Zion National Park in winter

Before I visited Zion National Park in winter, I pictured the famed slot canyons and rock formations of the park buried in snow, with park amenities shuttered for the season and the adjacent town of Springdale hard to access on wintery roads. I could … [Read more...]

Dominican Republic with kids: 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua

Located in the countryside outside of Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic, the 27 Waterfalls of Damajuana is the most talked-about experience on the north side of the island. Is it worthy of the hype? In a word, yes. What is the 27 Waterfalls of … [Read more...]

Aboard a small ship cruise: Day by day with Alaskan Dream Cruises

When I told friends and family we'd be experiencing SE Alaska on a cruise ship, the image that came to everyone's mind included a huge ocean liner, busy ports of call, fancy restaurants, kids clubs, and maybe a climbing wall. After all, kids don't go … [Read more...]

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Family mountain biking tips and gear

Our family loves mountain biking. Many outdoor-focused resorts now offer mountain bike rentals and mountain bike single track, and we discovered the sport while traveling. Right away, our kids wanted to mountain bike at home, too. Here's what we've … [Read more...]

PCT section hiking with teens

We've been wanting to backpack on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) long before it was cool. This summer, my 16-year-old and I finally set out, tackling almost 70 miles of the PCT in Central Oregon. We built up to this trip with years of family … [Read more...]

Main Salmon River rafting trip with O.A.R.S.

The best—and nearly only—way to experience the 2.3 million acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness of Central Idaho is by whitewater raft down the Main Salmon River. The route along the Wild and Scenic section of the Salmon runs 80 miles and … [Read more...]

Multi-day kayaking in the San Juan Islands

Families will always see more detail of the area they’re traveling by car rather than by plane, and even more by bicycle than by car. In the San Juan Islands, there’s no better way to explore this vast network of islands than by kayak. On our … [Read more...]

Hiking Safety: How to keep kids safe in the outdoors

A ramble through the woods, a stroll across a mountain meadow, or a strenuous alpine hike with the reward of a breathtaking vista – it all sounds idyllic until something goes wrong. As a former search and rescue volunteer and EMT, hiking safety is … [Read more...]

Hiking to AMC huts: how to plan your Appalachian Mountain Club adventure

After our East Coast Pit Stops for Kids family tried out Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)'s Highland Center Lodge during a winter break, they knew they had to come back for a summer stay, hiking to AMC huts! What are AMC huts? They're a network of … [Read more...]

Earth Day every day: outdoor adventures that teach kids to love nature

In our part of the world, Earth Day usually dawns chilly and soggy. For many years, I dutifully took my kids out to the local celebration (always held outdoors, of course) so we could freeze for a few hours while batting around an oversized … [Read more...]