Visiting a National Park is undoubtedly an excellent idea for the entire family. With 59 such gems spread across America, it becomes a bit difficult to decide which one to take the kids to. We’ve rounded up the best family-friendly national parks in the US to help you narrow down your choices on your next family vacation.
From mule rides and volcanoes to fun for all ages, these parks are the very best that stand out as the ultimate family-friendly getaways.
TOP NATIONAL PARKS FOR FAMILIES
What makes a national park family-friendly? It’s more than just if the kids will enjoy going there to see the sites or for a family camping trip.
Other factors include the type of accommodations or conditions for camping, hiking, and exploring, opportunities for fun activities and hands-on learning experiences.
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH
This oasis in the desert is known for its over 2000 legendary sandstone arches and other unique geological formations.
If you have ample time, take the kids on the Scenic Drive route to see some of the large arches including the most famous one at Delicate Arch Viewpoint.
There are innumerable family friendly hikes along the route leading to ancient dwellings among typical rock inscriptions. Rafting down the Colorado river is another fun filled activity for the whole family.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
This massive 3,500 square miles park is spread across the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
Apart from the diverse wildlife, which include vast herds of the famous bison, the area features rivers, canyons and hot water geysers with designated zones for kids to go for a swim.
Fun-filled outdoor activities like camping, hiking, horseback riding and fishing are sure to keep everyone occupied.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, Yosemite National Park found its roots in 1864. Covered with giant sequoias and granite cliffs, activities here can be a bit challenging.
Having said that, there is enough to do here for the whole family as well. The summer months offer numerous easy hikes and tube floats down the Merced river.
The junior ranger programs, offered free by the authorities, are a great hit with children.
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Extending from sea level to the peak of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet, this park situated on Big Island is home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world.
There are plenty of kid friendly hikes offering stunning views of sulphur deposits with steam rising from the ground.
After sunset, the children can get a glimpse of the glowing volcanoes in the distance. Don’t forget to get the Ranger Booklet which imparts important information about the park.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
You can best enjoy a visit to this legendary park in Arizona, by taking the kids inside the mile deep Big Hole, instead of just taking a peek from the top.
A mule ride, providing you can book one, gives a unique chance to the kids to explore the Bright Angel Trail.
September and October are the best months to visit the Grand Canyon as the temperature is comfortable and the weather is relatively dry.
The National Parks of the United States stand testimony to the efforts in effectively protecting the natural resources of the country. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring these amazing hotspots first hand, by planning your next awesome family vacation now.