Top Ten Hikes for Families in Yellowstone National Park

Top Ten Yellowstone Hikes for Families
  |  Gorp.com

From the valley floor along the Yellowstone River near the north entrance of the park to Yellowstone Lake in the south, there are so many fabulous hikes that one can be easily overwhelmed with the options. But when it comes to what you can do with a child in tow, the number dwindles.

Although walking along the ledge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is inspiring, it might not make for the safest of hikes when you have a curious four-year-old. And while doing a bit of the Continental Divide Trail around Shoshone Lake is an invigorating challenge, little legs might not be so thrilled with length or elevation gains that come along with it.

So with the help of Jeff Brown of the Yellowstone Association, here's an opinionated list of the best hikes to take with the young ones while in the jewel of the National Park System. Taken as a whole, these hikes offer a representative sampling of what Yellowstone has to offer: dramatic geysers and other thermal features, wonderful wildlife in a range of habitats, and classic Yellowstone scenery, which no photograph can fully capture. All of these hikes are relatively short or hold nice rest options. Most are easy; a couple are moderately strenuous.

Just remember that although Yellowstone may often be teeming with visitors it is still a vast, magnificent wilderness with related dangers. There's no doubt, the park is beautiful, but those same canyons and hot springs pose serious threats to unaware hikers; and while the wildlife often seems shockingly docile, one should keep a healthy, respectful distance at all times.


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