The latest article from Susan Strayer who’s an inspiration to many with her Blog – Mountain Mom and Tots.
We spent a lot of time biking on our National Park to Park Highway tour this year, so I feel like I know which parks have good family biking options.
Each of these top five picks have dedicated paved trails (pretty flat too) so you don’t have to bike on the road with young kids. Not to mention they’re all beautiful, and the bike trails take you to visitor centers, scenic overlooks and fun places to explore.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
The multi-use trail in Grand Teton National Park offers amazing views of the jagged Teton Range. So beautiful! Within the park, the trail begins at Moose Junction and continues north to the Jenny Lake area. Outside the park the trail connects with Jackson Hole’s paved bike trail, offering 20+ miles of trail beauty.
We took a rangers’ advice and skipped the big hill at the beginning of the trail, parking our truck and Yakima SwingDaddy at a scenic pull out instead. Yea for no major uphill sections pulling a trailer!
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The shared use path within Bryce Canyon National Park is only about six miles long beginning at the entrance and ending at the popular Inspiration Point area. It’s a great way to get around, especially if you’re camping in the park or at nearby Ruby’s Inn. What’s doubly great about this path is its proximity to Red Canyon Bicycle trail just outside the park entrance.
The Red Canyon trail follows the Highway 12 approaching Bryce Canyon through beautiful red rock vistas. If you have a shuttle you can ride downhill the whole way, enjoying both Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon’s beauty without major strain to your leg muscles.
Yosemite National Park, California
As much as I dislike the crowds at Yosemite, they do have a great bike path in Yosemite Valley. Bike rentals are available at Yosemite Lodge and Half Dome Village and the interconnected trail links Yosemite Falls, Mirror Lake, Yosemite Village and Half Dome Village. Biking in Yosemite Valley is the best way to get around – avoid the traffic and crowds and enjoy nature from two wheels.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This will always hold a special place in my heart. Although the Greenway Trail is only 2.8 miles long, it connects Mather Campground, Grand Canyon Visitors Center and follows along the rim of the Grand Canyon! Talk about scenic. Not only that, the Greenway Trail is the place where Little G finally figured out the intricacies of balance, pedaling and steering on two wheels. Not many four-year-olds can say they learned to ride a bike at the Grand Canyon.
Bicycle rentals (including baby trailers) are available at the Grand Canyon visitor center on the South Rim. Get out early to avoid the heat and crowds.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Whetherill Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park offers a six-mile paved bike loop, that even Little G enjoyed – and she wasn’t even pedaling yet. The path connects to several ruin sites including Badger House, Community House, Step House and Long House.
In the summer Step House is open for self-guided tours, but if you want to tour Long House you need a ranger ticket. You could even join their ranger-led hike and bike tour to see all of Whetherill Mesa’s features with someone who really knows.
These are my top picks for the Five Best National Parks for Family Biking. Am I missing any? Where are your favorite places to bike with kids?
Susan Strayer, author of MountainMomandTots.com is all about getting families into nature. She lives with her husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah and spends her time hiking, biking, skiing and camping as much as possible.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.