Zion National Park

The landscape is so amazing at Zion. I’m not able to take pictures that can capture the views completely.

Zion is great for everyone. You could just drive through, stop a couple view points, or get out and get hiking. Any way you choose to visit Zion the experience will be worth it.

One of the things we really liked about Zion was the ability to just park and walk out on the rock. You can walk just a short distance and find great backdrops for you pictures or awe inspiring landscape shots

Did you know that there is a tunnel through a mountian.. a whole mountain. The Mount Carmel tunnel is a whopping 1.1 miles long and we have to admit the kids (and adults) really enjoyed driving through.

There is access to the Virgin River and despite visiting in the spring we made sure to dip our toes, some decided whole heads, into the water.

For more about Zion National Park go HERE

Death Valley National Park

Must see road trip stops/drives Badwater Basin and Artists Drive. We also saw The Devil’s Golf Course. Badwater Basin is 282 feet below see level and the temperature while we were there was 95 degrees. The temperature outside the park was in the low 70’s, a benefit of visiting during the fall/winter. We found that our older boys did not fully get the big deal about the temperature. We plan to bring them back in the summer sometime in the future.

Badwater Basin.. look in the top left for the sea level marker 282 feet above the basin floor.

What you need to know about Artists Drive.. It’s amazing and there are vehicle size restrictions. The parks stated restriction is less than 25 ft in length. We were happy to be in our Subaru. The drive is 9 miles of winding, dipping and driving through low clearances. The low clearances are why we were happy to not be in our Dodge 2500 with kayak racks on top. It can be done, but it would have stressed us out. Our advice is to believe the signs.. the dips are huge.

The park has plenty to offer and we are hardly scratching the surface here. Use the link at the bottom of this post to visit the park website. During the summer, it is not recommended to get out of your car for any longer than a few minutes – meaning no hiking in the summer. Visiting during the cooler months opens up opportunities to explore the many trails. During our visit we explored the Badwater Basin, because we were not prepared for hiking. There are a few trails in the park, but most routes are cross country. We stuck to the roadside trails.

Badwater Basin.. realizing he would be that deep

What to bring.. It should go without saying, but I’m going to say it. Bring plenty of water, even if you have no plans for hiking. This is the hottest, driest, lowest place in North America. Check the parks website, listed below, before going to find out about closures and know the weather. Flash flooding is an additional hazard that may occur in the park.

Devils Golf Course.

At Devil’s Golf Course large fields of eroded rock salt can been seen. If you listen carefully, you can here the salt crystals exploding due to expanding and contracting with the changes in temperatures. Despite being sharp and pocked we did see some fellow park goers attempting to navigate walking across the salt as well as taking souvenirs. It’s a big no-no, illegal, to take the salt or remove anything from a protected National Park.

Visit the National Park Service Website for more information about Death Valley National Park

Our Favorite Top Rated Baby Carriers

Here we are in the middle of February in Milwaukie, Oregon and it is threatening to snow or freezing rain or at least ice up, but before we know it winter will be over and we can get out and explore everything from parks and hiking trails to camping and wilderness! I know that isn’t everyone’s’ cup of tea, some people actually like going shopping at the mall.. gasp!

If you haven’t already explored our about page to find out we have a little one – he is almost 18 months as of writing this and currently running around in just a diaper, because he refuses to get dressed. We are a really active family and like to go out in the middle of nowhere – you know off the trail. To take the little guy, he definitely needs a ride and strollers are not going to cut it out there for us. We have had two different carriers and have like each of them for specific reasons.

The first carrier we had was the LÍLLÉbaby Complete Original 6-in-1 Ergonomic Baby and Child Carrier. I loved that I had him close to me, how easy it was to use, and the 6 different features. However, this was just for the time while he was small. Remember, we go off trail/wilderness hiking,-we are not strolling the neighborhood, dog park or local mall. While this is an excellent carrier for those tasks, we needed something a bit more tough with storage and would work better long term for our purposes.

That brings us to the Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier!!

We continue to use and enjoy this carrier. It works well for both my husband and I to use and the straps adjust so easily when we switch who is doing the carrying. Other important features include the weight limit, height adjustments, sun/rain shade/cover, and most of all passenger enjoyment. The view from this carrier is much more interesting than the Lillebaby, which has his head resting below or at shoulder level. Besides the view, our toddlers just outgrow the cloth type carriers so fast. The Osprey carrier can do it all. The biggest drawback is the size and it doesn’t fold down much.

If you have questions or anything to add about either of the carriers don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Of course, we would love to hear about your favorite carriers too. Before you go – don’t forget to subscribe to our blog emails and follow us on your favorite social media platform!