Duchesne County is not Utah's best known or most visited destination, but that hardly means that there is nothing fun to do there. In fact, Duchesne (pronounced doo-SHAYN) County has a lot to offer fun-loving families.
Duchesne County is located less than two hours' drive from Salt Lake City, and less than one hour from Utah's Dinosaurland near Vernal, making it easy to enjoy Duchesne County as its own weekend getaway, or as part of a larger trip. Duchesne is the county seat and Roosevelt is the county's largest city.
Here are my five favorite things to do in Duchesne County.
Play at Starvation State Park
With a name like Starvation, my family was not sure what to expect on the day we visited. What we found was turquoise water, sandy beaches, an archery course, new family-friendly facilities, rentals and more. Starvation State Park is popular for boating and water play in the summer, and is a year-round fishing destination. New cabins make staying at Starvation comfortable and convenient any time.
Read my full post about Starvation State Park here.
Eat at Marion's Variety
Roosevelt's main street is charming, and if you'll be passing through, plan for a stop at Marion's Variety. Marion's Variety is an old fashioned soda fountain and gift shop. It's exactly the sort of local place we enjoy finding on a road trip. Order a milk shake or a sandwich and browse the floor-to-ceiling selection of travel gear, toys and knick knacks while you wait for your order. My kids were big fans of Marion's Variety.
Conquer a corn maze
Corn maze season is nearly upon us, and the professionally designed 8-acre Bluebell Corn Maze in Roosevelt is among Utah's best. In addition to the maze, visitors will find a variety of activities including playgrounds, pumpkin cannons and goats. If you like a scary experience, try the Creep Farm trail. Find more information at www.bluebellcornmaze.com.
See a movie
My family loves a good movie, and we occasionally enjoy a couple of hours at a local theater, even on vacation. Outdoor drive-in theaters are a rapidly disappearing American tradition and they can be really fun for families. The Echo Drive-In in Roosevelt is one of only a handful of drive-in movie theaters left in Utah.
Roosevelt also has two indoor theaters with three screens between them. If you're a movie fan, don't assume that all three screens are dedicated to the lowest common denominator. Though we didn't see a movie during our stay, we were pleasantly surprised to find a less-known critical favorite playing at the Uinta during our summer visit.
Read all my tips for a successful night out at a drive-in movie here.
Explore the backcountry
Duchesne County is home to a large section of the Uinta Mountains – the tallest, most remote, and arguably most scenic mountains in Utah. In a state known for mountains, that's saying something. Hiking, camping, fishing and backpacking are popular activities in the Uintas. Summer is the best time to go, and be sure to go prepared. Nights are cold year-round in the Uintas, and it's easy to get lost there.
I once hiked to King's Peak, which at 13,528 feet is the highest point in the State of Utah. It is located in the Uinta Mountains, in Duchesne County. Actually, I missed reaching the summit by a mile due to a thunderstorm, and am satisfied with close enough. This is a strenuous multi-day hike with beautiful scenery, varied terrain and spectacular views. I recommend it for experienced backpacking families with older children.
Disclosure: We received a complimentary voucher for Marion's Variety and complimentary admission to Starvation State Park for the purposes of review.
Planning a trip to Eastern Utah?
You may also enjoy
- Starvation State Park
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Utah Field House of Natural History
- McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs
- Our Utah destination page
- Our Utah for Families Pinterest board