Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mini Trip to Utah - Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park are located a short 6 hour drive from Southern California. The State of Utah hosts some of the most amazing displays of natural beauty that nature has to offer.  In this post, I will share with you a little about our last road trip adventure to Zion and Bryce National Park. Keep reading to find out more....


Spring is upon us which allows for time outdoors with the family and friends.  Spring break is around the corner and many families are taking the week off to spend with their kids; why not venture northeast to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.  Excellent hiking and photography spots allow outdoor enthusiasts an excellent opportunity to view natures beauty.  Avoid the heat of summer and potential for thunderstorms during your hike by taking this amazing mini field trip with the family.
There are 58 National Parks in the United States and each state has their own set of parks to visit.  Zion and Bryce Canyon have excellent camping and RV Campsites as well as plenty of hotels to enjoy the outdoors without living in the outdoors.  Entrance to each of the parks are $25.00 per car or $12 per motorcycle, bicyclist or hiker and are valid for 7 days entrance to the same park.  If you plan to visit both, we recommend you purchase the annual pass, as you will be able to enjoy all of the Nations historic places all year long.  Special military annual pass are also available for active duty personnel, see below for more details.

 
Zion National Park is the first recognized National Park.  Walking through Zion will lead you to the paths where ancient native people and pioneer settlers walked.  The park hosts sandstone canyons of red, pink and cream colored hillsides and an abundant array of wilderness and plant life.  If you have a 3rd or 4th grade student, these hills are part of their US history lessons, why not show them the true splendor of the 1800's as they crossed the Rocky Mountains to settle in the Wild West.  With plenty of things to do including, hiking, biking, bird watching, camping, climbing, horse back trips, river trips, guided trips and the Zion History Museum, your family is sure to enjoy this spectacle.  The park also offers children's programs, educational outreach programs and junior ranger programs for your kids to learn more about the area.
 
Bryce Canyon is a truly amazing array of rock pillars standing tall above sea level as a result of the forces of erosion.  These pillars are called the Hoodoos which can be translated as cave without a roof, or forest of stone.  Kids can learn about the history of the settlers of the 1800's as well as the science of wind and water erosion while taking in the fantastic scenery.  Truly amazing views, several hiking trails including the 7.5 mile loop and the Under the Rim trail system which includes 23 miles of great hiking.  Check out this amazing E-Tour of Bryce Canyon
 
Interagency Annual Pass: $80. Valid for 12 months from from purchase date. This pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee*. The pass admits the pass holder/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas. At per person fee areas, it admits the pass holder + 3 adults. The pass can be obtained in person at Zion entrance stations, at other National Park sites, via the Internet or by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS, Extension 1
Military Annual Pass: The Annual Pass for Military was implemented on May 19, 2012. This is a free pass for active duty military personnel (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard) and their dependents. In order to qualify for the Annual Pass for Military, the military member must present a valid Department of Defense (CAC Card). Dependents must present a Department of Defense ID (DD Form 1173) that identifies the dependent and his/her sponsor. Some members of the Military Reserve may be eligible for this pass. 
 

We recommend a full day at minimum at each park to see and do all of the activities. It is ideal that you spend 2-5 days to get a better feel for the park.   Since our family was travelling to other destinations, our visits were cut to a half day each park which was not nearly enough time to enjoy these natural wonders.  We recommend you pack snacks and reusable water containers because once you are inside the park...you aren't going to want to leave.  Plenty of restaurants and eateries outside of the park for you to enjoy at the beginning and end of your day.  We hope that you enjoy these fascinating locations as much as we did.  Follow Field Trip Mom via the website, Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram as more amazing travel ideas will be posted over the upcoming weeks.
 

For more information on these and other National Parks visit:  U.S. National Park Service

Happy Field Tripping!
Written by guest writer and COO of Fieldtripmom.com: Tim Bosek
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