My husband has this incredibly dorky hobby. He throws a glider airplane into the air and controls it with a remote. Yes I know. All I can do is shake my head. I did not know about this hobby when I married him. This rest of these details I’ll save for another post.
Anyway, we found ourselves in St. George, Utah for one of these airplane contests. So rather than sitting in our hotel room being bored the kids and I decided to drive 45 minutes to explore Zion National Park.
Knowing ahead of time that I would not be hiking any of the more daring trails I researched ahead of time which trails were going to be jogger friendly. Surprisingly there were several all with amazing views and plenty of picture worthy spots. Though honestly the whole park is pretty picture worthy.
We arrived at the park around 9 am. Knowing that we had to drive back to St. George that afternoon I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to explore.
Driving into the almost instantly we were in awe. There truly are no words to describe how breath-taking this park is.
Park entrance is $25 for the car load and it is good for several days. A quick heads up, if you come in the Spring or Fall, you can not drive into the Canyon. You’ll have to park at the visitors center and there will be shuttles to drive you around the park. If you stay at the lodge in the park you will be able to drive in. If you stay in Springdale which is just outside of the park, there are shuttles for you too. We happened to be there the last day before the shuttles started this year. It was busy and I completely understand why they have this shuttle system!
We parked at the lodge and headed out on the Lower Emerald Pools. Ellie was particularly excited for this one because you actually get to walk behind a waterfall! It’s a little over 1/2 a mile to the waterfall. There were a few inclines, but nothing difficult and there were a few areas with drop offs, but the trail is pave and plenty of room to pass by other hikers. The falls were chilly, but so much fun!
Photo opt before the hike.
Walking on the inside of the path so little feet don’t accidentally trip off the edge.
Down to the falls we go.
Water wasn’t flowing like it will be in a few weeks. Snow hasn’t all melted.
Behind the falls.
We didn’t go any further only because it wasn’t jogger friendly. Further on there are stairs and a couple of spots you have to actually cross the stream. So we turned around to head the Riverwalk trail.
The Riverwalk is an easy 2 mile hike. Though with just me and the 2 kids we didn’t tackle the whole thing. We decided to drive to some of the view pull offs and shoot some pictures. We were only there for the day and wanted to see as much as possible.
This park is one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever been too. It’s not glamorous. There is no spa. There is no golf course. No kids club. BUT I can not wait to go back again next year and spend a couple of days really exploring the park. There is no chance that any picture can ever really capture the beauty of this place!
And just when you thought you had seen everything, you look straight up and see this…
Do you see those little dots on the cliff?
Um yep it was these guys. You will not see me doing that next year!
Best time of year to visit? Spring and Fall! It get extremely hot in the summers and very cold in the winters. Make sure you check the weather prior hiking. This is a desert environment is susceptible to flash floods. Flash floods have taken out the road in the past along with hikers. If it has just rained be careful.
Tips – There is a little cafe in the Lodge, but you can bring food into the park so pack a lunch. Take water with you on the trails. Research all the trails before heading out and make sure you stay on all paths! There are some crazy drop offs. Last, PACK THE RIGHT LENS! I did not have the right one with me and I feel short-changed.
Tips for Kids – Ahead of time print out a check list with native animals and plants. Have the kids check them off as they see them. It will keep them involved and interested the whole way!
Helpful Apps – National Geographic Park Maps was super helpful, but the ZionDeafTV was incredibly helpful. It gave perfect descriptions of the trails and a particle break down of what to expect even if you don’t understand sign language. It was the one I used the most.