My brother Robert and his fun family came to visit us from Northern Utah for spring break! While discussing what kinds of activities they wanted to do, Rob’s wife Kelly mentioned “Oh, and we might want to hit up Arches.”
That sounded like an easy enough request since Moab is merely an hour and 20 minutes from our front door. That is, until she went on to reveal… “But we’re not much for hiking.”
Hiking had taken its toll on Rob and his family years prior. Too many bad experiences of hiking in the scorching heat with not enough water or being underdressed for the day’s activities, or hiking for hours to a destination that just wasn’t worth the effort to get there.
That news put a small kink in my agenda, but I knew that I could work with it. Arches is one of my favorite National Parks because it has breathtaking views, and yes, you can sight-see straight from the car, (if you want).
Then, just days prior to their arrival, I got a phone call. Trevor, their son, had broken his arm. The small kink in our plans quickly turned into a huge gaping hole.
Our Original Plans:
Swimming at the Dessert Wave Pool.
Our Plans Now:
Sight Seeing Arches for 3 days???????
“What are we going to do? How can I give them the outdoor experience they are seeking without going hiking and without excluding Trevor?” (Who btw is my favorite nephew from that family … but only PARTIALLY because he is my ONLY nephew from that family). Either way, I would’ve hated for him to have to sit out, and I couldn’t figure out how to access any of the cool caves, pictographs or sites around us without at least a little foot-travel.
We were in need of a compromise! And Quick! That’s when I had my grandest of all grand ideas:
LWHC is easily top 10 of my favorite hikes! Being a slot canyon, it is generally cool, even in the summer months, has spectacular views and offers a little bit of adventure for the youngest of hikers (and I had HOPED for those who hated hiking as well.)
Once in the narrows, all my worries vanished! The kids were having so much fun that they were almost running to see what was around the next bend. The terrain was easy enough that even my 2 year old was able to do a good portion of it. At one point, Rob said to Trevor “Don’t go too far ahead. We wouldn’t want you to get lost.” He kicked back with “How are we going to get lost dad? It’s a slot canyon! There’s only one direction to GO!” (He’s such a tween.)
LWHC was such a huge hit that the kids were bummed to go home, so we drove the short 7 miles to Goblin Valley State park, another favorite, and let the kids explore the Hoodoo’s there. I heart Goblin Valley. It’s nature’s ultimate playscape. The kids ran and climbed and played until the sun disappeared behind the mountainside.
Oh, and if you are wondering how our adventures at Arches went, they had such a good time at LWHC and Goblin valley, that they even joined us on a 3 miler to Delicate Arch! Success!
Do you have suggestions on how to get non-hikers out on the trail, and with a smile? Let us know here at NFK!