Several years ago we went to Zion National Park for our spring break vacation (at the end of March). We had so much fun and the weather was perfect. We stayed at the Hampton Inn there and loved how close it was to the entrance. The free shuttles that took us to the park entrance every day were a big perk. The KOA in St. George isn’t very far either and we loved staying there too. Since neither my husband nor I had really been there before, we decided to start with the Riverside Walk Trail.
We chose this hike to do first because it is fun and easy for kids. I knew that they would enjoy it. My husband and I had done this hike many years before as we were driving through. This was the only part of the park we really saw.
Perfect hike in Zion Nation park for families
It is great for families. The trail is fairly easy. If you go down by the water there will be some climbing back up to the main trail here and there. Every inch of the hike is beautiful. Everywhere you look you will be greeted by tall beautiful red mountains, water, trees, and nature. My kids had a great time finding everything from chipmunks and lizards to flowers and butterflies.
This is also the entrance to the narrows water hikes. That means you will see many people crossing the river at the end of the trail to keep going. If you plan on doing that – make sure you have the right equipment and know the water tables. (like neoprene shoes and suits, etc – the water is freezing and can flash flood).
Take food and enjoy a picnic
Like many other people, we packed a lunch to eat at the end of the trail before we started back. There is a great place to sit on the rocks and/or beach to eat. You can even play in the water a little to cool off. This is where you will see the most chipmunks trying to scavenge food people drop or will share. Just be sure to pack out what you pack in to keep it beautiful for the next visitors.
There are no pets allowed on the main trails in Zion National Park. We left our dog with my parents for the week since we knew we wouldn’t be able to take him on any of the hikes. So if you have a four-legged friend – try and find someplace to keep them so they don’t overheat in your vehicle. It gets hot – even in the winter months.
We took water bladders in hiking packs and put treats in them for the kids to snack on. This was also a great way to have a place for them to put their trash. It also allowed them to carry supplies like an emergency whistle, tissues, mini first aid kit, etc.
About Riverside Walk Trail
The Riverside Walk Trail is about 2.2 miles roundtrip – so not overly long. You could do it quickly if you are short on time – or explore and soak it all up. Average time is about 1:30. It follows the Virgin River at the bottom of a narrow canyon. There are bathrooms at the entrance as well as water filling stations.
You can learn more about the Riverside Walk trail on the NPS site here. Be sure to check hours the park is open, etc.
If you are looking for other hikes in the area or places to visit here are some of our favorites:
- Emerald Pool Trails Hike Zion National Park
- Hidden Lake Kanab, Utah
- Sand Caves in Kanab, Utah
- Toadstool Hoodoos (Kanab, Utah)
- Top 10 things to do in St. George, Utah (day trips from the KOA)
- Unique things to do in Utah
Pin the image below to save for later. This is a great hike to go on. If you ever get the chance to go to Zion National Park in Utah be sure to stop!