The 10 Best National Parks

Grand Teton National Park, Moose, WY


Total Acres: 310,000

Number of Family-Friendly Trails: 25 (three are stroller-accessible)

Best Time to Visit: July and August, when average high temperatures are just shy of 80 degrees and monthly rainfall is a little over an inch.

  • Publishes The Grand Adventure, an activity-based newspaper for kids focusing on park geology, wildlife, and American Indian culture.
  • Houses the Teton Junior Science School, which offers weeklong summer classes such as "Insectopia" for third- to sixth-graders.
  • Has many on-site lodging options, including 905 campsites (with "central comfort stations" that have flush toilets), Jackson Lake Lodge (which boasts an outdoor pool), and Colter Bay Village log cabins (complete with a food court).
  • Hosts lake cruises with family-friendly cuisine such as moose-shaped pancakes.
  • Features three major visitors' centers, each with a kids' activity area and bookstore with many children's titles, such as If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon.

Grand Teton National Park is a feast for the eyes -- breathtaking visuals include a 13,770-foot mountain, blue glaciers, and 300-plus bird species. But the park's not just pretty, it's practical. "We offer the activities of a large national park in a manageable size so families can easily get around," says Joan Anzelmo, public affairs chief.

What are the coolest things to do? For an up-close look at wildlife including moose, blue herons, and pelicans, take a half-day trip on a 15-person rubber raft down the Snake River (one of the few national-park rivers that are safe for floating) or schedule a guided horseback or wagon ride through the woods. And 8- to 12-year-olds shouldn't miss the daily 90-minute Junior Ranger programs chock-full of scavenger hunts, short hikes, and habitat games.

Contact: 307-739-3600;

Entrance fee: $20 per vehicle for a seven-day pass.

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