Trip to Moab in Oct with toddler

Sep 27th, 2008, 04:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5
Trip to Moab in Oct with toddler

We have recently decided to travel to Moab in October with our 3 year old son. We have about 2 weeks and will be driving from the Reno/Tahoe area. We are planning to camp most of the time with a few nights off in a nice hotel.

We are looking for advice on what to do -- we love to hike and even our son is good for 3 miles or so. We are bringing our mtn bikes as well and a bike trailer for our son.

Should we also try to fit in Zion and Bryce?

Please suggest:

1) short hikes less than 3 miles within the various parks
2) places to bike with a bike trailer (i.e., easy and wide)
3) hot springs?
4) fun and beautiful campgrounds in each park
5) a nice hotel/ B&B to stay with a young child in Moab or area
6) We are foodies.....any restaurants not to miss in this area?


renrut is offline  
Sep 27th, 2008, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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We will be on our second trip to Moab with small children so I feel like I am getting the hang of it. First, go the route of a house or a condo. Google "Cottonwood Condominiums" and see what you get. They are in town. We decided not to go there but to another house operated by the same booking agen--in our case 3 BR which is awesome, and around the corner from the city park. But you need a kitchen--or at least a fridge and microwave. And I find it is alot easier if you have a yard to turn loose the kiddos.

With a toddler, Arches could take you practically a week. The last time we went with a 1 yr and 3.5 yr old, we never got out of the first "stop". There were 2 arches there and 2 different trails.
We did one the first day and the other the next. You may want to sign up for the Fiery Furnace guided walk--with two people, you can scramble through with a 3 yo. Also check out Fisher Towers--north and east of Moab, that would be a fun one for kids.

Goblin Valley is superb for kids!!! Bryce would be cold at night camping in October with kids, but Zion would be ok. I would not camp out in Moab over the weekend. The weekend to keep in mind is October 17 (whatever days are around that). That is the weekend for teacher training so the whole state of Utah gets off and half the Wasatch front pours into Moab. Avoid it if possible. If not, make a hotel res---if you can--NOW.

Center Street Cafe (I may have the hame in the wrong order) has really good food. But I am not sure how kid friendly. The Desert Bistro has awesome food and a great outside patio. Eat early and let the kiddos run around while you enjoy your wine. Other than that, pub fare is what you can expect in Moab--not a big foody mecca, (sorry). If you get to Kanab, go to the Rocking V--yum. in Panguitch, try the Cowboy BBQ place--darn goood.
StantonHyde is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 03:32 AM
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Arches is an easy park to get around in, while Canyonlands is huge. I assme you mean Bicycling and not Motorcycle? There are tons of bicycling options around Moab. You might want to do the entire 7 mile hike in Arches called Devils Garden(i know longer than 3 miles). The hike up to Delicate is going uphill but then is easy on the return. You will want to be careful with him at the end as there is pretty big dropoffs at the end of the trail. We enjoyed airplane flight over canyonlands and a military hummer tour. The best thing was canyoneering with deserthighlights. they would probably take a 3 year old on some of their tours.
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Hi renrut,

The others have given you good advice. All I would add is that camping at Arches, if in the park, can be cold too. The campground is at a higher elevation that the campground in town or along the CO river. Beautiful campground though, but hard to get in. You would need camp reservations in Arches for sure.

Bryce will be cold, it's at 8,000 ft.

Zion will be very nice. One of nicest bike rides I've ever done was up the Zion canyon road and back in October. Just an easy ride, but so beautiful.

Most B&Bs won't take kids under 12, and they will be booked up at this point anyway.

Have fun
Dayle is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Hi everyone,
Thanks for the great suggestions. We are getting really excited.

After looking into tent camping in Arches, I see that we are going to be very lucky if we can get a camp site at this late date. That week before the teacher's training is pretty busy. Thanks for the tip!

So I've switched the plan around a bit. We are now thinking of heading first to Zion (where there are camp sites available and also seems quite plausible to grab a hotel room in Springdale if we need to bail out on camping for any reason.)

What's your favorite -- Watchman or South? How many days should we plan to spend in Zion. What else to see besides the two NPs? Remember we have that little guy =)

Then to Bryce where I think we can get a reservation at Bryce Canyon Lodge for 2 nights(thanks for the tip that is is cold there!)

For the second week, we'll head up to Moab for camping at Devil's Garden 3 days, then to Canyonlands.....and that's as far as I've gotten. Looks like camping there is first come. Any advice as to the part of the park we should focus on (easiest on children) is appreciated.

What do you think? What are we missing?

Thank you again!
renrut is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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I haven't done this, but camping in Fruita in Capital Reef has always looked interesting. I think this is the time of year that a lot of the fruit is in season. I have read that there is a lot of deer there when the apples start falling.
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Oh and I forgot to mention to Stanton, that we would love to stay in a condo in Arches -- but we chose this particular destination over Tofino, BC (wet and chilly, condo ($$$) not optional in Oct.) this year because we are spending our vacation budget on a roof! So we need to do this low roughing it it is (no roof on our vacation so we can have one on our house -- how's that for irony!)

Hopefully we can make it up to BC next year.....but we know the weather will be better in Utah =)

Thanks for helping out with all the great advice for traveling with children!
renrut is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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As you said, getting a camp spot without a reservation at Arches is nearly impossible, even when it's not the teacher's break, long weekend. There are many campgrounds along the CO River east of town, some more primitive than others and you would really have to watch the little one with the water right there.

There are also some commercial campgrounds in town that aren't too bad, plus they have showers.

I wouldn't stay at the Canyonlands Island in the sky campground. It's not very nice, very exposed and much higher altitude. It will be almost as cold as Bryce.

Personally, I would not ride a bike with my kid in the trailer on any of the roads around Moab. Too narrow and too much traffic. There is a nice bike path along the creek through town where I would take a child, or through some of the residential side streets that are nice and wide with little traffic.

Remember that Oct is still high season in Zion and Moab. Motels will be pretty full, but if you inquire early, you should find a place if needed.
Dayle is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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Ditto Dayle on Canyonlands. That is a real rigorous hiking park. I would just stick to Arches. Unless your little one will do the child carrier. (My 3 yo is WAYYYY into "do it myself!!!")

Kodachrome Basin (outside of Bryce is good for about a day). Goblin Valley is a good one to try. I would also second Capitol Reef--not sure the temperature though, check it out. There are lots of good hikes there. Plus there is Calf Creek Falls between Boulder and Escalante. That is a fun trip and a 3 yo can do it with help. (it is very flat but a bit longer--5 mi RT, I think)

Yes, I understand the $ tradeoffs. Currently, a remodeled kitchen and a replacement car/mini van are constantly vying/changing places for need/want!!!!!!

I have stayed at the KOA in Moab South of town and it was nice. Noisy on weekends though. A really nice campground is the one at Natural Bridges. That takes a day to hike and then there are some cool road/ruin hikes between there and Moab.
StantonHyde is offline  
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