On the Friday before Easter we loaded up the car and headed down to Zion National Park (otherwise known as my favorite place on earth.) Cameron and I have so many wonderful memories of Zion, but between babies and the move to Arizona it's been forever since we've camped there and Olivia and Caleb have never camped before (sad I know.) It was definitely time to give family camping a test run!
It's kind of a drive (in kid time "two movies long" with a lunch stop in the middle), but of course we hadn't been on the road more than twenty minutes before the "how long until we're there"s started. And of course Caleb waited until the last thirty minute of the drive to give us all a little peace and take a nap...
But it was all worth it - just check out these views!
We set up camp and then while we waited for our friends who were meeting us for the trip we explored around the camp, headed down to the river and then took a little drive up the canyon. Of all of the great things we did on our trip Caleb's favorite part by far was the mile long road that tunnels straight through the mountain that we drove through on our first day. The road winds up five or six very steep switchbacks (Livvy and Caleb were both blown away by being up so high and seeing so far) straight up the mountain and then tunnels straight through to the other side.
By the time we got back to camp our friends Alla and Arkadiy (who went to pharmacy school with Cameron and have just recently moved to Utah) and their kids Lexi and Rylee had made it. We finished setting up camp, made dinner and had a great evening. The kids especially loved running around with their lanterns and flashlights and roasting marshmallows.
The next day was filled with hiking. We drove back through the tunnel and did the scenic overlook hike on the other side, then took the shuttle up the other branch of the canyon to hike to the base of the narrows and have lunch at the Zion Lodge Cafe. After lunch we let the kids play around back at camp for a bit and then headed back down to the visitors center, cruised a few gift shops, saw a movie about the park on the giant IMAX screen and then explored the town of Springdale just outside the park gates.
We were a little sad Sunday morning when it was time to pack up and head home! It was such a great weekend and the kids did really well. This will definitely be the first in a long line up of summer camping trips for our family!