Sunday, September 22, 2019

Zion National Park with your whole family.

We started a tradition of visiting Zion National Park since our kids were very very little and we have never regretted it. What a wonderful world we live in! There us so much beauty and wonder for us to explore and find. We treasure the time we have with our kids before they are all grown up. And going on family vacations is the way we like so spend our time together.

My favorite things about Zion is first very noticeable thing, like these red roads. It creates such a magical feel through the whole park.

 Our first stay at Zion. we stayed at a very nice Desert Pearl Inn hotel, very nice place, really close to the park. You can pretty much walk to the park Entrance from there. No Breakfast though.

Many hikes in Zion are very easy, if you start early in the morning you can beat the crowds and the heat. I could never understand why the majority of people did not do this. You can see crowds of people starting to form at 11 am, that is the time when you have to get out of the park and go swim in the pool.

This is me 9 year ago hiking Emerald pools hike, while 8 and 1/2 months pregnant with my son Quinn.

This is our whole family last month, Aug 2019, My 9 year old survived all the hikes so did my 6 year old. So much easier to hike with kids that can do more than a toddler.

 If you follow the Aa'ute trail from the place where you get on the bus at the entrance to the Park, you will find this nice sandy and shady place (also located behind the campground) where you can tube and float downstream on a hit summer day at Zion. This is where we would usually spend the middle of the day, when temperatures hit 100 F, being in the river is the best place.

We bring our own floats and have a blast floating down the stream. You do go through some little rapids and you have to dodge or push off rocks but its not very deep and I felt very safe with my kids doing it all day.

 One of the most incredible hikes in Zion Park is the Narrows. It is one of the most popular hikes and let me tell you it is amazing. It is the best to hike there in the middle of the summer, when the Virgin river is low. Hiking in the water helps with heat and the views get more and more amazing the further you go.

 Make sure to check with the ranger or visitor center on the possibility of the flash flood though. We have never had a problem, but flash floods can kill. If there is any risk of a flash flood I would stay close. This year, the flash flood risk was very low and we went all the way up to the fork. The hike was easy and refreshing and 5 hours up stream went way too fast.

 Before you hike, make sure you have the following:
1. Sturdy hiking stick, do not hike without it. YOU will have to go through rocks in the water and you will need you third leg, if not you will be falling left and right.
2. Sturdy water shoes with layers of socks. You can rent them before the hike or just have your own.
DO NOT wear flimsy water shoes with thin soles, you will feel every rock you step on.
3. Bring water, lots of snacks and a jacket. One year we started our hike early and were freezing because we did not bring our jackets.
4. Have fun and enjoy.

 This 11 year old is so skinny and got little cold on the way there. But we got him warm in the sun when we got to see it.

Another Good to know info for this hike is the restrooms. You will have a chance to go to the restroom before the hike starts, make sure you go as much as you can. Once you are hiking for 5 hours or so there are no other places to go. I am pretty sure people just use the water to go #1 but it gets a little trickier if you have to go #2. I will let you in on a little secret, when you see the hills and the trees, go up a little ways and you will not  be the first one. LOL

 If you want to go on a beautiful, paved trail at Zion, this was one of my favorites early in the morning. The morning sun had an amazing effect on the scenery on this trail at 8 am in the morning. This is the Paa'ute trail. It takes you along the Virgin river, over beautiful bridges and a waterfall.