A Packed 5 Day Family Adventure in Zion - Itinerary
Cory and Andrea live in Denver, Colorado with their three kids Liam (4), Elijah (3) and Finley (1). Cory is a third culture kid who grew up overseas in Northern Pakistan and he has lived in five different countries and traveled to 26 other countries. Andrea used to help run a youth program at a homeless shelter where she would take her students on camping trips and outdoor adventures! "We want our kids to have the same opportunities to travel and live life as we have had. Hiking and being outdoors allows for our family to slow down, explore and spend time together without any distractions. We hope to teach our kids more about the world by connecting them to people and places of different cultures, landscapes, and experiences."-Andrea. On most weekends you can find them in the mountains.
DATES OF ADVENTURE
Sunday, September 24, 2017 - Thursday, September 28, 2017
AGES OF CHILDREN
4,3, and 1 years old
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at The Watchman campground and loved the location. It was close to the visitor's center, shuttles, and Zion Outfitter. Because of the free shuttle that takes you to most of the trails in Zion, we were able to do very little driving. The campground had dishwashing and bathrooms. Zion Outfitters, just a short walk from our campsite, had laundry and showers. We didn't like the bees and squirrel’s that were so prevalent. The bees made it hard to enjoy our meals. At times we had to eat in our tent due to the bees swarming our food and us. We also didn't like how close our campsite was to other people (we typically camp off grid).
TIPS FOR CAMPING AT THE WATCHMAN CAMPGROUND
We booked our site five months in advance, and we got one of the last spots. We recommend booking at least 6-8 months out.
Bring bee traps to help with the bee problem.
There are some campsites with no shade. If you want shade make sure you bring an awning for those hot days.
Zion Outfitter has showers and laundry in close walking distance.
We checked in at noon which is standard check-in time. For lunch, we cooked at our campsite on the camp stove. We had mac & cheese with hot dogs. We then explored the visitor center, picked up Jr. Ranger Workbooks, got info about hikes and bus times and then set up camp
For dinner, we cooked at our campsite on the camp stove. We had grilled chicken, noodles and salad. Afterwards, we hiked Emerald Pools. It was an easy hike. Do this hike in the evening as it is the most popular hike at Zion. We did the entire hike up to the Upper Emerald Pool. It took us about 2 hours. The hike was beautiful, and our kids loved walking under a waterfall. We love doing this hike in the evening because it was nice and cool and once we reached the Upper Emerald Pool, the crowds had cleared and it was quiet and peaceful. When we got back to our campsite, we made a fire and did smores and hot chocolate/apple cider. We also prepped for the next day's adventures.
Cory woke up early and hiked Angle’s Landing while I stayed with the kids and cooked oatmeal and fruit. Angle’s Landing took Cory 2 ½ hours (6:30 AM-9 AM). He met a guy from the Netherlands who he hiked with the entire way. The views were absolutely stunning and worth the hike to the top. Do this hike early to avoid crowds and long lines around the chains.
For lunch, we had sandwiches, fruit, and chips at our campsite. After lunch, we hiked the Riverside Walk up to the Narrows and hung out by the river playing and throwing rocks. The Riverside Walk was crowded in the afternoon. There is a dirt trail near the river that is less crowded. It took us about 45 minutes to reach The Narrows. There is an area just before the trailhead to The Narrows that is less crowded where we were able to sit down and let the kids run around and play in the water. It is also not in the direct sun, so it was nice and cool.
For dinner, we made soup and grilled cheese on our camp stove. Afterwards, the kids worked on their Jr. Ranger Workbooks and we made a campfire for smores and hot chocolate/apple cider. We prepped for the next day adventure into The Narrows. We walked over and rented neoprene socks and water shoes at Zion Outfitters. They are located right outside of the walk-in entrance of the park.