I have lived in Utah all my life and have never been hiking in Zion National Park. Shane and I drove through one time when we were first married but that was it. Isn't it crazy how we sometimes neglect going to the places that are in our own backyard? There are so many places in Utah that we have never taken advantage of in the 8 years we have lived here as a family.
We were pleasantly surprised that there were so many hiking trails that were kid friendly. We ended up going on all the "easy" trails and a couple of the "moderate" hikes. Our 5 year old was a champ! And for those of you without kids or with older ones, there are plenty of expert trails too. I have never seen so many different shades of red and orange!
These pictures were taken with my iphone. The first day I started out with my camera bag, and finally decided my phone was good enough. It was a pain to lug the bag around when I was helping kids and having a back pack too.
One of our very favorite hikes was the Upper Emerald Pools trail.
(Upper Emerald Pool)
We also loved the River Walk trail. I was anticipating the trail to be boring since most of it was paved but it had some of the prettiest views of the river and some hanging gardens. We saw wildlife as well. You get great views of the rocks called Temple of Sinawava. We stopped an ate lunch on the bank of the river.
The river looked green most of the time but occasionally took on a blue color.
The hanging gardens both on the River Walk trail and the Weeping Rock trail took my breath away. The one pictured above was from the River Walk trail.
The deer and squirrels are so used to people that you can get quite close.
This tree growing out of a rock made me think of the saying "grow where you are planted". Not only was it growing in the rock, but it was reaching up to find the sun. So many lessons can be learned from this tree :)
There were so many things to see and so many cute shops as you got closer into town. I brought home a big geode, some rose quartz, and some green calcite. I know I am a big nerd but I have always loved stopping at roadside rock shops ever since I was little.
(deer, flowers, Indian petroglyphs, and a blue belly lizard)
My boys loved it! It was fun to hear them spout off facts they had learned about in school (Utah Studies). They can't wait to go back. I think we will hit Moab next.
What are the places in your home state that you have never visited?
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