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zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

london
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zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

We have 2 nights booked in the watchman campground in August (although we wished it was 3 ...)

We will be driving in from Page on day 1 - and plan to get to zion by 11 ish - depending on stops on the way.

Whilst we are in zion we would like to attempt some of the narrows, experience canyoneering with a reputable company, and do some walking - rim trail, emerald pools, riverside on way to narrows.

I can't work out an order - but as we have to book the canyoneering - and decide on a full day or a half ( my children really want to do a whole day....) I would really appreciate any trip advisor pearls of wisdom please!

also do we need narrows rental gear for august ?

I was thinking

12th - leave page after breakfast and drive to zion. Book canyoneering for 1pm this afternoon.

eve set up camp after 1/2 day canyoneering. collect gear for narrows walk.

13th - head to riverside walk first thing in the morning on shuttle bus. walk as much of the narrows as seems a good idea.

back to campsite - maybe an evening stroll on Pa Rus

14th - tent down and pack up. Do Emerald pools trail and rim trails.

head onto Bryce....

We head on to Bryce on the third day - but weren't planning to leave until early afternoon. (now i wish we had the last night there but unsurprisingly no availability for another night at the watchman.

Thanks for all your suggestions..

Becky

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Munich
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1. Re: zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

There is a privately owned campground just beside the Watchman, with the same scenery. Maybe you can find a site here:

https://www.zioncamp.com

Beate

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Watchman Campground
Watchman Campground
348 Reviews
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london
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2. Re: zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

Thanks - but as we have reservations for 2 nights at Bryce and are tent camping I think adding an extra pack up and pitch in is just too complicated!

Thanks again though Becky

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utah
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3. Re: zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

This looks like a good plan for the most part.

Don't do Emerald Pools on the last day - you don't want to deal with the shuttle on the day you are heading to Bryce. A better hike both logistically and for the view is Canyon Overlook on the way to Bryce and it doesn't require the shuttle.

You could do Emerald Pools on the same day as Narrows. However, I don't consider Emerald Pools a must do - it's a nice trail and easily accessible but not critical. You could also stop at a few quick stops after Narrows like Weeping Rock, Grotto, Court of the Patriarchs, etc.

Par'Rus trail is enjoyable - Watchman trail is accessible for the campground if you want something more interesting and have the energy.

Yes, it's worth renting gear for the Narrows. The biggest advantage is better footing on running water with the right gear.

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Kipling. SK
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4. Re: zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

On your arrival day, check in(or try to) check in to Watchman when you arrive. You do not need to set up, but at the least you can park. Otherwise, check with the outfitter you are booking canyoneering if they will supply parking for the day. Point being parking is a problem nowadays at Zion, especially if arriving mid day.

If you park at Watchman, then it will be an easy walk in to town, then catch the town shuttle to which outfitter you chose. It is possible to arrange a custom pick up, as the visitor center is a common pick up spot. Depends on which outfitter you choose.

Page to Zion's campgrounds will take about 2.5 hours to drive, but can be more if you expereince a delay at the Zion Mt Carmel tunnel. You should allow three hours. Note that Page is behind Zion in time. So if you leave Page at 7AM local time, you can be in Zion's Watchman campground by 11AM UT local time.

Note that for the Narrows you have not revelaed the age of your children. I do not recommend the Narrows for children less than 10 years old. The combination of the rocky river bottom and water depth means that for kids the hike into the Narrows is strenuous. Slips and falls on the rocks is common. You need to evaluate your kids for strength and endurance, and how it relates to their safety. Recommended time frame for the Narrows is 4 hours in the river. You did note that you would go as far as it was possible. You can get a good sense of the Narrows in an hour, but still 4 hours minimum is recommended.

Gear rentals are always a good idea. The hiking pole and sturdy hiking boots provided have their advantages over simple water shoes. However you do not need the socks in August, as the water temps are into the 15 C range in August, with air temp close to 25 C.

Note that the Narrows is a cool and damp environment, thus the 25 C quote. Everywhere else in August can get into the 35C range. Plan accordingly. You need water and lots of it, as you are in a desert environment.

UT can be into a summer storm time period. The Narrows might not be possible during the day you have planned due to storm and flash flood risk. You would not have the luxury of picking the best day if you are locked into a canyoneering trip.

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utah
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5. Re: zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

Notes based on Widmarsh's comments: If you kids are quite young it may not be worth renting gear if you aren't going to make it very far. Even so, it is worth hiking Riverside Walk and at least going into the river a little ways for the experience.

Where you are planning to do Canyoneering the first afternoon that doesn't compete with Narrows. Unfortunately where you only have one full day at Zion - if Narrows is a bust the day you are there, you'll have to skip it - Riverside Walk and playing in the river a bit would still be doable.

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Munich
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6. Re: zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

Sorry. but I read you wished you had a night more in Zion.

So I cannot help anymore.

Beate

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london
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7. Re: zion part of our august family road trip - advice please!!

That is SO helpful - thanks.

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