Explore the most popular kid friendly trails near Vernal with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail overall. Very sandy and steep at parts but my 3 year olds did it like champs.. Make sure to do early AM or evening and take lots of water, no shade. We did it at dark after a day at Dinosaur National Monument and it was great. Don't follow google maps. Dirt road is easy to miss will try to add a screenshot of the longitude and latitude for the turn off. Follow blue metal signs to "parking area" Always go right at the forks and download the map ahead of time as their are some ATV trails at the beginning that could be confusing.

hiking
2 days ago

This trail is Hard, not Easy. It is also 3 miles round trip, not 1.7. Both of these statistics are from the information at the trailhead. Some of the difficulty comes from the heat at midday in August. My husband and I are in pretty good shape, but this trail was strenuous with constant elevation changes to the dinosaur tracks, and narrow parts easy to turn an ankle on. We enjoyed the hike, but it would have been nice for an accurate assessment, especially since it was midday, very hot and with no wind able to get onto the trail. Furthermore, there is a marina directly across from the dinosaur footprints with a mere 100 yard paddle to the site. This information would have been exceedingly helpful before undertaking this endeavor.

on Ruple Point Trail

4 days ago

While the trail to get there is uneventful, the view at the end is ridiculously awesome. The trail is exposed, but barely any incline.

Loved it!! Steep but you can do it and totally worth it! We went in the heat of the day and still loved it. Just bring water

Pleasant hike. Please don’t damage the footprints!

Thoroughly pleasant. Recommend tying in would the sound of silence trail (desert voices second)

walking
16 days ago

It’s a long way out of the way for a really small hike. But the rock formations are super cool and the kids spent an hour climbing all over the rocks.

The trail begins 100 feet past mile marker 359.

Hard to find. Watch for the dirt road right after the Steinaker state park sign on the left on the curve of the road. After the washout take the wide dirt road to left to the trail head. In the trailhead stay to the right. Its an easy hike and very beautiful.

The trail actually goes further than this map shows. Go to the end for an amazing view! Total length = 9 miles, with mile 4-5 being somewhat steep and in trees!

One of my favorite trails to hike! Adequate shade, can be hiked at any time of day. Well marked trail, tons of wildlife and the trail is pretty remote so there’s never a ton of traffic. The trail leads to Ely Falls, a great place to cool off before starting back. I highly recommend this trail for all ages!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great hike, but make sure to go in the early morning or late afternoon! Stick to the most worn dirt roads and you’ll find the parking lot easy. There’s also a cool cavern to sit and relax once you get to the arch.

This was a fun, sandy trail. Lots of rocks for kids to jump around without my fear of plummeting (as many other local hikes have steep cliffs!). The end was really cool, identifying the dinosaur tracks...but the biggest tip...the end comes out on the shores of the reservoir! WEAR YOUR BATHING SUITS for a quick dip! There was a group already there when we arrived that was jumping in and having a great time washing off the sweat from the hike in, and my kids were completely bummed not to have their bathing suits! None of my reading material mentioned swimming or even water located at the end of the hike! So, FYI!

Okay, getting there is frickin hard. Coming from Vernal, pass the state park sign, that's not what you want. Look for the little dirt road on the left side of the road. It's super hard to find, I found it after turning around. Once you see it, you'll have no doubts. Google maps is only kind of helpful. It will stop you at a seemingly random point on 191, the dirt road is somewhere around there. Take this dirt road, I did it in FWD sedan, and you'll follow small, rusty blue signs pointing the way. Keep going until you get to this opening, a large green gate, and a narrower dirt path. You've found the parking lot! GO THROUGH THE GREEN GATE. Veer left down the cruddy, steep path and follow the foot prints/trail map. The hike is actually kind of hard. I did it at noon, so don't do that. It's all in sand and uphill. For good pictures you have to go through the arch and up the steep rock face. I didn't see another soul when I was here, but then again I went at noon. Don't do that.

walking
1 month ago

This place was absolutely amazing! One of the reasons we went to Vernal in the first place. Took us about an hour to get there from Vernal but totally worth it.
The sandstone structures that were created completely by nature were absolutely breathtaking. There are markers to help you find specific formations that have been named, but it looked like some of them had been broken. Not sure if this was from vandalism or natural causes.
There was a restroom out there, but I don't know if it's open all the time or just in the summer. It was open when we went.
I would definitely recommend this hike to anyone who doesn't mind the drive. Worth it!

A mini sized version of Goblin Valley. Fun place to see but kind of a drive. We spent less than an hour here. I bet this place would be incredible during a sunset.

hiking
2 months ago

We chose this as our first family hike with our four kids ages 3-10. We had a blast! Very few rough places, and the end point was breathtaking! The kids loved the painted dinosaur footprints that mark the path, and seeing the real dino tracks at the end was pretty incredible!

2 months ago

Fun hike when you finally get there, Google directions suck. We did it just as the sun was going down.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun, some nice views. Very much high desert. I did the whole hike in about 4 hours, ground hogs and giant Turkey Vultures.

hiking
2 months ago

Great for kids! Sandy but fun!

Pretty good trail, fun for your family, nice beach at the end!

trail running
2 months ago

Such a fun trail! I’d rate it more moderate for trail running due to the slick rocks and sand but it would definitely be an easy hike. Absolutely gorgeous views and lead to the reservoir where you can jump in to cool off and then look for the dinosaur tracks. Would be really fun to take kids on this hike.

2 months ago

This was such an awesome way to finish out a day spent at Dinosaur National Monument. It's a very short drive from Vernal and while the road got bumpy, my Civic made it just fine. you definitely would need a high-clearance AWD vehicle, and some cajones, to drive all the way up to the arch. My 5 y/o loved exploring along the way and we got some amazing photos and views out of this nice short hike.

Hiked with Matt Tomlinson. Nice, well maintained trail. We watched a storm roll in.

This trail connects up with the slightly more scenic Sounds of Silence trail, which has its own reviews on the AllTrails website. If you do both loops, it will be a not terribly strenuous 5.5 miles. I did the loop using the connector from the Sounds of Silence trail and did not go all the way down to the Split Mountain Campground. Very well maintained and marked trail with many informational signs posted along the way, most of which suggest that conservation and protecting the wilderness is a good thing. I'm down with that.

on Moonshine Arch

hiking
2 months ago

It is a challenge to find the trailhead. The turnoff to the dirt road off of US 191 is hard to see and easy to miss going freeway speeds. GoogleMaps wants you to take the Steinaker State Park turn, which is wrong. You can find semi-helpful descriptions of how to find the trailhead on the web. If you have the right vehicle, and skills, you can drive right to the arch, and there are the tire tracks to prove it, but I walked from the gate and it was only .9 miles to the arch. The arch and the surrounding area are uniquely beautiful, so it's absolutely worth the effort. You can climb around the arch and into an alcove. I was the only one there today.

hiking
3 months ago

Such a fun hike! We had 3 kids ages 4-7 and then did great. Not well marked so make sure you do your research prior. So worth it.

on Moonshine Arch

hiking
3 months ago

Once you find the turn-off, there are very folksy little metal arrows that will point you the right way. When you get to parking, go through the green gate and go straight, after a few hundred feet look to your right for a footpath that will save you some sandy walking on the two track. Trail from that on is still mostly an OHV trail. If you miss the footpath, you'll eventually run into another dinky little metal sign with an arrow that'll still point you the right way. Great views from the ridge right above the arch, which you can access from the same trail.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is relatively easy but long, almost 9 miles round trip. If you are not a nature lover, the hike itself is not very exciting. However, the view at the end is literally breathtaking and worth the trip.

Bring sturdy, comfortable shoes since the trail is surprisingly rocky. A hat and plenty of water is a must since there is no shade for virtually most of the trail. Trail path is easy to follow for the most part but you lose it right at the end. Also lots of cow pies on the path, so watch your step.

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