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.

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