Zion National Park with Kids
As we planned out our road trip from Las Vegas to Phoenix we wanted to visit as many places between the two as we could fit in. Originally, our first stop after Vegas was going to be Page, Arizona (read more here on that trip). But after checking our route we decided we could also squeeze in Zion National Park between the two. I will start by saying there is no way at all that one day in Zion with kids will ever be enough time. The first time I heard about this National Park, I read all about a unique hike where you get to walk in the water. You can read more about that hike here: How to Hike the Narrows at Zion National Park. You could easily spend more than one day exploring Zion with kids because it is stuffed full of incredible beauty and adventure! Check out this post for a great resource on where to stay and what to eat in Zion: Zion National Park Itinerary.
Parking and Logistics of Zion with Kids
I am wondering if this is something I will say about many other National Parks around the country. The drive into the park and through the park is simply amazing. Before you even park the car, get out and start your hike you are surrounded with absolute beauty.
We visited Zion with kids in November, but it was during Thanksgiving week. I had no idea how busy this place would be – we could barely find parking. You have to park in a lot and take a shuttle to get deeper into the park to access many trail heads. Luckily my husband never gives up when parking and we lucked out with a spot pretty close to a shuttle spot. The shuttles come every 15 minutes or so and had plenty of room for us to jump on. We took the shuttle to the very last stop, Temple of Sinawava. Again, riding on this shuttle was an attraction in itself! The views were out of this world. Our favorite part was the rock climbers that we could spot high up on the cliffs on the mountains.
Kid-Friendly Hikes in Zion National Park
Because of our lack of time, we only were able to do one hike on our visit. But there are many different options of kid friendly hikes in Zion National Park.
Riverside Walk (Gateway to the Narrows)
We chose this hike because it was the perfect length for our afternoon. It was also a kid friendly hike in Zion. Not only was it kid friendly but really it was perfect for all abilities. The one mile out path is mostly paved and is fairly flat. It follows along the Virgin River, which when we were visiting was extremely low. There were even some sections where you could jet off the trail and get right up to the trickling river. Now from what we heard, this river is not always this low, and is a common scene for flash flooding when it rains.
I will say that this kid friendly hike in Zion even made my biggest complaining kid happy. This was the first time she said she enjoyed hiking. Was it because it was incredibly easy? Who knows… but we ate it up! She was even the leader in our family walking ahead of us the whole time. Her favorite part was where you had to duck under a rock hanging overhead.
visiting Zion in the Winter with kidsWhen you get to the end of the Riverside Walk, you have actually arrived at the start of The Narrows trail. In order to continue on this hike you would be required to walk in the river. As we walked on the Riverside Walk we could see people returning from the river journey. They mostly had on special pants and shoes. We would love to return to do this once our kids are little bigger. Also it was a bit cold for us on this trip to pull it off, so next trip must be planned in warmer months ;). Even when visiting Zion in the Winter with kids, there is still tons of fun to be had and it comes at lower prices and crowds too!
More Kid Friendly Hikes in Zion National Parks
Check out some of these blog posts I found with great info on additional kid friendly hikes in Zion.
- Zion Kid Hikes
- Spend a Day in Zion National Park with Kids
- Top Stops for Families in Zion National Park
- Zion National Parks Best Hikes
We can’t wait to return to Zion with kids so we can do it proper justice. But we haven’t seen any thing else in the state of Utah so we have a lot of exploring left to do. But now that we are living on the East Coast, we are totally hoping for our next National Park trip to visit Shenandoah National Park with Kids.