Visiting a national park can be a great vacation experience for a family that enjoys getting out and exploring nature. In addition to activities like hiking and camping, most national parks participate in a Junior Ranger program that is designed to keep kids enthusiastic about spending time outdoors. Below is information about five of the country’s best national parks and why each is a wonderful family vacation destination.
White Sands National Park – Located in southern New Mexico, White Sands National Park is an ideal destination for families who are looking for a unique outdoor experience. The park is famous for its sprawling, white gypsum dunes. Hiking, primitive camping, and sledding down sand dunes are just a few of the activities that families can enjoy when they visit White Sands National Park.
Redwood National and State Parks – Covering more than 130,000 acres in Northern California, the Redwood National and State Parks are home to some of the best trails in the country. In addition to hiking and biking among the park’s towering trees, families can also enjoy kayaking, camping, and horseback riding during their visit.
Yellowstone National Park – One of the country’s most famous national parks, Yellowstone spans three states: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Yellowstone National Park is well-known for the regularly erupting geyser, Old Faithful, but there is more to the park than that. Families can also enjoy exploring hot springs, sulfur pools, waterfalls, and Yellowstone’s own Grand Canyon when they visit this breathtaking park.
Grand Teton National Park – The crystal-clear lakes, towering mountains, and thick forests of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park are home to a wide variety of wildlife, which makes it a great destination for families who enjoy spotting animals in the wild. While visiting the park, families can take advantage of more than 200 miles of hiking trails, boat or raft down the Snake River, attend ranger-led programs, camp, or go rock climbing.
Olympic National Park – Situated on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, this national park has everything from glacier-covered peaks and mountain lakes to old-growth forests and sandy oceanfront beaches. Families can explore tidepools, backpack through the mountains, go fishing, spend time on the water, and much more during their visit to Olympic National Park.