5 Outdoor Family Adventures in Southwest USA
By Molly • February 17, 2014
There is a lot of truth to the saying, “time flies.” And this couldn’t be more true when watching your kids grow up. And when making memories that last a lifetime, there is no better place to go than the outdoors. So here are our top 5 family adventures for enjoying the Southwest.
1. Visit our national parks! Twenty-five of the 56 United States national parks are located in the Southwest. Not only fun, a National Park visit is full of learning opportunities, from geology and biology to history and archaeology. And if you visit the parks in the spring and fall, you and your family will likely receive more personalized attention from the park’s rangers, naturalists and staff. Some of our favorite national parks in the Southwest are Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands and Zion.
2. Take a camping rafting trip! Adventure deep into a red rock canyon, away from technology and enjoy the water, sun, sand and stars! The daily section of the Colorado River, near Moab, Utah, is one of the best family two and three day guided river trips in the US. And perfect for all ages, from 3 to 93. Camping on the Colorado is comfortable and easy with an outfitter that supplies the tents, pads and cots, then shops, cooks and cleans up! Sit back and relax with your family while the guides do all the work.
3. Explore Lake Powell! Over 186 miles long and covering over 1932 square miles of high desert in southern Utah and northern Arizona, Lake Powell’s whimsical high desert landscape is home to crystal clear blue waters framed by orange-red rock canyons, pinnacles and buttes. Explore the lake by power boat, sea kayak or houseboat, and spend the night at established campgrounds, a marina lodge, or simply on any of the thousands of beaches along the shores, accessible only by watercraft. If visiting the lake by Paige, Arizona, don’t miss the fascinating Glen Canyon Dam.
4. Hike! The Southwest has some of the grandest mountains and most spectacular hiking trails around! Just grab a map, put on a sturdy and comfortable pair of athletic shoes or hiking boots, load up your backpack with some snacks and plenty of water and don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat. Plan on packing 1/2 liter of water per hour, per person. To lighten your load, consider bringing along a water filter to use in the mountain’s abundant streams.
5. Learn to fly-fish! Known as some of the best fly-fishing spots in the country, the rivers of the Southwest are brimming with beautiful trout. Spend an afternoon on the Animas or San Juan River. Stop into your nearest outfitters to get some local advice on the best zones and flies, while getting an update on the rivers and regulations. If you’re lucky, you’ll be frying a few for a tasty dinner!
No matter what you end up doing, just get out and go! Before another summer passes you and your family by, take some time to explore, escape and experience with your family. And, as always, live with adventure!