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Trip Report Summer in Utah w/ the kids: Capitol Reef, Escalante, Bryce, GCNR, Zion

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Our family, my husband and I and our three sons (9,9, and 6) just returned from a trip to Utah. We were there for 10 days in late July. We were concerned about the heat and how intense the hiking wouild be for our children. For the most part it went very well. There were a few adventures thrown in. I asked a lot of questions and had tons of help from this forum. I wanted to pay it forward so hear goes.

First I will give a quick summary for those who want to just have an overview of a trip that reallly worked well. I will follow with a detailed report of hikes, restaurants and random things we did.

Day 1: Arrive Las Vegas Friday mid day, picked up rental car and made the long drive to Torrey. Stopped in St.George to pick up supplies and stayed at Austin's Chuck Wagon. A long day but it put us in a great location to begin exploriing.

Day 2: Visited Capitol Reef in the morning. Headed down scenic Highway 12 toward Bryce. We took a detour down Hole in the Rock Road and we toured Devil's Garden. We followed this with a pretty intense hike through Peek-a-Boo Canyon. Ended the day at Ruby's in outside Bryce.

Day 3: We explored Bryce Canyon at a more relaxed pace seeing Bristlecone Trail, Rim Trail, and Inspiration Point. Dinner at Valhalla (yum!) followed by star gazing at the rim. Spent the nigiht at Bryce Canyon Lodge.

Day 4: Enjoyed a half day trail ride in Bryce Canyon. Went back to Escalante and hiked Willis Creek slot canyon. Relaxing dinner at local restaruant and back to Bryce for a sunset hike down Navajp Trail. Another night at Bryce Lodge.

Day 5:Travelled to North Rim of Grand Canyon in the fog and rain. Checked into our Western Cabin (dellighted!) and hiked down the North Kiabob Trail. Had dinner in the lodge and watched the sun set over the Grand Canyon. Went out that night to see the best star diplay I've seen in years. Really glad we made the effort to go here!

Day 6: Visited Point Imperial at NRGC. Headed on to Zion. Hiked Canyon Overlook trail and headed to Dessert Pearl Inn. I will say this was an oasis enjoyed by everyone in my family and worth every penny.

Day 7: After an early start we headed to Observation Point. This was a strenuous hike, I would call it Angel's Landing with a wall on one side. It was long, hot and the drop offs were almost overwhelming at times. It was also incredibly beautiful relatively uncrowded and totally worth the effort. Had dinner in town at Wildcat Willie's to let the kids celebrate.

Day 8:TOn Friday we took on the Narrows. It was very crowded but the crowds thinned out the further we went. The water was cold and the rocks were slippery. We eventually had to turn around when my 6 year old just got too cold. My plan was to swim or relax by the pool after this. I mostly just collasped. We recovered and had dinner at Bit & Spur. It was a beautiful night and a great place to eat.

Day 9: We sadly had to leave Zion this day. We had promised the kids we would take them to see the Hoover Dam on our way back. It is an engineering marvel but after the natural ones we had seen it was not my favorite day. We took a painful trip down the Las Vegas strip ( just to show the kids what all the hype was about.. Then we spent the night near the airport in Las Vegas.

Day 10: Flew home.
I'll post more details later. Thanks to everyone who offered advice on our trip!
Day 10: Fly home

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