Yosemite National Park

10 Best National Parks to Visit with Family

Published Monday, Jun 21

It can be tough to find a good family vacation spot in today’s world of Disney movies, TV shows, and video games.

Who wants their children constantly glued to screens?

Luckily there are many natural wonders that offer amazing memories with your loved ones without relying on technology!

Whether you’re looking at a mountain range or watching the sun set over an ocean horizon, these 10 best national parks to visit with families will allow for plenty of bonding time together while having fun outdoors.

If you’re traveling with kids we also have a list of the best national parks to visit with kids in 2021 here.

1. Death Valley National Park

Death Valley

Death Valley National Park is a national park in the American West, amidst an ancient landscape where vast icescapes once covered all but desert.

It’s most famous for its solitary tree and sand dunes that stretch more than 275 miles (about 500 kilometers) across this unique environment.

Visitors to Death Valley National Park can experience wildlife on their own or with ranger-guided hikes, see rare wildflowers blooming during springtime, and enjoy colorful sunsets over mountains from one of many scenic overlooks.

The best time to visit Death Valley National Park is between November and March when daytime temperatures are milder and there’s less chance of rainstorms; nighttime temps drop below freezing so prepare accordingly if you plan to be outside at night!

2.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This beautiful national park is the number one visited national park in America! You’ll quickly see why after just a short drive through the park.

This is also one of the best national parks to visit with family because it offers so many different things you can do.

You may want to take in some history and spend time at Cades Cove where humans have been living for more than 12,000 years, or enjoy hiking along trails on top of mountains that rise over 6000 feet into the sky!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is ranked as America’s most popular destination by both domestic and international travelers alike.

It boasts four million acres full of wildlife, 3000 miles worth of scenic drives and 125-mile networked system trails that allow visitors to explore wildflowers, elk herds, mountain goats–and even black bears!

Families of all ages will find they love this national park for many different reasons!

3. Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park is a beautiful place to visit in the summer and fall.

You can go hiking, fishing in the lakes, or just enjoy nature from a scenic drive along Paradise Road.

It has over 100 miles of trails for you to explore as well that lead all the way up to Mount Rainier’s summit!

Mount Rainer is also home to more than 25 glaciers–including Carbon Glacier, which reaches depths of 750 feet!

It also is home to one of Americas only active volcanoes!

National Geographic has ranked it the fifth best national park in America!

This is a beautiful destination for any family to explore and would be a great place for a family vacation.

4. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and is home to a variety of landscapes.

Head here for some beautiful hikes, camping opportunities, stunning seascapes and more!

The park was designated as a national monument in 1909 before being designated by Congress as a national park on June 29th, 1938.

It has since grown into one of the most popular natural areas within our country’s National Park System!

The rainforest at Queets offers an excellent opportunity for families to explore nature together–you can hike along its trails or go horseback riding through it!

There are also many different types of wildlife that call this forest their home too including bears, elk, deer and cougars (just don’t let your kids out alone)!

This would be a fun place for families of all ages to explore.

5. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a popular destination in America and it’s one of the best national parks for families.

With its wide range of wildlife encounters, stunning scenery, lakes, geothermal features to explore and more-you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience!

If you get tired of exploring Yellowstone on foot or by car–there are also aerial tours that let you see views from above too.

Plus, there’s plenty of camping opportunities available as well if your family wants to stay overnight (just be aware that some campsites can only accommodate up to eight people).

This park also has Wi-Fi access so everyone could enjoy their time while still staying connected back home with loved ones.

Make sure to stop by the visitor’s center to learn more about the park, and sign your kids up for the Junior Ranger Program to provide a fun and interesting way for them to learn all there is to know!

6. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is another great destination for families because of the many different types of habitats you’ll find here like forests, shrub lands and grasslands–it’s also home to thousands of animal species including bears, elk, mountain lions and moose!

There are over 700 miles worth of trails available too so there will never be a shortage of things to do with your family members.

If time permits while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park make sure to stop by Estes Park which has tons more attractions waiting just outside the gates!

You can see some amazing wildlife at Stanley Hotel or explore beautiful gardens that have been around since 1903.

If you’re looking for a fun scenic car ride the “Highway to the Sky” is a must!

This drive will take you through some of the most picturesque parts of Colorado and is filled with amazing waterfalls, lakeside views, mountains peaks–it’s a sight to see for sure.

7. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

On the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-visit!

This national park has been named one of the best national parks in America for families with children.

The hike to Kilauea Iki Crater takes you on an easy walk that will only take about 15 minutes round trip–making it perfect for even younger kids.

The view from this vantage point is simply incredible, and there are plenty of benches if your family members want to stop and catch their breath along the way.

If you think visiting just once isn’t enough, keep in mind that this trailhead also provides access to other trails throughout the park as well.

On top of all these great hiking options, some areas at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have breathtaking views unlike anything you’ve ever seen!

Make sure to watch the sunset over the Halemaumau Crater from Jaggar Museum–a must-see for any family looking to take in some of mother nature’s grandeur.

8. Yosemite National Park

 Yosemite National Park

A little closer to home, Yosemite National Park is a great place to visit on your family vacation.

You’ll find plenty of views you will never forget, one of the most famous is found on the hike up to Half Dome where you will see El Capitan and Bridal Veil Falls as well as other smaller waterfalls along the way down.

This trail can get quite strenuous at times and is best for families with older kids.

Also, make sure your family members are comfortable hiking and rock climbing before tackling it together!

There are also more family friendly hikes available throughout the park including Mirror Lake that will be a better option for those hiking with children.

The Tunnel View will also allow you to see El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridal Veil Falls from a different vantage point that doesn’t require as much rock climbing.

If you’re looking for an even easier trail for small kids, try the heavily shaded Tenaya Lake Loop Trail where your kids can enjoy picking up sticks in the forest or skipping stones on one of Yosemite’s largest lakes.

Overall, Yosemite National Park is a very versatile park with options for all family vacation needs.

9. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a national park in the United States that features glacier-carved landscapes.

The park has one of the largest remaining native wildlife populations on earth, and offers an unparalleled array of outdoor recreational opportunities for people who like to hike, canoe, boat or camp.

It’s also home to North America’s most voluminous ice sheet outside Greenland and Antarctica, it averages about 760 inches (about 19 feet) per year and is the source of most of Seattle’s drinking water.

Hikers can explore high peaks at Goat Mountain or Red Eagle Lake then enjoy a dip in any number of creeks along their way.

Those looking for more relaxing ways to spend time with family might go fishing from Crane’s Beach before taking some time out to observe the abundant aquatic life in Stanley Lake.

 10. Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park in northwestern Wyoming with the Teton Range as its most prominent feature.

The park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the range and one of the Seven Summits or fourteeners.

The majority of visitors to this national park are not looking for an intense backcountry experience but rather recreation opportunities such as camping, hiking, fishing or boating at lakes like String or Jackson Lake.

Tourists can also take advantage of activities that require less physical exertion by visiting Jenny Lake Lodge’s Canyon Trail Rides which provide guided horseback rides through some areas otherwise inaccessible by vehicle (allowing riders to view wildlife up close).

The famous Snake River winds its way from Idaho down into Wyoming, and specifically Grand Teton National Park, and is a great place for river rafting, fishing and other recreation.

The park has a number of scenic roads that visitors can explore by car or bike with the most popular routes being Teton Park Road, Moose-Wilson Rd., Signal Mountain Rd., Big Springs Loop Trailhead and Oxbow Bend Overlook.

Visitors to this national park should bring their hiking shoes as there are many trails perfect for family hikes such as the Cascade Canyon Viewing Area Hike where one can experience an incredible view of some waterfalls as well as mountain peaks in close proximity.

Looking for other family get aways? Destinations Travel Guide can help.


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