|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – September 2009
Pack up your brood for a day in the outdoors with these kid-friendly trails.
MT. WASHBURN, NY
Climb a big (easy) peak.
Yellowstone National Park's 10,243-foot Mt. Washburn is a gentle giant. The payoff on this five-mile round-trip: 360-degree views of the country's first national park, including the maw of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and–on a clear day–the distant Tetons. A herd of bighorn sheep inhabits the upper slopes, plus there's a firetower (complete with restrooms) at the top. Start from the Chittenden Road trailhead for a steady 2.5-mile climb on a wide, gravelly trail up Washburn's open ridge. The three-mile Dunraven Pass Trail offers greater challenges: steep switchbacks and a ridgeline traverse. Either way, it's 1,400 feet of elevation gain, a huge accomplishment for kids about 8 and up. nps.gov/yell
Keep them climbing with the promise of huckleberry ice cream served in a homemade waffle cone–from Raccoon's in Gardiner. (406) 848-2240
Drive 4.7 miles north of Canyon Junction, on Canyon-Tower Rd., to Dunraven Pass Picnic Area. Chittenden Road trailhead is another 4.75 miles straight ahead.