We are truly blessed to live in a beautiful province that boasts the Canadian Rockies as a day trip from home but we are equally fortunate to live only a two-day drive to the Beehive State ~ Utah. If you have ever driven through Utah you will have noticed the beehive symbol on highway signs, this represents the industriousness of the original settlers to this part of the U.S. A virtue that continues to be respected by the residents there today, along with thrift, stability, perseverance, and self-reliance.
Utah has some of the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen, parts of which make you feel like you’re in an old western movie. Checking this out I found while there were several movies shot there, many were not westerns aside from titles like “Jeremiah Johnson” with Robert Redford, and “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”.
Movies aside, Utah is home to:
- 13 National Parks
- 2 National Heritage Areas
- 1 Wild and Scenic River
- 4 National Trails
- 14 National Historic Landmarks
- 4 National Natural Landmarks
All managed by the National Parks Service.
This alone makes Utah an ideal spot for family road trips. There is so much to see and learn it is certainly a spot you’ll never get tired of visiting.
We live in the Canadian Badlands and quite near Drumheller and its world-famous Tyrell Museum of Paleontology so we often visit bone digs and the museum. We have also camped out at Dinosaur Provincial Park where you can take bus tours to the bone beds where fossils have been dug and distributed to museums around the world. When we have the chance we like to visit other dinosaur parks, including Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado.
Located near Vernal, Utah, this site has much to see and learn about. One of the most amazing to EJ was the giant wall of excavation where you could see folks digging out fossils even today. This was reached by taking the free tour shuttle from the visitor center.
We also took some of the scenic drives and ventured over to the Colorado entrance to the park where we got some additional passport stamps for our national parks booklet plus a few junior ranger books that you can do in various parks. EJ couldn’t wait to jump into them.
In Vernal itself, we visited the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum where we found a giant Diplodocus was waiting to greet us as we entered the front door.
There were also two different kid’s booklets aimed at different ages that took EJ through the museum hunting through the exhibits as well as the dinosaur garden outside. He had a lot of fun and found many of the dinosaurs here were different from the ones he is used to seeing at home.
The Last Spike
Utah isn’t simply known for its rock formations and dinosaurs though. It is also the site of the driving of the last spike that completed the transcontinental railway across the U.S.
Since we are a railway family (hubby is a locomotive engineer and V1 is a rail traffic controller (she would be called a dispatcher in the states) this was high on EJ’s list for a visit. He had a great time interacting with the rangers as he worked on his junior ranger badge as well as outside as we waited for the steam engines to arrive for the reenactment. It was all very well done and lots of educational fun for kids and adults alike.
This is just a little smattering of all the things there are to do on a visit to Utah. We have visited This is the Place, a historic pioneer village where we learned about the early Morman pioneers in Utah plus a new exhibit that helps you to learn about the Native Americans who were the first inhabitants in the area.
There are also opportunities to ski at world-class resorts, dine at the very first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, catch a AAA baseball game, or just visit a Saturday morning farmer’s market. One thing that won’t happen is you getting bored.
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- Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
- Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
- Christine @ Lifes’s Special Necessities
- Yvonne @ The Life We Build
- Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
- Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane
- Lori @ At Home: where life happens
- Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
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