hiking with children in colorado

Old Jun 27th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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hiking with children in colorado

Wanting to find some shorter, easier hikes for family hiking. We have a 3,4, and 8 year old. Did some hiking last year in North Carolina and had a good time. The kids did better than expected and decided to try a different venture this year. We are going to Canon City to the Royal Gorge and then to Aspen area. Any help appreciated.
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Old Jun 27th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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Hi, Ompa,

We've hiked for years now in Colorado with our kids from the time our oldest was only 2. We started out at the Maroon Bells Lake/Mountains near Aspen. From downtown Aspen you just head out N. 82 to Maroon Creek Road and take it up to the parking lot at the lake (about a 25 min. drive from downtown.) You have to drive up there by 8:20am, or take the bus. The road closes to cars after that time in the morning until 5 in the evening.

Maroon Bells Mountains are really beautiful, and the lake often reflects like a mirror image the lake and clouds if there are any - breathtaking!

You can walk around the lake and continue on up the mountain and turn around any time that your youngest ones have had enough. The hike is beautiful - from thick Aspen groves to trickling streams to mountain vistas, to thick forested areas. Are you staying in Aspen? There are hiking maps available in hotel lobbys and The Ute Mountaineer Store that show hiking trails around the Aspen area. There is also a trail that follows the Rio Grande River right in Aspen that is very pretty as well - some rushing waterfalls along the river - but this is more of a paved trail and fairly flat, not really a hike, but still beautiful.

We love Aspen and have done lots of hiking with our kids in the area. We too have been surprised at how well they can handle hiking and how far they can make it. They do get a little whiney at times, but we don't just give in to the first whimper, it toughens them up a bit!

Good Luck, and let me know if I can be of more help in the Aspen area.
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Old Jun 28th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Maroon Bells is lovely.. If you are coming west out of Denver, just west of Idaho Springs ... and just off I70... is a National Forest Ranger Station. They have lots of good ideas, maps, etc. The only thing we do when we hike (and we aren't paranoid) is have one adult in the lead... one adult in the rear.. and the children in the middle. The person in the rear should always be able to see the children.
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Old Jun 28th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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If you are planning to hike even a short distance, please consider purchasing a Colorado Outdoor Search and Rescue Card. They are only $3 and they go to help to cover training, equipment and costs incurred by searching for and rescuing those who become lost or injured. For more information, please see

Remember - no one plans to get lost. Please help support those who are here to rescue us!
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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You have good advice already re: Aspen's Maroon Bells area. We've been there a few times with our teens. It's beautiful there, and easy walking/hiking for all. You will have a good time. We, too, love Aspen.

If you are driving to Aspen and staying a few nights there, check out the $50 'rebate' they are offering to help cover the rising cost of gas. I think you contact the Chamber there, or a major resort could also tell you. Where are you staying in Aspen? We like The Gant for its 2 bdrm/2bath condos with two swimming pools, tennis courts, walking distance into Aspen town.

Have fun in Colorado!
Old Jun 30th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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Thanks for all the good info. We are camping close to Aspen. We will be in the area for 4 days.
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