Zion National Park… Red Rock, beautiful, breathtaking, Slot Canyons, magnificent. Just a few words used to describe this AMAZING part of southern Utah. The first time I visited Zion National Park wasn’t until college when good friends showed me what I was missing, mind you I had lived in Utah my entire life. My husband and I knew early on we wanted our family to be exposed to all that southern Utah has to offer. You know it is a treasure worth seeing when people are coming from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to visit Zion National Park!!
In our family when you turn 8 it is a pretty big deal and so we decided we wanted to take our kiddos on a trip with just Mom and Dad to do something hard. We wanted them to know that they will be doing hard things their entire life, but Mom, Dad and God will always be there to help them get through it. The Narrows was a no brainer for doing something hard. But we knew it would still be fun and engaging enough so the kiddos could get through the hike.
We took our 1st son a couple years ago in October and had a WONDERFUL experience. YEAH!! So when our 2nd son turned 8 a couple weeks ago we knew it was time to make the trip to the Narrows. We were lucky enough to be down there over his birthday and even more lucky when the CliffRose Lodge offered a suite during our stay. Two words…HOLY COW!!
My first impression of the CliffRose Lodge was that it reminded me of our stay in Costa Rica. The lodge sits along the river and with the red rock as our backdrop you can’t go wrong. The grounds were breathtaking, lush, and attracted more hummingbirds than we could ever imagine.
My 8 year old loved the pool, especially when I pushed he and my husband in. Happy Birthday Buddy! Pay backs suck!
Lucky for us we had a nice room to go back to and rest up before our big hike.
The CliffRose is the closest lodging to the park entrance but right outside the lodge is the FREE Zions Park shuttle stop which is great for heading down the boulevard for something to eat or for shopping.
Just by chance we got a pretty early start which was good for us because it is flash flood season and we also wanted to beat the crowds. Zion Adventure Company supplied our gear.
This time of year a dry suit is not necessary like it was when we went in October because the water temperature is much warmer in July. Yeah for us!! I loved talking to the knowledgeable folks at Zion Adventure Company. I got so many great ideas. Did you know you can hike the Narrows in winter? We are definitely planning a winter trip. We felt very comfortable with the information given and were grateful to the staff about the warning of flash floods and what to look for.
After a delicious buffet breakfast at the “all you want to eat” place we were on our way to the park.
Take the shuttle to the entrance of the park. The fee for a family is $25, but you can rent a park pass from the library for free.
We jumped on another shuttle and settled in for our ride to the top. Before we knew it we were hiking, now we had to prep our little guy for the 1 mile walk to the start of the Narrows. Once we got there he was energized and ready to go! We had such an AMAZING time, the pictures speak for themselves.
The hike from bottom up is 10 miles. Meaning that you hike up and then back down. We didn’t make the full 10 miles with either of our kiddos, but just went as far as they could and pushed them a bit. Make sure to bring lots of water, snacks, lunch if you want and treats! Zions is such a beautiful place and there is so much to explore. Once in a lifetime is just not enough! It was trip #7 for a German fellow we met along the way. Hopefully we have EXCITED you to get out and explore what’s in your own backyard.
* This post is sponsored by The Cliffrose Lodge and Zion Adventure Company, but my opinions are my own.