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First Overnighter w/ 7 year old: Olympic Penninsula
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/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
First Overnighter w/ 7 year old: Olympic Penninsula on 06/27/2009 19:26:25 MDT Print View

Can anyone recommend a good scenic, short, easier hike that a child would enjoy for their first overnighter, either in the Olympics or perhaps the south Cascades in WA? I want her to thoroughly enjoy it and not get too worn out hiking. I've considered the beach, or the rain forest, but am not sure which would be best. It be great if we could hike in for a mile or two, then set up camp and have a couple of short day hikes the next day before leaving. It would be ideal if we could be in a somewhat sunny are also. Snow might be ok, but I'd prefer not to camp on it for her first night.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Edited by biointegra on 06/27/2009 19:39:37 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
First Overnighter w/ 7 year old: Olympic Penninsula on 06/27/2009 22:17:59 MDT Print View

Shi-Shi Beach is a great place for kids, but a long drive. Unlike adults, the kids just love the extremely muddy second half of the trail. It's 2 miles from the trailhead to the beach. It is a bit pricey, because you have to buy a recreation permit from the Makah Nation and pay to park at a house near the trailhead (no overnight parking allowed, and the piles of auto glass in the parking lot tell you why). My grandkids, their dad and I go there every year.

Take your time and let the kid enjoy the trip. So what if the kid needs an "energy break" every 15 minutes? Let him examine snakes and slugs and bugs. All part of learning to love the outdoors, and a lot more important than keeping to a schedule.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
First Overnighter w/ 7 year old: Olympic Penninsula on 06/29/2009 13:10:40 MDT Print View

I hope Sarah sees this and posts a reply. She's done a lot of exploring on the peninsula, and I assume Ford was with her on occasion.

I am going to take my 6- and 9-year-old grandsons on an overnighter this summer to Lake Valhalla.

Edited by rosierabbit on 06/29/2009 14:07:51 MDT.

Mark Bishop
(mark_b) - MLife

Locale: Northwest (WA)
First Overnighter w/ 7 year old: Olympic Penninsula on 06/29/2009 16:44:32 MDT Print View

I also recommend Shi-Shi beach, most kids love the ocean and it will be less buggy than a rain forest hike. I'm thinking a 7 year old will really enjoy exploring the tide pools at Shi-Shi.

edited for poor spelling

Edited by mark_b on 06/29/2009 17:37:06 MDT.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Lessons learned on first overnighter with 6 & 9-year-olds on 07/13/2009 15:06:47 MDT Print View

Aaron - I have a few suggestions based on our experience this weekend hiking to Lake Valhalla. Do what you can to protect your daughter from the mosquitoes. They were truly awful for us, both on the trail and at the lake. I broke down and dotted both of the boys sparingly with DEET. Mr. B and I also had them use our headnets, which sort of helped.

The other suggestion is about food. The boys didn't like much of what I brought. I had checked with my daughter, and she was rather vague about what they would like. I brought things that Ford likes, based on Sarah's reports in her Freezerbagcooking book, but they wouldn't go for it. They eat a lot of junk and fast food, unfortunately. I'd have done better to bring cold pizza and frosted flakes.

Other than that, they had a lot of fun!

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Lessons learned on first overnighter with 6 & 9-year-olds on 07/13/2009 15:33:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for the beta, Kathleen.

Yeah, this is the worst year for mosquitoes that I have ever seen in WA. I think the really wet early spring, immediately followed by the above average warmth created a breeding haven.

We went camping at Deer Park in the Olympics over Independence Day weekend and found them to be ferocious even above tree-line. The kids didn't seem to get bitten as much because they were moving around a lot, but I found that the camp-fire smoke seemed to neutralize the herbal spray that we brought, which otherwise worked well.

Regardless, I think we will opt for a windier area next time, perhaps the coast, until the wee biters ebb.

We brought fresh salmon, veggies and red potatoes, which we cooked in the fire, using AL foil...the girls loved it. We seasoned with lemon, pepper, salt, & olive oil. I was picky when I was young, but I don't cut 'em any slack ;). Now they love eating salad and fresh fish + whole-grain rice, etc.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
hiking with children in the olympics on 07/13/2009 19:35:24 MDT Print View

When my daughter was 7 I took her to Crescent Lake, we base camped there and hiked Hurricane Ridge, various trails near the lake and out to the ocean. Just a thought. She was particularily stoked by the hot springs.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: hiking with children in the olympics on 07/13/2009 19:50:20 MDT Print View


Which Hot Springs are you referring to? Dol Duc or Olympic?