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  1. #1

    Default Yellowstone vs. Grand Canyons

    My wife and I are wanting to plan a summer road trip to one of these to parks and are looking for suggestions. We have two boys that will be 9 and 6 when we go in mid July. We are planning on about 10 days total trip time, and we live about 100 miles north of Houston, TX. We are trying to do this as affordable as we can but also make some great family memories.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default chicken or beef

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Both of those destinations are great places that have earned the reputation of being some of the most special places in the US, and for very good reason.

    Having said that, its really not something that anyone else can decide for you, since the "right answer" is the one that is most suited to your family and what they are interested in. I'd spend some time looking into both the parks with your kids, and see which gets your family more excited.

    The one other factor that you should consider is the distance, Yellowstone would add basically a full extra day of driving each way, and on a 10 day total trip traveling with kids, would be on the outer edge of the longest distance I would go. The Grand Canyon would be a good 2.5 day drive one way, while Yellowstone would really need 3 overnight stops before you get there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Geology vs geology

    Both are incredible geological wonders, with views that no picture can truly do justice.

    Having been to both places in July, Yellowstone is more apt to give you surprises at that time of year. On our visit, we were wearing out winter coats while playing in the snow that was falling in the higher elevations in the park.

    Depending on what you're into, it may be that Grand Canyon is more of a viewing park, where Yellowstone offers more opportunity to get out and explore without so much strenuous activity.

  4. Default My opinion

    Our children are grown now but we took them to Yellowstone numerous times when they were younger. They loved it! In fact they loved it so much that when my son graduated from college he worked in Yellowstone for two summers and a winter and now is a permanent Montana resident.

    There are many opportunities in Yellowstone to explore and discover with only the cost of the park entry fee. One of my kids favorite activities was climbing on the rocks just outside of Mammoth. If you go, be part of the 2% and take a hike into the back country. There are lots of nice short hikes (1-5 miles) that will let you see a part of the world that most people never see.

    My adult daughter and I went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this past summer and while we were awestruck with the beauty and enjoyed an hour of gazing we were satisfied with our hour and hit the road. I'm sure others who have spent more time exploring the Grand Canyon and are enthralled with it would offer more ideas and reasons to choose the Grand Canyon, but my vote is for Yellowstone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    There is no shortage of activities at either of these two great national parks. There are hikes, both short, and a bit longer. There are plants, animals, insects and views to marvel at. And I would have to agree, try to get away from the 'touristy' bits, especially in July.

    Another service of the national parks not to be overlooked, especially with the ages of your children, is the Junior Ranger program. You may be able to get the details of this on the web long before going.

    My grandchildren, the ages of yours, have simple cameras to take on trips. Nothing like having taken your own pictures to take for 'show and tell' or to give to grandparents. I must say, I treasure those out of focus, half on the picture, and other flawed photos I have received.

    Another thing they have made into a real travel souvenir is their own road atlas, by marking all the places to which the family has travelled.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default scratching the surface

    I've got to say, if you only visit any national park for an hour and move on, you're just barely scratching the surface. Its not to say you can't enjoy that hour, but to then compare it to a park where you've spent days upon days exploring, its just not being fair. Obviously the one you've spent more time is going to be the one you've got more and better memories from.

    Everything that was said about Yellowstone being a great place because just by taking a short hike you can see things that so many people don't get to see is just as much true at the Grand Canyon, where many visitors look over a couple of viewpoints and move on, without really exploring the meat of the park.

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