If your family is like mine then you have some kids that love the snow and some kids that hate the snow. Our ratio is 5:1 but that one kid can make things miserable for the rest of us on family adventures.
One of the winter traditions that all 6 of us enjoy is to go tubing as a family. We have gone tubing at Soldier Hollow in Midway and Woodward Park in Park City. Both are fantastic places that include a conveyor belt to take you to the top of the hill. It makes life a lot easier. Dragging multiple tubes up the hill all while holding little kids hands etc is NOT EASY!
The convenience of these hills does come at a price. Tickets for a 2 hour time period can run up to $34 a person. However, Groupon does deals every year and makes the experience much more affordable. Make sure you check for deals before you go.
This is one of our favorite winter adventures as a family. Ben and I have as much fun as the kids!
So what do you think? Want to try speed tubing with a no effort climb?
Dripping Rock is a hidden gem in Spanish Fork, Utah. The trail starts on the south side of the road next to the Spanish Oaks Golf Course. There is a small parking lot for you to park and begin. The trail runs alongside the river with several options to go down to the water throughout.
You can go down to the river early on your walk or wait until the bridge. Both are really fun options. We chose to go down early on our hike and make our way through the river, stopping at all the areas the rock drips. The kids were in heaven.
I recommend water shoes or hiking sandals. Walking in the river is really fun but the rocks make shoes necessary. It’s not difficult to walk in the water. My three year old did great. The water stays shallow and slow moving the entire walk up to the bridge.
If you aren’t interested in the swings or jumping off the little waterfall you can stay down river where the rock dips. Less crowded and lots of room to play.
After playing at the dripping rock for awhile, we decided to go the bridge and find the swings. It’s only .7 mile from the parking lot to the bridge.
We ended up spending the most time at the bridge. My kids couldn’t get enough of the swing and the jump.
When it was time to head back home they all asked if we could come back the next day. Dripping Rock is our new favorite place to play in the summer heat.
One of our favorite stops during our big Yosemite trip was Buck Eye Hot Springs. The hot springs are a little oasis just outside of Bridgeport, California. The best part of these hot springs is the fact that the river runs right next to the pools. You can hop back and forth between the hot pools and the cold river. It’s the perfect combo.
Hot springs are known for bringing out the nudists. Weekends and evenings are the most popular time for nudists to emerge. We went on a weekday and only found a few other families in the pools. We were able to social distance and have plenty of space to be comfortable.
The drive to the hot springs is a dirt road for 3 miles. Our van made it just fine. Once you get to the parking lot the trail down to the springs is short but steep and involves loose dirt. We made it down just fine but it was outside of my mom’s comfort zone so she stayed in the van while we played.
There were several pools to choose from. The first pool was the warmest. It was the temperature of a hot tub. The pools cooled down the further down the river they were. It’s nice to find the pool with the temperature that suits you best.
In addition to the pools next to the river there were two small pools near the top of the trail head. People were soaking in them so we didn’t get to check them out at all.
We loved our time at the hot springs and recommend them to anyone in the area.
P.S. There are two other hot spring locations in the area. Travertine and Benton hot springs. We read good things about them both online but never checked them out. We decided on Buck Eye because of the river running next to it. The hot and cold tub mentality reminded us of Switzerland and is a feature that Benton loves!
While we were in Southern Utah we explored a location just outside of Zion National Park, called Lambs Knoll. Lambs Knoll is literally next to the fence of Zion park boundaries and is a large playground for adventure lovers like us. There are several climbing routes and slot canyons to explore. All require the proper gear.
We didn’t have time to climb or do more than one canyon so we plan on going back. We did one canyon called Snake Alley. It involved three rappels, the third was one of the most spectacular rappels I have ever done. To get to the starting point of the rappel you had to squeeze through a narrow slot and then as you overlook the cliff you notice you are in another slot with sides hundreds of feet high and it will require you to hike out by squeezing through a tough section for 100 feet. It was gorgeous!
My kids were champs and had such good attitudes. My three year old did every rappel with me and kept saying how fun he thought it all was. He mentioned it was like going down a slide. My nine year old really came into his own and asked to be the first to rappel each time. He couldn’t get enough.
As always know before you go. Canyoneering is one of our favorite family activities and we love sharing it with you. Please be safe and know what you are getting into. Don’t go unprepared.
Taking kids canyoneering is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced. We have been canyoneering for years and now that our youngest is 3 we felt comfortable going as a family. Each kid had a children’s harness and the youngest two rappelled with my husband or myself each time.
Yankee Doodle Canyon is located in Leeds, Utah and is a slot canyon that most people overlook. It involves three moderate sized rappels and several small rappels. The canyon is not marked at all. If you plan to go make sure you are properly prepared. Study the area, download maps, bring a location device and all the proper gear.
I loved experiencing this with my kids. It was our first canyon as a family and it’s safe to say we are hooked.
If you like slot canyons you need to plan a trip to Grand Staircase National Monument. Peek-a-boo and Spooky canyons are spectacular. The route for those two canyons is 6.3 miles round-trip. While you are there I also recommend visiting Devil’s Garden, the Betty Caves and Lower Calf Creek Falls. There is so much to do in Escalante. You will love it!
The trail for Peek-a-boo and Spooky canyons has been recently renovated. The road to the trailhead is very accessible, brand new bathrooms have been installed, and the trail is groomed and marked with small hoodoos showing the way.
Before you go I have a few recommendations:
Check the weather before you plan. Slot canyons can be deadly in flash flood circumstances.
Pack enough water.
Plan your route before you go. Download maps on your phone because you won’t get internet in the canyons. I suggest using the AllTrails app. You can follow me on Alltrails and see the hikes I’ve done along with my reviews.
There are only two places that require significant scrambling. Both are doable without ropes or technical gear. One is the entrance to Peek-a-boo (pictured above), the other spot is in Spooky canyon.
Peek-a-boo is breathtakingly beautiful. The rock formations and unique nature of the canyon make it memorable. Spooky canyon is narrow the majority of the canyon. I had to take off my pack for a large part of it. It’s thrilling to squeeze though and see the curves of the walls.
Overall, I can’t say enough about how beautiful and fascinating these canyons are. The trail to enter the canyons has been well groomed and marked making the canyons very accessible. These canyons can bring so much joy and wonder to you but please be responsible when hiking. Know the weather, pack enough water and be smart.