Are you looking for a unique destination for your next family vacation? Do you want your kids to experience the great outdoors, learn some Western history and take part in unique festivals? I recently heard about Tooele County, Utah and did some digging. I think it will be the perfect destination for our next trip across the U.S. Tooele County offers outdoor activities, history, events, and more as well as must-see sights such as the Salt Flats & wild horses! As part of my research into this diverse area, I’ve put together ideas to help plan your Tooele, Utah travel adventure with kids.
Tooele County is conveniently located along Interstate-80 in the western part of Utah, between Wendover, Nevada and Salt Lake City. Easily accessible from the interstate, Tooele County can be your main destination or a stop for a couple of days as part of a longer family road trip. It’s located less than 30 minutes from Salt Lake City making a day trip possible, if you’re crunched for time.
Tooele, Utah Travel with Kids:
Situated on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Tooele County is the venue for the fastest land-speed records on earth. Additionally, the Bonneville Salt Flats and Great Salt Lake are some of the most photographed landscapes in America. And if that’s not cool enough to appeal to even the most disinterested teen, Tooele County is home to the largest herd of free-roaming wild horses in Utah and one of the largest in the country! It’s said the watering holes in the Cedar Mountains are the greatest places to observe the horses, sometimes from only a few hundred yards away! Just these 2 activities alone would be enough to impress my kids, but there is so much more to Tooele County than Salt Flats and wild horses.
Some of the other activities in Tooele County include: Deseret Peak Facility, Scuba diving – Salt Water underground diving, Pony Express Trail, Wendover Air Museum, Donner-Reed Trail, ATV & OHV trails, Sailing on the Great Salt Lake, Benson Grist Mill and Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.
What better place to hike than a location where you can experience mountain, canyon and desert landscapes in close proximity? There are countless hiking opportunities in Tooele County, but the Donner-Reed Trail grabbed my attention immediately. If traveling with older kids, consider hiking this 8.4 mile trail for stunning views and beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate, so ensure your kids can handle the hike and come prepared for a day dedicated to family fitness.
When you need a break but want to continue enjoying the outdoor beauty of Tooele County, take the kids fishing. There are reservoirs that are regularly stocked throughout the summer. Children under 14 don’t require a license, but are limited to two fish. Bird watching is another quiet activity. The arid climate leads to a concentration of birds at watering holes, so you can relax by the marsh and encourage kids to spot different bird species. Keep a notebook and pencil, so younger kids can draw their favorites. The activity might not last long, but could be a nice break from the physical exertions of the day.
Then cool off at the Aquatic Center of the Deseret Peak Facility. Great for all age groups, the water level starts at zero and goes to 12 ft deep. The facility also has three playgrounds, a Pitch n’ Putt Golf Course, BMX Track, Archery Range and more.
Take a step back in time at the Benson Grist Mill. The gristmill ground wheat and other grains from 1854 to the 1940s! The facility is open for tours giving visitors a glimpse at how early pioneers made flour and also includes pioneer-themed activities.
Or visit the Wendover Air Museum to see interactive exhibits and displays while learning personal WWII experiences told through multimedia exhibits.
Race fans will enjoy seeing 20 vintage racing cars at the Miller Motorsports Museum including a new Ford Mustang FR500S. There is no set admission price for the museum, but a $5 donation is requested. I’m not sure I’d get my boys out of this museum!
Mark Your Calendar:
When planning your visit, keep these 2017 Tooele events in mind:
- May 20th – Lantern Festival
- Apr-Jun – Salt Flats Racing Association Test & Tune
- July 27th-30th – Country Fan Fest
- July 4th Weekend – Bit N Spur Rodeo
While all of the festivals look great for kids, as an adult, I would love to see the Tooele Lantern Festival. In addition to thousands gathering together with lanterns, visitors enjoy food, live music, princesses, face painters, balloon artists and more.
I know Derrick and K would be beside themselves to see Salt Flats Racing. There are no grandstands, but I’m sure my boys will catch “Salt Fever.” The sights and sounds of the races will have them begging to return year after year.
A bit of interesting history – The origins of the name Tooele are often debated. Some claim it was based on a small town in Spain named Tuilla from the early explorer Father Francisco Dominguez. Others have suggested it is a native Goshute Tribe word for bear. The Mormon Pioneers referred to it as Tuilla until 1870 when the name was changed to the current spelling of Tooele.
If you also find it difficult to discover new destinations the entire family will enjoy, consider Tooele County for your next vacation. We want unique experiences and places that will not only keep the kids happy, but parents as well. At the same time, it’s important for kids to have the opportunity to explore nature and see a variety of landscapes within the U.S. We want our kids outside, exploring and learning about our diverse country.
Tooele County offers countless opportunities for families to explore nature & experience the rich history of the American West. Get the entire family outdoors to hike, bike, ride horses, cruise around on ATV’s or camp in the mountains. Kids won’t want to miss seeing the famous Salt Flats, searching for wild horses & diving deep at the Aquatic center. Experience some of the most dramatic and diverse landforms on earth during your next holiday in Tooele County, Utah.
See more information and ideas for Tooele, Utah travel on their website.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored article. As always, opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.
Photo Credit: Explore Tooele