We started at 6am again, knowing we had a long drive. This time we needed to unpack the room and repack the van but Heath and the kiddies went right back to sleep once we hit the road. The Noels had a little bit of car trouble and we stopped and had breakfast in the van while they checked it out at a shop. Then we drove the rest of the way to Capitol Reef National Park. We parked at a little lot just off highway 24 and did a hike called the Narrows that follows through the middle of a fairly wide slot canyon.
It was kinda crazy hike where it was hot in the sun but cold in the shade and each turn was a little different.
After the hike we came back to the cars and drove through the park a bit more to the visitor center. The kids worked hard to get their books done and earn another badge.
We went to a little picnic area and cooked lunch.
Then we left Capitol Reef as we had a lot more driving to do. I’d go back to this park sometime when we had more time and it would be really fun if the fruit grown there was in season.
Our next stop on the road was Bryce Canyon.
We actually went to the visitor center first as the kids finished the books on the way and we were worried they would close before we were done with the park. Everyone was feeling kind of beat and not real interested in a hike so we just went and looked off the rim but then got interested and started hiking a bit of the rim to check out different spots.
We still had about 90 minutes left to drive so got back in the car and drove on to Kanab for our next airbnb and this sweet patio.
We left the kiddos to unpack and get laundry going and the adults made a run for food and beer. Then we came back and had a great dinner.
We did hot tub and stayed up late playing games. We also made a big breakfast and slept in. It was really nice. We had sort of planned to do Vermillion Cliffs this day but had found we could not get to a lot of the cool stuff to see so didn’t have any plans. We ended up having no plans but it ended up being a great day. Late in the morning we walked down the block a way to a visitor center in town and they recommended a few BLM spots for us to check out.
The first stop was this cool Belly of the Dragon hike.
It was not super long but pretty fun and we had a nice hike once we got through on the other side too.
We even did a bit of scrambling.
The next hike was also really good. It felt like a treasure hunt as we were really not sure where to go and kept finding little prizes along the way.
It was not a super long hike but we zig zagged our way up a hill…
and once at the top we found dinosaur prints.
There was nice views at the top and we hung out a bit before heading back to the car and another close hike.
Shortly after parking at this 3rd hike we rounded a bend in the trail and came across petroglyphs.
There were several in different colors and some easy to find and some harder.
We climbed around a bit after the hike.
Then we went back to the room to get dinner going and enjoy the place.
In the morning we all got up at 6am again and hit the road to Zion. We were early enough to get a parking spot in the park and started out ridding the shuttle to the far end of the park and then following trail to the more popular Narrows hike. We didn’t do the hike but checked it out.
Then we hiked along the river back down to the shuttle.
We took the shuttle a couple spots down to our next hike.
By this time the park was crowded.
but it was a beautiful hike.
We ended up doing the Lower, upper and Middle Emerald lake hikes and enjoying them all. We made our way down in groups and all met up int he lawn at the lodge to have lunch.
We found 1 more little hike to do but decided to go get some more food from the cars, a beer and finish the Jr. Ranger books.
and rest up a bit.
Then the kids went and got another Jr. Ranger badge.
There is a brewery across the parking lot so we had to step in and have a quick drink.
Everyone but Julia, Pumpkin and I were done but we snuck in one more really cool short hike.
We went back to the room for dinner and more hot tub and games.
In the morning we packed up the van, cleaned up the room and headed on.