I am trying to plan our summer vacation and keep going back and forth on where to go. In the past four years we have been to Acadia NP (annually), the Smoky Mountains, Glacier NP and the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, Yosemite and Sequoia NP, and the Grand Canyon (South Rim.) I will be going with my kids (ages 11, 13, and 16.) My husband may or may not be going with us. We mostly enjoy day hiking (8 to 12 miles); nature, and getting away from the crowds. They also enjoy rock climbing (with a guide.) Our trips typically are 10 to 14 days (length depending mostly on budget.)
My kids would like to go somewhere new this year and the Utah parks would look like an obvious choice. However, my daughter (the 13-year old) says she prefers not to go to a "hot" place. We are limited to a timeframe of the last two weeks of July and the first two of August and can spend about 10 to 14 days. I don't mind some driving but don't want to be spending more time on the road than on the trails.
My question is given what we like to do (hiking and nature), would you recommend a tour of the Utah parks (and perhaps Mesa Verde) or stick with higher altitudes for a July/August trip? (The other places I am thinking about are Olympic National Park (i'm going to post a question there as well) or going back to Glacier or Banff.)