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Suggestions for Colorado backpacking trip with young kids
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Chris Goldberg

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Suggestions for Colorado backpacking trip with young kids on 07/13/2011 22:12:16 MDT Print View


I'm looking to get my 3.5 and 5 year old kids out on their first overnight backpacking trip the weekend after next and am looking for trip suggestions within a 2-3 hour drive of the Denver area.

I'm thinking something in the range of 4 miles one-way would be ideal. The kids just recently completed an 8-mile day in Yosemite, including the Mist Trail up to Nevada Falls, so a 4-mile day, even on a moderately challenging trail, should be comfortably within their range.

Some considerations:

- trail interest (lakes, streams, waterfalls, boulders, meadows, wildflowers, peaks, and abandoned structures are all good diversions and motivators)
- heat (would like to avoid hotter temps as they really tend to wear the kids down)
- snow (don't mind walking through muddy/wet trails and light stream crossings but definitely looking for snow-free destinations)

If you've got trip suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks in advance.


Edited by chrisgoldberg on 07/13/2011 22:30:51 MDT.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Breckenridge on 07/14/2011 12:39:33 MDT Print View

I just got back from Breckenridge last week. We hiked to upper mohawk lake to fish just south of town. It is just about 3 miles to the lake. Past that is several lakes that are unnamed. We did not go past mowhawk, but it is on my to do list in the near future. There are lots of spots to camp on the west side of lower mowhawk, and in the valley past the upper. Lots of big waterfalls on the way up as well as mining ruins and cabins.

It would be a great over nighter with kids.

It is a very popular hike in the area, so don't expect solitude.

Good Luck


Edited by bwortman on 07/14/2011 12:40:27 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Lost Creek on 07/15/2011 03:04:15 MDT Print View

There are probably several decent routes in the Lost Creek Wilderness, especially along the Lost Creek itself. Child amusements include the creek itslef and rocks to climb upon. Lots of very established campsites. Decent fishing. I saw a black bear cub on that trail the last time I was there.

Edited by acrosome on 07/15/2011 03:04:49 MDT.

Bryan Crook
(bcrook007) - F

Locale: Nebraska
RMNP options on 07/15/2011 19:43:28 MDT Print View

Well, I'm a big fan of Rocky Mountain National Park. Been on many day hikes that could be turned into overnighters or multi-day trips with some advanced planning.

Here is a link to a page that lists several options:

I've actually been by the Glacier Gorge (039) location on my way to Black Lake. You would be dealing with 3.8 miles and and 760 ft of elevation gain from the trailhead. You will go by a waterfall and at least two or three lakes. Lots of stuff to look at and I'm sure your kids could handle the trail. It's well maintained. It's also very popular on the weekends!

Edited by bcrook007 on 07/15/2011 19:58:31 MDT.

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
LCW and St. Vrain trail on 07/16/2011 17:12:32 MDT Print View

From Goose Creek in to the shafthouse is about 3 miles, camping in the first mile or two as well a long the creek if you want something shorter.

From Lost Park, the trail along the creek is gentle, lots of granite around to climb, fishing the creek.

Wigwam creek trail on the east side of the Lost Creek Wilderness goes up to some nice beaver ponds if you like to fish, a little more elevation gain on this one, it's about 4 miles or so to the beaver ponds.

For a mile or two backpack in the St. Vrain trail up in Left Hand Canyon above Boulder is nice too.

Chris Goldberg

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks! Trail conditions for Missouri Lakes/Holy Cross Wilderness, anyone? on 07/17/2011 10:33:19 MDT Print View

Thanks to all for the suggestions. Lots of good ideas to choose from.

We actually have a backcountry permit lined up for Rocky Mountain National Park, to Fern Lake, in August.

Originally, I was thinking about the St. Vrain near Boulder as a good first trip but now I'm thinking I'd like to get a little higher in elevation. I think we might save the St. Vrain for a fall trip.

A friend recommended Missouri Lakes as a moderate hike with plenty to explore upon arrival. My wife is leaning towards this option.

Does any one have any recent trail reports from the Missouri Lakes area (i.e. snow line elevation, trail conditions, etc)? I haven't had a chance to make it above 10,000 feet yet this summer and don't have a good idea of how wet or dry things are likely to be...

Edited by chrisgoldberg on 07/17/2011 10:38:40 MDT.