Zion National Park. We here in Southern Utah like to think of it as one of the most mysterious places on Earth. And it is. It’s as ancient as it is breathtaking. It’s as unique as it is strangely familiar. But there’s a common misconception about Zion. Namely that it’s not family-friendly.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While hiking through Zion National Park can seem downright daunting at times, that’s to be expected with the terrain of any national park of over 148,000 acres. There’s plenty of opportunities for family-friendly activities in and around Zion! Here are 3 of the most popular—and the most magical—when planning your next Southern Utah vacation.
One thing to know about Zion National Park is that the most popular time to visit is in July. But what you may not know is that the weather can sometimes reach over 100 degrees! And Zion Nature Center is one of the best ways to beat the heat while learning something, too. Your kids can learn all about the natural history, plants, and animals native to Zion, and even go on a special dinosaur egg scavenger hunt—one of the nature center’s most popular attractions.
Weeping Rock Trail may be one of the shortest hikes at Zion, but it’s one of the most popular. That’s because of the hanging moss gardens which decorate the sandstone cliff alcove. It’s called a weeping rock because of the continual flow of water from the canyons directly above it moistens the cliff, making it one of the more interesting and beautiful trails your family will find at Zion.
A Southern Utah vacation is no time to be worrying about indulging in too many sweets, Mom and Dad. What’s great about Springdale Candy Company is that it’s an old style homemade candy shop and ice cream parlor—just like the ones your grandma probably told you about. Springdale is only a mile away from the park entrance where you can find all sorts of treats from all over the globe, making it one of the more popular family-friendly activities near Zion National Park.
The junior ranger program at Zion National Park isn’t just for kids. It’s open for adults, too! Living up to its motto of “Explore. Learn. Protect,” the program offers both guided and self-guided activities that will help both you and your family absorb the rich, natural history of Zion. There are even activity courses for your kids to complete which earns them badges and prizes while also helping them learn.
There’s scenery… and there’s scenery. And the 12 mile stretch of Mt Carmel Highway offers you some of the best scenery Zion National Park has to offer without arduous hikes in the blistering heat. The highway scales through some of the most majestic canyons, seasonal waterfalls, Slickrock, and sandstone cliffs you’ll ever see in your life. So majestic, you won’t have to hear your kids ask “are we there yet?” They’ll simply be too engrossed by the scenery.