Spring Break 2011: Zion, Snow Canyon, Red Cliffs

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Jan 18, 2012
I almost forgot to blog about our spring break trip. This was the first time we had a spring break where my son Caiden had an entire week off. Usually it was a couple of days of the week, so we really wanted to plan some decent time away from home.

The weather still sucks (i.e. COLD) so we wanted to head as far south as possible without the drive being too long. We opted for Southern Utah.

On Tuesday morning we piled in the car (note: We were able to take this trip in our Subaru due to April and Bill allowing us to use their Thule cargo box, which was AWSOME; we'll definitely be getting one) and headed directly down to Zion. We stopped at Fillmore for a rest and picture with this huge deer

We arrived at our campsite at the Watchman campground around 5pm and set up camp. By the way, for a national park the watchman campground isn't too bad. They've just re-built the whole C-loop and were working on the D-loop. It's never desirable for me to camp in an improved campground, but this wasn't too bad. After setting up camp we took a little stroll down to the Virgin River, then along the Pa'Rus trail.

The Virgin River was FAST due to all of the run off. The kayakers were in heaven.

The Pa'Rus trail was really nice. Wished we had brought our bikes to stroll along, but I'm not sure how well that would have worked with how packed we were in our car. We found this awesome little grassy meadow along the way that the kids played in. This type of grass brought back memories for me of the kind of grass in our backyard growing up. I haven't seen it in a long time.

After that we hiked up to the road to a bus pick up and rode the bus back to camp. That night kind of sucked not because it was REALLY windy, but mostly due to the campers that were a good 60' from us, but the dad let his kids stay up until 11:30. They were loud and the dad had this LOUND voice as well. Not to mention, it took them about 2 hours to get a fire going and once the fire was going, they kept their lantern on full light right next to the fire. From inside our tent it looked like it was a full moon outside. This is the ONLY downside to this kind of campsite.

The next day we got up and went to do the Watchman overlook trail. I actually really liked this trail, but I can imagine how much it might suck in the dead of summer because there is a lot of areas with no shade.

Caiden and Bailey ready to go

Bailey did a lot of hiking on her own

At the overlook

Bailey getting a ride back down on daddy's shoulders

After that we decided to go do the riverwalk trail to the Narrows entrance. We rode the bus up and Caiden and Bailey were having a fun time tickling each other

The cool part about being in Zion in the spring is seeing all of these waterfalls that you don't normally see

Alene and Bailey on the trail

Bailey saw these squirrels and went nuts. She loved them.

We arrived at the narrows exit area and the water was higher than any other time we had been there.

(this was what it was like a few years ago in the fall; barely past my ankles)

Family shot

Hiking back

More pics of the waterfall

After getting back to our campsite we drove into Springdale to get the kids some ice cream, then did a drive up through the Hwy 6 tunnel. Along the way we stopped at Alene's secret swimming hole along Pine Creek. We didn't jump in because the water was FREEZING, but I'll definitely do it this summer when I'm back down there for work.

Her belly is showing a bit

The great arch, which is above the pool area

The last day at Zion (Thursday) we went to hike the Emerald Pools trail. Bailey was LOVING these bronze animals at the visitor center

Daddy and Bailey along the Emerald Pools trail

The lower pools area. Very wet and muddy

The middle pools areas was closed off (re-working the trail) so we hiked up to the upper pools, which I had never been to. I LOVED this pool and imagine it would also make a great swimming hole in the hot summer, but they don't allow swimming

The water fall emptying into the upper pool would change its course due to wind change.

After this hike we took the bus back to our car and headed into St George to our hotel. That night we just hung around the hotel pool and went out to dinner.

The next day (Friday) we started off the morning heading over to Snow Canyon. We played in the sand dunes and then hiked one of their smaller trails (can't remember the name).

After hiking we went back to the pool to do some swimming, then went into town to do some shopping at the outlets. We played around the pool with our Fuji camera, which can do pictures and video under water

While at Old Navy, Bailey broke out in some serious dance.

After shopping we stopped by the St George Temple

We ended the day with the kids watching a movie in their bed

On our last day (Saturday) we stopped by the Red Cliffs national recreation area, where I had gone to a little over a year ago. Some people were braving the cold water, but I wasn't brave enough. I'd love to come back to jump in this area during the dead of summer though.

An old fallen tree

The pools

Lastly, had to stop in Beaver, UT to take a picture of this huge rocking chair


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