Our friend Amy Whitley at Pitstops for Kids has been on whirlwind, multi-state family road trip this summer. Her “Pit Stop A Day” series follows her 22-day “mega” road trip, touring four national parks, six family-friendly resorts, eight states. Luckily for the rest of us, we can go along for the ride (without all the potty stops) and take advantage of her many tips and recommendations when planning more modest itineraries. Visit her site to read the whole series and browse her reviews and recommendations for kid-friendly pitstops across the US.
Easy Hikes and Great Views at Arches National Park
UTAH — Moab is home to both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, which showcase some of the most stunning geological formations we’ve ever seen! Arches in particular is breathtaking, and offers many easy hikes and vista points for kids to explore. (General Tip: whatever your activity, get up and go early; later in the day, temperatures can be unbearable in summer.) Read the full story on Pitstops for Kids.
Ancient Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park
COLORADO — With so much to see, families can easily plan to spend 2-3 days exploring this park! Mesa Verde is home to more than 600 ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Kids can hike right down to the ruins (some self-guided, some in group tours) and walk through ancient doorways, climb wooden ladders, and see how Mesa Verde’s first inhabitants lived firsthand. (General Tip: don’t let the high desert landscape fool you; Mesa Verde is at high elevation. Be sure to bring jackets and watch for altitude sickness when spending the day out in the elements.) Read the full story on Pitstops for Kids.
UTAH — The Emerald Pools is a great hike for kids because you can adjust it to your needs/abilities. There are three pools on the trail: the lower pool is only .6 mile from the trailhead (although it does climb quite a bit), or the second pool is only 1 mile. From either of these, ambitious families can continue to the third pool (another .5 mile) or return. When we visited in July, the pools weren’t much to look at, but the dripping water from the overhangs of rock were very impressive (and a great way to cool off!).Weeping Rock is another easy hike for kids. This trail is short (.4 mile) but steep, and very beautiful. Definitely worth a stop! Read the full story on Pitstops for Kids.