Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

The summer tourist crowds have left beautiful Northern California, leaving near-empty (and ever inviting) state parks and recreation areas behind. If you're looking to take an off-season road trip or family weekend getaway this autumn, consider a stay (or day trip) in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We love this state park (located right along Highway 199 and not far from Highway 101 and … [Read more...]

Oregon Caves National Monument

If you're driving along Hwy 199 to or from the California or Oregon coast and I-5, a stop off the beaten path at Oregon Caves National Monument is well-worth a few hours of your time! A beautiful 20 mile drive from the highway (up OR-46), Oregon Caves offers cave tours of one of the few marble caves in the world, easy hiking trails, a gorgeous lodge with dining, and breathtaking scenery. The … [Read more...]

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

John Day Fossil Beds (Image via Wikipedia) Kimberly, OR Eastern Oregon offers much in the way of outdoor exploration for families, but the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is often overlooked. There are 3 locations along Hwy 26, but the visitor center and main displays are at the Sheep Rock Unit on Hwy 19 off of Hwy 26 (about 70 miles east of Prineville). There is a fantastic visitor … [Read more...]

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation

198 Purgatory Rd. Sutton MA This pit stop submitted by Pit Stops for Kids reader Sonia Beshiri. Thank you, Sonia, for your submission! Purgatory Chasm State Park runs for a quarter of a mile between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet (just outside of Sutton, MA). It's a great place to climb natural rock formations, and it's completely free! There are trails as well. You just need your … [Read more...]

A Pit Stop a Day (Day 19): Hiking in Zion Canyon

We devoted Day 19 to morning hikes in Zion National Park and the afternoon to floating along the Virgin River behind our room at the Cliffrose Lodge. We began our day at the visitor's center, where we consulted the shuttle route (also found in the park newsletter) and planned our hike to the Emerald Pools on the Zion Lodge shuttle stop. The Emerald Pools is a great hike for kids because you … [Read more...]

A Pit Stop a Day (Day 13): Hidden Falls Hike, Grand Teton NP

On Day 13, we set off from Colter Bay Village Resort to hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point on Jenny Lake. This two mile (each way) moderate hike culminates near the Jenny Lake ferry boat shuttle dock on the far side of Jenny Lake, where the trail climbs up from the lake, following swift-moving Cascade Creek to Hidden Falls. From there, hikers can continue .5 mile to Inspiration Point, … [Read more...]

A Pit Stop a Day (Day 11): Yellowstone National Park

Day 11, we drove the short distance on Hwy 191 from Big Sky Resort to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone crowds swarm the Old Faithful hub of this massive park, so after entering at the West Entrance, we drove north from the Madison hub to Artists' Paintpots, then back-tracked to Firehole River for a wonderful swimming hole. At Artists' Paintpots, you'll find a well-maintained loop trail … [Read more...]

A Pit Stop a Day (Day 6): Logan Pass, Glacier National Park

Day 6 was our last full day at the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park. For today's featured pit stop, we decided to hike from Logan's Pass to Hidden Lake. We drove the approximate 21 miles back to the St. Mary Visitor Center Park Entrance, then another few to the Logan Pass Visitor Center at the peak of the famed Going to the Sun Road (en route, we stopped to let a black bear cross the … [Read more...]

Enterprise Park and Kids’ Kingdom

4000 Victor Ave Redding CA We drive through Redding, CA often, and I'm ever on the hunt for a great park. On our most recent pass down I-5, we found one worthy of being declared a pit stop! Kids' Kingdom is a section of the larger Enterprise Park that spans several city blocks. Whereas the park at large seems to cater to the sports and leisure crowd (lots of soccer fields and picnic areas), … [Read more...]

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

15101 Lancaster Road Lancaster, CA Think you can't find rolling hills and wildflower habitats right outside of Los Angeles? Think again! If your southern California family vacation takes you down I-5 (especially from February to May, when the wildflower blooms are most vibrant), the detour to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, part of the California State Park system, is worth the … [Read more...]