Summer break is just around the corner and now is the time to plan what adventures you will have with the kids. Here are five fun ideas. Go rock climbing in City of Rocks National Reserve, hike one of the high peaks in the Adirondacks, canoe in The Grand Teton National Park, surf in Mission Beach, California, or backpack along the continental divide in the Wind Rivers. Pick one or do them all and create memories with your family that will last a life time.
City of Rock National Reserve, located in southern Idaho, was a popular camp for people moving along the California Trail during the mid 1800’s. Since the 1960’s the City has become popular with rock climbers. People come from all over the world to scale the granite outcroppings that give the reserve its name. With several easy to moderately rated climbs there is always something new to climb with your kids. A small hot spring located just outside the reserve is a blast for the kids and going on a trail ride through the area can be very enjoyable. Only hours from Salt Lake, the City of Rocks can be a perfect weekend of camping and climbing with the kids.
Take the family east to the countries largest wilderness region in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. In these ancient mountains you will find lush forests and majestic views. Hike the kid friendly trails and work your way to the summit of one of the 4,000-plus foot peaks. Go swimming in the warm waters of the many lakes or ponds. Rough it and stay in an Adirondack camp or find lodging in one of the beautiful towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake or Keene. Find a change of pace for the enitre family in the Adirondacks.
The small San Diego peninsula of Mission Beach is the perfect place to bring the whole family. With numerous vacation rentals, stores, restaurants and surf shops it has every thing for your adventure. You can hang at the beach, go shopping and take the kids to Belmont Park, a historic amusement center. All these activities are within walking distance. Take a surf lesson or sign up for a week long camp through one of the many San Diego surf schools. Work on your tan and your smiles in Mission Beach, California.
By mid-summer the Grand Teton National Park is a must see. Only a five hour drive from Salt Lake City, the Teton’s can be visited in a long weekend or as a weeklong destination. Hike through the park on one of its maintained trails and go canoeing on one of its peaceful mountain lakes. Stay in one of the campgrounds, the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch or at a lodge within the park. With easy access to lakes and famous views you will be making this an annual family getaway.
Sleep out under the stars in one of the wildest places in the states by backpacking the Wind River Range. Mellow trails wind their way through the massive granite domes which make up the continental divide in the center of Wyoming. Camp amoung hundreds of lakes and streams. Start at the Big Sandy entrance to reach the dramatic Cirque of Towers then make your way to Deep Lake Cirque. Fish, hike, camp and count the stars with the kids in this wild area .
As we wrap up spring break it’s time to think about summer adventures for the family. Consider backpacking in the Wind Rivers Range, Canoeing in the Grand Teton National Park, peak bagging in the Adirondacks, surfing in Mission Beach or scaling the rock spires of City of Rocks National Reserve. Do one or do them all and have a blast with your kids this summer.
Note: The story above is the first in a six part series. Check back for a more in depth look of each vacation.