Ultimate Road Trip With Kids – Zion National Park

    We woke up in our tent and it was HOT! I was actually fairly surprised as I was the first one up (and that wasn’t until about 8 which is late for tent sleeping)….some actually slept in until about 9:30 – which was lovely as I got to sit and read for a bit with my morning soda. (I mention this only as it was really a rarity to have alone quiet time this vacation – we were together constantly. It was truly enjoyable to sit and relax in the calm beauty of the morning sunshine.)

    We ate, cleaned up, and packed up the tent (seriously it was not even up for 12 hours –pathetic.) And set out to explore Zion National Park. Zion is set up in such a way that to visit most of the park one has to use the park shuttle and not a personal automobile.

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    We decided to take the shuttle to the lodge (about the middle of the park) to eat and plan our day. This worked out quite nicely as we ate, caught a junior ranger program, and hiked up to the Emerald pools all in one stop.

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    The kids learned about the animals of the canyon (did you know a desert tortoise can hold its bladder for an entire year?) and enjoyed some guessing games at the ranger program…then we grabbed some ice cream and set out on our hike. There were two waterfalls that we walked through and behind on our walk – the kids were happy to get wet (remember the hot comment?)

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    We stopped at a few more shuttle stops to complete the ranger books (there were questions to be answered at each of the stops) and at the last stop, we had a decision to make.

    The last stop on the shuttle at Zion is the stop at the beginning of the River Walk which is a mile-long hike leading to the Narrows. The Narrows is Zion’s most famous hike. It is a hike where the river IS the path – so the people walk through it to see the very narrow canyon walls. It’s breathtaking. This was the hike I had wanted to do the whole trip though it is labeled as “Strenuous”…but as you can turn back at any time, I thought we could at least get a flavor while not completing the entire 8-mile trek.

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    The kids were not so much into the idea of a 2-mile round trip hike just to get to the start of another hike…but we convinced them it would be worth it…we also gave a couple of piggy rides to get them there.

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    It was completely and totally worth it – the views were spectacular and the kids had a ball…LOVED it…loved getting wet, and getting dirty, and hiking through water and all of it! It was a spectacular way to end our visit to Zion.

    We went back, got our junior ranger badges, and headed to our next destination at Bryce Canyon…and on our way out of the park, a mountain goat walked across the road right in front of us – THAT was actually the perfect way to end our visit.

    zionmountaingoat

    The drive to Bryce was short and sweet – and very beautiful. We got to the hotel and relaxed, did the laundry, and rested up for our first 2 night camp stay at Arches the next evening.

    Ultimate Road Trip 2014
    Big Family Trip to Zion National Park

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    Terri L

    Terri has been married to her best friend, Scott, for 20 years and together they have 5 children. She has been blessed to be able to be a SAHM since her first was born over 14 years ago. In addition to finding new and creative ways to entertain 5 children, she enjoys date nights with her husband, photography, reading, and traveling with her crew.