*This is a four-part article based on my family’s ‘National Parks Family Vacation Tour. If you read last year‘s three-part story on our ‘East Coast roller coasters tour’ you’ll probably enjoy this as it’s a very similar experience traveling with the Serota‘s through several of the most iconic National Parks in the United States.
We began our trip in Las Vegas of all places. It made sense because we were going to begin in Bozeman, Montana near Yellowstone and end in Las Vegas, but I’m sure you all have already heard what happened at Yellowstone with flash floods. So we decided to begin our trip from Las Vegas to Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon and Moab and completed the trip at Zion National Park before returning to Las Vegas to fly out.
The Fun Of Las Vegas
Cirque du Soleil
In Las Vegas we managed to catch 2 Cirque du Soleil shows. The first and probably best show we’ve ever seen in Las Vegas was the “Beatles“ ‘LOVE’ Cirque du Soleil show at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. The Beatles show was our favorite but we also saw the “O“ Cirque du Soleil show at Bellagio Hotel and Casino. You can’t go wrong with either one, to be honest.
Arches National Park
The first leg of our trip was the longest from Las Vegas to Arches national Park. That was a 6 hour drive, but there were plenty of scenic stops and we managed to have no more than a couple of hours between stops and Airbnb‘s. It’s almost impossible to see Arches National Park in less than two days. You now have to have an appointment to get into the park in certain time slot because it’s such a popular destination.
Early into the park you get to a place where you can do a great moderate hike from the ‘Park Avenue’ viewpoint and trailhead to the ‘Courthouse Towers’ viewpoint. You can hike down through the canyon and out the other side but I advise you make sure to have someone drive ahead or plan to hike back. It’s about an hour hike and the hardest part was the descent for a 57 year old like me, but I managed to keep up with my teenagers!
There are over 2000 catalog arches ranging in size from a 3 ft. opening (the minimum considered in an arch) to the longest, ‘Landscape Arch’, measuring 360 ft. base to base.
We managed to see several of the more popular and photographic spots such as ‘Delicate Arch’, ‘Turret Arch’, ‘Balancing Rock’, ‘North Window & South Window‘ and ‘Double Arch’ where we could get out of the car and hike up into the arches.
Here’s how some of the trails in the park I rated based on your physical and adventurous abilities.
Easy trails – (Perfect for senior members of the Manopause ownership group like Larry & Mike)‘Nature Trail’ a small 150 ft. hike, ‘Balancing Rock’ is 0.3 miles, ‘The Windows’ is 1.0 mile, ‘Double Arches’ at 0.6 miles and ‘Delicate Arch-distant views’ a whopping 200 ft. (also wheelchair accessible).
Moderate trails – with just one on the list we have ‘Park Avenue’ 1.8 miles (my personal favorite).
Difficult trails – these are pretty tough ones: ‘Delicate Arch elevation 480 ft. at 3 miles, ‘Tower Arch’ at 2.6 miles, ‘Double O Arch’ at 4 miles and ‘Devils Garden’ 7.9 miles.