Whether your teen has a sparkling and agreeable personality who thirsts for adventure or is a bit sour on the idea of a family vacation and thinks everything is boring, the answer is likely the same. Give your teen travelers a challenge with a hiking adventure that transforms their view of the world. From relatively easy hikes in California to visiting the “black waterfall” in Iceland, here are five hiking adventure ideas with teens.
Lower Yosemite Fall Trail, California
Yosemite National Park is full of fabulous and challenging hikes, but for something relatively easy teens and littles alike will love, head to Lower Yosemite Fall Trail. The one-mile hike envelopes guests in stunning views of the falls for year-round hiking. If your teens are begging for more, you can hop on a more strenuous trail for travel selfies, a friendly competition of who can hike the fastest and a chance to wear everyone out for a good night’s sleep.
Cinque Terre Village to Village Hike, Italy
Hiking in the Cinque Terre isn’t just an amazing way to take in the Italian landscape, it’s also free to do and gives your teens a chance to meet other families and explore new towns. However, some of the Cinque Terre is challenging and requires some advance planning. For a relatively easy hike, try the path from Manarola to Corniglia with rolling gardens and coastline views.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
As one of the most visited national parks in the country, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado offers endless hikes to challenge your family. For an epic hike your teens will rave about, Mt. Ida offers panoramic views along most of the route and a rugged ending. Hallett Peak offers a less ambitious, but fantastic hike with impressive views without the drop-offs and challenging terrain. Meanwhile, Bluebird Lake guides visitors past three waterfalls, with the crowning Bluebird Lake the star attraction.
Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park is a hiker’s paradise at the foothills of the biggest glacier in Europe. Teens earn bragging rites on a glacier hike and capture photos of native Icelandic birds like puffin. For a short and sweet hike, head to Svartifoss waterfall where water tumbles over black hexagonal basalt columns. Afterwards, double back and head toward the marker for Sjónarnípa for views of the Skaftafell glacier and surrounding mountains.
Dragon’s Back, Hong Kong
The popular Dragon’s Back hike in Hong Kong is easy, scenic and empties onto an idyllic sandy beach where your teens can spread out and soak up the sun. Hike options hover around two hours with plenty of stops to take in sweeping views below. Along the way, make a stop at Shek O Peak for views of Shek O and Big Wave Bay. Just make sure to start this hike before the afternoon heat and crowds sweep in.
Whether your teens have fun or are still a little sour, the benefits of a full day of hiking are new experiences and worn muscles ready to unwind. Plan for a lazy day at your campground or hotel and soak up the newfound sense of accomplishment.