16 July, 2023

Best Family friendly trails in Zion - Day #2 itinerary

 Read Day 1 itinerary of Zion National Park trip below:

Zion National Park adventure for families - Day #1 Itinerary

On Day #1, we reached Hurricane from Las Vegas, hiked the Canyon Overlook trail, drove the Mt.Carmel Zion Scenic drive on east side of the park, entered the park through Zion Canyon Visitor center, took the shuttle to Weeping rock, headed back to Springdale for dinner before returning to our hotel in Hurricane.

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Today is an exciting day for us as we are planning to hike the Riverside walk trail which is the gateway to the famous 'Narrows'. Unfortunately, the Narrows is closed due to high water level. So, we had to adjust with riverside walk trail.

Riverside walk Trail:

Riverside walk trail is the last stop of the Zion scenic drive through shuttle. It's the The temple of Sinawava stop. 

The trail is 2.2 miles round trip easy trail along the river. It is so refreshing to do this hike in the morning. The river was flowing full and there are multiple access points to dip our feet in the river and relax. 

Gushing water

The Virgin River

Natural Rock Formation in Riverside walk trail
 with hanging gardens

The Starting point to Narrows

We could also see hanging gardens on the way. Many small plants are thriving on the rock with the seeping water from above. This trail took us around 2 hrs.

After the trail, we had lunch at Zion lodge. It was early june, but the wait was too long and they were short staffed. We had to waste more than 2 hrs for waiting and having lunch. But, lunch was tasty though with a great view.

The Narrows via Riverside walk:

This is a strenuous hike up to 9.4 miles. Most of the trail is wading under water, walking and swimming. Please check for flash floods before entering the trailhead. Water boots and walking sticks are necessary for this hike. Good point about this hike is you can go as far as you can and return. Completing this part with little kids might not be possible. 

Unfortunately, this trail is closed when we went. 

Emerald Pools Trail:

Emerald pools trail starts at stop 5 on the scenic drive at Zion lodge. Lower Emerald pools trail is 1.2 mile round trip easy trail. Upper emerald pools is 1 mile round trip moderate hike.

Lower Emerald pools trail was on our list but we couldn't do it due to the bridge closure. Please don't skip it when you go, as it's a good family friendly hike. 

 Other easy and important trails are Pa'rus trail (3.5 mile round trip), Watchman trail (3.3 miles round trip) and the Grotto trail (1 mile round trip). 

Angel's Landing:

We didn't do this challenging and the most popular trail. This needs a permit and please check your capability before attempting this trail. 

You can check here for hiking permits. The hike is 5.4 miles roundtrip with an elevation of 1488 ft. The trailhead is at Stop #6 Grotto. This trail can be accessed via west rim trail.

This is not a family friendly trail and it is only for people with good fitness levels.

Court of Patriarchs Trail:

This 0.3 mile hike is not a real trail, just the incline to reach a view point of 3 peaks - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob peaks.

Court of Patriarchs View point

Please read about the other trails here

Kolob Canyons:

In the evening, we drove to Kolob canyons. Kolob canyon area is 40 miles north of the Zion national park and is remote. 

Kolob Canyon scenic drive:

From Kolob canyon visitor center, we can drive 5 miles to reach the Kolob view point. This road takes us to an elevation of 1000ft. It was partially open when we went. The views here are beautiful. This part of the park is a great place if you want to enjoy the scenery with less crowds.

Kolob terrace road is another scenic drive to Lava point reaching 8000 ft from sea level. This needs a high clearance vehicle and it is the least travelled road. 

Kolob Canyon Scenic drive

Kolob Canyon Scenic drive

In this area, we can find the longest natural arch in the world - Kolob Arch. It is a strenuous 14 mile hike to reach this arch.

Zion to Bryce scenic drive:

In the evening around 6pm, we started our drive to Bryce Canyon national park. On the way, we saw an unique rock with checked patterns called 'Checkerboard mesa'.

Kids loved taking photos and trying to climb the steep rock with checked patterns. A fun little stop that you shouldn't miss.

Scenic Drive

Scenic Drive

Scenic Drive

Checkerboard Mesa

Zion to Bryce scenic drive is so beautiful that we wanted to stop and explore more places around. Red hollow slot canyons and Orderville slot canyons are worth a mention if you have time. 

There are 2 more fun little but unique stops from Mount Carmel Junction. 

Originally constructed as water drainage,  Belly of dragon is a fun spot. No hike is required. We missed this.

Sand caves on highway 89 are around 11 miles from Mount Carmel Junction. But, to reach there, it's a challenging hike of 0.5 mile round trip. 

Just before reaching Bryce canyon, you will be welcomed by the red rock tunnel which is beautiful. You can see a sign 'Red canyon'. This looked like a beautiful place, we might visit some day. 

Scenic Drive near Red Canyon

In the next post, I will share the details about our Bryce canyon itinerary and hikes. 

You can follow me on social media meanwhile:

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:25 AM

    I enjoyed reading the article about the best family-friendly trails in Zion National Park. I am a regular meditator and a parent of two young children, so I was particularly interested in the section on the Pa'rus Trail. I have hiked the Pa'rus Trail with my family, and I would highly recommend it to families with young children. I would also recommend the Canyon Overlook Trail and the Emerald Pools Trail. I believe that meditation can be a valuable tool for families, and I would recommend it to any family who is looking to improve their overall health and well-being. Meditation London


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