Zion has been one of our absolute favorite parks. (I know I probably say that a lot!) We got to spend several days there and we were camped not too far in an amazing location. The views were spectacular and it was free!!
Our first day in Zion in October was a HUGE game-changer for our family. Our first day in this incredible park, we thought we’d go on a nice “little” hike to get a great view. Little did we know that Mike was planning for us to do the longest hike in the park!! It was 8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2100 feet, and that was in the first 3 miles!
Words CAN NOT describe how proud we are of our two boys. It was a tough hike and they actually ran out of water. I didn’t even know Mike was trying to get us to the top. We just kept setting little goals for the next stretch of trail. We all wanted to give up at one point – even me. The boys were really tired and thirsty, but they were such troopers. They each had their own backpack with all their own food and water.
Once we realized just how close we were to the end, we decided to push on. Mike is an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, and he said it really was a super tough hike. AND we did it in record time – only 4 hours!!!! The average time is 6 hours round trip. The view was amazing and breathtaking. It was so worth it. (We took the pics of the trail signs AFTER the hike.)
We now know that these boys can do anything and go anywhere on any adventure. They are so much confident in their abilities 🙂 We are so proud of them and told them for weeks how thrilled we were. It was huge for me, too! There was a time not too long ago that I thought my hiking and adventuring days were over. Not any more!!! This was an amazing day for us and one we will ALWAYS remember as a turning point in our lives 🙂
Since we did such a long day the day before (8+miles up and down a mountain) we decided to “take it easy”. Ha! We still ended up putting in 7 miles. This place is so amazing you don’t even realize how much or how far you’re walking. There’s so much to do and see! We did a few shorter hikes that were still spectacular. We saw some falls and Emerald Pools. It was all amazing!! We were pretty tired after another full day in this breathtaking place!!!
After 2 days of hiking and putting in almost 18 miles total, we decided to do something else – CLIMB!!! But first, the boys got yet ANOTHER Junior Ranger badge. We hiked up a bit to a nice little rock face and climbed there for several hours. The boys are amazing and carry all their own stuff now – water, snacks, and all their gear. The packs are not light, either! It was so surreal to be climbing with my family in Zion. It was so gorgeous and so peaceful. This place is normally crazy-busy and there are actually shuttles that take you around, because it can not handle all the traffic. We were there just at the tail end of the season in October, so it was perfect. You can actually see the shuttles in a couple of the pics. We had this climbing spot all to ourselves.