Call it cross-generational bonding, old-fashioned mentoring, or just doing neat stuff with the grandkids--more and more outfits are bringing disparate generations together on outdoor jaunts. Not surprisingly, Elderhostel lurks behind many of them, such as Let's Talk Wolf: Intergenerational Wolf Discovery at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota. The syllabus of the six-day (August 3-8) immersion into wolfdom includes learning to howl to the center's resident wolves and talks by the center's "Alpha" wolf, a human who lives with the pack. Cost is $365 for adults; $310 for kids 9 (minimum age) to 12. Book through Elderhostel, 617-426-8056. Elderhostel (with Canyonlands Field Institute) also runs a six-day raft trip on the San Juan River in southern Utah for grandparents and kids 8 to 14 that includes time for nature hikes, storytelling, and epic water fights. The river's mellow enough that kids can run stretches solo in inflatable kayaks. The $415 per-person cost includes one motel night and four under the stars. Trips run from mid-June to mid-August; contact Elderhostel.
Grandtravel does nothing but intergenerational trips, typically by bus with, naturally, lots of stops. On the ten-day American Indian Culture trip through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, the stops include a raft-run of the Animas River, a Navajo-guided jeep tour of Canyon de Chelly, and visits to both the real Grand Canyon and its virtual surrogate, the IMAX Theatre. The trip runs June 22 to July 1 for ages 12 to 17, and August 10 to 19 for ages 7 to 11. Rates are $3,185 per person, all-inclusive, double-occupancy. Call Grandtravel, 800-247-7651.