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National Park Adventure Vacations

National Park Tours for Families and Small Groups

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Wonder awaits on a national parks adventure. Discover stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and heart-pumping activities on a vacation of a lifetime.

They’re called America’s best idea for a reason, and they are always worth exploring. On a National Park tour, you’ll actively explore and experience these protected lands; stepping off the beaten path and discovering a world that not every visitor gets to witness. This is where the true adventure takes place.

The varied geography and climate of the parks offer a range of activities from hiking and biking to rafting, fishing, and even relaxing by a campfire. National Park adventure vacations combine travel with action, allowing you to experience the environment with activities that are ideally suited for your destination.

To help you sort through all the information, we’ve developed a National Parks Vacation Planning Guide. Download it today for expert insights and planning information we’ve gathered over the decades.

Hear from our Happy Guests
4.85/5 Rating | 6,500+ Reviews

What our guests say about their National Park Adventures

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Bryce Canyon & Zion Adventure - June 2024

AMAZING!!!!

"What a fantastic trip with Austin Adventures to St. George, Bryce and Zion! Our guides Nicole and Jenny were the best of the best. Everything from accommodation, to meals, to activities were so well planned and thought out. The scenery was beyond my expectations. Hopefully burned into my memory for a lifetime. The photos just don't do these majestic places justice. HIking, biking, kayaking and rapelling were all such fun, some days more challenging than others! The weather was HOT! 100-112F most days, but the girls were so prepared with water, and their "salty" snacks and making sure everyone took adequate breaks.I applaud them for always carrying extra on their own backs, that could not have been easy in the heat. The drives were entertaining and the music was plentiful and well chosen!! We an AWESOME group of 10, which totally contributed to the trip being as wonderful as it was. Not often do people gel as we all did. Thanks again Austin, you've outdone yourself with this one. (Pair those 2 girls up again, they worked super well together!!!!)

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"What a fantastic trip with Austin Adventures to St. George, Bryce and Zion! Our guides… read more

"What a fantastic trip with Austin Adventures to St. George, Bryce and Zion! Our guides Nicole and Jenny were the best of the best. Everything from accommodation, to meals, to activities were so well planned and thought out. The scenery was beyond my expectations. Hopefully burned into my memory for a lifetime. The photos just don't do these majestic places justice. HIking, biking, kayaking and rapelling were all such fun, some days more challenging than others! The weather was HOT! 100-112F most days, but the girls were so prepared with water, and their "salty" snacks and making sure everyone took adequate breaks.I applaud them for always carrying extra on their own backs, that could not have been easy in the heat. The drives were entertaining and the music was plentiful and well chosen!! We an AWESOME group of 10, which totally contributed to the trip being as wonderful as it was. Not often do people gel as we all did. Thanks again Austin, you've outdone yourself with this one. (Pair those 2 girls up again, they worked super well together!!!!) read less

5 Stars (179 reviews)

T Tracy | June 2024

Bryce Canyon & Zion Adventure - June 2024

Excellent trip

"We had a blast, and enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people who by the end of the week were friends. Our guides, Jenny and Nicole, were outstanding.

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"We had a blast, and enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people who by the… read more

"We had a blast, and enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people who by the end of the week were friends. Our guides, Jenny and Nicole, were outstanding. read less

5 Stars (179 reviews)

F Faber | June 2024

Yosemite Adventure - June 2024

Magnificent Yosemite

"What a fantastic trip to Yosemite! Our guides Kevin and Joel were THE BEST... funny, thoughtful, flexible and caring. The hotels are spectacular and the hikes are fantastic. We were unsure about the rock climbing, but Drew made it very accessible and fun. Highly recommend!

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"What a fantastic trip to Yosemite! Our guides Kevin and Joel were THE BEST...… read more

"What a fantastic trip to Yosemite! Our guides Kevin and Joel were THE BEST... funny, thoughtful, flexible and caring. The hotels are spectacular and the hikes are fantastic. We were unsure about the rock climbing, but Drew made it very accessible and fun. Highly recommend! read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

M Melissa | June 2024

Yosemite Adventure - May 2024

Yosemite

"This was our first trip with Austin Adventures as a couple. We were matched up with two really fun couples from the Boston area, and unbeknown to us, we shared mutual friends.

It was a well planned trip to the Yosemite National Park with fantastic guides who worked very hard to make each day special. I travelled with my legally blind partner, who is an avid skier and hiker. Without really having to ask, our guides quickly adapted to her unique needs and made her experience even more exciting and memorable. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to our guides Joel and Kevin.

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"This was our first trip with Austin Adventures as a couple. We were matched up… read more

"This was our first trip with Austin Adventures as a couple. We were matched up with two really fun couples from the Boston area, and unbeknown to us, we shared mutual friends.

It was a well planned trip to the Yosemite National Park with fantastic guides who worked very hard to make each day special. I travelled with my legally blind partner, who is an avid skier and hiker. Without really having to ask, our guides quickly adapted to her unique needs and made her experience even more exciting and memorable. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to our guides Joel and Kevin. read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

M Miles | May 2024

Yosemite Adventure - May 2024

Great Experience!

"We had an awesome visit to Yosemite! It was our first time on an Austin Adventures trip, and our first time visiting Yosemite National Park. The park is beautiful, and our guides (Kevin and Joel) did a great job of showing us the best the park has to offer. My favorite day was our hike to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls along the Mist Trail. There was a huge rainbow spanning the valley just below the first set of falls that made it feel magical. I also really enjoyed our first experience rock climbing. Each day and each experience was thoroughly planned by our guides, making the week even more enjoyable.

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"We had an awesome visit to Yosemite! It was our first time on an Austin… read more

"We had an awesome visit to Yosemite! It was our first time on an Austin Adventures trip, and our first time visiting Yosemite National Park. The park is beautiful, and our guides (Kevin and Joel) did a great job of showing us the best the park has to offer. My favorite day was our hike to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls along the Mist Trail. There was a huge rainbow spanning the valley just below the first set of falls that made it feel magical. I also really enjoyed our first experience rock climbing. Each day and each experience was thoroughly planned by our guides, making the week even more enjoyable. read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

T Thomas | May 2024

Yosemite Adventure - May 2024

Helyne Hamelburg

"We had an amazing time with Kevin and Joel as our guides. They took care of everything for us making this a truly spectacular vacation. Their knowledge of the area was amazing . We knew exactly what to expect and were completely prepared for every hike. Although I was really afraid, the day of rock climbing was one of my favorite days!

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"We had an amazing time with Kevin and Joel as our guides. They took… read more

"We had an amazing time with Kevin and Joel as our guides. They took care of everything for us making this a truly spectacular vacation. Their knowledge of the area was amazing . We knew exactly what to expect and were completely prepared for every hike. Although I was really afraid, the day of rock climbing was one of my favorite days! read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

H Helyne | May 2024

Yosemite Adventure - May 2024

Yosemite Adventure Lives Up to Hype

"The adult tour of Yosemite we recently went on lived up to and exceeded all of my expectations. The scenery and views were breathtaking, the hikes were challenging, the rock climbing was an unexpected fun activity that was a blast. The guides, Kevin and Joel were courteous, considerate, fun and knew how to make our trip extra special. By the end of the week, they felt like friends, not our guides. This is my second Austin Adventures trip and will certainly not be my last.

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"The adult tour of Yosemite we recently went on lived up to and exceeded all… read more

"The adult tour of Yosemite we recently went on lived up to and exceeded all of my expectations. The scenery and views were breathtaking, the hikes were challenging, the rock climbing was an unexpected fun activity that was a blast. The guides, Kevin and Joel were courteous, considerate, fun and knew how to make our trip extra special. By the end of the week, they felt like friends, not our guides. This is my second Austin Adventures trip and will certainly not be my last. read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

S Stephen | May 2024

Yosemite Adventure - May 2024

Long awaited and surpassed expectations

"I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure to Yosemite NP with Austin Adventures!! Our group leaders (Joel and Kevin) treated us with royalty! ...including the 'Red Carpet'!!! The 'home cooked lunches' during our adventures were out of this world! They handled even the most difficult of situations with poise and grace. Our group of twelve were more like family! We laughed together! Helped each other! And made decisions that suited everyone. The accommodations were superb! The meals delicious...with lots of good choices too.
The hiking and climbing schedule/plan was perfect. Every day was filled with beauty and wonder from the MANY cascading waterfalls to the thick forest and sequoias.

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"I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure to Yosemite NP with Austin Adventures!! Our group leaders (Joel… read more

"I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure to Yosemite NP with Austin Adventures!! Our group leaders (Joel and Kevin) treated us with royalty! ...including the 'Red Carpet'!!! The 'home cooked lunches' during our adventures were out of this world! They handled even the most difficult of situations with poise and grace. Our group of twelve were more like family! We laughed together! Helped each other! And made decisions that suited everyone. The accommodations were superb! The meals delicious...with lots of good choices too.
The hiking and climbing schedule/plan was perfect. Every day was filled with beauty and wonder from the MANY cascading waterfalls to the thick forest and sequoias. read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

J Julie | May 2024

Yosemite Adventure - May 2024

Let them do the work so you can enjoy the time

"First time using an adventure company and I will use them a lot in the future. They are great at planning and keeping things moving. They solve problems. They are just good at making these trips easy.

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"First time using an adventure company and I will use them a lot in the… read more

"First time using an adventure company and I will use them a lot in the future. They are great at planning and keeping things moving. They solve problems. They are just good at making these trips easy.
read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

B Ben | May 2024

Yosemite Adventure - May 2024

Yosemite

"The week was a whirlwind of perfection. Gorgeous hikes, super fun guides, everything ran smoothly!

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"The week was a whirlwind of perfection. Gorgeous hikes, super fun guides, everything ran… read more

"The week was a whirlwind of perfection. Gorgeous hikes, super fun guides, everything ran smoothly! read less

5 Stars (18 reviews)

L Laura | May 2024

Arches & Canyonlands Adventure - May 2024

really nice trip thanks to cool weather and great guides

"We were blessed to have cool weather that made hiking and biking easy. The hotel was in a great location and the people were very friendly. The best part was the Hummer tour.

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"We were blessed to have cool weather that made hiking and biking easy. The hotel… read more

"We were blessed to have cool weather that made hiking and biking easy. The hotel was in a great location and the people were very friendly. The best part was the Hummer tour. read less

5 Stars (58 reviews)

S Sherry | May 2024

Arches & Canyonlands Adventure - May 2024

Keith

"Everything from pre trip communication to post trip followup was awesome (especially everything in between). Guides Joel and Steve were great and took care of all the details so we had truly no worries and were both informative and entertaining.

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"Everything from pre trip communication to post trip followup was awesome (especially everything in between).… read more

"Everything from pre trip communication to post trip followup was awesome (especially everything in between). Guides Joel and Steve were great and took care of all the details so we had truly no worries and were both informative and entertaining. read less

5 Stars (58 reviews)

K Keith | May 2024

Yellowstone in Winter - February 2024

Yellowstone great! With Steve and Bryson even greater!

"We had a blast on the Yellowstone in Winter trip! Our guides Steve and Bryson made the trip fun for the whole group. Five stars and highly recommend!

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"We had a blast on the Yellowstone in Winter trip! Our guides Steve and Bryson… read more

"We had a blast on the Yellowstone in Winter trip! Our guides Steve and Bryson made the trip fun for the whole group. Five stars and highly recommend! read less

5 Stars (30 reviews)

C Conrad | February 2024

Yellowstone in Winter - February 2024

Surpassed Expectations

"Yellowstone in Winter by Austin Adventures exceeded all my expectations. The guides and accommodations were outstanding. The wildlife and scenery was amazing.

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"Yellowstone in Winter by Austin Adventures exceeded all my expectations. The guides and accommodations… read more

"Yellowstone in Winter by Austin Adventures exceeded all my expectations. The guides and accommodations were outstanding. The wildlife and scenery was amazing. read less

5 Stars (30 reviews)

M Millicent | February 2024

Yellowstone in Winter - February 2024

Incredible wildlife

"The wildlife was outstanding in winter. Our guides, Steve Rogers and Bryson Shafer were exceptional in taking care of us and making a hard job seem easy. They had our well-being and safety in mind and made our experience fun. We laughed a lot.

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"The wildlife was outstanding in winter. Our guides, Steve Rogers and Bryson Shafer were exceptional… read more

"The wildlife was outstanding in winter. Our guides, Steve Rogers and Bryson Shafer were exceptional in taking care of us and making a hard job seem easy. They had our well-being and safety in mind and made our experience fun. We laughed a lot. read less

5 Stars (30 reviews)

J John | February 2024

AUS Square Deal Posts 4 v2

Take 10% off the trip price when you book a trip and pay in full

By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. This offer is only valid for reservations where the trip is no sooner than 180 days from the departure date at time of booking.

We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance – you can find details here.

T+Cs Apply. Read more here.

 

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Secure Your Spot Now, Pay the Rest Later

As members of the Active Adventures family, Austin Adventures offers booking assurance that allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days (180 days for Africa and Himalayas trips) from your original trip start date.  

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Finding the Best National Parks to Visit

When looking for the best national parks to visit, consider what you'd like to see and do, then consult the experts who explore them for fun.

Several of America’s most incredible national parks are our weekend playgrounds, while others have left an indelible mark on our souls after visiting. Read our list of the best national parks to visit and consider adding one or two of them to your own must-visit list. 

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Small Group National Park Vacations for Adults and Families

National Parks vacations are a great way for families to connect while exploring some of the most unique places on earth. From the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone to the epic views of the Grand Canyon, there are countless treasures for families to experience on a national parks vacation. In a small group led by seasoned pros, you’ll have unparalleled insider access and enjoy included activities that are geared towards families.

Looking for an adult-only national parks vacation? We offer those, too! Our expertise spans generations, allowing you to fully experience your destination in a way that’s fun and memorable. 

Meet Your National Park Adventure Guides

National Park Adventure Blogs

National Park Adventure FAQs

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Austin Adventures traveler, it’s highly recommended you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of travel delays, missed connections, medical expenses or injury, or lost baggage for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Protection page for more in-depth information and our recommended insurance provider.

What's included on your North America trips?

Accommodation

We've spent years finding places to stay that are quaint, perfectly-located, and comfortable when we take you to the most amazing parts of North America. We offer a wide variety of accommodations on our trips ranging from locally run inns and first-class hotels to resorts, dude ranches and historic national park cabins. Accommodations are selected for their location, unique charm and history, and offer a true feel for the region. We strongly believe in the value of a good night's sleep and our accommodation reflects this. We also like to have somewhere comfortable to relax after the day's activities.

Transport

We're really focused on ensuring that we spend as little time as possible sitting in vehicles, and that we optimise your vacation for adventuring in the great outdoors. Our average driving time is just over two hours a day, and we make plenty of stops for bathroom breaks and sightseeing along the way. We use modern, comfortable 15-passenger vans for all of our transfers and a second van is added to most departures to provide more flexibility and more room to spread out while seeing the sights! Make no mistake - our trips are not typical bus tour vacation packages! Picture more of a road trip with family complete with good music, tasty snacks, and plenty of guide-supplied fun facts along the way to keep you entertained!

Meals

Just about all your meals are included when you travel with Austin Adventures in North America. We provide a wide variety of cuisine - breakfasts are typically eaten at your hotel on your own time in the morning before meeting up with the group. Lunches feature everything from elaborate picnics to roadside cafes to sandwiches trailside. Dinners are usually eaten at our hotel's dining room or a local restaurant with plenty of options to choose from. We easily cater to vegetarians, picky kids, and people with particular dietary needs. All our guides have food safety certificates and are well-practiced in the art of food prep and serving while on-the-move. You'll find the meals are a real highlight of your trip!

All Guiding Services

Each trip features two or three incredible guides and our average guest to guide ratio is 6:1. Our guests are often drawn to North America by the beautiful scenic landscapes, promise of wilderness and clean air - and there's no doubt you'll find all that, though what you may not be expecting is to forge real, genuine friendships with your fellow tripmates, including our wonderful guides. They're hands-down the BEST guides you'll ever come across.

Activities

Any activity described in our itinerary, such as hiking, rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and biking, are included in your trip cost. Our itineraries are pretty jam-packed to maximize our time spent exploring in these amazing places, and your guides will make it clear if there are additional activities available (at your expense).

How many people are there on each of our North America trips?

We generally take up to 18 people per trip, although this can vary, and all our trips have at least two of our guides to look after you (apart from the occasions we have a small group). We have found that our trips tend to attract a particular kind of person and many people have commented that the social scene was one of the highlights of their trip!

Our adult-only departures require a minimum age of 16 years and our family departures require a minimum age of 6 years to join (7 years on our Alaska Family Adventure) and are a great way to meet other like-minded families who like to get outside.
Please note child rates apply to children 12 years and under.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We welcome many solo travelers on our trips – in fact, we get so many solo travelers and they always say it’s a great way to travel alone, but not actually by themselves. You’ll have an incredible adventure sharing your experiences with other like-minded travelers, and the best part is we don't charge extra for solo travelers, providing you don’t mind sharing a room. However, for bookings within 90 days of your chosen departure, a forced single supplement will apply if there is no other guest of the same gender already booked to share with.

If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room, if one is available. 

If I book a trip with my children, will I be sharing a room with them?

Active Adventures & Austin Adventures family vacations are naturally about spending time with family and as such, most families opt to share rooms on our trips. At time of booking, families consisting of four guests with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at the guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

What if I need a special diet?

We’re accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • pescatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • no pork (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)
  • picky kids (send us a list of what your child will eat and we'll make sure to have it!)
You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in your travel wallet. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online travel wallet.

 

How much luggage can I bring on the North America trips?

You are allowed one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage should not exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and can be anything from a duffle bag to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase. You’ll also want a good quality backpack sized 25-30 liters (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days.

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get cash?

You'll be able to find a reliable ATM once you arrive to start your trip, within the township or at the airport you land in, as national park ATM locations are sparse at best. Aside from tips for your guides, you could bring $200 and go home with change though some people like to bring some cash to cover a round of drinks, a few souvenirs, and dinner on "night on your own", although you could just as easily use a credit card for these purchases too.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size) and we recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

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Why travel with us

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Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading average 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience.

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Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit all inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. All you need to do is show up!

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Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted partners and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides.

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Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

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"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience.