Destination: Duck Creek

Duck Creek Village and Cedar Mountain

We rented a 6 bedroom cabin and stayed at Duck Creek Village. Fishing, hiking, mountain atmosphere!

Family Trip Duck Creek1

Top L-Skating in the Ice Cave; R-Fishing in a lake; Middle L- Trail to Crystal Falls; R-Crystal Falls; Bottom L and R–Evening Family Entertainment, playing a tune on desk bells, and dancing queens.

While at Duck Creek we took some side trips. There is an Ice Cave nearby, on Cedar Mountain, and a Bristle Cone Pine Trail–Bristle Cone Pines are thought to be one of the oldest living things on the earth, some of them are 5,000 years old! Navajo Lake was close by and good fishing. Crystal Falls is a really great hike!  We traveled from Cedar City up Cedar Mountain, past Navajo Lake to Duck Creek. The side trips were in that same area.

You can rent a cabin 3-6 bedrooms for $175-350/night. See the link at the top of this post. Sometimes cabins have a two or three day minimum stay. This in between Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument just 42 miles away.

 

Destination: Black Dragon

Black Dragon Canyon– Camping/Hiking

We have been hiking and camping in the San Rafael Swell so many times and have seen so many parts of it, that I would say we have seen about all of it, except that is impossible to do in one lifetime! We had hiked the canyon rocks before, but an old timer told us there was a cave up behind the boulders, so we went searching. My husband and I found it, but it was so full of soft dirt and dust that we thought when we brought our whole family back, we needed to put masks on them (middle right).

Family Trip--Black Dragon1

The cave is exciting to find. It takes some searching. There is only a small opening that you have to stoop to fit into (bottom right looking from the bottom of the cave up to the opening). The cave is so deep and dark that we all had headlamps (bottom left).   The ceiling and floor are lit up by the flash, and you can get the perspective. There is plenty of other wonderful sites to see in this high rock walled canyon (top left) like pictographs (top right). The Black Dragon pictograph here has been enhanced. It is very faded. It is a fun place to go, and there are lots of camping sites close by, and many other sites–see Goblin Valley and the Reef

Destination: Bryce Canyon

Ruby’s Inn Campground at Bryce Canyon

We planned our reunion for Bryce Canyon, and because of our grandchildren, we thought it would be fun to stay in Tipis. They rent for $35-53.00/night depending on how many people–2-8. The cabins rent for $52-65/night. There is a restroom/shower building and also an indoor pool that is available to campers.Family Trip--Bryce Canyon  We participated in the wagon ride and chuck wagon dinner one evening. We went on several gorgeous hikes! I think Bryce has the most unusual formations of any of the National Parks. It is a fun place to explore, and tipis made the trip all the more enchanting.

Destination: Paiute Trail

Paiute Trail in the Tushar Mountains

My kids and grand kids, and especially my husband love to camp. We went camping with our whole family along the Piute Trail in the Tushars, close to Beaver, Utah. We took a couple of ATVs and took turns seeing the sites around us. Some of the trails were very narrow and interesting (top right). We all got in the truck and visited the old Kimberly Gold Mine area. There is a large building/cabin that has information about the area (bottom right). I understand there is still gold in that area.

Family Trip-Piute Trail

Top Row–There are great ATV trails in this area. Middle Row: Wild Mountain Goats; the Silver King Mine area with Brigham Daniel Darger, and Pansy Permilia Brown’s home.

One of the most delightful things about this area are the mountain goats. We hiked until we saw them and then followed them a bit. It was a wonderful sight! It rained on us every day, but we had good tents and movies on iPads f or the kids. When it would stop raining we would gather together and play games, or go exploring.  I loved splashing mud on the kids as we drove through the mud puddles It is absolutely gorgeous area!

Destination: Huntington State Park

Huntington  State Park

When it was my turn, I brought the reunion close to my home. I live in Emery County. My mom was born in Huntington, so, but we never lived there as a family. I reserved campsites for everyone at Huntington State Park. It is a reservoir that is close to the town of Huntington, so it is not high in the mountains and has warmer water than most lakes. There are bathroom facilities with showers at this park.  We put up more shade so we could gather together for meals and games (bottom left).

Family Reunion--Huntington Lake Reunion1

We rented two Wave Runners from Provo (today prices start at about $500.00 a day). We all took turns on them, and it worked out great!  A friend brought horses for those who wanted to go on a horseback riding trip (top right). We visited the local cemetery where many of our ancestors are buried. Mom talked about her memories of Huntington.

Friday night we attended the Castle Valley Pageant nearby, which tells the story of the settlement of Emery County. We ordered pizza for everyone and took them with us (bottom right). You can also buy food at the  concession stands.

Ben's photos

Pre-show Activities on the set of the Pageant. Kids riding in wagons; fiddlers playing outside a dugout; crowd gathering in the audience seats; there are quilters, a blacksmith, a maker of toys, etc. fun!

 

At the pageant, as you wait for the sun to go down, there is a pioneer village that you can walk through and see how life was lived back in the 1800′s. They watch a Blacksmith make horseshoe rings, and each of the kids get one; they can ride in a covered wagon, etc. It is the a great pageant, the only one that uses live animals.