Wilderness Inquiry’s family trips are a great way for people of all ages to experience our treasured public lands as they’ve never seen them before. On a recent family trip, five families from across the country got an in-depth view of Yellowstone National Park through six days of hiking, paddling, and exploring.
“One of my favorite parts of these family trips is seeing people experience a place for the first time. Adults and kids alike grow as they experience more and more,” Wilderness Inquiry’s Julia Schweitzer said.
The Yellowstone trip included a hike to the summit of Mount Washburn, 10,219 feet above sea level. Even though the climb is challenging everyone in the group, even the 7-year-old felt the energy of Yellowstone and completed the hike. At the summit, the group was greeted by a lounging bighorn sheep and amazing views of the park’s mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, and herds of bison roving across plains for miles. But the summit was only the beginning. Despite just climbing to 10,000 feet, the kids took the opportunity to run down the mountain, slide on the dirt path, and kick up as much dust as possible.
The rest of trip was filled with the big spectacles and little adventures. Together the families saw Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser, Grand Prismatic Spring, and Grand Canyon. They also went off Yellowstone’s beaten path to paddle on Yellowstone Lake and hike out to Lone Star Geyser, which erupts every three hours for about 15 minutes.
It’s important to get away from the crowds while in Yellowstone to feel the peaceful power of the earth around you and hear the quiet of the natural world.
One participant described Yellowstone as powerful. She saw power everywhere. Power in the rushing water of rivers cascading as waterfalls. Power in the solid mountains. Power in the geysers that spray the sky. Power in the bison in the valley. Power of the Earth’s forces beneath our feet. Power of connectedness as everything in the park is connected, and so are we.
There is also something in the power of Yellowstone that brings people together. Siblings, friends, families and strangers. People arrive at Yellowstone without knowing the other people they are about to spend the next week with.They leave with new friends and shared experiences of beautiful places, adventures, and accomplishments.
Share the adventure with your kids! Youth under 18 go for half price on all WI family trips: