We have been thinking about taking our family on an extended overland trip for sometime now, but with so many different options, it was hard to choose. So we dug our heels in and found what we think are the most family friendly trails out there. Finally, we were able to narrow it down to our favorite 5 trails with amazing views and plenty of historical stops along the way.
The Enchanted Rockies Trail is more than magical. Starting in New Mexico and ending in Colorado, you will not regret taking in these views. Although this trail is mild and can be traveled easily, it is not recommended during the winter months, as the trails can begin to get treacherous. Stretching to almost 800 miles, and through 9 national forests, our personal favorite is Pike and San Isabel. With breathtaking views of the pine trees, you won’t be dreaming of home. Make sure to visit the 6 landmarks along the way – including Bishops Castle for a cool history story along with a killer castle.
The Valley Of The Gods just sounds like a place that we needed to see. Located in Utah, this trail can be completed in about an hour loop. Enjoy the wowing rock formations that have been there for hundreds of years. This trail is easily passable, but avoid it when it rains, as it can get unnavigable even with a 4x4. If you finish the Valley Of The Gods and you are looking for a little extra awe, Goosenecks state park is only 10 minutes away. Trust us when we say it’s worth the extra travel time.
The Grand Arizona Traverse is as grand as they say it is. Stretching over 188 miles from North Arizona all the way to the Grand Canyon, you can expect the most breathtaking views. Passing through multiple quaint little towns, make sure to stop by the diners for some good eats. This trip can be accompanied by family but is only recommended to travel during summertime. This trip can get a little more treacherous towards the end, with a steep cliff edge, but comes up on the Grand Canyon for the ultimate ending.
The Continental Divide is one of the longest overland trip treading across 3100 miles of the ridgeline. Using forest roads, this trip extends through the Rocky Mountains, Canada and Mexico. Typically this adventure can be taken with a standard overland vehicle, but you should be prepared to camp along the way. Move through multiple beautiful lakes and springs with elevation around 13,000ft. Don’t forget to stop for the hot springs and take a dip into what feels like freedom.
The classic, most favored Mojave Road is the journey most taken by the typical overlander. This trail was used by the native Americans and used to travel on foot. Later, it was used to for wagons and eventually railroads. Virtually untouched, this trail is still mild and allows us to travel the same roads our ancestors did. This trail is 200 miles long and starts at the Colorado River and ends into the Mojab Desert. Although you wouldn’t want to take this trip during the summer as temperatures can be unbearable, it’s a perfect trip for cooler weather. With many historical and unique landmarks along the way, you will not want to pass this opportunity up.
Ultimately, we would love to travel to every single one of these overland trails but we had to make a choice. I think we will start with The Grand Arizona Traverse to soak in a little bit of history and take in the spectacular views. Have you ever gone on any of these journeys? If you have, any tips or tricks would be appreciated! For now, overland on.