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Rawson, Ohio
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Hike suggestions for families with young kids?

My husband and I will be spending 2 1/2 days in Estes Park in July 2011. Our boys are ages 6 and 8. Any suggestions on the best activities to do? Alpine slide, aerial tram, hikes, swimming, wild life viewing, etc....? So much to see in such a short time so any suggestions would be appreciated.

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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1. Re: Hike suggestions for families with young kids?

Welcome to the forum.

DW and I were there in August of last year (stayed in Estes Park, but spend the vast majority of our time in PMNP). As a starting point for suggestions, here is the link to our trip report from that trip:

tripadvisor.com/…28448280

The hikes that we did might be a bit much for younger kids, as they are a bit steep, but there are other options. The hike around Bear Lake is fairly flat, I think (we did not do that hike), and the trail around Sprague Lake is very flat.

Nederland, Colorado
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2. Re: Hike suggestions for families with young kids?

Good info here on short hikes with the kids: rmnp.com/RMNP-Things-ShortWalksAndHikes.HTML

There is no alpine slide in Estes Park. Some activities for kids: estesparkcvb.com/activities.cfm/…1140

Our nephews enjoy fishing at the trout pond, going to the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road and playing in the snow, riding go-karts and bumper boats, and riding horses.

Chicago, IL
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3. Re: Hike suggestions for families with young kids?

An easy and fun trail that kids seem to enjoy is the hike which starts at the Fern Lake trailhead and goes to Arch Rocks (1.2 miles one way). Part of the hike is along the banks of the Big Thompson River and a little farther along you reach huge boulders of all sorts of interesting shapes and sizes. I've seen young kids having a ball scrambling around on the rocks. If the kids still have some energy, continue on to "the Pool," which is a body of swirling water splashing over rocks and into Fern Creek. It's a lovely spot for a snack, but watch out for the chipmunks that will try to raid your backpack looking for goodies.

Also make sure you get there early as the parking lot is not very big and fills up by mid-morning, sometimes by 9:00 a.m. in the summer.

Overland Park
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4. Re: Hike suggestions for families with young kids?

Lily Lake trail.

Kansas City
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5. Re: Hike suggestions for families with young kids?

You might consider a horseback ride.

We visit RMNP for a week or two every summer. My kids two favorite hikes are Gem Lake and Lake Haiyaha.

Gem Lake is a good, short, lower elevation hike. If you walk around to the other side of the lake there is fantastic rock climbing for the little guys (with adult supervision). My kids insist on doing Gem Lake our first day in Estes every year. Just start early because it can get warm.

Lake Haiyaha is a little longer of a hike, but very rewarding. Start at Bear Lake Trailhead. You will see Nymph and Dream Lakes along the way. There are great boulders surrounding Lake Haiyaha..more rock climbing. The Bear Lake Trailhead is the busiest in the park so again, get an early start unless you don't mind crowds.

Some may think these hikes would be too much for younger kids, but it depends on how physically active your children are. My kids could hike them from about age 4.

6. Re: Hike suggestions for families with young kids?

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