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Help me plan a family trip to southern Utah / Grand Canyon in June '13

Help me plan a family trip to southern Utah / Grand Canyon in June '13

Jan 8th, 2013, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,277
I love, love, love ARches for kids. We have spent the better part of a day just at the arches beyond Balanced Rock--we hiked the back way around. Then we crossed the parking lot to see the Double ARches--lots of hide and seek there.

yes, there is no way in heck you are going to get going before 8 or 9!! And that's on a good day without a 17 mo temper tantrum

You could do Delicate Arch with the toddler on your back and lots of breaks for the 5 yo. Just don't go into the Arch "bowl" itself--sit on the ledge you come to. Too easy for a small person to slip fall and go down a long way into that bowl. The visitors center in ARches has great kids nature books too.

Look at planning your days in "blocks" so that you are out and back to the car each morning and each afternoon. That way if it all goes to heck, you can get back to an air conditioned car and a drive to settle people down!Or if it rains one afternoon, you skip that block. Or maybe a block lasts all day.

Remember--less is more. YOu want this to be a vacation for you to--not just a mommy business trip!!
StantonHyde is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Below are a couple links with the only "organized" tours we did while on our vacation. Our children loved them all and so did we! Read trip advisor and you'll see the great reviews these get as well. I think all three would be enjoyable for your inlaws and children. The only other piece of advice I can add is (like others have said), try not to cram so much into one trip. By the end, you'll be wore out and too tired to enjoy or remember it. I would especially consider the fact your inlaws are in their 70's and you have two young ones. All the checking in and checking out of hotels is enough to wear you out. I'd try to find some places where I could have at least two nights in one place......It looks like a great plan to do as much as you possibly can, until you ACTUALLY start doing it, then you wonder "what in the world was I thinking". Trust me, I do it all the time Good luck.



workingonthebucket is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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spiro, yes, I'm looking at staying at Boulder Mountain Lodge, where Hell's Backbone is located. And Gifford House pie is on the list!

StantonHyde I showed my daughter my pictures from our last trip to Arches and she went nuts! I'm not sure the grandparents will be up for the hike to Delicate Arch, but we'll play it by ear. (They are actually the ones who cannot get going in the morning, but don't tell them I said that!)

I know our trip sounds a little crammed, but we are pretty experienced road-trippers. We did 6 hotels in 9 nights in Scotland with our daughter when she was 3, and we all had a blast. Frankly I think this trip is going to be a lot of scenic driving broken up by photo ops and short walks. With the exception of Little Wild Horse I don't think we will be doing anything over 2 miles. I will have a list of the top priority activities and will let everyone choose one or two things to do each day. I know it won't be a totally relaxing trip, but our vacations rarely are. Someday when we are a bit older we will spend a week on a beach somewhere...
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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oh believe me, my idea of a good vacation isn't relaxing on the beach I agree--no more than 2 miles for all involved--less whining (on the parts of small and big people) makes for a better experience
StantonHyde is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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And not to be missed for a very good cup of coffee - and they have good pastries/breakfast/sandwiches - is Kiva, a circular glass/scenic outlook north of Escalante.

This is from the trip report I did last June:

............stopping at the very helpful Inter-Agency tourist office in Escalantehttp://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/grand_staircase-escalante/Recreation/visitor_centers/Escalante_Interagency_Visitor_Center.html.

Not only does this center have a cute little display of native animals/plants (including a Rocky Mountain Ram) - they also gave us a great tip about where to stop for coffee. This was at Kiva - a round/built into the side of the hill/marvelous find - where the coffee was very good and the view was terrific. http://www.kivakoffeehouse.com/
Tomsd is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 03:42 AM
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And next time we drive through the area - we might even stay in the Kiva Cottage: http://www.kivakoffeehouse.com/kottage.htm
Tomsd is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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Thanks Tomsd, we might need a coffee break on this trip (or maybe make that an iced coffee!).
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Kiva Koffeehouse is a nice place to stop. I haven't tried
Esca Latte, but I think it is probably good too.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 05:42 PM
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Esca Latte. Seriously? Hee hee.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 06:30 PM
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Think Kiva has AC inside - or at least it didn't seem hot at the end of May? - but hey - iced coffee could work.

In any event - great place for a little rest break.
Tomsd is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I noticed you gave glowing descriptions of the sights you saw such as those in Page, Bryce Canyon & Zion. However, you omitted the Grand Canyon.

Could you rate GC against those other sights.

In my opinion a name is given by those promoting a product. I thought the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone offered more.
Myer is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 08:19 PM
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great info
ncounty is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 61
Definitely stay at the North Rim. South Rim is like a zoo. Flying into Vegas is a good option because driving from Phoenix you have to go around the canyon to get there 250 miles plus. The North Rim is one of the most beautiful places on this earth, so please do your best to stay there.
willperson is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7
we flew into salt lake city but wished we'd flown into las vegas. we rented a 3 br, 3 bath home thru vrbo.co in the sw region of utah and used that as home base for day visits to zion, bryce, north rim of the grand canyon, doral pink sand dunes (amazing) and escalante state park. it was a great location and region. took 3 hrs to get to the north rim, but we found some other interesting stops aling the way. other parks were within pprx an hour or so.
susan5 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 06:29 PM
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Thanks guys, I have all of our lodging booked. We got a night at the North Rim Lodge at the beginning of the trip (Western Cabins) and will stay 2 nights at the South Rim at the end (Yavapai lodge was the only place that would fit our group - the rooms look nice and everything is within walking distance). We will also stay at Bryce Canyon Lodge (right on the rim), Boulder Mountain Lodge in Boulder on Route 12, Cali Cochitta B&B in Moab, and The View Inn in Monument Valley. I'm pretty pleased that I was able to get rooms almost everywhere we wanted even though I'm ONLY planning 6 months in advance! ;-)

susan5 I love the idea of renting a house but we really want to keep the daily drive times under control, so for us I think moving from place to place is going to be the best way.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Yours will be a great vacation. My take on it: North Rim is way better than South. Too bad you're missing Zion, it's spectacular. Since you're probably traveling the road through Kanab (southern Utah) there are lots of motels there which may suit you. Kanab is 75 miles from North Rim of GC, 35 miles from Zion, 70 miles from Bryce, so you could cover them all from there. Also, if your family in any way loves animals I would strongly suggest a visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, 5 miles north of Kanab. They have four 1-1/2 hour free tours daily and you will be amazed. Call 435-644-2001, ext.4537 to book a tour at a time that suits you. Have fun!
catadupa7rush is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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catadupa7rush, all of us have been to Zion except the kids, so don't worry, we know how spectacular it is. We will save that for when the kids are older and we can climb Angel's Landing with them!

Thanks for the info about Kanab and the animal sanctuary. I will definitely look into it.
hausfrau is offline  
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