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If taking your crew on a family backpacking trip is on your bucket list, you are fortunate to live in a country that offers numerous opportunities to trek through amazing landscapes. Many families enjoy this chance to bond together on journeys that allow time to photograph nature, view wildlife and create memories that will last throughout the years. Always gear your trip to the ages of family members. Not all trails can be easily navigated by small children. Here are four of the family backpacking trips that should be on your list.
The Grand Canyon
One of the classic backpacking trips is the route down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back to the rim. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. Water and restroom facilities are conveniently placed along the way. Spend a night in one of the primitive campgrounds available. In summer, the Grand Canyon has extremely hot temperatures with a 20-degree difference in temperatures between the rim and the bottom. Prepare carefully for this hike. Winter hiking can be extremely dangerous in the Canyon.
Great Smoky Mountains
A backpack trip through the Great Smoky National Park will give kids and parents many opportunities to enjoy the old-growth forests, waterfalls and spectacular overlooks of this mountainous region. The park offers 800 miles of hiking trails of varying lengths. Wildlife is abundant in the area and, if you keep a close eye out, you can see white-tailed deer, woodchucks, turkey, raccoons and black bears. Backcountry camping permits are required for overnight stays.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island National Seashore, in Maryland and Virginia, is home to the famous wild ponies, which are actually small horses. Beach hiking can be more strenuous than on solid ground. Tidal fluctuations can also affect hiking conditions. Both paved and unpaved trails are available. The beaches offer many opportunities to view water birds and tidal life forms. Hiking on a barrier island can mean additional risk of sunburn, sunstroke, dehydration and insect bites. Bring sufficient water and supplies for your hike, including water, food, a first aid kit, and a great outdoor knife.
John Muir Wilderness Area
The John Muir trail runs for 212 along the high ridges of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It runs from Yosemite to Mount Whitney, with a number of access points. The area contains a wide range of plants and animals and a number of landscape features, including the burnt forest, low meadows, scenic lakes and mountain panoramas. Water is not available on some areas of the trail, and families should prepare carefully for the hike.
Now get out there and enjoy nature with your family!