There are few things that compare to the excitement and adventure of exploring our National Parks with our loved ones. It allows us to freeze time, even for a few hours and build experiences and memories that can never be replaced. Every year during the month of April, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite everyone to celebrate America’s treasured places during National Park Week. While there are numerous parks to explore and most of us would love to take the time to visit as many parks as possible over the stretch of a weekend, there are also plenty of quick day trips you can plan. Immerse your senses in the great outdoors during National Park Week with these quick day trips you and your family are sure to enjoy. Whether you’re a native to the west or just visiting, here are four family-friendly day trips to celebrate National Park Week.
Head to the Wild West and tour Grand Canyon with your family and enjoy a unique array of activities, adventures and amusement. Hiking For the adventurous, from short two hour hikes to a multi-day hiking expeditions, there are unlimited options for those wishing to explore the Grand Canyon on foot. The South Rim train and Bright Angel trail are great starting points and offer hikes up to 12 miles. If you need some steeper terrains, lookup the South Kaibab Trail and the Hermit trail. For extreme hiking, the Grandview Trail offers many steep challenges. Enjoy a guided tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim and soak in the views of what President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed as “one of the great sights every American should see.” The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep. It was created at least 17 million years ago, as the Colorado River and its tributaries sliced through layer after layer of rock cutting their channels while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. If you venture beneath the overlooks, an overwhelming sensation unfolds as you are immersed into the splendid beauty of this national treasure. Listening to the breeze pass through layers of 2 billion-year-old rocks allows you to feel a new perspective on nature and life – and is sure to make a lasting family memory for you and your loved ones. Don’t forget to pack the camera (or smartphone!)
An imagination of wonder paired with your best friends or family members will serve you well when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. Discover the colors, shapes and long views in Bryce Canyon National Park. Enjoy views of the Virgin River Gorge, the Grand Staircase National Monument and the magical hoodoos of Bryce Canyon (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found on every continent, but Bryce Canyon is home to the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. Descriptions fail. Whether you’re watching the sunrise or the stars shine you will be thankful you added this destination to your family visit and were able to experience this forest of stone in the heart of the southwest. Photographs do not do it justice, pack your sense of wonder and imagination when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah this April.
Zion National Park
Make sure you have plenty of space on your iPhone or film in your camera when visiting this landmark with your family. During National Park Week make sure you add a visit to Zion National Park and soak in stunning views of the The Watchman, the most photographed icon in Zion National Park. This beautiful and shapely rock mountain that happens to “face” the valley from the South is stunning during the daylight and glows at sunset. Located in Springdale, Utah you will be able to gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky.
Death Valley National Park
While the name might sound off-putting for a family day trip, you won’t regret adding a trip to Death Valley to your itinerary. Get your loved ones ready for an adventure in California’s Death Valley National Park and enjoy an amazing display of natural colors and dramatic mountain ranges. Death Valley National Park in California offers many attractions for the whole family, such as sand dunes, colorful rock formations, greenery, canyons and even a castle here. Badwater Basin, which is the nation’s lowest elevation at 282 feet below sea level, is quite popular. The miles of blinding salt flats make for an unforgettable walk. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes is a giant sandbox for kids. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. While a destination with “death” in the name doesn’t necessarily seem like a place to find bright colorful blooms, this desert valley located in east California overflows with color. Despite the dry, hot summer conditions in Death Valley, springtime often brings an overwhelming amount of luscious colorful wildflowers blooms – a perfect complement to your visit this April.