st. george day trips with 11 year old

Old May 21st, 2005, 12:29 PM
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st. george day trips with 11 year old

My wife, our 11 1/2 year old daughter and I are going to southern Utah for a week in early August.

We will be staying at a time share in St. George for seven days.
We want to give our daughter plenty of quiet time for the pool and other things. We are trying not to run our daughter ragged by going nonstop from site to site for all 7 days. Here are some of the day trips we are considering. Could you please give me your comments. If you think we should spend 2 nights at any particular site, I donít mind doing that.

1. Valley of Fire. Is it worth stopping off here when we drive from the Las Vegas airport to St. George?
2. Zion: Which trails allow you to wade in the river?
3. Bryce: Does anybody have any comments on the horseback or mule rides. How do kids react to them? When we leave Bryce, do you suggest that we drive east on Highway 12. If so, how far.
4. Lake Powell: Can anybody compare the half day float trip on the Colorado with the cruise to Rainbow Bridge or Antelope Canyon. (Or maybe we should spend the night at Lake Powell and do both over 2 days since this is a pretty long drive from St. George).
5. Introduction to rock climbing/canyoneering. I see on the internet that is offered in both St. George and Springdale. Has anyone done that?

One last question. Is there any reason to consider renting a 4 wheel drive.

Thank you for your advice.

Bunkhedena is offline  
Old May 21st, 2005, 03:03 PM
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From St. George to Page, Az (Lake Powell) is a 3 1/2 to 4 hour way. I highly recommend spending at least one night in Page.

The float trip is a lot of fun. Try to do the early morning run because even on the river you can get pretty warm. They make one stop on the river for bathrooms and to see petroglph. This is a very scenic area.

My pictures from the float trip:

The boat trip to Rainbow Bridge is one of my favorites but because of several years of drought you have to now hike 1 1/2 miles to see Rainbow Bridge. We have not taken that hike because the last time we went you could see Rainbow Bridge from the tour boat and it was just a short walk to the viewing area. Keep in mind that it gets pretty hot in August at Lake Powell. Even if you don't do the hike, the boat tour is still fantastic! With the tour boats you have your choice of riding out on top in the sun or inside in the shade.

My pictures from the boat tour:

Upper Antelope Slots Canyon is on land and you have to go with a tour guide. It's just a couple minutes from the town of Page. You can get a tour in Page or you can go right to the entrance and get a tour there. They drive you over the sandy area and take you into the slots canyon. It takes about a total of 1 1/2 hours and you are in the canyon for an hour.

In Zion you can reach wading areas near the campgrounds which are near the visitor center and also on the Riverside Walk in two very good locations. One at the very beginning and one at the end...which is also the start of the Narrows hike. You can venture as far as you like on the Narrows hike but plan on getting wet. Make sure you wear tennis, walking shoes or watershoes in the river. The rock are to slippery without shoes that will stay on your feet. Flip flops just won't do! There are also places in the town of Springdale to get to the river. You can rent intertubes and float on the Virgin River but not in the park...but you still have beautiful scenery as you float. You are not limited to these areas for wading...there are many, many others. Flash flooding does occur in these areas so check with the visitor center before swimming to see if there is any chance of flash flooding. It doesn't have to be cloudy in Zion for flash floods to happen in the mountains where the river starts.

If you have the time, Valley of Fire is worth driving thought on your way to St. George.

Also just a few miles north of St. George is Snow Canyon State Park. This would make a nice little trip if you didn't feel like driving a long distance one day. There is a sanddune to play in.

St. George to Bryce is 142 miles and about a 3 hour way. The really scenic part of Hwy 12 is between Escalante and Boulder, Utah. From Bryce to Boulder is about 80 miles and 2 1/2 hours driving time...One Way. Even the fastest way from Boulder back to St. George is 210 miles and about 5 hours driving time. That will make for one long day.

There is no reason to get a 4 wheel drive for the areas that we've discussed so far.


utahtea is offline  
Old May 21st, 2005, 03:26 PM
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You must go to Zion, float down the Virgin River on inner tubes, hike, enjoy!
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Old May 21st, 2005, 03:47 PM
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I think your daughter will enjoy hiking in the Narrows at Zion. My kids (ages 12 and 15) really loved it as it was very different from anything else we did on the trip and it cooled us off nicely. It was also stunningly beautiful. Also, don't miss the Weaping Wall -- a very short, easy hike with a great view and the fun of water dripping on you.

My kids also enjoyed the horse/mule ride in Bryce. We did the half day trip which enabled us to see quite a bit but were quite sore afterwards. I have to admit I didn't like it as much as they did as I have quite a fear of heights -- the mules walk right on the edge of the trail. The guides were entertaining and the ride is very kid-friendly.

Another highlight was the Upper Antelope Slot Canyon tour. This was an easy tour, a photographer's paradise, and (according to my kids) "very cool."

Hope this helps. Have a great time!
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 07:57 PM
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An interesting short visit might be to see dinosaur tracks. A man just outside of St. George discovered thousands of dinosaur tracks on his newly purchased property a few years ago.

Visitors became so numerous that the state took over the site for him. I have not been there yet myself, but if you ask at the St. George Visitor's Center, they can direct you. I understand it's amazing.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 08:29 AM
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Thanks for the heads up on the dino tracks, I'd never heard of that before. Looks very intereting. Found a lot of great info and good links at this website:

utahtea is offline  
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