Planning a vacation is tough enough, but making sure your kids stay excited, entertained and active can add some extra stress to the planning process. From a list of the Top 10 Best National Park Adventures to do with kids during any season, seven of our favorite National Parks made the cut.
Why the National Parks? They are great way to show kids what they don't get to see every day. They are inexpensive vacations, the fresh air is priceless and best of all they are great for travelers of all ages.
Hiking in Acadia - named one of the best places for hiking with kids - of all ages. Most of Acadia's trails are short with exciting exposed scrambles. Not to mention the vast array of water features and beaches. Trails such as the Ocean Path, The Beehive, Bear Brook Trailhead and the Rocky Shores of Otter Point and Sand Beach offer families plenty of options to explore all of Mount Dessert Island.
Plan your trip at AllAcadia.com
Floating in Canyonlands - with over 52 miles, the Green River in Canyonlands National Park offers days of fun with paddling the waters and staring at the towering spires and canyon walls. Camping on sandy beaches are a great way to spend the evenings. From mid-April through May or September through October this is a great family adventure for anyone who is looking for overnight adventures. Great for kids 4 and up.
Plan your trip at AllMoab.com
Hiking in Zion - Primarily focused on kids five and up, due to some of the steep cliffs in Zion, these are exciting trips up the red and white cliffs, prominent towers and spires. The trails along cliff lines are primarily sidewalk width wide and traveled by many daily so don't be too worried. And a plus -the parks free bus shuttle makes getting around easy. Look into the higher trails that leave the hundreds of hikers behind like the Weeping Rock Trailhead and West Rim Trail.
Plan your trip at AllZion.com
Exploring Waterfalls in Yosemite - trails that pass by falls and offering sweeping views or the Yosemite Valley are what this park is known for. Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and the Mist Trail are all popular day hike trails for active families. These hikes are best suited for older active kids, but the lower trails are equally as exciting. Plan a trail to take your entire day and bring along a picnic lunch and snacks.
Plan your trip to Yosemite at AllYosemite.com
Backpacking on the Olympic Coast - Think that a three-day, 17.5-mile hike along the southern Olympic Coast sounds unbelieveable? Think again. This is great trek for kids 7 and up. Forget the typical beach vacation, these beaches offer Sitka and Douglas Fir trees over 200 feet tall, tide pools with mussel covered rocks, and endless hours of creative fun on the trail. A typical 3 day journey with camping along the way on the beaches, this is a once in a lifetime, memory making trip.
Plan your trip to the Olympic coast at AllOlympicPark.com
Backpacking in Glacier - Camping along the trails next to glacier fields and wildlife sightings wherever you look is what makes these backpacking trails a great family adventure. Gunsight Pass Trail, one of the most popular backcountry hikes in the park and makes a great option for multi day family hiking. Four days off the beaten path and away from it all is worth all the memories your kids will have. Make sure to apply in advance for backcountry camping permits in advance.
Plan this trip on AllGlacier.com
Cross Country Skiing in Yellowstone - Yellowstone is best known for its summer hiking, Old Faithful geyser sights and driving tours of the park. But take a closer look at Yellowstone in the winter. With steam rising off in the distance, the wildlife roaming near the warm geyser areas this is a once in a lifetime viewing opportunity. Some are flat and easy, while others have a little up and down hill terrain. The trails range from 1 and a half to five miles round trip and can be accessed from either the North entrance at Mammoth or via snowcoach from the south or west entrances. You can also work in a night at Old Faithful Snow Lodge or Mammoth Lodge.
Plan your winter visit to Yellowstone at AllYellowstonePark.com
Are you planning a trip to a national park?
Don't forget the FREE ranger programs after your adventures. From the Jr Ranger Program to frieside chats in the campsites, wildlife talks and ranger led walksare another great offering from the National Parks for traveling families.
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