Best Weekend Getaways From Salt Lake City For Families

A young girl stands next to a huge dinosaur fossil embedded in a rock wall at the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Suzette Bartlett

Hop in the car and enjoy these best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City! From Colorado to Idaho, neighboring states offer the perfect short getaway for all ages. Whether you have a dinosaur lover in the family, want to go hiking, or love visiting museums, these destinations within a short drive of Salt Lake City showcase fun for the entire family. Take a day trip to nearby destinations like Provo, Park City, or Antelope Island State Park. Families can also drive further to experience iconic destinations like Yellowstone National Park or Zion National Park. We’ve included things to do with kids, where to stay, and more tips for taking weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families. Keep reading to learn more! 

Best Day Trips From Salt Lake City For Families

Salt Lake City serves as a gateway to numerous family-friendly day trip destinations, each offering its own unique charm and attractions. Here are some suggestions! 

Heber Valley, UT

The Herber Valley Railroad riding through the green landscape in Herber Valley, Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Go Herber Valley

One nearby gem is Heber Valley, located just 45 minutes southeast of Salt Lake City. Families can embark on a historic train ride aboard the Heber Valley Railroad. It winds through picturesque landscapes, and you can relive the romance of steam-era travel. Additionally, the Swiss-themed town of Midway in Heber Valley offers opportunities for outdoor fun. This includes horseback riding, hiking, and exploring charming shops and restaurants.

Antelope Island State Park, UT

A view of Antelope Island State Park in Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park, approximately an hour northwest of Salt Lake City, offers a unique outdoor experience against the backdrop of the Great Salt Lake. Kids will delight in spotting the island’s resident bison herd, antelope, and other wildlife while hiking along scenic trails like the Dooly Knob Trail (2.6 miles). The park’s sandy beaches provide a perfect spot for picnicking, swimming, and birdwatching, with opportunities to observe pelicans, eagles, and other shorebirds. Families can also explore the Fielding Garr Ranch. This historic site dating back to the mid-19th century offers insight into Utah’s pioneer history and ranching heritage.

Park City, UT

A father and son ski with the mountains behind them in Park City, Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Jana Pintainho

Just a short 30-minute drive east of Salt Lake City, families can visit Park City; it’s famous for its ski resorts and vibrant cultural scene. While skiing and snowboarding are popular in the winter, families can enjoy year-round activities such as scenic chairlift rides, mountain biking, and hiking amidst the stunning alpine scenery. The Park City Mountain Resort offers a variety of family-friendly attractions, including an alpine coaster, zip lines, and a climbing wall. Strolling along Main Street, families can explore quaint shops and art galleries, and indulge in delicious treats from local ice cream parlors.

Provo, UT

Provo is located among the Wasatch Mountains, around 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City. Immerse yourself in nature at the Provo Canyon, where scenic drives, hiking trails, and picnic spots abound. For a dose of history and culture, families can visit the BYU Museum of Paleontology, home to an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, or explore the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, showcasing diverse wildlife exhibits and interactive displays. Or, when kids want some indoor fun, Provo Beach features laser tag, bowling, indoor surfing, and more games! 

Bear Lake State Park, UT/ID

An aerial view of the beach at Bear Lake State Park in Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Bear Lake State Park

Known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” for its intense turquoise waters, Bear Lake State Park is one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families! It’s around 2 hours away, on the border with Utah and Idaho. Families can lounge on sandy beaches like North Beach or rent paddleboards, kayaks, or jet skis to explore the water. Visit the Bear Lake State Park Visitor Center or enroll kids in a Junior Ranger program. Nearby, the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge provides chances for birdwatching and wildlife spotting, with chances to observe migratory birds, deer, and other native species in their natural habitat. Don’t forget to try the famous raspberry shakes at LaBeau’s! 

Best Weekend Getaways Around 3-3.5 Hours From Salt Lake City For Families

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway a short distance from Salt Lake City, we’ve rounded up some great options from Utah to Wyoming. Keep reading to find out more!

Dinosaur National Monument, UT

A young girl reaches out to touch a large dinosaur fossil embedded in a rock at the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Kallie Miller

Tiny dino enthusiasts can’t get enough of Dinosaur National Monument! Located near Jensen on the border between Colorado and Utah, this national park is around 3 hours and 15 minutes from Salt Lake City.

You can see over 1,500 bones encased in rock at the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall. Before you arrive, remember to pick up a Junior Ranger guidebook for your kids. They can complete the tasks in the booklet and submit them to the Visitor Center. Then, they’ll be officially sworn in as Junior Rangers and receive badges for free! Depending on which season you visit, you’ll also find other activities for families. Go hiking on one of the kid-friendly trails like the Hog Canyon Trail (1.7 miles), the Gates of Lodore Nature Trail (0.9 miles), and the Harpers Corner Trail (2.3 miles). If you visit in the summer, you can also go whitewater rafting. 

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, WY/UT

Red rocks and blue water at the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area,one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Flaming Gorge Country

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is a paradise for families seeking adventure and natural beauty. Plus, as one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families, it’s only 3 and a half hours away. 

One way to explore the waters of Flaming Gorge Reservoir is by renting a boat or kayak. Or, book a guided rafting trip down the Green River to appreciate the towering red cliffs. Hiking trails like the 3.5-mile Canyon Rim Trail offer easy walks with breathtaking views, while spots like the Red Canyon Visitor Center provide interactive exhibits and Junior Ranger programs tailored for young explorers. Don’t miss out on fishing opportunities; the reservoir is teeming with trout, making it a perfect spot for casting lines and teaching kids the art of angling. Then, pack a picnic and relax by the water’s edge to enjoy the view! 

Goblin Valley State Park, UT

A view of the hoodoos at Goblin Valley State Park, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Dennis George

Goblin Valley State Park is such a one-of-a-kind place for families to visit! Around 3 and a half hours from Salt Lake City, it features very unique hoodoo formations and even some easy hikes for kids. It was initially called Mushroom Valley due to its unusual appearance, and the park still lives up to this name today. 

Pique your child’s curiosity on an easy hike through the hoodoos. Carmel Canyon Trail is a simple 1.2-mile loop, while the Curtis Bench Loop Trail is around 2.1 miles. Little ones will love channeling their imaginations and searching for goblin-like figures among the hoodoos. It’s a fun way to engage their creativity while enjoying the natural beauty of the area! There are also various designated picnic areas within the park where families can refuel. Enroll little ones in the Junior Ranger program to keep them entertained and learn more about the park. 

Capitol Reef National Park, UT

A father with his two children in Capitol Reef National Park, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

A Utah road trip itinerary would be incomplete without a stop at Capitol Reef National Park! Known for its white sandstone domes, striking rock formations, and deep canyons, this family-friendly park is located around 3 and a half hours away from Salt Lake City. 

Capitol Reef showcases some kid-friendly hikes, such as the Grand Wash Trail, a 2.2-mile easy walk that leads you through Deep Canyon. This flat, short, and spectacular hiking path is easily doable for kids! You don’t even need to pay the entrance fee since it’s accessible outside the park from Highway 24. If you decide to visit Capitol Reef National Park, make sure to drive to Gooseneck, park, and then hike over to the Gooseneck Overlook. Afterward, head over to Sunset Point, where you’ll find an incredible 360-degree view. With light reflecting off the rock walls, the panorama is ever-changing until it goes dark.

Best Weekend Getaways 4-5 Hours From Salt Lake City For Families

Families who want a longer road trip from Salt Lake City should check out these best weekend getaways within 4 hours. From Jackson Hole to Boise, Idaho, here are some options to consider for your next cheap weekend getaway from Salt Lake City! 

Moab, UT

A family of five stands together posing in front of the iconic arches of Arches National Park near Moab.
Photo Courtesy: Emily Kapic

Whether you want to hike, bike, or camp, families love Moab! With its majestic red rock formations, desert landscapes, and abundance of outdoor activities, there are lots of ways to explore and be active. It’s around 4 hours from Salt Lake City. 

Moab is the gateway to some of Utah’s most famous parks: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Featuring dramatic canyons, arches, and towering spires, families can go horseback riding, take a ranger-led hike, or hike through the park. Then, try off-roading on a UTV or ATV, or rent a bike and ride down the Intrepid Trail or Bar-M Loop. Don’t forget a rafting trip down the Colorado River! Or, take kids to The Wild West Challenge Course to soar through the trees with a nice breeze. Dinosaur lovers can’t miss the Museum of Moab, Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trails, or The Paleosafari Moab Giants

Where To Stay In Moab With Kids

If you need somewhere to stay in Moab with kids, you’re in the right place. With camping and lodging options to fit every budget, it’s the perfect place to explore the United States on a budget. If you want a more rugged experience in the wilderness, check out Base Camp Adventure Lodge and Under Canvas Glamping Tents Moab. Families can also rent homes from Airbnb or Vrbo. Or, stay at a traditional Western ranch at Red Cliffs Lodge and read our other suggestions for where to stay in Moab with kids. 

Kanab, UT

A young girl in a slot canyon near Kanab, Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Kanab offers a peaceful retreat from the city. Around 4 hours and 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, its proximity to several national parks and monuments makes it an ideal base for exploring the area’s natural wonders.

For a unique experience, take a guided tour of the famous slot canyons in the area, such as Peek-A-Boo Canyon or Buckskin Gulch. Kids will definitely be impressed by the stunning rock formations and vibrant colors! For even more scenery, drive the Cottonwood Canyon Road from Kanab to Kodachrome Basin up north. Or, venture to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. to see a unique sight: orange-red sand! At the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, kids can interact with rescued animals and learn about animal welfare. Don’t miss the Little Hollywood Movie Museum to learn about the history of filmmaking in the area and even dress up as your favorite movie characters! 

Zion National Park, UT

A view of the Red Rock at Zion National Park in Utah, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.

Zion National Park, with its majestic cliffs and serene valleys, is a haven for family adventurers! Around 4 from Salt Lake City, it boasts a striking red-cliff landscape, natural rock arches, and a widespread Zion Canyon. Plus, it’s a particularly great location for families with young kids, given its on-site shuttle, accommodations, and light beginner trails.

Hike the 3-mile Emerald Pools Trail and you’ll come across spring-fed pools, glorious canyon views, and gushing waterfalls. Weeping Rock Trail is even shorter at around a mile, though nonetheless brilliant! Older kids up for a challenge may enjoy Angels Landing, a thrilling 5-mile hike with a steep drop. If you’d much prefer to see Zion National Park from the comfort of your car, however, The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive also showcases a driving trail with commanding views. Our contributors also recommend The Narrows hike for daredevil families willing to walk through water! 

Where To Stay Near Zion National Park With Kids

Zion National Park has plenty of nearby accommodations for families. For maximum convenience, try staying at the Zion Lodge, as this is the only hotel in the park. We also suggest the Cable Mountain Lodge, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park, and Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection by Hilton, among other options on our list of where to stay in Zion with kids. 

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

A father and son looking at the views over Bryce Canyon National Park, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.

Bryce Canyon, renowned for its hoodoos – unique rock formations – is a wonderland for families. Located roughly four hours away, it’s certainly one of the best road trips from Salt Lake City for families!

Drive to Bryce’s many beautiful outlooks, such as Sunrise Point, Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, and Sunset Point. Outside the entrance, you’ll also find the Mossy Cave Trail, an extremely short hike (0.9 miles) recommended for youngsters. The Rim Trail, around 5.5 miles, provides spectacular views too. For older kids, go down from Sunset Point through Queens Garden, do the Peekaboo Loop, and then hike up the 1.3-mile Navajo Loop. We recommend watching the prettiest sunset ever from Sunset Point before departing Bryce National Park. Or, go horseback riding in the park from Sunrise Point, then start your descent into the Canyon. Kids will love this special experience! 

Jackson Hole, WY

Two people gather near a horse-drawn sleigh in Jackson Hole.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Jackson Hole

One of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City is surely Jackson, Wyoming! Around 4 and a half hours away, this charming town is located just south of Yellowstone, and it offers a wide range of activities and attractions that are perfect for families. From exploring the town’s historic downtown area to taking a scenic drive through Grand Teton National Park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Families can also take advantage of the area’s outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. 

The Snake River, which flows through Jackson, is known for its challenging rapids and scenic views. Several rafting companies in the area offer guided trips for families of all ages and experience levels. Additionally, Jackson is home to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Jackson Hole Rodeo. Plus, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is home to winter skiing and summer hiking.

Where To Stay In Jackson With Kids 

Need somewhere to stay in Jackson, Wyoming with kids? Check out Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, and more of the Best Hotels In Jackson Hole For Families

Yellowstone National Park, WY

A young blonde girl overlooking the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.
Photo Courtesy: Kara Williams

Yellowstone is one of America’s most astounding National Parks! Located in Wyoming, around 5 hours away from Salt Lake City, this expansive natural area comprises abundant wildlife, colorful landscapes, and numerous mineral hot springs. 

In addition to stunning views from kid-friendly trails, like Geyser Hill Loop, Yellowstone also offers mind-blowing panoramas of Old Faithful. Make sure to visit this memorable geyser and maybe you’ll even see it erupt! Kids will also love the rainbow-esque Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin. Other scenic sights to consider include the Turquoise Pool, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone’s Upper Falls, and the glimmering Opal Pool. 

Sun Valley, ID

A scenic view of wildflowers along a mountain hiking trail and the Sawtooth Range near Sun Valley, Idaho in the distance.
Photo Courtesy: Alex Bertha

Sun Valley is one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families! Around 4 and a half hours away, it offers a ton of things to do with kids of all ages. 

Families can hit the slopes at the Sun Valley Resort during the winter, enjoying skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. In the summer, the resort transforms into a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking, mountain biking, and scenic gondola rides. The nearby Sawtooth National Recreation Area provides endless opportunities for exploration too. Nature lovers can also venture to the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. The Wood River Trail, a scenic pathway winding along the Big Wood River, is perfect for biking, walking, and wildlife spotting. Then, stroll through downtown Ketchum and explore the art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. For a taste of Western history and culture, families can visit the nearby town of Hailey, home to the Blaine County Historical Museum. 

Boise, ID

A mom and her daughter smile at the top of a Boise foothill, with an expansive view of downtown Boise in the distance, after hiking up a path at Camel's Back Park.
Photo Courtesy: Antonia Grant

From hiking and biking in the scenic Boise foothills to exploring one of the many museums or historic sites, Boise, Idaho offers the perfect family vacation. Plus, it’s affordable and around 5 hours from Salt Lake City. 

In the summer, there are plenty of kid-friendly trails to explore. Walk along the shade on the Boise River Greenbelt, hike up to Table Rock, or head slightly outside of Boise to Eagle Island State Park. Boise also boasts some of the best hot springs in the country, including some inside the Boise National Forest. When you want to spend a lazy day, families can stroll the historic downtown area and browse the Western-themed shops. The city also has a vibrant arts scene, with museums such as the Children’s Museum of Idaho, the Idaho State Museum, and the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology. Animal lovers can’t forget the Aquarium of Boise or Zoo Boise! 

Where To Stay in Boise With Kids

Families love the Hampton Inn & Suites Boise-Downtown because it includes a hot breakfast, an outstanding hotel pool (with a water feature for kids!), and an excellent location. Then, Hyatt Place Boise/Downtown is another great option. Courtyard by Marriott Boise Downtown is another option to consider, featuring an on-site restaurant and free parking. Finally, families wondering where to stay in Boise with kids can also consider Hotel 43, The Grove Hotel, and Residence Inn Boise Downtown/City Center.

Idaho Falls, ID

A view of the Idaho Falls from the river walk, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Idaho

Idaho Falls is the ideal place for a family vacation in Idaho! Around 3 hours north of Salt Lake City, it’s known for its vibrant arts scene, outdoor adventures, and plenty of things to do with kids. 

Stroll the Idaho Falls River Walk, which winds along the river’s edge, or take a bike ride. Kids will love all the art sculptures! The adjacent Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park houses exotic species from around the world and interactive educational programs for children. Tautphaus Park itself is a great place for kids to enjoy the playground. Families can also visit the Museum of Idaho to explore the region’s rich heritage, from its Native American roots to its pioneer past and beyond. Then, stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding the Idaho Falls Temple or simply admire the temple’s architecture from afar. For hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, visit nearby Harriman State Park. 

Great Basin National Park, NV

A view of the greenery and trees in Great Basin National Park, one of the best weekend getaways from Salt Lake City for families.

Great Basin National Park, a hidden gem in eastern Nevada, beckons families from Salt Lake City with its rugged beauty and unique attractions! It’s around a four-hour drive, but the journey is worth it!

Families can marvel at the park’s iconic limestone caverns in Lehman Caves, where guided tours lead visitors through intricate formations and underground wonders. Above ground, the park has scenic hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks through alpine terrain. One easy option for kids is the 1.1-mile hike to Snake Creek Overlook. Wheeler Peak, the park’s highest point, boasts breathtaking vistas and opportunities for wildlife viewing, including chances to spot marmots, bighorn sheep, and even elusive mountain lions. Camping is also popular here.

Explore the surrounding area, including the town of Baker, to refuel with a hearty meal and browse for souvenirs at eclectic shops.

Happy Travels!

A young boy wearing a yellow shirt and a blue sun hat looks at the iconic Utah arches at Arches National Park, one of the best things to do in Moab with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Emily Kapic

We hope you liked this list of the Best Weekend Getaways From Salt Lake City For Families! From day trips to Provo to longer road trips to Zion National Park or Kanab, there are endless opportunities to explore the surrounding area as a family. Enjoy your weekend getaway from Salt Lake City!

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.