Friday, June 28, 2013

Five great day hiking trails in Colorado for children

A hiker rests on a ridgeline at Great Sand Dunes National Park
and Preserve. Photo courtesy of Great Sand Dunes NPS.
With the spine of the Rocky Mountains running through most of Colorado, the state is chock full of great day hiking trails that kids will love. Here’s a small sampling:
g Doc Holliday Trail – You and your children can relive a bit of the Old West on this 0.5-mile climb near Glenwood Springs that takes you to the final resting place of the old gunslinger.
g Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve dunes – Not so much a trail as a great scamper, kids can climb up, walk the ridgeline of, and slide down sand dunes soaring 750 feet into the blue sky. Most kids need about 90 minutes to summit and come down from the tallest dunes.
g Horsetooth Falls trail – The 2.5-mile round trip in Horsetooth Mountain Park near Fort Collins takes you through a wildflower-filled meadow and over a footbridge at a canyon bottom en route to the waterfall.
g Petrified Forest Loop – The one-mile loop at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument heads past petrified stumps and logs of ancient redwood trees. The trail easily can be extended by taking adjoining marked routes through ponderosa pines.
g Pine to Peak Trail – The one-mile trail near Boulder is a hike up Bald Mountain. You being in a forest and end with fantastic views; it’s a great peak for beginning mountain climbers.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.