UTAH, ROAP TRIP
We are so excited to finally start sharing little parts of our family and travels with you! We’ve been planning and dreaming up big plans for this space and are excited and (finally) ready to get the ball rolling!
We recently visited ZION NATIONAL PARK for our first time last month and fell in love, We’re already talking about going back! We wanted to share our experience with you for when you make your way to this beautiful place!
DESTINATION: UNDER CANVAS ZION, UTAH
Glamping under the Zion stars, right down the road from world class climbing, mid-May’s perfect weather, our first destination road trip as a family of four, in our unfinished Sprinter Van conversion. This about sums up all that Travis wanted to do for his birthday (minus the glamping- that was pretty much all me, we all know his preference is sleeping bag straight in the dirt, style). A lot of you have probably seen or heard of UNDER CANVAS, if not, definitely go check them out. They are America’s Premiere glamping experience. You can visit them in Zion, Moab, and Yellowstone, and will be opening new locations soon in The Grand Canyon, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountains, and Mount Rushmore. We’ll most definitely try to make our way to each location during our future travels. It’s just that good!
We arrived and were given a tour of the grounds. When scheming to go here, I didn’t do much research so I had zero expectations. I was just stoked to go glamping like I’ve wanted to for years. The staff was super friendly, the beds were sooo comfy, the community bathroom/showers were actually very clean, cleaned twice a day, they have a linen closet with fresh towels, and the food at the restaurant “Ember” was super good- we had the quinoa burger two nights in a row. The tents are nestled between gorgeous mountains, each way you look you want to pull out your camera. I still can’t get over the colors. We really loved the vibe and everyone was super nice to our kids. They have board games in the lobby tent to play games by the fire pit and have live music in the evenings. Extra bonus points – free coffee and tea available 24/7 as well as ice and filtered water to fill up canteens.
Our second day at Under Canvas, we had pre-booked a half day family rock climbing tour with ‘ZION ROCK & MOUNTAIN GUIDES’. I’ll share their info below but we cannot say enough good things about our experience with these guys. With it being our first time in Zion, we thought it’d be a good idea to pay for a tour guide, and to second as a climbing partner for Travis since i’m baby wrangling in this season of life! Our guides name was Sonny, if you book with them, do yourself a favor and ask for him! Sonny was SO good with Finley, he gave her room to be scared and time to brave up enough courage to repel a 60 foot face cliff with him. After the first time, she asked to do it over and over again. So, thank you Sonny for that special memory for Finley, she is still stoked on it! He took us to Lamb’s Knoll for the day.
Our half day tour ended up lasting til dinner, he was super chill and we loved getting to know a little bit about him and hear all about different climbing spots in Zion. He even did van life a few times so we got to chat about that too! When we return to Zion, we’ll definitely be booking with this company again! Oh, and in case you were wondering, Yes Travis had an amazing day of climbing and said it was the best birthday he’s ever had!
The next day we went into the park and drove all around Zion. I think our jaws were touching the floor, straight heaven! If you saw our Instagram post, you probably saw that we were on some back roads that were for shuttle buses only- oops. We had a few hikes we really wanted to do but our little guy was fussy and teething super bad this day, so we changed our plans and found a spot by the river to eat lunch and swim and relax. If you’re planning on traveling with little ones, be prepared to do this, a lot. We know the day will come where we can do 8 mile hikes with our kids , but for now its cuddling teething babies, lugging diapers and pouches and a favorite horse stuffed animal. This may have been my favorite day, something i’ll always go back to in my mind.
We ended our Zion trip by slowly driving through one more time, making lots of stops just because we had to see it all from each angle. We made our way down 89 and decided to pull off to see the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kanab, UT. This is a great spot to stretch and make lunch and take a walk up some sand dunes- and of course roll down them.
We spent the night on LAKE POWELL, it was our first time visiting and to be honest, we wish we would have stayed in Zion.The lake and scenery was beautiful but there was too many people for our liking. We were glad we checked it out though- a 4×4 would have sure been nice here, we got stuck. twice!! We packed it up early morning and headed to Lower Antelope Canyon. We were anxious to get some hiking in and see some slots before it got too warm. We were pretty bummed to find out you can only see slots through a guided tour. For our family it would have cost close to $200 after waiting in lines to buy tour tickets, and having to wait 2 hours for the next available tour, we bailed and drove to find something else to explore. We didn’t know where or what but we knew we’d find it.
Which brings us to our last stop on our trip. We stumbled upon the most beautiful red rocks that felt like they were hugging us from all angles, kinda felt like Mars too. We found a spot on the Colorado River near Marble Canyon that felt like our own oasis. The river was flowing fast but there was a pocket that was calm for us to play in. It was ice cold but so refreshing.We spent a good part of our day here. We saw three other people down there the whole time, and one happened to be a super nice man who just finished self converting his sprinter. We got to talk all things van, it was our first time doing that so that was fun! That just shows you that van peeps sure know how to find good spots to hang!
We drove around a little bit more and Trav found some rad boulders to climb before we decided to drive through the night back home to Southern California. When you have kids, sometimes it’s just easier to drive through the night, cuz you know, peace and quiet. The only bad thing to that is, kids still wake up early even though mom and dad drove through the night!
Thanks for the new memories, Zion! We’re looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Climb Lamb’s Knoll | 37.304664, -113.109983
Park anywhere on BLM
Visit ZION NATIONAL PARK
Stay at Under Canvas Zion | www.undercanvas.com/camps/zion
Eat at Zion Pizza + Noodle | www.zionpizzanoodle.com
Rock Climb Tour | www.zionrockguides.com
Visit PINK CORAL SAND DUNES
Camping Lake Powell | Lone Rock Beach Campground
Marble Canyon Oasis | 36.855286, -111.604548
Follow / Share the Stoke!