Hiking in Zion With Stollers: Riverside Walk, Emerald Pools & Pa’rus

For breakfast we went just out of the park’s entrance to Cafe Soleil. We ordered a breakfast sandwich, a blueberry muffin and milk. The breakfast sandwich, which we ordered on a wheat sandwich thin was just ok, and the blueberry muffin tasted straight out of Costco (which is fine, just not special). We also ordered two wraps for lunch, which they packaged to go for our hike, but more about that later.

Even though k is 5, we brought two strollers along because we knew we would be able to do way more hiking that way. By 8:30 a.m. we had taken the shuttle to the Riverside Walk (2 miles RT), which leads to The Narrows. According to the shuttle driver, this is the “cold side” of the park in the morning. It was FREEZING…I can see why there were few people that chose to do this hike in the morning. I was ill-prepared, but at least the kids had gloves (actually, we had only brought 3 out of 4) and D had his trusty headband/ear warmer. Due to the cold, these were the longest 2 miles I have ever walked, but we did make it.

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This is the entrance to The Narrows, which actually requires you to hike in the water. I cannot see how this would be fun, but D would like to try someday.

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The highlight was coming across a deer family. Here is a close-up of one of them.
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Next was a 1.2 mile RT hike to the Emerald Pools. Since it was warmer, we had k walk parts of this one, but the problem was that n wanted to follow suit. Pushing two strollers while trying to make sure two kids don’t fall off the cliff is just not a good idea. So back in the strollers they went.

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We wouldn’t have wanted the situation depicted on this sign:
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Upon our return, we ate lunch picnic-style on the grand lawn in front of the Zion Lodge.
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We shared a chicken caesar wrap and a turkey/bacon/avocado wrap from Cafe Soleil. These were quite substantial, and along with the chilled drinks I brought in our cooler, made quite a nice lunch.

Next, we stopped at the Human History Museum. I inquired about the little junior ranger program for kids five and under. We worked on a worksheet together and I had D take the kids to turn them in for a little pin. Little did we know that there would be an oral test, but both k and n passed. (The ranger asked n what the person in the picture was doing wrong and n answered, “picking flowers”). We also watched a short film on Zion. n fell asleep and started to snore. Loudly.

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Water filling station to cut down on plastic water bottle usage.

Finally, we decided to walk the Pa’rus trail (3.5 miles RT). I had read that it was wheelchair/stroller accessible, but it turns out this is not the case when you start the trail from the Human History Museum. First of all, there are rocky steps you have to go down, and then you go under a bridge on a narrow ledge which would not even be possible with a wheelchair. However, once we made it past these obstacles, the path is nice and paved.
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Not wanting to deal with the obstacles again, we just went one way and took the shuttle back to the Visitor’s Center.

We relaxed a bit at the campsite and went to The Flying Monkey for dinner.
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Even though we had pizza the night before, this restaurant had a wood-fire oven and is known for its pizza, so we did pizza again. We created our own, with D choosing prosciutto and grilled zucchini.
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The crust was also a bit soggy in the middle, but overall the crust was much better than the one we had at Zion Pizza & Noodle.

We also ordered a Cubano sandwich, which came with waffle fries.
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Do you see that small container of pink sauce? That is fry sauce, which is Utah thing. I would highly recommend this sandwich after a long day of hiking.

For dessert, we went back to Bumbleberry Inn to try the bumbleberry ice cream.
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The kids really enjoyed it. The ice cream was lighter than premium ice cream, and the “bumbleberry” was more of a jammy swirl. If you only have one chance to try bumbleberry-flavored something, I would go with the pie.

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Photo op outside of a restaurant that we didn’t go to.

D insisted that we take a picture by the official park sign. This is our only shot during the trip of our entire family together.
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