Emerald Pools, Zion National Park

Not all hikes were created the same – at least not in Zion National Park. While Zion’s most famous hike – Angel’s Landing – is a signature for the park and a staple for those traveling far to get the most out of their trip, Angel’s Landing might not be for everyone coming to this desert paradise. For small children, the elderly, pregnant women, those with a fear of heights, or even just those with poor balance, Angel’s Landing isn’t recommended. Although the hike is traversed by hundreds of thousands every year, and only a few deaths have occurred in the last ten years, it’s better to stay on the safe side when safety is in question.

Visitors can still experience the beauty of Zion without the danger or strenuous conditions. A popular hike for families and groups is Zion’s Emerald Pools hike – a trail leading to three different pools of water tucked against the colorful mountains of the park. This mild hike is perfect in the summer when it’s hot out, but with warmer temperatures, expect larger crowds on this hike. Often described as an oasis in the desert, this trail is lush and shady, at the base of towering white and red sandstone mountains.

Emerald Pools, Lower Pool

Lower Pools of the Hike

The entirety of the hike is 3 miles round trip, but since the pools are spread out, you can choose how far you go before turning around. The first pool is under a half mile from the start of the hike, which starts at the Zion Lodge and continues along the Virgin River. The Lower Pools is the easiest to get to, with the Middle Pools isn’t far from the Lower Pools, but is slightly harder to get to. The Upper Pools is the most difficult to get to (but still an easy, mild hike compared to others in the park). The last ¼ mile stretch is not shaded and usually hot, but doesn’t last long and is worth the effort once you get to the final pool. Waterfalls dot the area, and this is the perfect spot for you to take a break or eat lunch at a scenic location before heading back down. The hike is paved the entire way, and depending on your pace, takes anywhere between 2-4 miles round trip.

Here are some tips for if you plan to do Emerald Pools:

-Morning is the best time for this trip

-Spring and fall, when the trail is less busy, is a great time of year to go. The water can be murky during the summer.

-Bring sun screen, plenty of water, and a lunch for a picnic on the trail.

-The Lower Pools is accessible by stroller and wheelchair

-The round trip distance to the Lower Pools is 1.2 miles, 2 miles to the Middle, and 3 miles to the Upper.

For more info on the Emerald Pools or Zion National Park, visit nps.gov.

Southern Utah Hikes to do Before Summer Ends

As summer winds to an end, locals get out the last of their barbecues and camping trips while the weather is still warm and the leaves are still on the trees. Kids are soon going to be back in school again, so for those of you craving last minute adventures before the fall sets in, Southern Utah has a few of the best hikes to travel during the end of summer.

Kanarraville Falls is a hidden gem that is quickly becoming more well known. With the beauty of Zion without the crowds, this hike takes you through the slot canyons showcasing bright reds, pinks, and oranges of the sandstone that makes Southern Utah famous. This is a wet hike, and you will be trekking through water to go through the canyon. Lush greenery lines the paths of this beautifully enclosed trail. While the water is a great escape to cool off during the summer, it’s far too cold to hike through during other times of the year. It is not recommended to hikers from late fall to late spring because of water temperatures. The only fee to get in is a $10 parking fee.

Kanarraville Falls Hike

The Zion Narrows, similar to Kanarraville Falls, is often featured on postcards and famous pictures of the park. This hike is also a water hike, through the Zion River. While some parts can be fairly deep, if following the trail, the water is deepest at knee-height. Towering slot canyon walls frame the path, giving it a sense of seclusion as you trek between the canyon walls. If you’re visiting Zion anytime between June and August, this a must during the middle of the day to cool off. The water is refreshingly cool, which means that the water is extremely cold during other parts of the year, making this a hike to do exclusively during the summer months. You can make this hike as long as you’d like, and a wilderness permit is not required for this hike. For more info, click here.

Near Escalante, Calf Creek Falls is a beautiful place to visit during warmer months of the year. Lower Calf Creek Falls is a 5.7 mile moderate hiking trail. The hike generally lasts about 3-4 hours, and although parts of it can be hot and strenuous, the falls at the end of the hike, as well as the creek throughout the hike, has cool, refreshing waters during the summer. The end of the trail takes you to a 130 ft. waterfall and a natural pool, so it’s common to bring swimming suits and swimming gear to cool off at the end of the hike before you turn back. For more info on this hike, click here.

4th of July Independence Day Weekend in Duck Creek

From Friday, June 30 to Saturday, July 1, Duck Creek Village will be hosting its annual Independence Day Celebration to celebrate Independence Day and help support local firefighters. The festivities start off at the Duck On In Saloon on Friday with live music. A pancake breakfast will be held the next day at 11 am at the CMFPD Fire Station, with a parade in Duck Creek at 6:30 pm, with the lineup at Duck Creek Dance Hall that continues throughout the entire village. A laser light show will be held that night.

Despite the nearby 50,000 acre fire that has evacuated over 1,500 people in the Brian Head and Panguitch Lake areas, festivities for Independence Day will be continuing in Duck Creek. To show your appreciation for the firefighters, come to the event and be sure to go to the pancake breakfast July 1 at 11 am.

For more info on the event, click here.

Photo from the Visit Duck Creek Facebook page.

Fishing With Your Kids – Tips & Essentials for the Trip

Tips & Essentials for Fishing With Your Kids

Duck Creek is beautiful this time of year, which is why it’s such a popular spot in Southern Utah to fish. If you need ideas for activities to take your kids on while they’re out of school this summer, plan a fishing trip with them! Duck Creek isn’t the only place to fish nearby – you can also visit Panguitch, Navajo, Quail Creek, and Sand Hollow are all within an hour’s drive from each other for a wide array of fishing options.

But how do you get your kids to enjoy fishing as much as you do? Here are 10 simple tips for making the best out of your fishing trip with your family.

  1. Keep it stress-free. There’s no reason to make it high stress. Make it about having fun and the experience rather than the fish you bring home so they’ll want to go a second time.
  2. Use easy tackle. Use small hooks and baits that are easy for kids to use, like bobber and nightcrawler.
  3. Give them an easy task to do. For younger children, it’s important to make them feel like they are a crucial element of the trip. Even if it’s watching for fish or picking which bait to use, make them feel like they’re contributing.
  4. Try for easy species. There’s no use trying to teach your kids how to catch hard-to-find species if they’ve never fished before. Fish for easy to catch species to save time and make it more fun for your kids.
  5. Pack Snacks. Packing snacks is crucial to keeping your kids interested in the fishing. If they start to get disinterested or cranky, sometimes a simple snack like fruit, cheese, juice, or granola bars can get them back on track.
  6. Go in the morning. To prevent cranky kids or kids who want to nap, go during the morning, when the temperature is cooler and your kids are more alert.
  7. Make it short. Most kids have short attention spans and won’t be entertained by an entire day of staring at the fishing pole waiting for fish to bite.
  8. Dress for the weather. Anticipate the temperatures and weather for the day, and make sure to dress them comfortably if it will be hot or cold. Bring jackets or extra clothes if you expect it might get cold.
  9. Bring plastic bags. Gallon Ziplock bags are extremely useful when bringing your child along. Plastic bags help at the end of fishing to put wet or muddy clothes in for the ride home.
  10. Get child-sized fishing supplies. To make it easier for your child, most department stores with a fishing section have small fishing poles and tackle boxes that are a better size for small children. New equipment can also get them excited if they’ve been before and enjoy fishing with you regularly.

For more info on fishing in Duck Creek, click here.

Fishing With Kids

Top 10 Places to Visit Near Duck Creek

 

Staying near Duck Creek and need a list of things to do? This video gives a handful of parks, lakes, and museums to visit while traveling Southern Utah. Since summer is upon us, it’s the best time of the year to take a road trip and visit some of the places Utah is famous for. Utah is a playground for those who like to hike, camp, fish, bike, or simply take in the unique scenery this area has to offer.