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Trip Report Capitol Reef/Goblin Valley with Kids

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A friend and I just got back from a great getaway weekend with the kids. (4 kids--2 boys, 2 girls ranging in age from 8-12) We drove down to Torrey Friday night. We stayed 2 nights at Austens Chuckwagon Hotel. We booked the family suite and it was great!! It is essentially a 3 BR apartment over the Chuckwagon General Store. It had 3 small but quite serviceable bedrooms, a full kitchen with an eating bar, and a good sized living room. It had one very spacious bathroom. It even has its own deck and grill! It was only $150 a night--and for 6 people, that is a great deal! It wasn't "modern" like a Mariott Residence Inn but it was very clean and spacious. They provided maid service and even washed our dishes!

We ate at Slackers Burgers--I have heard about this place but had never been. Oh my. It was really good. They had several very good kids meals. The inside is decorated with fun posters and state license plates. The kids loved it!

Saturday morning we started with breakfast at the General Store. Then we hit Robbers Roost coffee for the good stuff! I just love that place. Interesting books. And they sponsor a lecture/concert series every Saturday night. They had some really interesting topics--on the area--plus some good concerts lined up as well. The parking lot was packed that night.

We were going to hike HIckman Bridge but it was closed due to a rock slide. So we did Cohab Canyon instead. We started from the Hickman Bridge parking lot--MUCH better than starting from the Capitol Reef campground!! It was all gradual uphill so that required lots of breaks and playing around. Saw lots and lots of lizards. At one point we came to a huge "amphitheater" of slick rock and boulders and the kids had a blast playing there. My friend hung out with them and I jogged quickly to the campground overlook just to see the end of the trail on that side. It was very pretty. I am just so glad we didn't try to come up that way!

We ate lunch at the picnic area and then hit the Gifford House for amazing pies. We sat under a tree to eat. There was a woodpecker with a nest and she let us know that she was not happy with us there!!

Then we went to the Nature Center to hear a ranger talk and do the Junior Ranger Badges. We had time before the Geology talk at 3:30 so we got everybody back into the car to see the petroglyphs along 24. Unfortunately, a cotton wood had fallen onto the board walk so they had to close quite a bit of it. Then back to the nature center for the Geology Badge talk. Phew!!

We relaxed for a bit--unfortunately the pool was closed, but the girls "swam" in the hot tub. The boys played computer games--free wifi. Then we had dinner at Cafe Diablo, which is always yummy.

Sunday, we drove 2 hours to Goblin Valley. First we hiked Little Wildhorse Canyon. The scramble at the start of the canyon is definitely a bit more intense than many people expect. But the kids did fine. The narrows were so very cool. That was the first time my kids had seen a slot canyon. Lots and lots of playing around! It was hot!

Then we picnicked at the GV picnic shelter. Then played around the hoodoos. It was a hot day and the kids got really exhausted! Then we jumped back in the car and headed home via Green River and Price.

It was a fun trip and some great hiking!!!!

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