Geodes in San Rafael Swell, near Green River, UT

Geodes in San Rafael Swell, near Green River, UT

Geodes are hollow rocks, embedded with crystals on their insides. They can be found in a variety of places in Utah, but one that I’ve enjoyed exploring is in the San Rafeal Swell, just north of I-70, west of Green River. You can find geodes near the base of the hills all along the swell as it travels north from I-70. If you are not familiar with geodes, there is more information here –> Geology.com: Geodes It does take hiking…

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Trampolines at Hang Time in Orem

Trampolines at Hang Time in Orem

Trampolines are a popular backyard activity, but we like going to Hang Time in Orem for our jumping. ┬áCheck our their site for all the info –>┬áHang Time This is actually an indoor activity, so not my typical recommendation. But that is exactly why you might want to try it in late July, when it has been 100 degrees for 4 straight days. When you get there, they have a few different areas. My kids favorite is the individual trampolines…

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Wonderstone in Vernon Hills

Wonderstone in Vernon Hills

Wonderstone is a type of rock that has swirls of thin red/pink stripes, and is interesting to look at. It is not very valuable, but does make nice additions to a rock collections, or for decorations, or possibly landscaping highlights. There is an inactive quarry outside Vernon, UT where you can easily collect some Wonderstone for yourself. It is such an easy place to collect rocks that I recommend it in particular for younger children, or for people who are…

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Gold Panning in American Fork Canyon

Gold Panning in American Fork Canyon

Gold Panning works in just about any creek or river, but many people in Utah don’t do it because we have a reputation as a state where Gold doesn’t exist. That is only half true. Gold exists in Utah. But it is not as common as other Western states. Even so, pan for gold in American Fork canyon, and you’ll probably have some luck. We haven’t tested it out everywhere, but we have done it up at Mary Ellen Gulch,…

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BYU Museum of Paleontology

BYU Museum of Paleontology

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is one of the smaller museums around here, but that is exactly why I want to call attention to it. It isn’t crowded. It is free, but there is a donation jar where you can give your support. It on the BYU campus, open during the week from 9-5. Admittedly, this make it a bit harder to visit than other museums because you have to go when many kids are in school and parents are…

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Build Forts in the Woods under Spanish Fork Peak

Build Forts in the Woods under Spanish Fork Peak

Build forts in the woods? Yes, this is much more of a day that falls under the category of “Just get out of the house, go outside and be kids, OK?” Just east of Mapleton is the trailhead to hike up Spanish Fork Peak. I don’t even know how that trail is. I hear it is great, but long. We’ve never made it up, because the kids found that not too far up the trail is a spot in the…

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Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is a short excursion just outside Provo. You can park right by the falls, but we like to park south of the falls a bit, and walk half a mile to the falls to make it a bit more of an activity than just looking at the falls. The falls lie a few minutes up Provo Canyon, before Sundance and Deer Creek reservoir. They are accessible year-round, by all ages, and ability levels. Bridal Veil Falls also…

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Collect Obsidian at Black Spring

Collect Obsidian at Black Spring

You can collect obsidian at Black Rock, south of Delta, UT, and west of Kanosh, UT. The obsidian lies in pits of varying sizes, and is the mahogany variety — mostly black with brown streaks throughout the rock. The pieces are fairly small, with the largest pieces you’ll find being a few inches long. If you really like obsidian, this is an interesting place to explore. Otherwise, this is good for a one-time experience to see exactly how much obsidian…

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Grotto Falls – Short Hike to Waterfall

Grotto Falls – Short Hike to Waterfall

Grotto Falls Hike Grotto Falls is a short, easy hike, just outside Payson, off the Nebo loop. It is easy enough to be done with small children. But there are a few places where you walk across log bridges, so if you take toddlers, be sure to hold their hands. It is about half a mile long, and a gradual uphill, so it can be done by just about anyone who is mobile. I did it when I was recovering…

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Explore the Lava Tubes

Explore the Lava Tubes

Exploring the Lava Tubes Near Fillmore, UT, you can explore some lava tubes, climbing underground into caves formed by magma flows. We head down there about once a year, spending the afternoon hiking through the caves, scrambling over rocks, wandering the surface. And we sometimes then stay to watch the sunset, and see the stars come out. If you time it right, and go when there is a new moon, the nearby hills block the lights from Fillmore, and you…

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