Best National Park Vacations with Grandparents

One of the best things about visiting the National Parks with grandparents is the variety of scenery and location as well as accessibility at most of the parks. Located across the United States, there is sure to be a centrally located National Park that works for your family whether you want to fly or drive. We asked other writers to share the best National Park Vacations with grandparents and we love all of their suggestions!

Best US National Parks to Visit with Grandparents-Multigenerational Vacations

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National Parks to Visit with Grandparents

Acadia, Maine

I love Acadia National Park because there are so many ways to enjoy its mix of mountains, lakes, forest and coastline. Start your visit by driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain to take in views of the park and the Atlantic coast (mostly paved with some steps). 

Then head Jordan Pond House for fresh popovers and blueberry lemonade; the pond has a nice, easy trail around it. Acadia is known for the carriage roads John D. Rockefeller built when he summered there. 

Acadia lighthouse Maine

Take a short and fairly easy ranger walk to learn the history of these roads and the gorgeous stone bridges that connect them. Fit families can bike ride for miles on these traffic-free paths. Grandparents can follow the flat dirt path that hugs the coastline in either direction from Thunder Hole (which is accessible by stairs). Kids love climbing on giant boulders and exploring the tide pools in this part of the park. 

Bar Harbor will likely be your base. From here you can board a schooner for a park-ranger-guided wildlife cruise along the coast. It’s a unique way to explore a national park and really does please all ages. 

The town is walkable with a variety of good restaurants and shops and more reasonable prices than you might expect. Don’t miss Mount Desert Island Ice Cream for rich ice cream in flavors like Vietnamese coffee and honey baked apple. There are family friendly hotels in Bar Harbor and nearby at all price points. Eileen at FamiliesGo!

Arches, Utah

If your family loves camping and outdoor adventures, Arches National Park is the perfect location for a multi-generational trip. Arches National Park is beautiful with jaw-dropping landscapes that can be viewed by both hiking and driving through the park. 

Hiking at Arches National Park is a perfect way to bond and spend time together. Although some of the hikes are more intense and not suitable for older individuals, there are plenty that are perfect for all ages. Double Arch and Balanced Rock are short and perfect for everyone. 

Arches Utah

There are many pull-overs as you drive through the park as well. These are great areas to get out and explore. If you want to get a multi-generational family photo, Arches National Park will not disappoint. It is a great place to hire a photographer and capture the beauty of the park. 

There are also many accommodations for large groups in Moab, Utah. Camping, glamping, hotels, and vacation rentals are all available near Arches National Park. Arches is a great spot for a family vacation! Lisa of Planning Away

Biscayne, Florida

Biscayne National Park is located in Southern Florida. The weather is always warm and comfortable here so it’s the perfect destination for travel with grandparents. As long as you avoid the hurricane season Biscayne is a fantastic spot to visit during most seasons. 

National Park vacations are usually all about hiking and Biscayne is no exception. There are several easy trails to choose from that are suitable for both young children as well as older grandparents. However, some level of mobility is definitely still required. 

If you’re not up for hiking driving around the national park can also be a great experience especially if you head to scenic viewpoints along the way. Black Creek Canal is a great hike that is quite easy to manage. It’s only 1.7 miles long and goes along the shoreline making it perfect for spotting wildlife. The Jetty Trail is even shorter at only .8 miles, so it’s even easier even for younger children.

There is no lodging within the park, but there are many hotels and vacation rentals in Miami and the surrounding area. Victoria from Guide Your Travel

Canyonlands, Utah

Canyonlands National Park is a great park for all generations to visit as there are many viewpoints along the road where you have amazing views of the canyon and all the family can enjoy.

One of the most popular hikes is Mesa Arch especially for sunrise, it’s an easy hike but there are stone steps and a rocky hill to navigate but as it’s only half a mile in total then most children and adults can be helped if they are unstable on their feet.

The most accessible viewpoint is Grand View Point which is just a half mile paved walk and wheelchair friendly.  From here there is an option of a second viewpoint 1.6 miles along the cliff edge though this path is uneven and does contain rocky stairs. You need to be especially careful with children on this path as there is no railing  
at the cliff edge.

The must see viewpoints where you only need to walk a very short distance and are accessible to all the family are Shafer Canyon Overlook, Buck Canyon Overlook and Green River Overlook.

The most popular part of Canyonlands to visit is Isle in the Skye. It is located only 30 miles from Moab which is the nearest town to stay in when visiting the park, you will find many hotels, restaurants and shops here. Clare of I Live 4 Travel

Death Valley, California

Don’t let the name fool you, Death Valley is actually one of the most unique National Park vacations in the United States and a great place to visit for all ages. Being the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the country, you can expect some pretty warm weather and stunning landscapes. The unique rocky mountains found in this area were formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity, and while the volcanoes are no longer active, their mineral deposits in the sand and rock create the magical, colorful peaks that can be seen today.

Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park

With salt lakes, wildflowers, colorful hills, and sandy dunes, there is such a large variety of things to see and do in Death Valley National Park, and much of it is easily accessible! This is a great place to bring the whole family, thanks to the abundance of short walks, car-accessed viewpoints, historical sights, and accessible boardwalks. 

Straddling the California, Nevada state boundary, Death Valley truly is the heart of the desert, meaning the best way to see this incredible National Park is from the comfort of your car. Perfect for youngsters and grandparents alike. While there are three accommodation options inside Death Valley, there is a much wider choice of hotels in Las Vegas, just under a two-hour drive east where many people choose to stay when visiting the National Park. Kate of Miss Tourist

Everglades, Florida

One of the best multigenerational vacation destinations for people looking for a fun national park getaway is Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park is unique in that many of its trails consist of plank boardwalks, which make it easy and accessible to use for people who use wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility aids. It’s also great for families with strollers carrying young kids.

Everglades is also offers many activities that are low-impact and accessible as well, such as taking an airboat tour of the Everglades or going on a wildlife cruise trying to spot the native animals of the Florida Everglades.

However, if you’re a more active family and no one in your party has mobility limitations, there are also other things you can do as a family, such as kayaking through mangrove forests, trying to spot some manatees!

Some good accommodation options are: Home2Suites in Florida City, Townplace Suites Miami/Homestead, or consider a vacation rental near Everglades. Everglades National Park is a beautiful and accessible national park the whole family will love, so consider it for your next multigenerational vacation! Allison of Eternal Arrival

Gateway Arch, Missouri

St Louis, Missouri is the gateway between the western and eastern United States. This is signified with the 630 foot Arch along the Mississippi River which is the highlight of the Gateway Arch National Park. Make sure to take a tram ride to the top of the Arch to view the beautiful park grounds and the St. Louis skyline.  

Visiting the Gateway Arch National Park is easily accomplished by all generations within your family. The path leading up to the Arch is paved which makes it great for parents pushing strollers or anyone using a wheelchair. Once inside the Arch, there are accessibility ramps and elevators for individuals to use.  

When traveling with children or grandparents, take a tram ride to the top of the Arch, visit the newly renovated Museum at its base, stroll through the Old Courthouse to learn about the Dred Scott case, and take a riverboat ride down the Mississippi River. All of these fun activities in and around the Gateway Arch National Park are easily located along paved paths and by following the clearly marked signs.  

The St Louis Arch is the tallest monument in any United States National Park and definitely is worth a visit when traveling with kids and grandparents. Looking for a place to stay close to the park, check out the Hyatt Regency as it has direct access to the entrance of the Gateway Arch National Park. Tiffany of Mommy and Me Travels 

Glacier, Montana

Glacier National Park is a fabulous summer-time Montana destination for all ages. Kids, parents, and grandparents alike will find so much to do in this breathtaking park that’s home to 762 lakes, many of them diminishing glaciers. You could easily spend a week here.

There are several backcountry lakes and glaciers that are fabulous hiking destinations inside Glacier, like Avalanche Lake, Grinnell Lake, Hidden Lake, Iceberg Lake, or Upper Two Medicine Lake.

Glacier National Park Lake Mountain

Glacier National Park also provides stunning backdrops for kayaking, rafting, paddle boarding, alpine swimming and fishing. 

Best trails and easy hiking paths for a multigenerational group: 

  • Lake McDonald Trail by Lake McDonald Lodge’s boat dock
  • Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail at Avalanche Campground
  • Logan Pass at the crest of the Going-to-the-Sun Road offers an accessible nature trail from the Visitor’s Center
  • Going-to-the-Sun Road offers many other pullout stops with jaw-dropping scenic vistas
  • Oberlin Bend Trail is a short boardwalk, immediately west of Logan Pass below Mount Oberlin’s cascading waterfalls.
  • Goat Lick overview on US Hwy 2 is great for viewing goats clinging to the mineral laced cliffs. Bring your binoculars.
  • Two Medicine’s Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail is a nearly flat 1 mile loop trail. 
  • Many Glacier Swiftcurrent Nature Trail is just a 1/4 mile long. 

If you prefer to leave the driving to someone else so you can simply enjoy the many sights along Glacier’s winding Going-to-the-Sun Road, then reserve Tickets-to-Ride on the summer shuttle. Reserve your tickets in advance at

We recommend staying in one of the park’s iconic lodges or cabins if you plan way ahead, or a beautiful vacation cabin rental in Columbia Falls, just outside of West Glacier. Tanya of Rad Family Travel

Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is one of the most striking and epic places to visit in the United States. It’s not just appreciated by Americans, as it’s considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. People come from all over the globe just to see it, and for good reason!

Hiking into the canyon is an incredible adventure, but not everyone can handle the rigor of its trails. The great news is that there’s a rim trail at the South Rim that runs 13 miles, providing spectacular views inside the canyon. 

Grand Canyon view

The rim trail has slight inclines in some areas, but it’s mostly very level. People of all ages and fitness levels can manage it. And there is a shuttle with 14 stops along the way in case you get tired and want a lift. 

If you want to stay at the Grand Canyon, check out the El Tovar Hotel. It’s one of the grand old hotels at the canyon and an unforgettable experience. Just be sure to make reservations well in advance as it books up quickly. Sam of My Flying Leap

Great Sands, Colorado

Did you know that Colorado is home to North America’s tallest sand dunes? This super-sized sandbox spreads out across 30 square miles, and kids of all ages want to sink their toes in the sand. Welcome to the all-season, year-round Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, North America’s tallest dunes, towering as high as 750 feet.

A few years ago, my multigenerational family road tripped to the Great Sand Dunes for the first time, experiencing sand, water and lots of laughter. This Colorado national park road trip still tops our list of favorites.

Camp, hike, backpack, sand sled, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, photograph gold aspens in the fall — the activities at the Great Sand Dunes are endless for the active family. 

The park also offers picnicking with one accessible site and ranger-led nature walks. Check at the Visitor Center (fully accessible) for details.

Great Sand Dunes National Park Colorado

For us (grandparents in our 50s), navigating the sand was part of the fun! From the Dunes Parking lot, you walk down the short one-mile trail through some foliage to the awe-inspiring sight of the sand dunes. 

When the Medano Creek flows below, you’ll also see children, parents, and dogs splashing around in the creek, just a few inches deep and so refreshing in the summer heat.

From the parking area to the edge of the creek to the sand, there is an accessible mat. Yet accessibility after this is impossible for those with mobility issues – unless you consider reserving a “sand dunes wheelchair.” These chairs with large inflatable tires allow a helper to push the family member through the soft sand and enjoy the adventure too. 

And be sure to look up and around at the view of 13,000 to 14ers, such as Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak, Cleveland Peak, and Mount Herard. 

TIP: A limited number of sand dunes wheelchairs are available for loan at the visitors’ center, so it’s recommend to call and reserve in advance. Click HERE for more information.

The nearest lodging for Great Sand Dunes National Park is at least 45 minutes away. Some recommendations include Zapata Ranch or a hotel in Alamosa. Diana, Traveling in Heels

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains is an excellent park for multigenerational families because there are lots of beautiful sights accessible to all ages.

When my husband and I first started going there, my kids were toddlers so we weren’t up for any hiking that was too intense. The Clingman’s Dome trail is a nice, easy hike with a paved trail for strollers, so it is great for all ages and even those with mobility issues. It has an amazing view at the top too!

When my grandmother went with us to the Great Smoky Mountains, she couldn’t really hike at all but she loved the views from the car, particularly from the Cades Cove Loop which is an 11 mile sight-seeing loop in one direction where we could drive along leisurely. 

Great Smoky Mountains-Kirsten Maxwell

She also loved the welcome center area at Cades Cove where with a fairly short walk she could enjoy the historical log cabin and mill along with my toddlers.

Nearby places to stay range from Elkmont Camping to KOA campgrounds to several nice hotels in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Scarlet of Family Focus Blog

Hawaii Volcanoes, Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, one of the only places in the world where you have a chance to see an active lava flow (dependent on the volcano’s temperament, of course). 

The park has seven unique ecological zones and you can see many of them via the scenic 18-mile drive on Chain of Craters Road. Besides sweeping ocean views, it allows your family to see the handiwork of recent lava flows that have crossed over the road (which has since been repaved). 

A great stop is the Kilauea Iki Overlook where you can see the hardened Kilauea Iki Crater lava lake from an eruption in 1959. At the end of the Chain of Craters road you will find dramatic deep blue ocean views as well as the 90-foot Holei Sea Arch. 

Hawaii Volcanoes Ocean

Another highlight is the Thurston Lava Tube that you can walk through in the middle of the lush rainforest. The hike to the lava tube is very short (less than a quarter mile), but does have a few steps and inclines. 

You also won’t want to miss the Jaggar Museum, the active Halema’uma’u crater which glows around twilight, and the nearby sulphur banks and steam vents. There are some steam vents that you can park right next to and view as well as some really neat sulphur banks you can access via an easy, 1.2-mile round trip trail from the Kilauea Visitor Center. Just be aware that the sulphur smell may be bothersome to sensitive groups. 

If you are looking to stay right next to all the exciting volcano action, look no further than Volcano House Hotel. You can see the volcano glowing at night directly from your room! If you prefer to just make Hawaii Volcanoes National Park a day trip and stay at a nice resort on the beach, check out the Waikoloa Beach Marriott over in Waikoloa Village. They have large family rooms with kitchens, a fun pool area, lovely beach, and entertaining luau. Sharlene of Trekaroo

Joshua Tree, California

Joshua Tree National Park is one of Southern California’s most well known parks. The park is characterized by its rugged rocks, stark desert landscapes and of course the twisted, bristled trees in which U2’s most famous record is named after, the Joshua Trees.

Located about 2 hours east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree is the perfect weekend getaway for multigenerational families. 

Visitors flock to Joshua Tree from October to April to experience out of this world scenery while camping, hiking and exploring everything from rock formations to old mines. The park has a multitude of hikes catering to both casual and experienced hikers.

Joshua Tree NP

For first timers and families with varying levels of fitness, the top sites to visit include Barker Dam, Keys View Overlook, Jumbo Rocks & Skull Rock as well as catching sunset at the Cholla Cactus Garden. If you have more time, take time to visit some of the relics of days old. The park is full of mines and old settlements from a century of settlers looking to strike it rich. 

One of the best hikes at Joshua Tree is on the Wall Street Mill hike. There are old cars well preserved in the dry desert climate, a gold crushing mill and more providing an introduction to the deserts of California and it’s history. This trail however is best reserved for those with no mobility issue and a fair amount of stamina. 

If you can snag a campsite, the park is the best place to stay, however there is no running water here, so come prepared. Otherwise, there are plenty of unique and beautiful mid-century modern accommodation options in Joshua Tree town as well as the surrounding areas. Karilyn of No Back Home

Olympic, Washington

Olympic National Park is perfect for multi-generational travel as there are hikes for all skill levels and ages. Additionally, despite its vastness, many areas of Olympic National Park are accessible from Port Angels as day trips. Because of this, depending on how adventurous your party is, Olympic can be as challenging or as leisurely as your group needs.

Nearest to Port Angeles is the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s center. From the Visitor’s Center there are numerous easy trails, many of which are paved. 

For the more adventurous, take a day trip out to La Push to see the Olympic Park Pacific Beaches. The road out to La Push and First Beach are paved, and suitable for all walking levels.

Olympic National Park

Lastly, if your multi-generational party is up for a longer day drip, drive out to the Hoh Rain Forest area to be wowed by one of the best examples of a temperate rainforest, in the world. There are multiple easy Hoh Rainforest hikes, including the Hall of Mosses, the Spruce Nature Trail, and the Hoh River Trail.  

If you would like to stay near Olympic National Park, you can camp or find a hotel in The Forks area. For multi-generational groups, an AirBnB in Port Angeles would also be a good accommodation base. Catherine of Traveling with the Littles

Redwood, California

The Redwood National and State Parks, located in northern California, is home to the world’s tallest trees. It is a combination of three state parks, a National Park with coastal redwood trees, about 40 miles of coastline, prairies and woodlands. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a wonderful destination for multi-generational families offering beautiful scenery and a variety of activities. 

Don’t miss the 31-mile scenic Avenue of the Giants or driving through fallen redwoods. Popular trails for all ages include the 1.5-mile Lady Bird Johnson Grove loop where the forest is often covered by low clouds and Stout Memorial Grove Trail. This half-mile loop trail meanders through coastal redwoods forest with easy and flat pathways. 

Visit Gold Bluff’s Beach inside Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park to spot a herd of Roosevelt elk along the grassy dunes. The 1.1 mile loop trail leads to beautiful Fern Canyon. The 30-50 ft canyon walls were completely covered with varied ferns and mosses. The trail is easy with some light climbing over fallen logs and crossing footbridges over shallow creek beds. 

Some towns to use as your base include Crescent City, Arcata and the seaside village of Trinidad. Mary of The World is a Book

Rocky Mountain, Colorado

When it comes to traveling with a variety of ages and abilities, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is a fantastic choice. With an abundance of activities beyond those requiring intense physical prowess, it’s perfect for the very old and very young and anyone in between.

RMNP is renowned for its wildlife viewing, which can often be done right from the comfort of a vehicle. It’s perfect for those with mobility issues or little legs that tire easily (or need a car nap!). Be sure to take Trail Ridge Road, the longest continuously paved road in the US, into the alpine tundra to see a whole new variety of animals, and explore Kawuneeche Valley for some bigger wildlife. Always stay far from any animals!

Rocky Mountain NP

Bear Lake is a stunning and most totally flat trail good for many skill levels. Emerald Lake presents a bit more of a challenge but is still doable for a variety of skill levels. There are several options for camping within the park, or if you’d prefer more comforts, nearby Estes Park has lodging at a variety of price points. Preethi of Local Passport Family

Sequoia, California

Sequoia National Park is a great park for multi-generational families.  It’s home to most of the world’s sequoia trees – the largest trees on earth. Fortunately, seeing them is easy. There are plenty of accessible hikes that everyone will be able to take, and kids will love exploring around – and even inside – the trees.

Start your visit to Sequoia National Park at the small Giant Forest Museum, where the whole family can learn all about the trees. Then head to the General Sherman Tree. This is reached along a paved 1.2-mile round-trip trail that at one point goes through a tunnel carved through the trunk of a tree that fell across the path. At 275 feet tall and with a 36-foot diameter at its base, General Sherman is the planet’s biggest tree! 

Sequoia Redwoods

From there, the Congress Trail is another 2-mile loop on a paved path with gentle elevation change. The trail passes several more of the biggest trees, as well as a couple of small groves. It is suitable for strollers. While the older members of the family can take their time, kids will love going inside the Room Tree. Even adults can easily walk inside the hollowed-out center!

Another easy, accessible trail is the flat, paved 1.3-mile Big Trees Trail that circles around a meadow. There are benches at several places along the trail if anyone needs a rest. Be careful though, this is a popular place for black bears to forage in the late afternoon.

A great place to stay is Wuksachi Lodge, right inside the park. If you prefer to stay outside the park, the Rio Sierra Riverhouse in nearby Three Rivers is hard to beat. It has a pool and a wonderful location beside the river. James of Park Collecting

Shenandoah, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is a great National Park for a multigenerational family! There is so much to see and explore from waterfalls, sweeping mountain views and hiking on the Appalachian Trail. 

The park also offers a lot of accessible nature options. The Limberlost Trail is a 1.3 mile accessible loop. Another accessible option is a beautiful drive along the “spine” of the mountains on Skyline Drive. It is the 105-mile main road in Shenandoah National Park with dozens of overlooks to have a picnic or enjoy the stunning views!

Shenandoah-Kirsten Maxwell

Where to Stay: The National Park service operates 3 lodges in Shenandoah including the largest, Skyland Lodge with amazing views. You can also opt to stay outside the park in a small town or a city like Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Harrisonburg Residence Inn is a great family friendly option with kitchens in all rooms and an indoor pool. 

And don’t forget, DC is less than 2 hours away with tons to explore with kids! Jennifer at Family Trip Guides

Theodore Roosevelt, South Dakota

You’ll convince your kids and grands to be National Park lovers once they enter Theodore Roosevelt National Park, bursting with wildlife from the get go. Expect to find much scarcer crowds at this park than many of its counterparts, and way more up close and personal action.

The picture-perfect park is easy to navigate through, minus the buffalo jams that occur on a daily basis. I’m guessing that we saw 500-600 buffalo on our visit. Then, at sundown, be on the lookout for chirping prairie dogs who put on an almost staged show of cuteness. 

Theodore Roosevelt NP South Dakota

You’ll find five easy trails at Theodore Roosevelt, including the mesmerizing Skyline Vista for those who just want to step out and have a picturesque overlook. Painted Canyon Nature Trail is my top pick, a moderate hike, with beautiful views and not overly challenging for any age. There are eight moderate to strenuous hikes, ranging from two to three hours to 10 to 12. 

Theodore Roosevelt NP sits in the town of Medora, a cute and whimsical place, with two hotels perfect for any budget: AmericInn by Wyndham and Rough Riders Hotel. Melody from Wherever I May Roam

Yellowstone, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

Yellowstone National Park is a phenomenal park to visit with family. While many National Parks have a heavy emphasis on hiking, it’s possible to explore Yellowstone and never touch a hiking trail. In fact, many people experience Yellowstone as a scenic drive with short stops to get out and look at picturesque overlooks. If someone in your family has limited mobility, there are plenty of accessible sights where you can walk along a paved trail.

Kids and the young at heart will love watching Old Faithful Geyser explode 60 feet in the air. Old Faithful has ample benches for seating and a wooden boardwalk that is stroller and wheelchair-friendly. If you’re traveling with family that wants to hike, an easy hike with stellar views is Storm Point. It’s a 2.3-mile loop that takes you along the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake. It’s a relatively flat dirt path hike that can be done in one hour.

Other family-friendly activities that you could add to your Yellowstone itinerary are renting a boat for Lake Yellowstone, taking a scenic drive through the Lamar Valley to spot bison, bears, or wolves, and soaking in the only accessible hot spring in the park, The Boiling River.

A popular family spot is to stay at Old Faithful Lodge within the park, but the price could turn away many looking to travel on a budget. Alternatively, you can find a VRBO vacation rental in West Yellowstone, Montana. Christina of Live A Wilder Life

Yosemite, California

Yosemite is an ideal National Park for a multigenerational family trip. Along with the towering rock structures and trees there are relatively flat, paved paths accessible for family members of all ages and ability levels.

Families can stay in a nearby lodge such as Yosemite Lodge or The Ahwahnee (both accessible), and the park offers a variety of tent, cabin and RV campsites as well.

Young children will find endless boulders and areas to explore, while older seniors or those with mobility issues can partake in guided tours on comfortable buses around the Valley Floor as well as to Mariposa Grove where the Giant Sequoias are located (when in operation). 

The sunset in Yosemite National Park California

The entire family can get a bird’s eye view of Half Dome from Glacier’s Point—one of the most breathtaking views anywhere—or any of the other lookouts on the multiple scenic drives the entire family would enjoy.

Trail Suggestions & Points of Interest: 

The Valley Floor Loop and Yosemite Falls are both accessible to wheelchairs with assistance and offer easy to moderate hikes for walkers or bikers. 

Other points of interest include the Yosemite Valley Visitors Center, Museum, Indian Village and the Ansel Adams Gallery. Mary of Family Vacation Plans

White Sands, New Mexico

The 275 square miles of snow white gypsum sands at White Sands National Park is a great vacation for all ages and fitness levels. The Interdune Boardwalk is perfect for toddlers and family members in wheelchairs. Wood planks and handrails stretch the 0.4 mile trail with a shaded canopy at the midpoint. 

Another easy trail for families with young children is the Playa Trail. Marked by green trail markers, the sandy 0.5 mile trail is better suited for children and adults who are steady on their feet. 

White Sands-Kirsten Maxwell

The Backcountry Camping Trail and Alkali Flat Trail will appeal to active families looking for strenuous hikes. These trails take you deep into the dunes. The payoff: amazing views. There is no shade, water, or facilities on either trail.   

Before leaving, rent a sled and try sand sledding. Safe and family-friendly, the only challenging aspect is getting momentum down a dune. 

Nearby Alamogordo offers a variety of budget accommodations such as the Hampton Inn Alamogordo. Debra at Traveling Well for Less

Zion, Utah

Zion National Park is one of the most breathtaking National Parks in the American Southwest. With towering red, orange, and white sandstone cliffs, the scenery is almost otherworldly.

Multigenerational families visiting Zion should know it can be extremely hot in the summer, so hat, sunscreen, and a lot of water is a must. One of the most popular hikes in Zion is the Narrows, but it might not be the best for people with mobility issues and young children. If hiking the Narrows, you will need to check before setting out as the area is subject to flash flooding and proper gear is required. Sturdy shoes are a must and walking sticks are highly recommended. 

For easier hikes, head to Pa’rus Trail, a 1.5 mile trail that is fairly level. Riverside Walk runs along the river and is accessible for the first half mile or so. Active families will want to hike to Emerald Pools, where there are waterfalls and pools. The lower trail is best suited for those with mobility issues and small children.

Zion hiking Utah

If no one wants to hike, get in the car and head drive to the east side of Zion via the Zion-Mt Carmel highway. It takes about 40 minutes one way on a winding road, but there are many pull offs along the way and even restrooms half way through the drive.

There are many places to stay in Springdale, just outside the park. You can find great hotels in Springdale, but if your family is up for glamping, head to Zion Wildflower where families can stay in covered wagons, bell tents, or small houses. Kirsten of Kids Are A Trip

As you can see, there are National Park vacations around the United States. So find one that appeals to your family, and book that trip!