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Mountain hiking in the US for kids - Fall/Spring . . .

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So our hobbits love wildlife and mountains. The bigger one (to be 7) likes "climbing" mountains. This isn't an REI-equipment-necessary thing, he likes wandering the trails in elevated areas and seeing the mountains. The smaller one still rides on the old man's shoulders for a good part of the trip, so someplace that's easy on Dad is also covered in this request.

We just returned from Alaska and have been to NM. Thinking about Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Utah. Prefer someplace not far from whatever city we'd fly to (e.g., a short ride [sub 2.5 hours] from Denver, Phoenix, etc.). The halflings have just so much patience for car rides. Kentucky's in the mix because there is a trail made of bourbon ;-).

Thus the list: Mountains, relatively easy trails, scenery. Waterfalls and avians a plus.

Ideas?

Thanks in advance.

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