St George, Utah was our next destination. We had reservations at an RV park in the middle of the city. The reason for this plan was twofold. One there is an amazing bike park in St. George and we wanted to be close to it. And second, and far more importantly our friends Team D and Team H will be joining us. We were parked right next to Team D and Team H was able to move close by after the second day. The reunion was great and all the kids were excited to see each other. On our first day together we all met at the Snake Hollow Bike Park. This place is amazing! It had big flow pump tracks. There was a fun gravity zone with some big drops. There were two areas with jumping tracks. Every level of rider could ride most any part of this park as there were bypasses at each obstacle. It was really fun to watch each of the kids’ progressions throughout the day. Obstacles that they all would bypass early on were being ridden with ease by the end of the day. The kids all were working together, encouraging one another and challenging one another at the same time. We spent most of the morning and into the afternoon riding all the park had to offer. We spent the evening at the pool catching up and planning our next few weeks.
The city of St. George has so much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Red Cliffs City Park is a 5 minute drive from the center of town. It has hiking and mountain bike trails as well as a paved bike path. The tall cliffs invite explorations of the hundreds of different rock formations. There are also a few bolted climbing routes for the rock climbers. On a typical weekend the park is full of all types of users. Our three families explored the park together on foot and on bike. We spent time bouldering here and some of us even went on a night run. Another park in the St. George area is called Snow Canyon. This place is amazing! Again, we explored on foot and on bike. We all ventured deep into caves, hiked over petrified sand dunes, crossed streams, squeezed thru tight rock formations and climbed our way thru canyons. We spent three separate days exploring this park. There was also a park less than 2 miles from our RV park that had pickle ball courts for the adults and zip lines and play structures for the kids. Craig and I spent many evening getting know the locals while simultaneously whopping them at Pickle ball. The families would often join us in the evenings so the kids could play on the zip lines and swings.
We spent 10 days in the RV park then we all moved to an area of BLM land just below Zion National Park. Here we were in the middle of bike mountain biking paradise. There were miles and miles of trails of all levels all within a 10 minute drive from our campsite. Our campsite offered the kids a vast landscape to explore and play. They built forts and played flashlight tag. They dug holes nearly large enough to bury a small car. They ran and biked around for hours and hours. We typically went for a bike ride or hike each day with the families while the dads would occasionally sneak away for a more challenging ride.
Rock climbing is a popular sport in the St. George area. Will and Karin found a perfect place to climb and it had many different routes for all levels of climbers. We spent two days climbing here. It was great seeing the kids encourage and challenge one another. Will secured a route for the kids and then a much more challenging route for the adults. However, after each of the kids reached the top of their route they all were asking to climb the more difficult route. It did not take too long for all of the kids to reach the summit of that route too. This forced Will to find an even more challenging route. He did, and soon Victoria and Autumn were giving it a go. The location offered those that were not currently climbing, a wonderful playground of bouldering and exploring. The kids were climbing and running around the many rock formations having a blast until the sun began to set.
In addition to meeting back up with our new friends Ashley’s dad came for a quick visit. We spent a week showing Grandpa John all the fun things we had discovered with friends and went on a little exploratory trip into the main gate of Zion. We weren’t able to do any of the major hikes because you are required to have a reservation for the shuttle but we were able to drive thru the tunnel and explore some of the petrified dunes. We also got a few mountain bike rides in. The kids really enjoyed that he brought his cat along – they’ve really been missing Sonny.