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Recommended Family Trips

Our recommended family trips are great opportunities for families with school age children to travel as a family, enjoy amazing hiking destinations, and to feel confident that what you're embarking on is appropriate for your family. The main criteria we use to determine a good family trip are the difficulty of the hiking (easy to moderate), the weight of the backpacks (10-20 pounds), and flexibility with itineraries. Active, strong children 12 and older can certainly enjoy additional trips, so these are merely suggestions. Finally, appropriateness of a trip is subjective and should be determined on a case by case basis by evaluating the nature and demands of the trip, and the fitness and experience of your family.

Please note: we require children to be 12 years of age or older to join scheduled group trips; families with children younger than 12 are asked to book private trips.

Feel free to give us a ring at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

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Grand Canyon Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Escape the crowds and explore the depths of the Grand Canyon on one of our Grand Canyon hiking tours or backpacking trips!

Recommended Family Trips
Havasupai Tours

Experience the "Heart of the Grand Canyon" on one of our Havasu Falls Tours - enjoy world-class swimming, spectacular scenery and more!

Recommended Family Trips
Sedona Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Experience the stunning red rock pinnacles, buttes, canyons and other-worldly rock formations of the wilderness around Sedona, Arizona!

Recommended Family Trips
Yosemite Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Hike among Yosemite's massive granite domes, giant trees, glacial-carved valleys, and thundering waterfalls on one of our Yosemite hiking adventures!

Recommended Family Trips
Death Valley Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

With sand dunes, canyons, desert oases, wildlife, and amazing Native American and mining history, we celebrate the best of Death Valley.

Recommended Family Trips
Joshua Tree Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Explore a land of granite monoliths, otherworldly landscapes, unique desert forests, and spectacular camping and hiking!

Recommended Family Trips
Canadian Rockies Hiking Tours

Experience the best of the Canadian Rockies: stunning mountain views, alpine lakes, glaciers, wildlife and world-class trekking!

Recommended Family Trips
Colorado Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Hike in the world famous Rockies in Rocky Mountain National Park or the stunning Flat Tops Wilderness and experience true mountain majesty!

Recommended Family Trips
Iceland Hiking Tours

Experience Iceland's unbelievable combination of volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and rainbow colored landscapes!

Recommended Family Trips
Montana & Wyoming
Yellowstone Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Discover Yellowstone's pristine backcountry geysers, thermals, waterfalls, and wildlife on a Yellowstone hiking tour!

Recommended Family Trips
Jackson Hole Hiking Guides

Experience North America's most pristine wilderness areas - Wyoming's classic Wind River Range, Gros Ventre, and Teton Ranges!

Recommended Family Trips
Nepal Himalaya Hiking Tours

Hike through the land of giants in Nepal's Himalayas! Trek below towering snow-capped peaks, visit remote villages, have an adventure of a lifetime!

Recommended Family Trips
New Hampshire
White Mountains Hut to Hut Hikes

Enjoy amazing hut to hut treks in the Northeast's highest and most impressive mountain range - the spectacular White Mountains!

White Mountains Trips
New Zealand
New Zealand Hiking Tours

Explore the wonders of the South Island of New Zealand on a hut-based or lodge-based hiking tour! Stay is unique and perfectly situated accommodations!

Recommended Family Trips
North Carolina
Great Smoky Mountains Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Spend days hiking through lush mountains with profound history, incredible biodiversity, stunning beauty, peaceful camping and panoramic views!

Recommended Family Trips
Blue Ridge Mountains Hiking Tours and Backpacking Trips

Explore the stunning mountains around Asheville and discover waterfalls, BIG views, solitude, and amazing biodiversity on an inn-based or backpacking trip!

Recommended Family Trips
Patagonia (Chile)
Patagonia Hiking Tours

Patagonia is a wonderland of towering alpine spires, pristine lakes, fascinating wildlife, and pristine wilderness - a hikers paradise!

Recommended Family Trips
Peru Hiking Tours and Treks

Explore stunning mountain ranges, glaciated high country, ancient Inca Trails and ruins, and wonderful cultures on Peru Treks!

Recommended Family Trips
Zion Natioanl Park Hiking Tours

Zion National Park is a hiking paradise with towering rock features, deep canyons, spring-fed creeks and fascinating history!

Recommended Family Trips
Bryce Canyon Hiking Tours

Bryce Canyon is an other-worldly landscape of crimson-colored pinnacles ("hoodoos"), phenomenal views, amphitheaters and more!

Recommended Family Trips
Grand Staircase-Escalante Hiking & Backpacking

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument features some of Utah's best off-the-beaten-path hiking and backpacking opportunities!

Recommended Family Trips
Capitol Reef Backpacking Trips

Capitol Reef is an off-the-beaten-path national park that showcases the best of Utah's canyon country with stunning beauty and amazing solitude!

Recommended Family Trips
Arches & Canyonlands Hiking Tours

Moab is the heart of Utah's eastern Canyon Country, with Arches and Canyonlands out its backdoor - hike the best of Moab: Arches & Canyonlands!

Recommended Family Trips
Washington State
Inn-based Olympic Hikes

The Pacific Northwest is teeming with diversity - join us and explore its rainforests, alpine hiking, secluded coastal landscapes, volcanoes, glaciers, deep valleys, and glacial rivers!

Recommended Family Trips

More About Family Trips

The Wildland Approach to Family Trips

We do not have family-specific trips other than a few specialty options like our Havasupai Waterfalls Family Spring Break Tour, Observation Peak Backpacking Trip in Yellowstone, and our Portered Creeks & Peaks Trek in the Smokies. However, we do have trips we feel better lend themselves to families than other trips. On this page we list our recommended family trips, which means trips we feel are appropriate for an average family with school age children.

Many families and kids, however, are more than capable of doing nearly any of our trips, including in some cases Level 5 Difficulty trips. Having said that, on backpacking trips especially, it's important to make conservative decisions. Hiking with a 25-45 pound backpack is very different than hiking without one, especially for many kids and teenagers, so we recommend erring on the safe side to start and selecting trips that are less difficult than what you believe your family can ultimately handle.

Families with kids 12 and older can join scheduled tours, which are departures with mixed groups and solo travelers. Families with kids younger than 12 are asked to book private tours.

Considerations of Hiking with Kids

There are many points to consider when booking a trip for your family:

  • Pack Weights on Backpacking Trips: Backpacking trips require hiking with a 25-45 pound backpack, depending on the length of the trip. Many kids can do great at hiking, but hiking with weights like this is far more difficult. Sometimes parents are able to carry the bulk of the gear for the kids, but this is rare and not normally reliable. Instead, if you'd like to do a backcountry trip but are concerned with your kids' ability to hike with weight, we recommend booking a portered trip or a llama trek.
  • Length of Trip: If your family is new to hiking, trekking or backpacking, it might be wise to start with a shorter trip in the 3-4 day range. If you do go with a longer trip, consider doing an inn-based tour or camping tour, both of which are less committing than a long backcountry trip. On the other hand, if your family has plenty of experience hiking and backpacking, then a longer trip of 5-7 days is highly recommended. Particularly a Wildland llama trek of a longer length is a spectacular choice.
  • Summer Heat in the Desert: Hiking in the desert in the summer is a difficult prospect for anyone, much less kids and teenagers. This includes summer trips in Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Southern Utah, Sedona and Southern California. Some hike, like our Havasu Falls Tour offer wonderful swimming which helps to cool off, but the hiking is still often in very hot temperatures. In general, we recommend doing summer family trips in the mountains, and sticking to fall, winter and spring for desert trips.
  • Dietary Requirements and Allergies: allergies are on the rise in general, and serious dietary restrictions are more and more common and important. For this reason, we can cater to almost any special diets. We also recommend carrying an Epi-pen if you or your family members have had allergic reactions in the past.