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. On top of all the other benefits for getting outdoors, they will be having the time of their lives!

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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! If you are staying in a hotel with kids, check out these tips to make your stay a breeze!

Human beings are generally very daring and always seeking for adventure. If you are the adventure chasing type, then you must consider visiting Zion National Park to try out the fun and adventure filled package offered in an around the park. Along with the famous hikes that most come to Zion to experience, some of the most interesting adventures in the area include biking, ATV riding, paintball, horseback riding, wall climbing and rappelling, and trampoline bungee jumping.

Zion National ParkPhoto credit: Jason Lewandowski on flickr

ATV Riding

All Terrain Vehicles, or more commonly knowns ATVs, are very compact 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 will be intrigued by the power and speed of these machines, as you blast your way through the course. There is even more fun and glory when you decide to make a splash and get dirty by speeding through the mud as you go through your tour. However, ATV tours are limited to visitors with a valid drivers license or learners permit, and must be over the age of 16. If you have members of your group that are under the age of 16, there are still options for them to join in on the fun. Smaller ATV’s or Golf carts may be provided for those under 16.

You have to realize that ATV riding can be very dangerous and you are responsible for your actions. You 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 yourself or others.

Paintball

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. Whether you have a small group or a larger group, they have the space to accommodate almost any group! This is an exciting arena for paintball, because there are many obstacles incorporated into the natural landscaping. These are perfect 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 less dangerous.

Shooting Range

While at Zion National 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. Although hunting is prohibited in or around the park, you can grab a taste of the hunting experience in this natural environment by shooting 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 targets 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.

Horseback Riding

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.

Along with the natural beauty and wonder of the park itself, these thrilling adventures only add to the pull that Zion National Park has on outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers around the world. What will you do on your next adventure to 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.