Point State Park, a wonderland of trails for novice and intermediate riders.deadhorsesm

We parked at the Visitor’s Center and posed for pictures–the view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed vistas in the world. With millions of years of geologic strata that stretch into Canyonlands National Park, the mighty Colorado River snakes below with the 12,000-foot high La Sal Mountains looming in the background.

mountainbikingThere are a few short hikes around the edge of the mesa and the ranger recommended we mountain bike the Intrepid Trail System. We started strong on the Intrepid trail, winding through juniper and pinyon trees but 10 minutes into our ride, Hadley had enough. Though rated moderate, the stretches of slickrock unnerved her so she and my husband returned to the car, ditched their bikes and hiked along the East/West Rim Loop.

I was a proud mama as Bode navigated intermediate-level terrain and rocky ledges on the Pyramid trail. About 5 miles into our loop, he started to tire and was dismayed to see a large hill looming ahead. Heroine Mom that I am, I raced ahead of him up the hill, stashed my bike, ran down and helped him walk his bike up. My memory of the situation was much different when I later asked him “What did your wonderful mother do?”

“You passed me on the trail.”

Red Sand Sea

Directly across from the Arches National Park entrance on Highway 191, there is a temporary blip in the red-rock landscape: a steep hillside of sand has become celebrated among the kid population. While Jamie rested on a rock below, I trudged behind my Energizer Bunny kids up this 100×100-foot sandbox, my feet sinking into its cool scarlet grip with each laborious step.sand

Upon reaching the top, gravity acted as its own adrenaline rush as we took a short run and glided momentarily in space before landing in a soft sand cushion. An hour later, we dragged our reluctant kids back to the car, leaving behind a fine powder of rouge and joyful memories.

Kamp KOA

Back at the KOA, we showered (a necessity after the sand hill), cooked hot dogs and s’mores over our charcoal grill and explored camp. 

(Click Page 3 to keep reading about Kamp KOA and trekking to Moab’s most iconic arch!)

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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  • comment avatar martha June 15, 2015

    fun, fun trip! had no idea koa had cabins; will have to check it out.
    my favorites in moab: negro bills canyon. great hikes in that area.

  • comment avatar Sally June 15, 2015

    Lots of great rafting trips and jeep tours in Moab. Hurray Pass is great for families starting out on the bike. Nice tips and I agree, if you’re going to Moab for the first time, you have to do Delicate Arch.

  • comment avatar Jennie June 15, 2015

    All those years we lived in Utah and could have met you and NOW you decide to back to your old stomping ground! Promise me… one day we will go play there together!!!!

  • comment avatar Emily Floyd June 15, 2015

    Wow! I didn’t know there was camp grounds near Moab, pretty cool. I would love to visit Utah one day.

  • comment avatar Jennifer H. June 15, 2015

    I’ve never been to Utah. The pictures are beautiful!!! I would love to make it out there with my boys someday.

  • comment avatar Heather Morozov June 15, 2015

    Didn’t even know KOA was this nice!!!

  • comment avatar Lindsey Smallwood June 15, 2015

    We just stayed at the Moab KOA two weeks ago – the cabin was brand new. Such a great trip, we loved Arches and Canyonlands and the campground was the perfect mix of nature and creature comforts.

  • comment avatar Kaity June 15, 2015

    I want to visit so badly!!!

  • comment avatar amy deeter June 15, 2015

    Very nice. would love to visit Utah . i have never been there and going camping there would be a trip of a lifetime

  • comment avatar Anne Stewart June 15, 2015

    This looks like an amazing trip! My kids are a bit young to enjoy this sort of adventuring just yet, but we plan on heading west when they’re a little older. Moab looks like it deserves a spot on the itinerary!! Thanks for the tips.

  • comment avatar Alicia June 15, 2015

    Looks beautiful. Never been to Utah…would love to go there someday.

  • comment avatar Katie Bodell June 15, 2015

    I have yet to go to Moab. Thanks for sharing

  • comment avatar Cynthia Mercado June 15, 2015

    This looks like an awesome family bonding experience!

  • comment avatar Katie LE June 15, 2015

    I have two boys who pick up rocks wherever we go. They would LOVE visiting this park. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • comment avatar Carissa June 15, 2015

    Arches is on my list of places I want to see! KOA sounds like a great way to go!

  • comment avatar Jessica The B Keeps Us Honest June 16, 2015

    We are hoping to take our boys camping soon.

  • comment avatar Ashley Whipple June 16, 2015

    Moab looks amazing! THanks for sharing your families adventure.

  • comment avatar Kathryn June 16, 2015

    Looks great! Thanks for great write up and pictures!

  • comment avatar Kristin Goodson June 16, 2015

    That’s good there are clean bathrooms! I’ve never been to Utah, but your pics of it are breathtaking!

  • comment avatar Kaitlyn Brady June 16, 2015

    I’m a Utah native and after 5 years in Houston my husband and I recently moved back with our 3 little boys. But I’ve surprisingly never been to Moab and I’ve wanted to go for a long time! KOA there would be great!

  • comment avatar Lakehouse June 16, 2015

    What a great family trip!

  • comment avatar Carey June 16, 2015

    Sounds like so much fun…and great photos!

  • comment avatar Callie June 16, 2015

    Great time for family bonding!

  • comment avatar Brandi Malone June 17, 2015

    Looks gorgeous! I’d love to take my family!

  • comment avatar Kirsten June 19, 2015

    I had NO idea that Utah was so incredibly beautiful!

  • comment avatar CHRISTY SWEENEY June 19, 2015


  • comment avatar Dawn June 19, 2015

    Our kids would have an AMAZING time in such a beautiful place!

  • comment avatar Chantelle Walker June 19, 2015

    We’re planning on going to Arches National Park in several months! I’m glad you all had fun 🙂

  • comment avatar Dave J June 20, 2015

    Never been to Utah but it looks beautiful! Great pictures.

  • comment avatar Jill McHale June 22, 2015

    The Arches National Park is so beautiful!

  • comment avatar Lauren Drake June 23, 2015

    This looks like it was an amazing trip! One the kids will remember for a lifetime.

  • comment avatar kathy b June 27, 2015

    It really is hard to plan weekends when the kids are doing sports isn’t it? Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  • comment avatar Hollie Jahnke June 27, 2015

    Moab looks pretty amazing. I must plan a trip.

  • comment avatar Betty B. June 27, 2015

    Wow! Beautiful pictures looks breathtaking! I’ve never been west before its on my list!

  • comment avatar Neal Trautloff June 28, 2015

    Arches National Park looks fun

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