How To Keep Kids Busy In Zion

Zion is one of the most Family Friendly National Parks to visit. Why? Simply because there is an endless amount of things to do here! From hiking, swimming, camping and many other activities, its hard to NOT keep the kiddos busy while staying here.

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Photo Credit: cwillayne on flickr

For those of you who have never been to Zion and aren’t sure what to expect while you’ve got the littles with you, here are some good tips and fun activities to try:

Easy-Peasy Paved

One of the things that separates Zion from the rest is the amount of paved, or low-impact hikes the park has. Which means pushing a stroller, or hiking with really young children can be a lot easier than you’d think. These hikes are perfect for those who have to push strollers, or keep tiny legs going. There are several hikes to choose from including; River Walk, which is a fully paved trail and absolutely beautiful, not to mention river swimming in the summer months! Emerald Pools, depending on how far you want to go you can choose to take a stroller to the waterfall and turn back, or hike with the little ones for the entire time, its actually a fairly short hike. Weeping Rock, this is a fully paved trail, and is very short, however it is a little steep, so be careful!

Junior Ranger Program

This is great fun for kids! Let them learn and explore on a ranger led activity, where they can accomplish tasks and receive a cool god badge at the end! Zion offers the kids a fun little workbook that keeps them busy on the shuttle and they can take it on the hikes with them to complete.

Swimming… Rivers?

That’s right! Some areas of the Virgin river in Zion you are allowed to swim in! So make sure that you and the littles have some extra clothes or a swimsuit to wear!

Snacks, Snacks, SNACKS!

Make sure you bring plenty of snacks and treats for the little ones to keep their energy up while hiking around. It also helps to pack a lunch as well while you’re out so you can stop and take a break under a shady tree to eat.

Hopefully these tips will help you with your kids on your next Zion trip!

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Zion Park Adventures

Human beings are generally very daring and always seeking for adventure. If you are the adventure chasing type, then you must consider visiting the Zion National Park to try out the fun and adventure filled package offered in an around the park. Some of the most interesting adventures in the Zion Park include ATV riding, paint ball, Horseback riding, wall climbing and rappelling, and trampoline bungee jumping.

ATVs are very compact toy-like muscle vehicles used to traverse the dense landscape around the park. However, do not let their toy-like nature deceive you. These are custom built full throttle vehicles designed to comfortably blast through the rocky and hilly terrains of the park, and pass through intense stream beds. You would be intrigued by the power and speed of these big toys, as you blast your way through the course. There is even more fun and glory when you decide to get dirty and speed through the mud and make splashes as you go. However, ATV tours are limited to visitors with a valid drivers license or learners permit, and must be over the age of 16. However, smaller ATV’s or Golf carts may be provided for those under 16. You must however agree to the fact that ATV riding might be dangerous, and you are therefore responsible for your actions, and could be asked to discontinue any further participation in the tour, if you are found responsible for any act that may cause possible damage or harm to others or yourself.

Zion National Park
Photo credit: Jason Lewandowski on flickr

Paintball is another very exciting activity you do not want to miss while at Zion. There are many courses with a lot of space dedicated just for the game of paintball. Paintball is more exciting here because the arena is naturally designed with lots of obstacles and locations where you can easily take cover or camouflage without easily being noticed, as you take revenge on opponents and cover them up in paint. The paintball ground has been further customized to create opportunities for you to sneak around your opponents and knock them out. In fact, the experience can be measured to that of a US Marshal in combat, but only less dangerous.

While at Zion Park, you could test your guts by going visiting a shotgun range. The shooting range is safely located at a considerable distance away from human or animal settlement, to ensure that the only casualties are the targeted clay pigeons or cans. Though hunting is prohibited in or around the park, grab a taste of the hunting experience in this natural environment by shooting on flying cans or clay pigeons that are being thrown across the valley with a provided 20 gauge shotgun. You also have the option of shooting stationary target that have been placed against the hillside. It is possible to bring your own gun for this exercise, but strict rules apply in such situations.

If you have a passion for riding on horseback, or maybe you are just eager to learn the art of horseback riding, then you should consider signing up for a horseback riding tour. Zion Ponderosa Ranch resort, working in collaboration with East Zion Adventures, is just one of the many places where you can actually get a one on one horseback riding training with some of the most experienced wranglers you could possibly imagine. Just an hour in the training session could immediately eliminate all your fears about horses, and transform you into an almost perfect horse rider. You would be teamed up with the most suitable young, strong, and well trained horses that would gracefully carry you as you embark on the ride of your life.

Zion Canyon Hikes

Zion National Park offers several grand hiking trails to visitors. It is totally different from other nearby parks including Bryce Canyon and Bryce Arches, which are the most popular parks in U.S. At Zion National park you can take the most exciting and strenuous trail through the surface of the Canyon to Angels Landing, or through beautiful waterfalls, but it is suggestible not to attempt if you are scared of heights. The narrow hikes during the mid summer months will take you straightly into the river and to the extent to upstream. At some places the water will be around 4-5 feet deep, so it is advisable not to take expensive camera with you as it may get damaged.

Pa’rus Trail

To reach Pa’rus Trail, round-trip is about 5.6km/3.5mi, and it takes around one and half hour to reach the trail. The hike is suggestible for beginners, easy hike, and paved trail takes to Virgin River from South-Campground to the Zion-Canyon junction. You can reach the Pa’rus trail through South Campground. Handicap individuals can enter through South Campground.

Weeping Rock Trail

Round trip to weeping rock trail is about 0.8km/0.5mi and to reach the trail it takes about half hour. The trail is about 98 feet, easy hike, and minor drop-offs. Smooth trail ends at rock-alcove with drenched springs. The walls are decorated with wildflower hanging gardens during summer and spring time. Trailside exhibits are possibly not available and access to weeping rock trail is through weeping rock parking lot.

Weeping Rock Trail--Under the Weeping Ledge
Photo Credit: justmecpb on flickr

Riverside Walk

Round trip is about 3.3km/2,0mi, it takes around one and half hours to reach the trail, and the climb is 17m/57ft. The hike is easy, minor drop-offs. The paved trail leads to the Virgin River through the narrow Zion Canyon bottom. The surroundings are coved with hanging gardens of wildflowers especially during summer and spring. Access to the trial is through Temple of Sinawava parking-lot. Access to Handicapped individuals is permitted.

Lower Emerald Pools Trail

Round trip is about 1.9km/1.2mi,and it takes about one hour to reach the trail, 21m/69ft ascent, easy hike and minor drop-offs. The paved trail leads you to 3 waterfalls and lower pool. During winter the trail is closed. Enter the trial through opposite side of lane from Zion Lodge parking-lot.

Middle Emerald Pools Trail

Round trip covers 3.3km/2.0mi and it takes 2 hours to reach the trail, 46m/150ft climb, it’s a moderate hike, and long drop-offs. Middle emerald pool trail takes you to middle and lower pools. During the winter the park is closed. You can enter the park from the opposite site of the lane from lodge parking lot.

Watchman Trail

The round trip to the trail covers 3.3km/2.0mi and takes 2 hours to reach the trail. 112m/368ft ascent and it’s a moderate hike, minor drop-offs. It is advisable to reach the trail early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid heat. The trail ends at Oak Creek Canyon, lower Zion canyon, and Springdale town.

Canyon Overlook Trail

Round trip covers 1.6km/1,0mi and takes approximately one hour to reach the trail, and the ascent is about 50m/163ft, moderate hike and long drop-offs, the entire area is fenced. The trail is rocky, rough and it ends at outstanding viewpoint of Pine Creek Canyon and lower Zion Canyon. Enter the trial from Zion Mt. Carmel Highway towards the east end of lengthy tunnel.

Zion Narrows Trail

The Zion Narrows can be approached in two ways, one is Short Day-hike and the other one is Day-hike. Short Day-hike takes one to 5 hours roundtrip, the trail follows upstream a head of the Riverside Walk, no permit required. For Day-hike, you need to take shuttle to trailhead, and it is an all-day hike. You must pay $5.00 per head to enter the trail. Get the permit at Zion Canyon Visitor Center at 8.30 a.m. the previous day before your hike.

Angels Landing Trail

Round trip is 8.1km/5.0mi and average time to reach the trial take 4 hours. The climb is about 453m/1488ft, strenuous hike, long drop-offs and very narrow trail. Not recommended for individuals who are scared of heights. The trail ends at the peak high above Zion Canyon terrain. Towards the end of the trail around 0.8/0.5mi will be very steep and narrow ridge, for safety the park authorities has arranged chains to hold on. You can enter the trail from Grotto Picnic area.

Observation Point Trail

Round trip is around 13km/8.0mi, average time to reach is about 5 hours, and climb is about 655m/2148ft, strenuous hike. The trial follows through Echo Canyon to Observation-point. The trail offers you splendid views of Zion Canyon. You can enter the trial through east rim. The last one is Plateau trails, Deertrap Mountain and Cable Mountain; you can enter the trail from Weeping Rock picnic spot.

These are the Trails obtained for visitors in Zion National Park. Each trail has their own specification and you can explore one after the other during your visits. Enjoy and experience the best hiking at Zion National Park.

Observation Point Trail in Zion

As you hike starting from Weeping Rock Trailhead up to the Observation Point, the trail is recognized as a Zion classic. The trail has a viewpoint as you finish the trail and it provides an iconic image of the Zion National Park. It is estimated that the trail is about an 8 miles (round trip) hike that may take about 4 to 6 hours depending on your speed. There is a steep uphill walk on the hard paved trail. Through this trail, the hikers can have a glimpse of the mysterious and dark Echo Canyon with the amazing slickrock formations as well as the White Cliffs. Though the Observation Point Trail hike is not as fearful as the Angels Landing, it still provides a good workout as it has an elevation of above 2,100 feet.

img src=”https://c6.staticflickr.com/3/2927/14629418093_8257c077fe_z.jpg” width=”640″ height=”427″ alt=”Observation Point – Zion”>
Photo Credit: Bill Church on flickr

Right from the start at Weeping Rock Trailhead, the Observation Point Trail is inclined but is snakes its way up those eastern walls of the Zion Canyon. Within no time, you will be several feet high from the canyon floor and a good view to the Weeping Rock and Angel Landing. Halfway up the trail is a diversion trail up to the Hidden Canyon. This can provide a good diversion on your way Observation point but you will still reach. The only problem is that you will not have enough time to explore the area.

As you continue with the trail and in a steep incline, you will reach the Echo Canyon. This is a huge side canyon pantheon that is about 1000 feet high from the valley floor. The place is surrounded with canyon walls and has cooler temperatures as the visitors get a glimpse into the dark slot canyons of the Echo Canyon. There is a dry stream bed to cross over to the other canyon’s side. After a mile in the Echo Canyon, you will come across a junction to East Rim Trail, less defined but more difficult.

Past this junction, you will resume with the Observation Point Trail which is still characterized with its snaky steep ascents to the White Cliff formations. After 2100 feet of height, you will be on the rim of a sandy plateau. From there, the land is relatively level and you will come across one more junction with East Mesa Trail and then continue with the journey. Soon enough, you will be standing at Observation Point, a place full of trees and sandstone and a great place to enjoy lunch.