The kids are sure going to miss walking out their front door to this rope swing over the Portneuf River! It has definitely been one of their highlights of staying at the KOA here in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. As beautifully fun as it is, I will not miss the muddy clothes and bloody toes that have come from this. But, isn’t that what camping is all about? Carefree fun times that we definitely can’t get outside our front door in Arizona!

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We have loved our past couple of days in Lava Hot Springs. This KOA is quaint and oh so pretty nestled right on the river amongst many mature trees. We met the owners, Kody and Andi, several times during our stay and they were really nice and accommodating.

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They have really turned this campground around in the past two years they have owned it. Look at our gorgeous spots backed up to the river!

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The KOA is just a short walk/bike ride to Lava’s World Famous Natural Hot Pools as well as to everything in the little town. We also were able to rent float tubes right here at our KOA at a discounted price! We just picked them up in town and down the river, we went over and over. So much fun!

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Our first full day in Lava we spent at the Olympic swimming pool/waterpark. We all had a ball here and the kids loved their first time jumping off the diving boards and various platforms. We bought day combo passes good for both the waterpark and the Hot Pools. What a deal at only $12.50 each person for the entire day!

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Our kids and their friend, Andy, loved synchronizing their jumps off the various boards and platforms!

This Lava Hot Springs KOA offers options for every type of camper.  There are several adorable cabins for rent as well. The kids loved watching the trains go by on the tracks just next to the main road into the campground as well.

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Can you spot Ally B way back there?

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I loved the convenience of this drying rack right at the back of our spot!

If you happen to be traveling along the I-15, definitely take the 12-mile detour to Lava Hot Springs for a couple of days of family fun at this KOA! We recommend going during the week as we hear that the weekends can get a little crazy.

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Jackson-Hole-Family-Fun

We based ourselves in Jackson, Wyoming for nine days so we could have a lot of time to explore this gorgeous area. Thankfully we had so much time since we ran into a lot of weather that hindered our plans! Despite the conditions, we still managed to see and do most everything we wanted.

Here are our top picks for family fun in the Jackson, Wyoming area!

1Yellowstone National Park

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We saw Old Faithful erupt three times during our time wandering around the famous geyser. We endured pretty cold weather as well as rain and snow during our time in Yellowstone! But, the beauty was still breathtaking even in those conditions!

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2. Grand Teton National Park

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Grand Teton National Park was much closer to Jackson and easier to tackle for shorter hikes. One day we hiked to Phelps Lake and on another, we rented paddleboards and went to Spring Lake. You can’t go wrong in this beautiful area!

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3. Jackson Hole Rodeo

We could ride bikes up the road to the local rodeo, so we went on the first Saturday night we were in Jackson. None of us had ever been to a rodeo before, so it was a fun, new experience. The kids had fun going out and chasing the sheep around to try and win a prize. Be sure to order tickets online to save $5 each person!

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4. Snow King Alpine Slide

This was the second Alpine Slide of the trip (after our awesome Olympic Park one)! This was a double one though so the kids loved racing one another. It was a bit expensive we felt, so we were only able to do a few runs.

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5. Amaze’n Maze

This was such a cute, fun place on the same road as our RV park and Snow King Mountain. This was lots of fun and it’s a very affordable, unique place for some old school family fun with the Maze, Mini Golf, and gold panning!

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6. Exploring the town of Jackson Hole

The town is very easy to walk around and features all the typical touristy stores, ice cream, and candy shops that the kids love. The free nightly gun shootout show is really popular as well!

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7. Teton Village

Teton Village was a beautiful little area to spend the day! We bought the family pass ($79) to take the aerial tram up to the top where the views were stunning and quite cool. The real highlight for getting to the top though is the yummy homemade waffles and hot chocolate at Corbet’s Cabin.

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What have you enjoyed doing when visiting Jackson Wyoming and the surrounding area?

Bryce Canyon NPS Hiking

Did you know that June is designated as Great Outdoors Month each year through a Presidential Proclamation that says “Great Outdoors Month is a time for all Americans to share in the natural splendor of which we are all proud inheritors.

Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends. This month, let us celebrate our natural heritage by experiencing it together.”

On our RV trip around the USA, we did a lot of hiking as a family in America’s National Parks. This month, let’s purposely put the electronic media and gadgets aside and take the time to get out and explore this beautiful country we live in!

7 Benefits of Hiking in the Great Outdoors With Your Kids

1. Gain perseverance

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Hiking around the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon

I am a climb to the top of the mountain kind of girl. In all areas of my life, I like having a specific goal to accomplish, so hiking is the perfect activity for me. What goes up, must come down. You have no choice in this. I love seeing my kids persevere through times when they are weary and think they can’t go on. Hiking is a perfect way to show them they can push through and make it to the top or the end of the trail if they are determined enough!

2.  Builds endurance

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At the top of Weeping Rock in Zion National Park

It’s always motivating to keep going when you are hot, tired or feeling weak when you see little kids and much older adults pushing through on the same hike. If they can do it, you most certainly can! I love the friendliness of fellow hikers greeting and motivating one another while enduring the same trail.

3. Builds an appreciation for our country

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Picnicking on the lawn outside Zion’s Lodge.

I wouldn’t consider myself “outdoorsy” but since moving to Arizona I have grown to love hiking. I have seen majestic views, interesting landscapes, and wildlife that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I didn’t realize how many international tourists come to our country just to see the beauty of our National Parks, that just doesn’t exist anywhere else!

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4. Affordable entertainment for the whole family

After we hiked The Narrows in Zion, our daughter said that must’ve been really expensive! She couldn’t believe that doing such an amazing thing as a family was actually free! (Or just the cost of our National Park Annual Pass of $80). We pack our lunches when we hike too, so we can stop at our convenience and enjoy a little picnic along the way. Entertaining kids during the summertime can be very costly for large families, so spending quality time in our Nation’s parks is a really inexpensive way to have fun quality time together.

5. Builds physical strength

Staying healthy and physically fit should be a priority for every family. No matter where you are, there are always a variety of trails and hikes to choose from depending on what your family is up for. It’s important to keep active as a family and hiking together is a perfect way to stay physically fit. Some days you may feel like doing a leisurely path while other days you may be up for a more strenuous climb. Whatever your abilities, there is a trail for you!

6. Builds knowledge

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A lot of trails have signs telling about the surrounding plants and landscape. National Parks also have visitors centers and museums that you can further learn the history of the area as well. The NPS Junior Ranger program is an excellent way to motivate kids to learn through a workbook that needs to be completed and signed off by a Park Ranger in order to get each park badge. It’s a fun and free thing for the kids to collect.

7. Builds connection

Our family has enjoyed many laughs and conversations together along the trails. Getting out in nature helps you forget about any stress and opens up an opportunity for casually connecting with your loved ones.

Take time this month to get outside and celebrate Great Outdoors Month with your family!

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During our time in Salt Lake City, we planned a day of adventure in Park City at the Utah Olympic Park and a day of learning and fun at This is the Place Heritage Park. There are many options of things to do families visiting SLC. We chose to spend the day at This is the Place Heritage Park because it looked like a beautiful outdoor location where the kids could learn some Utah history in an interactive way.

I was worried about our kids being a little too old for this spot at 11 and 12 1/2 years old, but they thoroughly enjoyed their time at this low key park even though they were surrounded by mostly younger kids. It is also an affordable family day as admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children. This is always a huge plus for those of us with larger families!

We had a great, inexpensive lunch of burgers, hotdogs and fries at The Huntsman Hotel at the back of the property. We couldn’t resist the candy and ice cream shops as well!

We started off watching the Native American dancers…

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Then we headed to the Native American Village to learn more about their culture

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Then it was time to go to class at the Pioneer school. Families take turns volunteering and dressing up in period clothing to make everything in the park feel more authentic!

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Panning for gold in the creek was a popular activity for all of the kids!

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Getting a shave from the local barber was a big hit too! There were many pioneer tradesmen you could visit and learn from in their respective stores and homes.

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Thanks for the fun day This is the Place Heritage Park!

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This is the Place Heritage Park comped our admission in exchange for this review. 

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Utah Olympic Park was the perfect day trip from Salt Lake City. It was a beautiful 1/2 hour drive from our Salt Lake City KOA. We had a blast, surrounded by beautiful scenery, great 90’s music piped throughout and fun active adventures all day long. Dad is a past Olympian, so of course, we are a family who loves anything to do with the winter Olympics!

With our gold wristbands, we were able to experience all of the fun activities as we wanted throughout the day. These unlimited, all-day wristbands cost $65 for adults and $40 for kids 12 and under.  The kids weren’t old enough to do the bobsled run yet, as you have to be 14. There is an additional cost for that, but they’ve all already put it on their teenage bucket list.

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We started out at the hardest ropes adventure course in the middle of the bobsled track. I chickened out but the rest of the family had a ball accomplishing the two courses here.  Yes, my children are up on that top level!

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Afterwards, the kids did the zipline which ended at the drop tower. I just love that all of my kids are adventurous and willing to try all of these challenges. They certainly didn’t get this from me.

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I experienced ziplining for the first time here. Only one of the boys weighed enough to do the extreme zip line and he really wanted a partner to go with him, so I decided to join him. The guy working the cables promised me I would enjoy it if I just tried it. I’m not a big fan of heights nor am I an avid thrill-seeker, so I was hesitant. But, he was right, it was quite fun and I had no problem tackling the smaller lines after. I’m glad that I didn’t read that this zipline is one of the steepest in the world before I did it!

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The Alpine Slide was new for all of us and was probably our favorite activity. We rode the chairlift up the mountain several times, just to take that slide down again and again. The views were absolutely stunning!

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One of the most exciting highlights of the day was sitting and watching athletes train for their skiing events by going down these slopes and into the pool. It was so fun sitting there having our picnic lunch and watching the talent. They even have a kids camp/private lessons that our kids would love to try one day! The cool thing about this too, is that this is free. You can just bring lunch and come sit and watch these guys if nothing else.

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It was so exciting knowing that we were in Olympian territory. The reminders of Salt Lake City’s 2002 Olympic games were all around and we had an amazing family day together. We all highly recommend this park the next time you visit Utah!

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Utah Olympic Park generously comped our family’s day gold wristbands. Any written review is 100% my honest opinion.

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We all couldn’t wait to get to our first KOA stop of the trip in Salt Lake City, Utah. Everyone questioned why we would want to stay in the city, but we loved our time in Salt Lake and the KOA was a perfect home base. It was only two miles away from Temple Square and an easy 1/2 hour drive to Park City for us as well.

After long days of touring Utah Olympic Park and This is the Place Heritage Park, we loved coming back to the ease of the campground for the evenings. We enjoyed jumping on our bikes and riding along the river behind the grounds as well as just tooling around the park.

KOA bike riding

There was a fun basketball court, playground, and swimming pool for the kids to burn off some steam. The WIFI worked perfectly the entire time and everything was clean, safe, and quiet.

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Nico’s was a great Mexican restaurant right at the front of the KOA parking lot, which made for a quick, inexpensive first night’s dinner. The Trax light rail stop is right outside of the park as well, making it an easy $2.50 cash ride into downtown if you don’t feel like driving yourself.

Boys KOA basketball

Not only does camping provide lots of opportunities for play, but it also helps bond the family as everyone pitches in to set up and break down at each stop! The girls take the inside while the boys shut down the outside. Onward to our next adventure…. Keith and boys

We’ve been on the road a week now and if you’ve been following, you know we’ve really been having a ball. The beauty that we have seen in just seven days has overjoyed us immensely!

Family Antelope Canyon

Inside Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

I’ve totally embraced this RV lifestyle so far I have to say. Easy to do when you’ve only been gone a week and you’re surrounded by glory I guess. But, I’m enjoying the low keyness to this. I think I’ve put makeup on twice and I haven’t blow-dried my hair yet. (I said blowdry, not wash.) My model perfect manicure is no longer and my preteen precious daughter was sure to point out yesterday how ugly my nails looked.

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So far our family highlights have been Lower Antelope Canyon near Lake Powell, Hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park and wandering through the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon. Did you know that Bryce Canyon isn’t even a canyon? We are learning a lot along our travels already! The kids have earned two Junior Ranger badges and done a lot of geocaching at every stop too. Read more

Hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park was our family favorite excursion we did on our RV adventure around the USA.

The river hike exceeded all our expectations and I highly recommend everyone put this on their bucket list if you haven’t yet been to Utah’s First National Park. It was absolutely breathtaking and really a unique experience.

The Narrows Family Hike in Zion National Park

What is The Narrows Hike?

The Virgin River has carved an amazing gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon. The Narrows river hike is definitely an unforgettable experience with its soaring walls, sandstone grottos, and hanging gardens. You access the river hike by taking the Zion National Park shuttle from the Visitor Center to the last stop The Temple of Sinawava. From there you follow the signs for the River Walk and hike one mile down on the paved path until it ends at the Narrows and wade on in!

TIP: We had the kids wear their regular tennis shoes to hike the River Walk and then change into their water shoes once they got there. We just left our tennis shoes and socks up on the banks while we were in the river. The kids were very happy to have dry shoes and socks to put on at the end. Keith and I hadn’t brought a change of footwear and wished we would’ve.

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Eagle at Lower Antelope

Our guide pointed out various rock formations throughout the canyon.
Can you see the eagle from a postage stamp?

Lower Antelope Canyon was the highlight of our two day trip to the Lake Powell area in northern Arizona. Our kids just loved this, as did we! It’s always nice to find a beauty that the entire family can enjoy together. If you are looking for an amazing place to visit, you might be interested in these antelope canyon tours, so you can have an amazing vacation for you and your family.

The slot canyon, located on Navajo Nation land, was named for the herds of pronghorn antelope that once roamed the area long ago.

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There are two options you can tour- Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons.

They are actually across the street from one another but are quite different. We chose to do Lower Antelope because it is longer, less crowded and cheaper in comparison. In order to go through the canyon, you must book a tour but you can do so by just driving to the parking lot and signing up. We did this and easily got on the next tour and were on our way within 10 minutes of arriving around 11 am. Our guide was a student at the University of Arizona, who is a native of the area. Our kids were quick to follow her and led our group of 12 the entire way!

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We paid $28 for each adult (13 and older) and the kids were $20 which includes an $8 Navajo Park Permit; Kids 6 and under are free. You can only pay by cash (or travelers’ checks). Tours start at 8:30 AM and end at 4 PM and are scheduled every 20 minutes. They usually last about an hour but can also depend on your guide and group. Ours definitely went longer!

The canyon is a photographer’s paradise and our entire group was constantly snapping photos. Lower Antelope Canyon is open seven days a week year-round. Be aware that they will close Antelope Canyon for any rain forecast around Page due to possible flash floods risk.

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The upper canyon is an easier walk because it is more spacious at the base, but the lower one we did requires a little more effort with its ladders and tight quarters at times, which actually adds to the adventure. Our whole family was in awe and highly recommend doing Lower Antelope if you come to Page, Arizona.

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Have you visited Antelope Canyon yet?

“Don’t worry about a thing ‘cause every little thing is going to be alright….”

A young guy sporting only his swim trunks and a guitar belted out the popular Bob Marley song on the banks of Lake Powell and his words were a complete blessing to me. His singing, along with the majestic scenery, in front of me brought a feeling of peace over me and I instantly dubbed this tune our family theme song for this trip.

Yesterday we took off on our big journey across the USA. Our first stop is two nights at Lake Powell in Page, Arizona. Overall we had a perfect first day, with a few minor inconveniences.

Lake Powell Arizona Family RV Trip

How breathtaking is this spot?

When I heard those lyrics sung at sunset tonight, it set the tone of the trip for me. He was exactly right, little things are going to happen throughout this entire adventure, but it reminded me to brush those off and focus on the big picture.

Lake Powell Arizona Family RV Trip

We left our home a couple hours later than we had hoped to yesterday morning. This put us further in to the heat of the day which meant pulling over on the side of the hilly northern Arizona freeways to calm our RV (otherwise known as Ally B) down so she didn’t totally overheat. Ally B is pulling quite the load as you can see, so no one complained about giving her little breaks to regroup her composure, even though we had to do it quite a bit.

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