Zions National Park
Idaho Falls, ID in October is not warm enough to take the family and go camping, so we decided to make a mini reunion out of a trip and go to Zions National Park, UT! I have never been to the park in any time other than Spring or early Summer so I wasn't sure what to expect coming later in the year. We were surprised to find out that it is a very beautiful place in the Fall and the weather is wonderful. I would highly recommend coming to visit in late October.
We met up with my wife's family in the city of Springdale where we stayed at the Majestic View Lodge, a really beautiful little area. We had a bunch of little kids so it was nice having a comfortable place to stay. The lodge itself offers a nice view of the outer parts of the canyon. Mornings and evenings give a beautiful vista to look at.
From the moment we first arrived at the hotel to a few hours later just about each kid had injured themselves in some way, ours had fallen on a cactus playing near where we were eating dinner in Springdale! It made for a very active first day to our trip :)
Our son is a tough guy and took the cactus scratches really well and was excited about the bandaids.The second day of our trip we went into Zions National Park with everyone. It was a very crowded day with lots of people all around, especially families and kids. We all piled into the shuttle bus that would take us into the park. My wife and I both really love this area, it is such a beautiful place and we have great memories here.
We stopped first at the Emerald Pools trailhead and decided to hike it and take all the kids too. Wow, hiking with our son who at the time was 2 1/2 is quite a challenge! But we eventually made it to the our destination and enjoyed watching the kids play and run around and in the water. There wasn't a lot of water running at this time of year but it was still a fun and pretty hike. We were pretty tired after the hike, especially after taking all the kids so we went to the lodge and let the kids run and play in the large open area. There is a very large cottonwood tree in this area which is the largest and oldest tree in the canyon, it was fun to see such a large tree.
At this point our families split up, some of us went on to the 'Temple of Sinawava' hike and the others went back to the hotel for naps. We probably should have taken our son back at this point but we really wanted to go on this hike, so we brought him along. He was already tired from not having a nap but we did the whole hike, pretty much taking turns holding him the whole way there and back. The destination provides a fun beach area along the Virgin River where the kids had fun playing in the water and sand. This was where I brought my camera gear out and had fun taking photos of the water and canyon.
When we got done with the hike and made it back to the visitor center our son was so tired that moving him from the bus to our car didn't phase him at all, he was completely dead wait and my wonderful wife carried him the whole way! When we had put him into the car and started driving off we looked back at him and his eyes were half open and rolled up, his tongue was hanging out and frankly he looked kind of scary. We thought something was wrong and then realized that he was just so super tired! We had worn him out to his limits, poor guy, but we sure had a lot of fun :)
Taking children along is taxing and tiring but it is so fun for them to experience the beautiful world we live in. It is also fun to have a camera to capture this world and family at the same time.
- Brad Steiner