My wife and I are looking to have another child. This of course is a time of great anticipation and joy, but it also means that certain activities need to be modified or postponed until that child reaches a certain age, ability, and tolerance level.
There are a lot of trips and adventures I would love to take or have taken prior to having a child. Time, resources, opportunity, and at times desire really didn’t align and allow me to get out and explore and enjoy before adding a Jr Adventurer to the fold.
So I came up with a few destinations and trips that I thought would work best pre-child and some that would work well post child. You can make the case that you can take a child everywhere and do anything with them because of their adaptiveness and versatility but some places and experiences I would consider more fulfilling without having to oversee the care and safety of a young one. So here are my thoughts and I would love for you to share a few of our experiences and insights.
1. Yosemite National Park Area – The main reasons would be the hiking the Half Dome, the big wall climbing (if you are into that), and the backpacking through the park and on the John Muir Trail. Given the elevation gains, the terrain, and the exposure at times it’s enough to care for your own safety and well-being and not have to worry about your Jr. Adventurer wandering off.
2. Denali National Park – Mainly for the same reasons above. Sure the abundant wildlife is terrific, but the chances of walking up on a sow and her cub(s) is increased. Depending on the ages of the child, creature comforts and extreme conditions (not just potential cold nights, but the over abundance of flies and mosquitoes) may make this destination torturous.
3. Glacier National Park/Jasper/Banff – Only if you plan on going into the backcountry or out for some fairly long hikes. The beauty of these parks may not be fully appreciated by the young ones and the mileage you can put under your feet might be hampered by their lack of endurance and stride.
4. Baja Kayaking Touring – A lot of paddling, currents, waves and the need to steer and sea kayak. Need I say more.
5. Mount Rainer/Grand Teton – Climbing it, not driving to it. It’s not a walk in the park and it is best left for adult legs.
1. Walt Disney World/Land – It’s better when seen through the eye’s of a child.
2. Yellowstone National Park – The abundance of wildlife and geologic features are a terrific experiences for a child and the educational opportunities are in abundance.
3. Colorado Springs, CO – You can drive Pike’s Peak, there is the Garden of the Gods, as well as the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
4. Great Smoky Mountain National Park – Rolling hills/mountains, terrific colors in the fall, a lot of history, and tons of different things to see. The local cuisine is terrific. I recommend Shoney’s, truck stops, and none franchise (other than Shoney’s) eateries.
5. Mammoth Cave National Park – Kids and caves, it’s cool and the region is chock full of them, great opportunity for them to be explorers and experience the subterranean world.
So……what would you add, or take away?