Nothing revives the soul like some sunshine and green trees. The National Park Centennial provides an excellent excuse for your family to embrace the great. What’s more? This isn’t just a family-bonding exercise; it’s beneficial to your family’s health and brain functions. National Geographic recently published findings of how a little greenery goes a long way – which describes how nature significantly calms people down and sharpens their mental performance. In 2009, a Dutch research team found that people who live within half-a-mile of green space have a lower instance of 15 diseases- including anxiety, depression, asthma, heart disease, and migraines. But only 10% of American teens spend time outside every day! Thanks to science, there’s no excuse not to adventure outside of the city limits. Grab some snacks, ditch the iPads, and spend a night in a National Park this weekend. Science promises you’ll come back feeling like a new family.
Zion National Park was established in 1919, and “Zion” literally translates to a place of peace and refuge. This 147,000-acre oasis is only a 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas, 5 hours from Salt Lake City, or 6.5 hours from Los Angeles, making it the perfect weekender option. Go for a swim in one of Zion’s creeks, or snap Christmas-Card material photos in front of Zion’s 3 Apostles carved out of rusty Navajo sandstone.
Zion boasts a lodge inside the park, allowing you to pack light in the eTech Motherlode Wheeled Duffel (find out how to win one below!). Staying at the lodge lets you ditch the camping gear and accompanying headache of setup and takedown. Now you have more room for activities! Pack board games for evening entertainment, and rent bicycles from Zion Lodge for daytime fun!
What to Do
A fantastic introduction to Zion National Park is the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail, a short 1-mile out-and-back trail with a super sweet payoff. The path takes you to slabs of sandstone where you can sit and absorb an Instagramable panorama of Zion National Park – red stone flanking valleys of pine trees and meandering roads. This view is particularly spectacular at sunset. However if you have young kids or are afraid of heights, please be wary that guardrails are sparse….you’ll literally be living life on the edge.
If your kids are older, or at least more coordinated, Zion is infamous for its Narrows trails. Here you’ll find a Subway that isn’t edible nor a form of transportation. Centuries of fresh water have carved the sandstone into an all-natural waterpark. Access the Narrows via the Riverside Walk. Be sure to wear waterproof, sturdy shoes for the hike. Bring walking poles for stability and the DENY Zion towel to dry off.
Zion offers something for every age, from rock climbing to horseback riding to simply picnicking. No matter which route you choose, Zion will lead you to an elevated state. So skip town for a night to take part in the National Park’s 100th birthday celebration!
Enter the Zion Giveaway!
To commemorate our National Parks, eBags and Deny Designs are supporting Zion National Park this week with an incredible giveaway to help you enjoy the zen of Zion just a little bit more! One #blessed reader will win the eTech Motherlode Wheeled Duffel, Packing Cubes (proven to preserve sanity), and DENY Designs Zion “WanderLove” package this week. Enter now!
Items included in the eBags + Deny Design ZION Giveaway:
Annie’s based in Los Angeles but hails from Portland, Oregon. Sort of. She moved to six states by the time she reached middle school, and continues to move around the US and abroad – call her a nomad, but she prefers “Location ADHD.” After studying abroad in New Zealand, Annie circled the globe, graduated from USC, and circled the world once again. For one year she lived out of a backpack everywhere from The Philippines to Nepal to Slovenia to Norway. She’s a curry connoisseur and passionate explorer, taking the road less traveled, the “trail” covered in vines and swarmed in exotic bugs. Foreign lands feel like home, and Annie loves encouraging more and more people to utilize their passports and experience a new culture.