Kanab and Page with Kids Trip Report

Oct 21st, 2014, 03:06 PM
  #1  
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Kanab and Page with Kids Trip Report

I made the annual trek down south for the kids' fall break weekend. The kids are 9 and 12. I pass through and stay over in Kanab about once a year on my way to and from backpacking trips into the Grand Canyon. The kids have already seen Bryce and Zion (and all the other parks) so I thought it would be fun to check out Kanab and Page.

We had a good time but I did want to give one warning to travelers---- If you are traveling in Utah, check the Salt Lake City School District calendar--find out the dates for UEA weekend and make sure you don't go on those dates!I have never seen so much traffic between SLC and Southern Utah on I-15!! Next year, I will go back to my strategy of leaving the day before break starts and coming home the day before it ends.

We stayed at the Quail Park Lodge in their family suite. It was nice and the kids liked it. It had 2 rooms with queen beds in each and a couch that folded flat to make a twin sized "sofa bed". So we each got our own bed!! (DH had to work so it was just us) The rooms all have refrigerators and microwaves. I tried to get into the Holiday Inn express so we could have an indoor pool but they were booked. I am advance planner and usually get the hotels I want--clearly you need to book early if you want that hotel. DD wasn't too happy that the pool was freezing. They had a decent continental breakfast every morning--muffins and scones from Costco with coffee and juice plus fruit. There was one other family there. This was more of an adult hotel--plenty of Best Friends Volunteers and travelers. I would stay again. I really liked the bikes to loan out as well. I usually stay at the Treasure Trail when I am by myself because the rooms are big and clean and inexpensive. (and its right across from the Rocking V) But with kids in tow I went for more space and separate rooms.

Food:
1. Coffee---we started off every morning at Willow Canyon Outdoors Gear store. They make awesome coffee, au laits, etc !! But they don't have breakfast items. LInda Lea's coffee shop has great breakfast items and good coffee. So it depends on what is more important--food or coffee.
2. Lunch--we were on the run both days so we just ate fast food.
3. Dinner: We ate dinner at 3 places. I love the Rocking V so of course we ate there. And it was good. But, hmmm, it didn't taste as awesome as it does on my usual stops there--after a week of backpacking in the wilderness. Obviously, being deprived of good food makes good food taste utterly great! We got take out at Lotsa Motsa pizza. The pizza was fine. I got the salad and it came with Canadian Bacon and pepperoni and different veggies. Not bad at all. Then we got take out from the Desert Star Café. The food was good. I got chicken parmesean. But the salad bar was not good--like cole slaw type stuff turning brown. Not sure what was going on there. I think I might rather hit the 3 Bears creamery for dinner.

Activities:
We started with the 2 hour tour of Best Friends. The kids liked it and I was impressed at how huge it is, how well it is run, and their marketing! We got to visit a dog and several cats. DD is now excited to go back on her birthday and volunteer for the weekend.

Then we went to Pipe Springs National Monument located on the Kaibab Paiute Reservation. It basically had all of Utah's history in a nut shell--Mormon pioneers, polygamy, Indians, Federal Government, Mexican territory etc etc. DD enjoyed the Jr. Ranger activity. We toured the fort. And then one of the rangers said we could each pick a pumpkin from the garden! The kids were quite excited.

The next day we went to Page. We spent an hour at the John Wesley Powell Museum. Very interesting info on Powell and info on all sorts of river runners and the history of running the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. Interesting small exhibit on dinosaurs and a great display of the different rocks that make up all the layers in the Grand Canyon. I especially liked the exhibit on trading posts on the Navajo reservation and the display of gorgeous Navajo rugs. Surprisingly, there was just a small display about Page. I thought there would be more give that there was no town there before the dam and then "poof" it popped up. I was quite impressed with the ladies working the information desk. They answered so many detailed questions from travelers planning their routes-from 4 wheel drives, to how far someone might make it in a day, to what was worth seeing or not seeing based on what was in their itinerary. If you need info, that is the place to stop!

Then we did the Upper Antelope Canyon tour at 11:30. Parts of the canyon were dark and others not. It is a beautiful slot canyon. Unfortunately, there were probably over 100 people going through it. We were like a long snaking line. For me, it was AWFUL. Even my kids said they liked the slot canyons in Escalante better because there were only a few other people there and we could explore at our own pace, It was Saturday but we were one of very few American parties there. Mostly all Europeans and Asians. There were several huge tour buses that picked people up after the tour. So I am not sure what the answer is to the over crowding. Maybe there is a better time of day to go when it is less crowded? Maybe you need to go in January?? I realize this is a must see for so many people and it is beautiful. But understand this will not be a "bonding with nature" moment. Think of it as going to see a gorgeous cathedral where you can appreciate the architecture but the crowds interfere with the spiritual experience.

We drove back and rested a bit and then went to the Little Hollywood Museum. Don't bother. It's free. Don't bother. I thought it would be like the awesome museum at Gouldings Lodge outside of Monument Valley that had such great exhibits on all of the John Ford movies that were shot there. Nope.

On the last day, we stopped off at the Orderville Mine Rock Shop and bought some things. That was fun.

Then off on the long, congested drive home!!!
StantonHyde is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 06:32 PM
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Your kids are so lucky to be able to go on these adventures in this beautiful area. Thanks for the report.
emalloy is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Thanks emalloy. I think the kids finally got what a special place they live in when they were at Bryce last year and we were the only people speaking English at the view points. It finally clicked that people really do come from all over the world to see our backyard. The desert is why I moved here from Pennsylvania 18 years ago! When I retire, I want to spend a couple of months a year in Bluff, just hiking all over place. Some day....
StantonHyde is offline  
Oct 25th, 2014, 03:42 AM
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This is one area of Utah I haven't been to(yet).

Here is one thing that bothers me. I am all for foreign Tourism, but--A lot of the people getting permits to The Wave are not from America. With only 10 people a day allowed for a permit, it seems since Public Land belongs to American Citizens that we would at least have the first shot. I've tried several times for a permit and just haven't hit yet. I know I could do the Walk Up thing, but I don't live close enough for that(can't fly out there and just cross my fingers). It seems to me that a lot of German people visit Monument Valley and the area right along the Utah/AZ border. This is a subject with a fine line. Not sure what the solution is.
spirobulldog is offline  
Oct 25th, 2014, 03:43 AM
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After my rant---Thanks for the report!!
spirobulldog is offline  
Oct 25th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Yes, spiro--the West is extremely attractive to Germans. The Zane Grey novels were very popular there and the American West has always held a mystique. I can see why. These wide, open spaces exist in very few places. I remember driving through Nevada on I-80 with somebody from England and he said he sees more traffic at 4am than we were seeing in the middle of the day. I know people from the East who have gotten a bit freaked out driving back roads here because you may not see another care for miles and miles. I love it. And I see why other people like to visit.

I think the trick for the Wave is to shoot for January-at least that's what I am going to do at some point. Or you could go to the other Coyote Buttes section. I think a lottery is as fair as anything. If you wanted to exclude people--then do you give preference to people from Kane County? from Utah? It's better to be open to all. And permits are very important to prevent another "Antelope Canyon" where people are there in droves. Peekaboo slot canyon is still my favorite!
StantonHyde is offline  
Oct 25th, 2014, 10:59 PM
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The Wave
Walk in permits
The limit is 20 per day. 10 via Internet and 10 walk in. Reason for 20? Place in only 2 acres (0.8 ha) and in a designated Wilderness area. so by law, they must restrict access to preserve that Wilderness.

10 per day starting at 0900 hours. Random drawing via ping-pong ball type of chance.
Two weeks ago, there were over 100 people (typical day) for those permits. Attention: If the first drawing has 6-on their card, then only 4 permits remain. If the last drawing has 2 permits available, but the card has more people, then someone stays in the motel/campground another night. The permits are for the following day.

Yes, foreigners: Germany, China, Australia, Switzerland, S. Korea, Japan, Belgium (won), Argentina (won) and California. One day a person from Kanab (won).
Went there twice - no luck, but I've hiked The Wave before no loss

The record is held by a S. Korean.
11 times - he aborted his quest

Note: The permit is for Wave 1 and 2.
Good business for Kanab.
Per desk Ranger, the best chance is January. the worst is any holiday.

Vaga.
RVvagabond is offline  
Oct 26th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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Stanton, I have some info on The Wave that I wouldn't want to put on here publicly. email me if your [email protected]
spirobulldog is offline  
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