Tibble Fork Reservoir

One of my favorite parts about Utah is the landscape diversity. We love the mountains around us, and those mountains bring lots of lakes, rivers, and streams. Sundays are often slower days (but not always, and not recently), and we love to get out as a family then. This last weekend we headed up to Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon.

Within the last couple of years, a new dock and a decent sized sandy beach were added to the dam. The water is always cold due to snow run off, but it’s a beautiful destination. Bring wind breakers and sunscreen!

We also checked out the Tibble Fork Loop trail, but turned back probably a mile into the hike. The trail was extremely narrow and tilted toward the water, and my kids don’t know how to swim yet. It was still a lovely jaunt through the forest. 

Special note-you do need a National Parks Pass or to pay for a 3 or 7 day pass to get in. Bring sand toys and check it out!

Arches National Park-Day Trip

It’s halfway through April and we woke up to three inches of snow. This past winter has been all over the place, and while I’m trying to embrace what is, I just can’t wait for warmer weather. Two years ago this month we took a quick day trip to Arches National Park. At the time we had a four and one year old, a somewhat unreliable car, and didn’t want to mess with bedtime out of our home. Day trip it was!

We scoured some pages on nps.gov and maps to see what we could fit in with just a few hours in the park. Our oldest had a limit of 2-3 miles at the time, but we wanted the 7 total hours in the car to be worth it. We left early in the morning with lunch and snacks packed, lots of water, and sunscreen.

Our first stop once we were in the park was Double Arch and The Windows Section. The total was around a mile and a half round trip to two beautiful, tall arches that touch on one end, and then up close to a couple window-like arches. It took us an hour or so, including hiking and gazing in awe.

Next we had lunch and then drove through the park while the 4 year old rested. The baby fell asleep, so we parked at the trailhead for the Sand Dune Arch. She and I waited in the car while my husband and oldest did this 20 minute, third of a mile hike together.

Our last stop was our biggest, an hour long hike to Landscape Arch. This was the toughest as my oldest had already hiked a couple miles and was hot and tired. We went slowly, letting him play in the soft sand and pause in the rare shade. This hike is around 1.5 miles round trip and we drank plenty of water during this one.

After our last hike, we hit up a Mexican restaurant in Moab and headed home. It was a lot of driving, but a great trip for our family at the time. Two years later my son still remembers the arches and wants to go back. Hopefully we can revisit this year and explore even more.


Bring water! We have a few hydration backpacks (Camelbak, Osprey) and water bottles (love my Hydroflask for hiking). Snacks and lunch, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are pretty necessary in the desert. Good shoes too, as hiking in sand can be more demanding than harder surfaces. At the time my one year old was in an Ergo Ventus which worked great for her size.