Guided Adventure Suggestions for Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner, a time when families like to plan one more vacation getaway as the school season gets in full swing. Here are a few ideas for adventure that families from grandkids to grandparents can enjoy together.

Contact information with website links and phone numbers for each tour company are listed on the map below.

With locations at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Orderville Utah, and Kanab Utah, East Zion Adventures has the backcountry of Zion National Park covered.  This is the high country of Zion where there are fewer crowds, canyons, plateaus, and views for miles.

The newest operation located in Kanab offers a number of guided adventures including canyoneering, horseback trail rides, and Jeep tours. We recently went on the Pink Sands Jeep tour that explores the desert near Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

The ride is in a deluxe modified Jeep designed for accessing places you wouldn’t typically be able to visit without a high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle. The guide was very informative making the tour interesting and entertaining. The scenery was jaw dropping! Red sandstone monoliths, coral colored and vast vistas of the east side of Zion National Park.

This tour is perfect for families!

This is a favorite adventure with our group tours, especially our private family tours. The ride is in a modified H1 military style Hummer tha I swear could climb straight up a wall. It’s amazing what these vehicles can do.

The tour takes place in the slick rock area of Sand Flats Recreation area east of Moab on the Hells Revenge Trail. Appropriately named but don’t let it chase you away. This is a thrill ride but quite safe with professional guides that are highly skilled at driving these capable vehicles.

The driver will thrill the group showing off the capability of the machine in a vast landscape of petrified sand dunes beneath the towering LaSal Mountains. The tour stops at fossilized dinosaur tracks and scenic views of distant landmarks including Arches National Park.

This is one of our favorite family adventures.

Bluff Utah might be a place you’ve never heard of before but once you visit, you’ll want to go back as often as possible. Wild Expeditions located at Bluff Dwellings Resort on the north end of town offers nearly every type of adventure available in the area including canyoneering and rafting.

If you’ve never been canyoneering, rappelling, stemming, and bridging in a canyon, Wild Expeditions has the perfect opportunity for families in Calf Canyon located just a short distance from the office. This is the perfect introduction to canyoneering for the never ever and especially for families.

A few years ago, we arranged for a family 11 to go canyoneering in Calf Canyon with Wild Expeditions. Ages ranged from 9 to 78 consisting of teenagers, parents and grandmother. The two last members of the family to rappel into the canyon were the 9-year-old granddaughter with her 78-year-old grandmother. I’m sure they talked about that day for many years, Incidentally the grandmother made it all the way to the end stemming and bridging her way through!

The San Juan River
This is a river we’ve become quite acquainted with over the years and found it to be quite fascinating and adventurous in its own way.

Not everyone wants a whitewater experience and would prefer a river with a easier slower pace. That’s exactly what you get on the San Juan River. Our buddy Steve Brown, former TV sports and outdoor personality says this is the best river trip he’s ever gone on, and he’s gone on quite a few. The water in the summer month is quite warm making it enjoyable to float in. In addition to rafting, Wild Expeditions offers standup paddleboarding and kayaking tours. Described as one of the world’s greatest outdoor museums of native American archaeological sites in an area well known for this history.

The Upper Canyon of the river starts in Bluff and floats 27 miles to Mexican Hat. River trips run March–October. This is a flat-water trip that’s ideal for all ages.

Experience Mars in Southern Utah’s Caineville Desert of Bentonite Hills and Mancos Shale mesas. On this tour you’ll see interesting sites such as the Mars Desert Research Station, Burpee Dinosaur Quarry and Moonscape Overlook where Factory Butte towers high above the barren landscape by way of the badlands. Selenite crystals glisten like broken glass as you pass through this desolate landscape like a rover on the moon’s surface.

From here the San Rafael Swell is in view with its multi-colored badlands of monoclines, cliffs, and canyons. Later down the trail a short hike will take us to the silver spire, frequently seen in photos but visited only by a few.  We descend from the base of Factory Butte to what locals call glass valley where the selenite crystals (gypsum) are sure to amaze you. The tour culminates at a viewpoint known as Moonscape Overlook with views that span the vastness of this desolate region.

The Sundance Zip Tour is one of the most exciting scenic zip tours around not just in Utah but anywhere in the country. It’s a zipline adventure that will thrill the most ardent thrill seeker. Boasting 2,100 feet of vertical drop, the most of any zip line in the United States and nearly two miles of spans. Guests can ride side by side on the zip lines double cables with total control of their speed. Cruise up to 65 mph or stop mid-air to take in the views, you control the speed. The adventure consists of 4 zip lines starting at the top of the mountain by way of a jaw dropping scenic lift ride at the foot of Mount Timpanogos.

Participants must be at least 10 years old and weigh between 50 – 260 lbs.

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