Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hiking With Your Kids In Rocky Mountain National Park

OK~ Rocky Mountain National Park is home to hiking trails that Mother Nature has designed for kids of all ages. Through the years we have found that our kids, who began hiking at the ages of one and five, learned to embrace a hike here and there. The fun started with our youngest in a carrier and he eventually graduated to his own two feet. Both of our boys were hiking on their own two feet by the age of three. Most importantly, take a day to acclimate everyone to the altitude that the Estes Park area offers. Altitude sickness is not fun; with a little bit of acclimating everyone will be ready to hit the trails.

The best advice I can give parents when it comes to planning a hike with young kids is to be flexible and patient. Kids do not always move at the pace parents anticipate and Mother Nature always proves to be interesting. When hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, each hiker needs to pack rain gear, an extra pair of socks, gloves, and hats. Rain showers usually start popping up around noon, so it's of the utmost importance that you reach your destination by noon. Hiking is a great way to let your kids experience fishing. Be sure to pack a fishing pole, as your kids will have a ball. It is also a good idea to review the current fishing laws within the park before that fishing pole is on board.

Break Time Along The Trails In Rocky Mountain National Park

It is never any fun getting caught in a monsoon like rain storm at the top of a mountain. And yes, this family has experienced it. Trust me, it is not fun! The rain storms usually pass within an hour, but they are often very cold and often times accompanied with sleet and cold winds.

A hike to Cub Lake is a great way to introduce your whole family to hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike is 4.6 miles (Round Trip). Keep in mind that you will often see that a destination is one mile, but you also need to remember that your return distance is not calculated into the total hike. With an elevation gain of 540 feet, this is a good hike to test the hiking skills of your family. The flowers are usually very abundant along this trail, as well as the sighting of an occasional four legged critter.

Dream Lake (2.2 Miles Round Trip) is one of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. The scenery at the lake is stunning and the views to get to Dream Lake are breath taking, to say the least.
View Along The Dream Lake Trail: Rocky Mountain National Park

The Dream Lake Trailhead is located at Bear Lake. From Bear Lake you hike up to Nymph Lake and continue on. Your kids will love having a place to stop along the way to your destination. Nymph Lake breaks up the hike and offers nice areas to spread out a blanket and take in all the beauty. There are many areas lakeside here to kick back and relax.

Nymph Lake; Rocky Mountain National Park

As you get closer to Dream Lake, small waterfalls will trickle around. Once you arrive at Dream Lake, keep to the right and venture down a little ways. You will find a fairly flat rocky area to kick back and relax with your family. Dream Lake does not have very many lake side areas to sit with little kids, so you will want to find an area a little ways away from the actual lake itself. The views here are absolutely breathtaking! There are some steep cliff areas that parents will not want their kids near.

Garrett Fishing: Dream Lake

Both the Cub Lake and Dream Lake trails are very busy. Start your hike early in the day, beat the crowds and the afternoon rain showers that like to hang over the mountains. If your kids decide they have hiked too far, take a break. Once everyone has rested a little bit, it's time to start hiking again. It never hurts to sing a song, try to name that flower, and even check out what animal prints are alongside the trail.

Rocky Mountain National Park Is Home To Numerous Coyotes

Rocky Mountain National Park is a great national park to introduce your family to hiking. Our boys both have backpacks that have each trail they have hiked on sewn onto the actual back pack. As time went on and they got older, they began to see how fun it was to tackle a new trail and get a new patch on their backpack.

At the End Of A Day of Hiking On The Trails Of Rocky Mountain National Park

So- what are you waiting for? Go ahead, plan a family vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park! Get your kids off of the couch and out hitting the trails. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*My family and I traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park- we paid for all of our expenses. I did not receive any product or monetary compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.


  1. Found you on our Family Travel Bloggers Facebook page! Welcome! I'm your newest follower - if you'd like to follow back I'm at

  2. We used to live in Colorado - miss it! Great post!

  3. Thanks for the inspiration to hike at Rocky Mountain National Park! I have a lifelong ambition to visit all the national parks, and have yet to explore this one.


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