Trails of Davis County Part 1

Davis County Utah has so many trails that we haven’t even visited them all yet!  One of the most well known trails is Adams Canyon Waterfall, but there are so many more.  Hopefully you’ll find some on this list you haven’t tried just yet.  Here are 12 of our favorites in the Davis County, UT area.  Stay tuned for Part 2 for even more trails, I didn’t want to put them all on one post, there are just too many!!

Farmington Canyon Trail/ Farmington Creek Trail/ Sunset Trail/ Farmington Waterfall Hike

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate (3.2 mile round trip, the trails climbs up and descends down multiple times, some drop offs and steep areas)

This trail seems to go by a few different names.  It is famous for it’s 2 waterfalls and several old deteriorating cars along the trail.  With great veiws of the canyon and valley, creek crossings, colorful leaves in the fall, waterfalls, old cars, and interesting rock formations, you will find surprises around each corner.

This is going to be a moderate/hard hike for toddlers on their own feet.  Young children 6+ should do good on their own, especially if they like to hike.  I usually carry my 3 year old part of the way and let her walk when she wants to.

At just over 3 miles round trip you will get in a good workout without it being too difficult.  Plan on elevation changes throughout, it will climb and descend several times.  Packing my toddler I do this hike in about 2 hours, with a couple short breaks.  Plan more time and you get to go slower and explore more.

At the end of the hike you will be able to see the “big waterfall” below you.  There is a very steep area to descend to get up close to the waterfall with a rope to help you down.  I would not recommend this with young children.  After we gaze down at the awesome waterfall we turn around and head back the way we came.  I believe you can continue on and go up a steep trail that will connect you with Sunset Campground but I’ve never done it.


Deuel Creek South Trailhead

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate (2 mile round trip to rope swing, some steep areas and drop offs, some rock scaling, creek crossings )

When you look up information on Deuel Creek you will notice it has two trail heads and can be hiked as a loop trail.  The North Trail head is steep with loose dirt and rocks and with little shade so not young child/toddler friendly.  Luckily the South Trail head is not the same and it can be hiked out and back for a short, scenic, shady hike to a rope swing.  The South Trail head follows along side the creek with several fun creek crossings on log bridges.  It is very shady and a perfect place to cool down from a warm sunny day.  From the start of the South Trail head to the rope swing is just over 1 mile.  Hike back the way you came for a round trip hike of around 2 miles.  It took us a couple times to find the rope swing.  When you get to the creek crossing that only has 2 longs do not cross the creek.  Stay on the south side of the creek and continue straight for a short while and you will reach the swing.  There are some steep areas, areas with drop offs (don’t let your littles wander off ahead of you!) and some areas where you will scale some rocks.  Take it slow and watch you step and you’ll really enjoy this trail.  This is probably one of our top favorites.


Parrish Creek Trail to Pictographs

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (1.1 mile round trip to pictographs, some rocky areas and rock scaling to final pictograph area may require extra help)

This short trail to the pictographs is mostly easy, however requires a bit of scrambling/climbing on a rocky area to reach the pictographs at the end.  If you are bringing children with you I recommend you have at least 2 adults for improved ease navigating the final rocky area.  From what I have researched these are from the Fremont Indians.  Please respect this rock art so others can enjoy.  We turn around at the pictographs area and head back the way we came.


Antelope Island Buffalo Point Trail

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (.8 mile round trip with uphill climb to top, rocks to climb and explore on top)

Antelope Island is one of my favorite places to hike in the area.  The landscape is very unique and different than your typical mountain hike.  Buffalo Point is a short hike that takes you up to a point with a lovely view and a great place to watch the sunset.  There are many rocks to further climb and explore at the top.  This is uphill to the point but nothing too steep or challenging, my 3 year old now hikes it on her own.

*Antelope Island has a “biting gnat” season that usually goes from April-June (call ahead for status), these are pesky little buggers so go early Spring or Fall for the most enjoyable time!


Antelope Island Ladyfinger Point Trail

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (.5 mile round trip, rocky areas and drop offs)

This trail is a great place to watch the sunset and let your kids climb rocks and explore.  This is my favorite place to take the kiddos when they just want to play and not do much hiking.  This trail is super short and you already have a great view along with many rocks to explore.

*Antelope Island has a “biting gnat” season that usually goes from April-June (call ahead for status), these are pesky little buggers so go early Spring or Fall for the most enjoyable time!


Antelope Island Lakeside Trail

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate (5.6 miles round trip, mostly mild elevation gain, some rocky areas, rated moderate for distance)

This trail is the longest trail on the list, but don’t let that scare you.  This trail is mostly mild and has stunning views of the Great Salt Lake.  There are many areas with fun rocks to explore and this one will be great for the kiddos.  This hike doesn’t have anything waiting for you at the end, the whole trail is scenic, so if you only do part of the trail you will still be able to experience the unique beauty of this trail. You can start this trail from either end, there is parking and trail head signs at both ends.

*Antelope Island has a “biting gnat” season that usually goes from April-June (call ahead for status), these are pesky little buggers so go early Spring or Fall for the most enjoyable time!


Fernwood Trail Segment of Bonneville Shoreline Trail

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (1.8 miles one way to Adams Canyon Trailhead, some elevation climb)

This trail is literally just a few minutes from our house so it’s a quick easy trip for those days we need some mountain therapy but don’t have much time.   We usually just walk along the trail for as long as we feel like it, usually 1-2 miles round trip,  not usually the whole segment.  There are a couple stream crossings depending on how far you go.   This is another trail with little shade but great sunset views.


Davis Creek

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate Hard (around 3 miles round trip depending on your route, steep areas, drop offs, rocky and steep decent, trail not always clear so map and good knowledge of trail recommended)

This is a unique trail in the Davis County area and has some very steep, exposed areas.  There are also other trails in the area that connect and cross with this trail so you want to research your route thoroughly before you go.  You’ll find multiple waterfalls, “Indian bathtubs”, pine forests (“Christmas Tree Lane” and the “El Capitan” rock, etc.

When I researched this trail I noticed that many people stop at the area with the Indian Bathtubs and 1st waterfall.  The trail up to this point is pretty easy to follow and the Indian Bathtubs and waterfall are a great place to turn around if you are looking for something shorter and not as strenuous.  I would recommend stopping here if you have not researched and mapped out the rest of the trail, since there are other trails that cross here you could get turned around if you are not familiar with the surroundings.  If you are up for a challenge and do your research, I like to hike from the Indian bathtubs and do a loop to Pretty Valley then to Hell Hole up to another waterfall and through “Christmas Tree Lane” and a steep decent back to where you started.  Whew definitely a workout with a 35lb toddler on your back and not much shade.


Patsy’s Mine

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate Hard (2.1 miles round trip to caves including some cave exploration, steep climb with rocky areas and drop offs, no shade)

So when we hiked this trail we parked down in a cul-de-sac and hiked up to the dirt road where you will find a trail head.  There is a dirt road that takes you up to that point, but it was in very poor condition when we went and we didn’t want to risk driving on it.

This trail is basically a nice steep climb up, so be prepared for a burner.  There is no shade and the path is steep with drop offs.  It can also be difficult with loose rocks and dirt.  My 6 year old did fine on his own, but I carried my 3 year old the whole way until we reached the caves.

We explored the caves until we got to a part where it branched off into different trails and started to get really wet.  The kids thought it was super cool to explore.  It felt nice to cool off from the hike.  Bring flashlights!  We headed back and finished the hike while enjoying the beautiful sunset.


Farmington Lakes Trail

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (less than 1 mile/unsure, trail can be wet and muddy)

So we’ve been exploring this little trail with our kiddos for years but I really have no information about it.  I can’t seem to find a trail name or description anywhere.  It does seem that the ponds are called “Farmington Lakes” so I’ve decided to name the trail that.  When you are driving up Farmington Canyon and over to Bountiful peak you’ll pass a camping/picnic area on the Bountiful side and then you should see these ponds on the side of the road shortly after that.  If you pull over and park you will find there is a little trail here.  We’ve never gone too far, it usually gets too wet and muddy, but it is a fun little area to explore and we even bring our hammocks here sometimes to relax.  One of our favorite ways to escape the summer heat is to head up to higher elevation and this is one of our favorite little spots.  Let me know if you have any more information about this trail, I’d love to learn more about it.

Here is a link to the google map coordinates for Farmington Lakes.


Adams Canyon

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate Hard (3.6 miles round trip, starts out with switchbacks, steep strenuous climb up canyon, some rocky areas and drop offs)

This is a very popular trail in Davis County, but probably isn’t my first pick for beginner hikers or hiking with toddlers.  I hike this with my daughter on my back when I want a good work out!  The first part of the hike is up about 11 switchbacks (worst part in my opinion ha ha)  As you hike this trail into the canyon you will quickly see why it is so popular, it truly is very beautiful.  Hiking along the creek, through the pines, and passing waterfalls and interesting rock formations you will end and the stunning waterfall.  Avoid weekends and holidays if you don’t like crowds, but since it is popular you will most likely see a good amount of people on the trail.


Wildrose Trail

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (2 mile round trip to sunset view point, some some steep areas and drop offs, moderate climb to top)

This is a good after school or after work sunset hike.  It’s a mile up to the sunset view point and although you are climbing up, it isn’t too steep or difficult.  It is mostly exposed with a little shaded area.  There are beautiful views of the valley and city below and the lake off in the distance.  This trail also connects with other trails (so watch for signs) and can be hiked as a out an back (starting and going back the same route) or as a loop and hiking back down a different way.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the trails around our home!  I can’t wait to post even more.  Hopefully you’ll be able to try out a new trail or two in the Davis County area!  Happy Hiking!

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Arches National Park

We had a chance to visit Arches National Park this February and all I can tell you is that my kids were absolutely in love.  I’ve always loved this park and it was fun to see it differently through the eyes of my children.  I have a good friend who lives in New Mexico and the other day we found out that Moab, UT was the half way point between us.  What better reason to plan a fun weekend getaway.  Just moms and kiddos this time (2 days,2 moms, 5 kids 7 and under).  Needless to say things were crazy, but we had a blast.  I hope these kids cherish these memories, I know I will.

Here is a link to the current Arches National Park guide.  This park is so family/kid friendly.  You’ll notice that there are 7 trails 1 mile round trip or less and 3 trails 1-2 miles roundtrip!  Don’t worry, there are also some great longer/harder trails too.  The drive through the park is a gorgeous scenic drive and you’ll feel like you hundreds of miles from civilization (you kind of are).  You’ll also probably feel like you took a trip in the time machine back to when dinosaurs roamed the red rock.

wp-1487903383426.jpgThe animal statues at the visitors center were a real hit with the kids.  They were hugging and kissing them goodbye.  Awe, to be a kid again.

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Our first stop along the scenic drive through Arches NP was Park Avenue!

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Little Mountaineers Rating:  Easy Moderate (2 mile round trip, 320 ft elevation change, section of rock stairs, some rocky/sandy areas)

Picture above is majestic Park Avenue trail.  This 2 mile round trip trail is so surreal.  Don’t let the stairs scare you, they aren’t too bad!  My kids actually loved the stairs, so much that my daughter kept asking to go back to them.  You can start this trail from either end and even have someone pick you up at the end so you only do 1 mile.  Even if you don’t do the whole trail it is definitely worth the stop and the view.

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Next up was The Windows trail.  This easy trail takes you on a path to explore two large windows and Turret Arch.  While we were there we were able to see researchers in action on top of the first Window, they used parachutes to send their equipment down and rappelled off the side.  Pretty neat!

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (1 mile round trip, mild climb with some areas with stairs)

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The Windows come with some pretty amazing views!

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We were lucky to be here during great weather!  Blue skies and low 60’s.  February can be hit or miss with weather.  As we were leaving it was raining which even turned to snow on the way back to Salt Lake City.

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Sibling love!  I’m glad these too get to share these memories together!

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Above you can see both the North and South Windows.

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Turret Arch is also a part of this short hike.

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The red rock desert is so stunning against those blue skies!

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After we said our goodbyes to our New Mexico friends we were getting ready to head home.  Well my children decided there was no way they wanted to head home yet.  We still had a few hours so we headed back to Arches to do a couple more trails on our own.

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Our first stop was Delicate Arch.

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate (3 mile round trip to Arch, 480 ft elevation change, multiple areas of uphill climb, steep slick rock climb area, some rocky/sandy areas, some ledges/drop offs.  No shade, this hike becomes more difficult in harsher weather conditions)

My son has a rock book he got for Christmas and there is a picture of Delicate Arch in the book.  He was eager to see it in person so we decided to head out.  I knew my 3 year old daughter was not going to be able to do this trail on her own, so she got to ride in our Onya Baby Pure carrier.  The guide says to give yourself 2-3 hours for the trail.  We completed this trail in under 2, partly because it wasn’t sunny or hot and apparently my son was an energizer bunny that day!  Weather can make this trail deadly.  In the summer I would advise going early in the morning or later in the evening and bringing plenty of water and snacks.  I’ve hiked this hike in August when it is extremely hot, but we did it as a sunrise hike, even then it was warm.  I loved this hike in February, it is nice not to have the heat!  This hike isn’t too long and has a few areas of uphill climb to give you that great leg workout and get your heart pumping, but I don’t consider it an extremely difficult hike which is why I gave it a moderate rating.  I would definitely plan on carrying your baby/toddler/preschooler age child and make sure you rest when needed especially during the steep climbs.

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Different rock formations to see along this trail!

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Once you see this little window you know you are almost there!

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Delicate Arch!  Even more stunning in person.  My son’s reaction when he rounded that last corner was priceless.  He was truly in awe and couldn’t believe how big it was in real life.  He was such an amazing hiker this trip!   It’s so fun to watch them grow and learn.

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It always seems a little windy near the arches.  Guess that makes sense.  Here is our lovely windy Delicate Arch selfie.

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If you don’t think you are ready to tackle this hike you can still take your kids to see the cool rock art panel, it is at the start of the trail and doesn’t require any uphill climb.

We decided to tackle another quick trail before we headed home so we headed over to Skyline Arch.

Little Mountaineers Rating:  Easy (.4 mile round trip flat and sandy areas)

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Of course whenever my kids see rocks/boulders they have to climb them.

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Just like pretty much everywhere we go, we left wanting more.  Moab has so much to offer, even more than just Arches National Park.  We only touched on a few of the trails this post but I can’t wait to share more later on.  We only spent 2 days here this time, but it was definitely worth it, there is so much to see even in a short period of time.  Happy hiking!

Check out our little bonus adventure below!

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You thought dinosaurs were extinct…well not in Moab!  We decided to take all the kiddos to Moab Giants Dinosaur Park after our long drives to let them play and get some energy out before we checked into our motel.  We didn’t pay for the museum or any of the indoor stuff, we just did the Dinosaur Trail to see all dinosaur statues and there is also a playground area for kids to play on.  To do this portion of the park it is 12$ for kids 4 and older and 16$ for adults.  The dinosaur statues were really cool, and looked liked they fit right in with stunning Moab as the backdrop.

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Winter at Zion with ZionAdventurePhotog

Upper Emerald Pools Trail

Little Mountaineers Rating: Moderate (2.2 mile round trip to upper falls, 436 ft elevation change, uphill climb, some rocky/sandy areas)

We have visited Zion National Park during every season except for winter.  So last month when we were traveling to Southern Utah over Christmas break we decided to check it out!  We had the lovely opportunity to meet Arika with ZionAdventurePhotog and had her follow us around on our hike to Emerald Pools and capture our experience!  You guys, this was seriously the best idea ever!  We loved our experience.  Check out her website HERE and check her out on Facebook and Instagram @ZionAdventurePhotog.

When we first heard about Arika and what she does, we were very intrigued.  I mean who wouldn’t want unique high quality photos adventuring with those you love?  You’ll see how she took a mix of candid and slightly posed shots of us as we conquered the trail with our family.  I never had to worry about taking pictures or hoping to get a decent selfie.  We got to enjoy the scenery and each other as she worked her magic making our memories last forever.

If you have never been to Zion or have and want your memories captured in a unique way, I definitely recommend going through ZionAdventurePhotog!  It would also be an awesome unique gift for someone who loves to adventure with their family.

We are happy to report that we definitely recommend Zion in the winter!  With recent rain the waterfalls were in full force, and the misty cliffs and cloudy overcast skies were a dream.  Temps were in the 40’s and comfortable with light layers.  During the winter, Zion Canyon is open to cars (yay no waiting for shuttles!) which makes it really convenient for families.  You can drive to the stops you want, and can leave whenever you want, and you don’t have to worry about shuttle crowds or schedules.  It is also less crowded this time of year!  We only had a day here this short trip, but we were glad we scheduled some Zion time.  Find more info below!

Zion National Park Website

Zion Winter Map & Guide

EMERALD POOLS TRAIL (PHOTOS BY ZIONADVENTUREPHOTOG)

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Winter at Snow Canyon

While we have really been enjoying the snow around here, sometimes it is fun to escape during the winter and head south to slightly warmer weather.  During winter break last month we decided to escape the snow and inversion and head down to St George.

While the St George area is very well known for it’s proximity to Zion National Park, not everyone knows about all the other incredible State Parks and Recreational Areas that Southern Utah has to offer.  One of our favorites is Snow Canyon State Park.  We were absolutely blown away by our visit this December.  It was stunning and we practically had the whole park to ourselves.

Snow Canyon is extremely family friendly.  It is less than 15 miles from St George and it is only $6 per vehicle.  Click here for the website with even more info!

This park is perfect for kids of all ages.  There are sand dunes to play in, mini slot canyons, petrified sand dunes, moss covered canyon walls, red rock, white rock, climbing opportunities and volcanoes!  There are so many short trails which are great for the younger ones!  No need to worry about hauling your kids miles and miles to get to something interesting.  If you are up for longer and more challenging trails, you’ll find them here too, there is something for every level.  You will find something unique around every corner.

December temps were in the upper 40’s when we went and it was perfectly enjoyable.  We stayed all afternoon and even had a picnic lunch.  We left with the longing to return, and can’t wait until next time.  Below I’ve highlighted a few of the trails.  Enjoy!

Link to park brochure and trail guide.

JENNY’S CANYON TRAIL

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (.5 mile round trip, sandy trail with some rocks)

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PIONEER NAMES TRAIL

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (.5 miles roundtrip, sandy trail with some rocks, rock scaling up to the actual name carvings is not easy)

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PETRIFIED DUNES TRAIL

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (1.2 miles round trip, some steeps slopes/uneven surfaces)

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WHITE ROCKS AMPHITHEATER TRAIL

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (1 mile round trip, some steep/rocky slopes and uneven surfaces)

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Winter Hiking at Green Pond Trail

Green Pond Trail to Green Pond Picnic Area

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (1.5 mile round trip, short steep climb up to picnic area and pond, some elevation gain spread throughout hike)

Over the river and through the woods to Green Pond Trail we go.  The children will say, let me ride in the sleigh and cry when their fingers are cold.

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Schools out over here and the snow had melted in our yard, so I knew we needed to find a fun, winter land adventure for my 6 year old.  He LOVES snow and basically everything about winter.  This makes winter hiking/adventuring fairly easy with him, except when we have to leave of course.  My 3 year old is a different story.  She has yet to really warm up to winter.  She’ll usually enjoy it for a short period of time, but that quickly escalates to utter misery.  We’re working on it, hopefully we’ll find a way to make it more enjoyable for her.  Luckily she did enjoy parts of the trail today, so hopefully it wasn’t a total bust for her.  With young kids it is all about warmth and comfort.  Make sure they have everything they need to stay warm.  While she had multiple layers and full snow gear, she still seemed cold, which was partly due to her not moving her body as much as us because she was riding in the sled.  I’m glad I put a couple blankets in the sled to add some more comfort and warmth for her.  Next time I’m bringing hand warmers and hot cocoa.

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Green Pond Trail is a great kid friendly trail year round, so I was eager to try it in the winter.  It is located near Mountain Green and Huntsville, UT and just before Snow Basin Ski Resort, so I figured it had to have snow!  Well I was right!  Conditions were absolutely beautiful and I would definitely recommend going on a little winter adventure to Green Pond Trail this winter.  You can get directions right to the trailhead parking lot through the alltrails.com app on your phone.  If you don’t already have this app, I highly recommend you download it.  We have used it to find many trails in the area.

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As you turn on down the road that leads to Snow Basin Ski resort you will see a parking area and Green Pond Trailhead sign on the right hand side of the road.  There are other trails in the area so don’t get confused.  The Green Pond trail actually starts on the opposite side of the road away from the parking lot.  There is a trail sign where it starts.  Once you make your way across the road to the trail you will continue on the main trail for about .75 miles until you see a sign on the left side of the trail that says “picnic area”.  Turn up the trail at the sign and continue a short way to reach Green Pond.  You can hang out here and then head back the way you came, or you can continue further on the trail to your hearts desire.

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We decided to bring our sled along, and boy was that a great idea.  I toted my 3 year old along on the sled the majority of the trail.  The trail was packed snow, no ice, and we were surrounded by fluffy powder.  You will see several side trails, where people have wandered off, but the mail trail was easy to distinguish when we were there.

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When we arrived at Green Pond it was completely frozen with a layer of snow on top.  There is a gentle hill the leads down to the pond and the kiddos had fun riding the sled down to the bottom.  We hiked to Green Pond and back making it about 1.5 miles, we spent about 2 hours enjoying the trail and doing some sledding.  I always use some sort of mile tracking app so that I can keep track of how long we have been hiking and how far.  It isn’t always easy to guess mileage, especially with kids who hike at various paces.

Winter hike success!

While winter hiking can seem daunting, as long as you prepare you can really make it an experience to enjoy with your kids.  Make sure you dress in warm layers with full snow gear.  The trail conditions were good enough we didn’t need snow spikes or snow shoes, but we had spikes just in case.  It would also be really smart to carry a thermos of hot water and make hot chocolate or cup of noodles.  There is a little picnic table at the pond where you could sit and sip up some warm goodness.  This trail is especially nice because it is very mild and little elevation gain.  Plus on the way back it is all downhill making for a quick trip back to your car.  Happy winter adventuring!

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4 Family Friendly Lake Trails with Scenic Drives

Okay I’m really terrible at keeping up a blog, let’s be honest.  However I’m working on it!  Today I decided to post about some fun family friendly lake trails.  These are the best when starting out hiking with your little ones.  Kids LOVE water features (lakes, streams, waterfalls, etc) so hiking around a lake is always a hit with the kids.  The other added bonus with each of these trails is that they all include a beautiful scenic drive to your destination.  So pick a lazy summer day and pack up your family in your car and head out on an adventure to one of these awesome trails!  Warning:  Weekends are going to be busier in the summer so plan accordingly.  We usually try to avoid Fridays and Saturdays.  Weekdays are the best and we’ve also had decent luck on Sundays (but they can also be busy).

TONY GROVE LAKE NATURE TRAIL (Logan Canyon, UT)

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (1.2 mile loop, some rocky areas, mild elevation changes)

1.2 mile loop

Fee: $6 day pass

Take a lovely drive up Logan Canyon and enjoy the scenic drive and you curve back and forth through the mountains.  Then as you take the turn off for Tony Grove you’ll be enjoying the beautiful forest scenery.  This trail is exploding with wildflowers starting around July.  There are picnic areas and lots of trees to hang your hammock.  We went on a Friday afternoon and only met a few people on the trail.  This is definitely one of our favorites!

Trail Details HERE

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MIRROR LAKE LOOP TRAIL (Uintah Mountains, UT)

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (1.5 mile loop, mostly flat with some rocky areas)

1.5 mile loop

Fee: $6 day pass

I’ve blogged about this trail before HERE.  However I still have to mention it again because we just love it.  You just can’t beat a Sunday afternoon drive on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.  Stop at the Provo River Falls on your way up to Mirror Lake, your kids will love the waterfalls and playing and exploring along the rocks and in the river.  Keep your eyes open on your drive, chances are you might see some wildlife.

Trail Details HERE

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SILVER LAKE LOOP TRAIL (Big Cottonwood Canyon, UT)

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (.9 mile loop, mostly flat, boardwalks)

0.9 mile loop

Fee: none

Big Cottonwood Canyon can get crowded in the summer, but it is absolutely beautiful and there are so many good hikes in the area.  I really love this trail because it is STROLLER FRIENDLY so I don’t have to be nervous taking friends and family along who don’t have as much hiking experience.  It is a great place to take your little little babes.  It is a great little introduction to nature.  Parking can be a little crazy, but it seems that people are constantly coming and going.  We just made a couple loops around the parking lot and then pulled in when someone left.

Trail Details HERE

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CASCADE SPRINGS NATURE TRAIL (American Fork Canyon, UT)

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (.8 mile loop, bottom loop mostly flat and stroller friendly, upper loops include stairs and rocky areas)

0.8 mile loop

Fee: $6 day pass

Okay so this last one isn’t actually a lake, it is a natural spring, but it is a water feature and it is a family friendly nature trail with a scenic drive so I had to include it!  A beautiful drive into the canyon and then along the Cascade Scenic Drive will soon take you to this fun little trail.  It is comprised of 3 loops around the spring.  The bottom loop is STROLLER FRIENDLY but the upper loops have stairs.  Try to spot fish in the lower ponds then make your way up through the different loops.

Trail Details HERE

 

Zion National Park

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Lower Emerald Pool Trail:

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy (1.2 mile round trip to lower emerald pool/waterfall, paved trail)

Weeping Rock Trail:

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (.4 mile round trip, 173 ft elevation gain so some steep parts and minor drop offs)

Riverside Walk:

Little Mountaineers Rating: Easy Moderate (2.2 mile round trip to river narrows, mostly flat, paved trail)

Last spring we took our kids on their first trip to Zion National Park.  We were only going to be there 1 day so we kept it super easy.  You drive through Zion Canyon on a shuttle bus that has 9 stops.  There are many family friendly hiking and walking trails.  We ended up doing 3 hikes that day.  We decided to do the Lower Emerald Pool Trail, Weeping Rock Trail and Riverside Walk.  We also stopped at many of the scenic stops and lookouts along the way.  The trails we hiked were beautiful, mostly paved and easy to navigate, but there are a lot of tourists since it is very popular.  I can’t wait to go back and try some of the less traveled and more difficult hikes.  I also want to hike The Narrows with my kids when they are older.   It was a dreary day with a light drizzle of rain, but it was beautiful and my kids did really well.  They were exhausted by the end of the day of course!  I feel like Zions gives you beautiful scenery and fun hiking trails without you feeling like you are out in the middle of the wilderness, so I think it is perfect for families and beginner hikers.  You have easy access to modern amenities and the paved trails and railings help even the youngest of hikers. On the flip side there are more wilderness type hikes and strenuous options for those looking for that as well.   You could easily spend several days here or make a good day trip like we did.

Here is the link to Zion National Park website.

DSC_0594DSC_0636DSC_067120150425_15063720150425_142619My son loved Weeping Rock and was trying to catch droplets of water in his mouth.20150425_15133620150424_152523The Lower Emerald Pool features this water cascading off of the cliff above.20150425_152729Riverside Walk trail ends at the start of The Narrows, it’s quite majestic and the kids loved playing in the water and on the rocks.  However, we couldn’t manage to take a normal family picture here.  Don’t mind our awkward facial expressions.DSC_067520150424_150301This girl was 18 months and was barely taking a few steps (she was a very late walker) so I carried her all day.  Lot’s of people laughed at how funny she looked in my little carrier with her super long legs.20150424_15284020150425_15133920150424_153035Another angle of Lower Emerald Pool.