Hiking in California – Tenaya Lake to Happy Isles

Yosemite National Park, CA
Age Range:  Pre-teens+ with hiking experience
Recommendations:  This hike connects the high country with Yosemite Valley so the weather can change pretty dramatically along the way.  Be prepared for just about anything!  If you plan to summit Half Dome, be sure to get the proper permits as described in my Half Dome review.

After nearly a year of being away from Yosemite National Park, I was seriously ready to get back to one of my favorite places on the planet. I had a couple of days on my own before meeting friends in the valley so I decided to hitch a ride to Tenaya Lake and enjoy a two-day shakedown walk on my own.  An added benefit would be the opportunity to visit Clouds Rest and Half Dome, two of my favorite places, along the way.

In an earlier post, I described the walk to Clouds Rest so I won’t go into detail here. It is a great walk in its own right and highly recommended if you only have time for a one day adventure. Read more ›

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Hiking In California – Clouds Rest

Yosemite National Park, CA
Family Friendly?:  Yes
Age Range:  Pre-Teens +
Recommendations:  This is a long hike with potentia

Most people know Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park as the ridge you see behind Half Dome from Yosemite Valley, if they notice it at all. What most people don’t know is that Clouds Rest is actually higher, more accessible and offers a superior view than Half Dome.

The Clouds Rest hike begins at Tenaya Lake. The trail crosses the Tenaya Lake outlet and in my experience it is best to take off your shoes to make the short, shallow crossing rather than spend the entire day with wet feet. Be forewarned, Read more ›

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OGO Balls

Roundtop Mountain Resort, PA
Family Friendly?:  Yes
Age Range:  Ages 6+, ages 6 and 7 must ride with a rider 14+
Restrictions:  Maximum rider weight is 275 pounds, maximum combined weight for up to 3 riders is 550 pounds
Recommendations:  OGO balls are great fun for all ages 6+.  The OGO Balls are part of an Adventure Package includes many other activities.  The sweet spot for the package seems to be families with kids ages 6 to around 14.  Teenagers and adults will enjoy the OGOs but may find the other activities to be oriented towards a younger crowd.

OGO Balls

Looking through an OGO Ball

(Updated 3/10/16) When it comes to weird outdoor activities, riding the OGO Balls at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania ranks right up there.  I had experienced their Vertical Trek canopy tour a year earlier and had a blast so I thought I would give OGOs a try.  They kept me entertained for a solid couple of hours.

OGO Balls consist of an 11 foot diameter ball with a second 6 foot ball suspended inside by 1,200 colorful cords.  Needless to say, the balls are pretty striking visually. Read more ›

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Backcountry Skiing – Epic Trip To Mt. Washington

Tuckerman Ravine, NH
Family Friendly?:  Yes
Age Range:  Pre-teens and up
Recommendations:  This place can be scary if you climb or ski in the wrong place, but the nice thing about it is you can usually see what you are getting into.  The upper snowfields are intermediate cruisers but then you still have to negotiate some double black diamond terrain on the way down.  The lower reaches of the bowl and the area between the bowl and the shelters can be skied by just about all abilities. On the steeper sections be aware of the people above you.  Sliders are common and they won’t be able to avoid you. 

A few years ago a good friend and I decided it was time for a pilgrimage to Tuckerman Ravine on New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington. Both of us were visiting the east coast after a great winter in California and we needed a fix of backcountry skiing. Unfortunately the weather forecast was calling for rain, skiing in the ravine had been closed for a few days and we were about an 8 hour drive away. Being the optimistic knuckleheads that we are, we decided to go anyway. Read more ›

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This site is dedicated to reviewing great family-friendly adventures. We focus on activities that exercise the body, challenge the mind, or both. We hope you find something to enjoy with your family!

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