Hiking

Destinations: Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, Branson, Seattle, Rocky Mountain National Park

Themes: Ecotourism, Experiential Travel, Mountain Vacations, Outdoor Adventures

Hiking is a quiet, intimate way to experience nature, whether you're following a well-traveled trail, or bushwhacking through rarely explored back country. There’s a whole world of beautiful sights out there that can only be seen by those who venture out of the city and out of their cars.

Hikes range in difficulty from many-day strenuous climbs to relaxing afternoon strolls depending on the trail and terrain. Consider these factors when deciding on a hike, but also consider climate. A hike that might be perfect in August, could be a nightmare in October. It is important to note the level of difficulty of a trail before you begin, as well as the estimated time it will take, especially when traveling with kids.

Hiking vacations are available on just about every continent, including Antarctica. Trek to the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, explore the Himalayan valleys of Nepal, or hike the Rocky Mountains of Yosemite National Park. Those looking for a real challenge could consider hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Or if you don't have five or six months to spare, at least a segment of it. 


Articles About Hiking

Plan the Perfect Alaskan Vacation

Alaska’s wilderness is one of the final frontiers for travelers seeking adventure, unparalleled natural beauty or just a chance to get away from it all.

Anchorage: A Family-Friendly Metropolis

From cultural and culinary institutions to moose sightings and hundreds of miles of trails, Alaska’s largest city offers a variety of activities for the whole family.

Alaska’s Denali National Park

The highest mountain peak in North America, abundant wildlife and family-friendly activities make this an essential stop on your Alaska itinerary.

Insider Guide to A-List Aspen

This tony ski resort town is appealing in winter and summer. It even can be surprisingly affordable.

Family Fun in Atlanta

Take the kids to this sprawling city in the South packed with amusement parks, historic sites and the world’s largest aquarium.

Outdoor Adventures in Austin

The Texas capital is teeming with city and nearby state parks, with plenty of trails and rivers to please hikers, bikers, kayakers and swimmers alike.

Jungle Lodges Along Belize’s Maya Trail

Experience rural Belize and explore ancient Mayan ruins when you stay at these top jungle lodges.

The Big Deal About the Big Island

From volcanoes to underwater wonders, coffee to ranches, beach resorts to hula dancing, Hawaii has packed a whole lot into one island.

Family Fun on the Big Island

Choose from a wealth of outdoor family activities on Hawaii’s Big Island, from hiking to horseback riding to helicopter rides.

Jost Van Dyke: A Pirate’s Paradise

Visit this British Virgin Island jewel—as part of a B.V.I. vacation or on a day trip from the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only way to get there is to swim ashore, like pirates of yore.

A Great Hike on the Great Wall

Walk along the world’s longest wall on a day trip from Beijing.

College Visit Guide: Seattle

Get familiar with colleges and activities in favorite Seattle neighborhoods.

A Chocolate Adventure in Costa Rica

Learn how ancient Aztecs and Mayans invented chocolate from raw cacao beans on this chocolate adventure tour in a Costa Rican rainforest.

Exotic Costa Rican Adventures for the Entire Family

Costa Rica offers an exciting yet safe entrée into exotic ecotourism and soft adventure vacations, from coast to coast.

Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Adventure

Walk in the clouds and volunteer at a nature school in Costa Rica’s tropical rainforests.

Costa Rica’s Tortuguero Is Turtle Heaven

Tortuguero, on the Atlantic side of Costa Rica, provides a wealth of opportunities to see a variety of sea turtles and other jungle life.

Into the Wild in Costa Rica

From scarlet macaws to leatherback turtles, Costa Rica’s unique biodiversity is a world all its own.

Top Shore Excursions

Want to know what to do in port? Take our expert’s advice and don’t miss these key attractions for cruise ports around the world.

Irish Greens: Dublin’s Outdoor Attractions

Dublin helps Ireland earn its nickname the Emerald Island with plenty of parks, gardens and golf greens to satisfy most outdoor enthusiasts.

Affordable Lake Tahoe: Truckee Vacation Rentals

Truckee is a short distance away from Lake Tahoe, for affordable vacation rentals and outdoor activities.

Sweet Hike Alabama

A great family hike is never more than 20 minutes away in Birmingham, Alabama.

10 Top Spring Break Spots

Best destinations for students or families for a memorable Spring Break getaway.

Be Prepared Before Hitting the Trail

Prepare for your family hiking or caving adventure with these expert tips on safety and gear essentials.

Wilderness Outfitters Help Families Bond

With a little help from your friends—aka, professional outdoor guides—your family can have a safe and hassle-free vacation.

Top Places and Packages for Family Reunions

Check out these 9 great places that make family reunion planning a breeze.

On the Volcano’s Edge

Looking for an adventure-packed guy getaway escape? Check out these six active volcano locales for a hot time with molten lava.

Outdoor Family Adventures on Mackinac Island

Head to Mackinac Island for famous fudge, historic forts and the great outdoors.

7 New England Family Road Trips

Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.

Leave Your Heart in San Mateo

Fall in love with the beautiful coastline, attractions and charming small towns in this Bay Area destination that boasts luxury and farm tours, side-by-side.

Sweet 16 Getaways

Celebrate your birthday girl’s Sweet 16 on a mini-vacation with family and friends.

Westchester County Fall Foliage and Harvest Festivals

Take a fall foliage driving tour, then see the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at harvest festivals in Westchester County.

Grand Day Hikes in the Grand Canyon

Read our expert’s tips on the best trails for day hikes in the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon, From Rim to Rim

Read our tips for taking in the best vistas and historic sites of this national treasure, one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

Ireland Hiking Adventure: 10 Days From Dublin to Dingle

Hike the Emerald Isle with experienced tour guides who lead you on a scenic journey through the Irish countryside.

Family Fun in Sandpoint

Find the best attractions and places to take the kids when visiting this quaint Idaho mountain town.

Sandpoint, Idaho: Treasure of the West

Read why this gorgeous mountain destination with an acclaimed arts community is considered one of the best small towns in the west.

La Jolla: The Jewel by the Sea

Sophistication, culture and a beautiful coastline make this a favorite Southern California vacation destination.

Back to Nature at Torrey Pines Reserve

Read about the best hiking trails for checking out rare pines, colorful sandstone cliffs and native vegetation at this state park overlooking the Pacific.

Where to Stay in Tahoe

Tahoe’s plethora of accommodations can fit any family’s budget or style, from luxury resorts to classic campgrounds.

Tahoe, From Lake to Peak

A local highlights what’s best in the region for a Lake Tahoe vacation in any season.

Luxury Camping at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

This luxury retreat offers bejeweled-wall tents, silk bedding, a seaside spa and guided activities. Roughing it has never been so glamorous.

Maui Sunrise at Haleakala Volcano

Witness an otherworldly sunrise atop Haleakala volcano, where you’ll see orange-red craters and purple valleys—but remember to bring your jacket.

Maui Family Activities

The Valley Isle of Maui offers adventures for the entire family—from diving and snorkeling to language and hula lessons.

Maui No Ka Oi

Hawaii’s second-largest island is, as the locals say ‘the best.’ It offers striking beauty, a range of activities for all ages, cultural history and a peaceful vibe.

The Road to Heavenly Hana

Leave your worries behind and take the slow road on Maui’s Hana Highway.

Mellowing Out in Mendocino

Whales, wine, redwoods, art—all come together blissfully in this picturesque Northern California community.

Movable Feast for Wilderness Lovers

Known as the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park’s scenery rivals the European Alps for beauty and variety.

10 National Park Treasures

Read our picks for five essential national parks to see before you die, and five worthy ones that are under-the-radar.

Zion National Park Centennial

Southern Utah’s bedazzling red-rock park offers countless hiking trails and special events this year to mark Zion’s centennial.

Who Said Hawaii Was Expensive?

From musical performances to historic memorials, there are plenty of things to do on Oahu without spending a dime.

The Bay Islands: Old-School Caribbean

Want to see the Caribbean the way it used to be? Put on your flip-flops and get away to the Bay Islands of Honduras.

Cobá: Into the Mayan Jungle

Outdoor enthusiasts love the Mayan city of Cobá—so do tropical birds, monkeys and alligators.

Copán: Easy Indiana Jones Adventure

Family-friendly exploration is easy and affordable in Copán, Honduras, from gazing at Mayan ruins to getting up close with tropical birds.

Unwind, Vehicle Free in Matheran, India

Fresh air abounds at this historic mountain village near Mumbai where all mechanized transport is banned.

Peru’s Magical Manu

Travel from cloud forest to rain forest in the Manu Biosphere Reserve to view the highest concentration of bird species in the world.

Brazil’s Rio das Pedras Club Med Caters to Families

This exotic Club Med is tucked away in a corner of a rainforest, and it’s a hit with kids and parents, especially single parents.

Uganda: The Pearl of Africa

Visit Uganda, one of the most beautiful, safe and biologically diverse countries in Africa.

On the Edge of a Via Ferrata

Traverse precipitous cliffs and waterfalls on these mountain climbs and treks popular in the Swiss Alps and Dolomites of Italy.

Cool Kids’ Activities in Palm Springs

From snow in the desert to one of the best skate parks in California, this adult sanctuary also offers fun attractions for kids.

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

What to expect and how to plan for the journey of a lifetime in Peru.

And Rover Makes Five

Thanks to imaginative pet-tailored programs, four-legged friends can now join the family vacation fun.

Portland, Oregon: Pints, Pedals and Parks

The City of Roses has something for everyone: microbreweries, biking trails, and plenty of green spaces and places.

Portland’s Great Outdoors

One reason to love this Pacific Northwest destination is the multitude of nearby outdoor adventure activities easily accessible on a Portland day trip.

San Francisco Outdoor Adventures: Hike, Bike and Kayak

Looking to get in an active workout while on your urban endeavor vacation to the Bay Area? You’ve found the right place.

Sarasota Family Vacation

This Florida beach community offers both affordable and luxury accommodations, beautiful beaches, family attractions and quality cultural venues.

Seattle’s Great Outdoors

Dig for clams, rent a sailboat or hit the hiking trails in the hills for some memorable outdoor adventures on your next Seattle family vacation.

Seattle Getaway: Washington State National Parks

From lush rain forests to staggering mountain peaks, experience the rugged beauty of the this state’s three national parks, each an easy day-trip from Seattle.

Steamboat Springs: Ski Town U.S.A.

Linked to its western traditions, Steamboat Springs mixes champagne powder with cowboy style to create a Rocky Mountain high everyone can enjoy.

Teen Tested Vacation Spots

Recommended destinations for parents whose teens would rather be grounded than go on a vacation with the family.

Teen Travels on Alaska’s Peterson Lake Trail

Tag along for this teen’s perspective on her hiking adventure along the scenic and slippery slopes of this beautiful northern trail.

Hiking Along the Great Wall of China

One teen hikes the Great Wall on her family vacation and takes a memorable zip-line flight off its edge.

The Unforgettable Hike to Volcán Arenal

A teen adventurer hikes through the Costa Rican rainforest to check out a lava-spurting volcano.

Traverse City: A Great Outdoor Getaway

Get outdoors with a trip to Traverse City, for beachcombing, scuba diving, kayaking and more.

Tucson: Southwest Vacation Haven

This southern Arizona city blends rustic, Wild West charm with modern-day sophistication.

Become a Marine Research Volunteer on St. John

Learn about marine life and help conduct sea studies through a volunteer program at VIERS, a research facility in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

St. Thomas: More than a Caribbean Cruise Capital

Discover St. Thomas’ treasures from duty-free shopping malls, white-sand beaches and historic attractions—but visit when the cruise ships aren’t there.

Escape to the U.S. Virgin Islands

Chill on gorgeous beaches, ply Caribbean waters, tour historic attractions and shop duty-free on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John—while leaving your passport at home.

Kid-Friendly USVI Resorts and Attractions

Check out these top accommodations and activities for families planning a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Vail Valley: A Resort for All Seasons

As one season fades into the next, there is something to entice everyone at every age in this Rocky Mountain mecca.

Whistler: Nature Lover’s Paradise

Whistler is known for its skiing, but it’s also a nature lover’s paradise in spring, summer and fall, making it a resort for all seasons.

The Dells: A Mix of Family Thrills and Relaxation

From wild amusement park rides to mellow nature hikes, the Wisconsin Dells has it all.

Classroom Yellowstone

Venture into the wild with the help of expert naturalist guides.

5 Top Yosemite Family Hikes, by Age Group

Yosemite National Park offers several wilderness trails that are ideal for families traveling with children. Our expert reveals her insider tips.

Yosemite National Park’s Civilized Wilderness

Enjoy nature at its finest along with cultural amenities you might not expect in a national park.

Camping With Kids 101

Introduce your children to the great outdoors with expert advice on how to make sure your first camping trip goes smoothly.

Aloha, Mahalo and Everything in Between

Explore the Big Island and Maui with two guidebooks that highlight outdoor adventure in the Hawaiian Islands.

Lake Tahoe Guidebooks: Summer and Winter Adventures

Read our review of two guidebooks to see whether a summer or winter Tahoe family vacation is right for you.

Inside Yosemite: Treks, Tracks and Scat

Two comprehensive and educational guidebooks cover everything from Yosemite hikes to helping kids identify animal tracks and droppings.