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The old saying goes “Start ‘em young & they’ll be hooked for life.” Whether you realize it or not, you play a significant role in helping your kids fall in love with the great outdoors. Here’s a few kid friendly activities in the High Sierra to help spark their imagination & provide a sense of wonder like nothing else can.

Hike the Big Trees Trail

sequoia national park big trees hike
Image appears courtesy: Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau

What’s cooler than seeing trees? Seeing BIG trees! And to see as many giant sequoias as you can, the Big Trees Trail in Sequoia National Park is the place to go. It’s an easy one-mile loop, starting at the Giant Forest Museum & crossing the street to the paved trail. Be ready to rekindle your own inner child.

For more fun ideas in and around Visalia, check out their website.

Treetop Adventure Park

Treetop Adventure Park
Image appears courtesy: North Lake Tahoe Chamber

For those with kids a bit older that enjoy climbing and “monkeying” around, the Treetop Adventure Park at the Granlibakken Tahoe is perfect! Built high up in the canopy of Lake Tahoe’s west shore, they can zip line, climb & swing from the trees. While adventurers at least 4′ 8″ can explore the more difficult Monkey Courses, kids 5 & up can give the park’s easier Flying Squirrel zone a try.

Not enough? Check out Tahoe North’s posts on family fun ideas or high flying adventures.

Hot Creek Fish Hatchery

Image appears courtesy: Mono County Economic Development, Tourism and Film Commission

There’s something magical about fish for children. And with the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery being one of the largest fish hatcheries in California, it’s a must stop if you’re anywhere near Mammoth Lakes. Raising over a million rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout, both kids & adults alike will be entertained. Enjoy seeing fish along the “raceways” in their various developmental stages. Preschoolers will be delighted as the trout rush toward the surface at feeding time. And if a ranger is there, you’ll also get to feed the fish & learn about how California repopulates trout in our local lakes.

Want more? Check out Visit Mammoth’s full list of fun family friendly adventures.

Become A Yosemite Junior Ranger

Photo by: Keith Walklet – Image appears courtesy: Yosemite Conservancy

There’s a reason why Yosemite is California’s most popular National Park. From gazing at the iconic Half Dome to wandering past two-thousand-year-old giants & massive waterfalls, there’s so much to see and do. Why not kick it up a notch and have your kids become rangers! Through Yosemite’s Junior Ranger program, they can earn one-of-a-kind wooden badges with nature-focused walks & talks, educational worksheets and stewardship activities. This is your chance to inspire your kids to learn about & protect the natural resources in our national parks.

Check here for to learn more about the Yosemite Junior Ranger program.

Research has shown over & over again that kids who spend time in nature are much more motivated as adults to get outside, and thus recoup the many physical, mental, and emotional health benefits that come from it. So, don’t let another weekend or vacation pass by. It’s the perfect time to explore one of these many kid friendly activities in the High Sierra.

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at

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