Recommend me a non-biking trip in Southern Utah- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Recommend me a non-biking trip in Southern Utah

    I am heading down South somewhere to do some family camping over the Memorial day weekend. I will be traveling with my 3 year old and wife; I won't be bringing my bike. I would appreciate any recommendations for a nice family trip. I would also appreciate any recommendations for campsites (that can be reserved), and child-friendly hikes (as well as more difficult hikes). Cheers!
    Last edited by wookie; 04-12-2010 at 12:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Not sure about camping but Snow Canyon and Zions have quite a few hikes that are kid friendly. If it is hot you'll probably want to avoid Snow Canyon or hike it in the evening because it lacks shade.

  3. #3
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    Zion National Park is hard to beat for beautiful camping and many trail options for young children and adults as well. It can get a bit busy on holiday weekends but the shuttle system is excellent at moving sightseers up and down the canyon. I spent many hours there with my daughters when they were young and still go back often. You can hike some of the short trails or just let the little one explore along the river with mom and dad.

    Riverside walk is a great family hike for young kids as it is very easy hiking, shaded, near the river, and has some nice hanging gardens and a small wetland along the trail. Angels landing is an excellent hike for adults if you are okay with some exposure and elevation gain. The views are magnificent. Emerald pools is a good family hike but may be a bit much depending on how far your 3 year old can hike or if you are willing to carry them a ways.

    Ice cream at Zion Lodge under the big cottonwood tree is a must!

  4. #4
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    Zions was my first thought, but I don't believe they reserve campsites? I would hate to head down Memorial day weekend and not have a place to stay. If I didn't have my daughter, I'd just wing it. Are dogs allowed?

  5. #5
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    Both Zion & Snow Canyon have some reservable campsites. I would check right away, if they're not already full...

  6. #6
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    There is one reserve site (Watchman) and one first-come first-serve site (South Campground) in the main canyon. The reserve site tends to get more RV's because there are hookups, but it's still a great campground and fairly quiet despite the occasional generator during the day.

    Pets are allowed on a leash, but the only trail they are allowed on is the Pa Rus, which follows the Virgin River and you can hike from the campground. Once you get out of the campground area, the Pa Rus can be pretty hot due to lack of shade, so you would want to hike it early or late if warm weather hits. It is not one of my favorites, but it is convenient and can be quite pleasant in the morning or evening with nice views of the surrounding peaks and cliffs. My preference if hanging out near the campground is to spend the day near the river.

    There are some shaded campsites, but also some exposed sites so be prepared to hang out around the river during the day or have portable shade if you don't get a shaded site and it's going to be hot. There are no campsites right on the river, but they all are close to the river. Usually there will be shade in most of the sites for at least part of the day. The end of may can be nice and cool or quite hot just depending on luck. If you make a reservation online at Watchman, I believe it lists whether it is a shaded site or not. The visitor center is near the campground so you can always escape the heat there for a while as well.

    There is a private campground just outside of the Park (Zion Canyon campground) that also takes reservations and has showers (no showers in the park but there is running water in the bathrooms and scattered around the campgrounds). I used to stay there, but then they put in some motels a few years ago and there are more people now. Also you do get some noisy campers sometimes. There are some shady sites there though. I prefer to stay in the park myself because it tends to be quieter, but I would still stay at the private campground with no worries (not sure about pets there). There is easy access to the park from anywhere in Springdale due to the excellent shuttle setup.

    http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisi...ds-in-zion.htm

  7. #7
    I'd rather be biking...
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    Please do not call Zion......Zions! There is only one and no need for it to be plural. On a much lighter note yes, you should totally hike in Zion OP. You will be impressed! Don't forget to hit up some awesome grub in Springdale after your hike. The kids and the wife will thank you if you eat at Pizza & Noodle. The wife and I eat there out on the patio every visit to Zion. Besides you can walk around back and visit Zion cycles while you wait for your pizza.

  8. #8
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    I was also thinking about Calf's Creek, or is it Calves Creek? Any camping recommendations at/around Calf Creek?

  9. #9
    JMH
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    Hit up ZAC http://www.zionadventures.com/ for a canyoneering class and go have fun!

  10. #10
    Err
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    Quote Originally Posted by wookie
    I was also thinking about Calf's Creek, or is it Calves Creek? Any camping recommendations at/around Calf Creek?
    That's out be Escalante. There is camping at Calf Creek but it can be hard to get a spot. There's primitive camping down Hole in the Rock Road but off of the main rode the driving can get pretty rough if you don't have a high-clearance 4wd. There's state park in Escalante with developed camping. There's a great Mexican spot in town and a couple of great places to eat down the road at Hell's Backbone.

  11. #11
    I'd rather be biking...
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    If your looking for more remote and quite then you could head over to Escalante for Calf Creek and add some slot canyon hiking like Bull Vally Gorge or Willis Creek towards Cannonville. Willis creek is a lot easier for younger kids. There are some spots in Kodachrome Basin state park for actual camp spots but I can imagine them getting full fast on Memorial Weekend. Also could do some fishing in the boulder mtns and do some stuff over in Capital Reef. Overall though, there will be a lot less people out that way then what you will run into over in Zion. Zion tends to turn into a zoo on Holidays. It's obvious though its a pretty neat place.

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