One of the special things about Hike It Baby is all the grandparents, nannies, extended family and friends who join us on our hikes. Today we have a great blog post from an aunt in Colorado and her five hike suggestions for great hikes not to be missed. Enjoy this post about hikes for adventurous families from our guest writer, Kym Tyson, from 33 and Free!
I was adopted when I was 3 months old from South Korea to a family in southern Minnesota. At a very young age, they instilled the love for the outdoors in my life, from cross-country skiing when I could barely walk to canoeing on the lake we lived on and hiking whenever we could get up north. I knew that the day I had children, I would be outdoors with them as much as possible. My husband and I were adamant that when we were trying to start a family that we would not stop hiking or being outdoors when we had a child. They have so much gear now to help new families and we knew it wouldn’t be a problem.
When that day didn’t come, we decided to start a different journey. Work schedules were getting crazy and my husband and I didn’t see each other that much, so we decided to quit our jobs, sell everything and leave our lives in Los Angeles to RV the country together. This would also give us the chance to see our family more. We had a 1-year-old niece and wanted to show her the U.S. and what natural beauty it had to offer. Her parents have been amazing with making sure to keep up with their passions, even with a new child. They know that if they are visiting us, they are going to be out in nature, hiking or camping.
We watched Scott Jurek (a world renowned Ultra Runner) have a newborn and do amazing hikes and runs with her. His instagram is full of inspirational photos like this picture from a 21-mile hike through the Grand Canyon, or this one taken while summiting Green Mountain
Even without children, we still promote others getting outside, hiking and not slowing down because of children. Instilling this way of life early makes it easier and better. I marvel at families who are out there. Here are five hikes that you will enjoy or will challenge you and be great for a little one of any age.
1. Maroon Bells (Colorado)
There are quite a few trail options once you arrive at the bells. We decided on Maroon Creek Trail, a 3.5-mile hike along the creek. An easy enough trail to carry or have a wobbly 2-year-old walk a little. Even though this isn’t the most popular trail, we didn’t feel like we gave up anything because we were on it. We saw the bells and wanted to see more of the area. The scenery was breathtaking and there wasn’t a dull moment. Bridges over water, aspen forest, mountains and snow!
2. Pioneer Cabin Trail (Idaho)
You will definitely have to be in shape if you are carrying someone, but if you have a little one, we saw some young kids walking with their parents jumping and skipping around. I am sure we saw them at a good moment, but it will be a long day. To me, it’s definitely worth it and there are things to see the entire time to keep them entertained. Just remember their favorite snack and yours. When you reach the cabin, stop for lunch or a snack and take in the beautiful views. I have never seen anything like it in the States. You can either turn around or make it a loop and take the Long Gulch Loop Trail back. Total miles 9. On the way back, there were some streams, meadows and views of the mountains. This was really one of our favorite hikes of the year.
3. Los Liones Trail (California)
This is a great trail to get started with introducing young ones and introducing yourself to hiking and being outdoors together. Kids do need to be “trained” to like the chairs or carriers that you decide to use. They have great ones for you both. Small ones, large ones, compartments, shaded. This trail is mostly shaded, has an easy/moderate grade and a beautiful viewpoint. If you are already a hiker, this 2 mile round trip trail will be easy, but with the extra pounds on your back it will provide a small challenge (easy to overcome). If want a little more you can definitely make this longer, the trail links up to Paseo Miramar Trail which is about 7 miles long. We take anyone who visits us here and even though it’s a short, easy hike you will understand why we continue to go when you see the view!
4. Tumalo Falls (Oregon)
This is probably the best hike in my opinion for parents of infants or young children. The first thing at the parking lot is Tumalo Falls. Incredibly beautiful. This actual trail is 6 miles round-trip with only about 520’ of elevation change and has numerous waterfalls, lookout points, swim holes and a manicured trail. However, you can make this as long as you want. At the turnaround point, you can continue to Happy Meadow. This is a great full-day trip if you want to hike, sit by the river, swim, have lunch and hike some more. In my opinion, it’s one of the best hikes in Bend, OR.
5. Mt. Democrat – 14er (Colorado)*
This was our first 14er and as we were struggling up the mountain, we saw kids and parents with kids on their backs happily coming down. What?! I will pretend I didn’t see that until I get to the top of this thing! The hike itself was a challenge, but it was easy to navigate and if you are acclimated to the Colorado elevation, you will have no problems at 14,000’. The views are breathtaking and you might be lucky enough to see a couple of mountain goats!
*Note: Hiking at elevation with young children is a controversial topic. Please consult with your healthcare provider to determine if it is safe for your family.
My husband and I started dating twelve years ago and we have been married for 7 1/2. Throughout out relationship we were always focused on traveling. 6 months into our relationship we backpacked through Europe for a month. We made sure that we did some sort of exploring at least once a year. The rest of the time, we were hiking, biking, training for marathons or camping. We both have a strong love for the outdoors. So when we moved to California, we continued to travel internationally and we checked out what Southern California had to offer, which was a lot. We were expecting to start a family and when that didn’t happen we decided to create a different phase in life. Life for us wasn’t meant to be in an office for 48 weeks a year. After 10 years of the grind we sold everything, quit our dream jobs and left our lives in LA to become full time RVers and road trip the US.