Utah with Children

Mar 10th, 2009, 02:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2
Utah with Children

My husband are I are taking my our boys (ages 4 and 6) to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion this summer. I am looking for somewhere fun to stay with the boys where we can hang for a few days and let the boys get their wiggles out (swimming, campfires and other fun activities) since we will be driving quite a bit. Somwhere between the Grand Canyon, the National Parks in Utah and Vegas. Any suggestions are much appreciated!
jenniferginn is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 04:06 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,851
If you can stay in any of these parks there are ranger programs most evenings and plenty of hiking for them to do although I'm not sure about swimming. I don't recall seeing facilities anywhere. There probably won't be TV either if that is a priority. We have seen mule deer and/or elk as well as ground squirrels and other small animals when we've stayed in the parks. You can go to www.nps.gov to get information on them and get the number for Xanterra which does the reservations. Get a park pass at your first park. This is good for all parks for a year for everyone in your car.
emalloy is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 05:01 AM
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In your situation, at Bryce I would recommend staying outside the Park - Ruby's (Best Western) is minutes from entrance with enough to keep the rugrats busy between visits into Park. The Park shuttle leaves right from the front door and there is a pool, mediocre restaurant, general store, playground - it is like a small town in itself. Rooms are big enough for the 4 of you and have a coffee pot and some have refrigerators.

Some advice - bring a cooler and stock it with drinks and snacks. Some of the driving areas has little in way of places to stop - and for kids used to being able to see Mickey D's at every corner, for some reason this makes them hungrier. Kids whining because they are thirsty or hungry makes any family vacation a nightmare.

Please be careful at the Grand Canyon. Your kids are old enough to listen to you warn them away from the Rim but likely will be excited enough to not always listen. The number of free range kids of that age and younger running along the Rim scared me half to death when I was there - it is possible to fall into the Grand Canyon.
gail is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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You're getting good advice....I was just reminded by the last post that, according to statistics in the book 'Death in Grand Canyon', not one child has ever fallen off the edge of Grand Canyon (of thier own accord). Adults, who should know better, have but never a child. According to that book the most dangerous activity you can indulge in at Grand Canyon is photography ("back up just a little more please") and the person at greatest risk is a young adult male hiking alone. 'Death in Grand Canyon' is quite an interesting read and was written by a doctor at the hospital there and a ranger/rescue specialist.
peterboy is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,443

I don't think you need to worry about finding a place in between the Natl parks. They will wear themselves out in the parks! Hiking, ranger programs (as mentioned) wading in the Virgin River, horseback rides, tubing (probably with each of you holding them). Many of the Springdale motels outside Zion have pools. As mentioned, Ruby's has a pool. If you really want to keep them busy, go camping. Keeps them busy with everything!

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Your kids are a little young, but there might be some calmer raft/float trips out of Moab that you could take them on. For kids that age, I would not recommend anything longer than 3 hours. Just ask, because many trips involve wilder whitewater and age restrictions.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2009, 06:41 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Thanks for all the great responses. We are staying in the park at the Grand Canyon (taking the train in - which the boys will flip over) and plan to do the ranger programs. I looked at the website for the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort (a ways outside of Zion) and it looked like a perfect place to hang with the kids for a few days (water slides, campfire, etc.) but the reviews were not too favorable. I didn't know you could wade in the rivers or tube in the parks at all. They boys will love that and they are pretty keen on the outdoors and reasonable hikes. Ruby's sounds ideal tho - I will look into that.

We were initially planning to camp but changed our mind as my sister's family is meeting us and they have a two-year-old who is tough to contain. We are going to stay for a few days at Brianhead with them and use that as a base to hit Zion and Bryce.

Thanks again for the tips. Will definitely pack snacks and keep the kids under watchful eyes.
jenniferginn is offline  
Mar 11th, 2009, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,443

You can wade in the Virgin River inside Zion Natl Park as long as conditions allow. Depends on when you are going. Keep a watchful eye, of course.

Tubing must be outside the park, through the town of Springdale. Local shops rent the tubes.
Dayle is offline  
Mar 11th, 2009, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,434
If you are hitting Bryce & Zion, why not hit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon instead of the South Rim. Less driving. The train into the Grand Canyon gets a thumbs down on this forum. It will probably be too long and boring for a 4 & 6 year old.

Good luck,

MichelleY is offline  
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