I remember the first time I took my kids hiking.
They were only about 4 and 6 years old, and while they were excited to go on an adventure, we were all a bit nervous.
I had grown up hiking in my family since I was very young, so I thought it would be a great chance to teach my kids how to appreciate and enjoy nature, and how to be responsible while on the trail.
When we got to the trailhead, the parking lot for the hike was across the street…so we had to cross the busy canyon road.
Although the hike was beautiful, it was a bit too rugged for my youngest so we went really slowly to help her keep up.
The biggest takeaways I can share are to keep things easy and plan lots of extra time.
Kids love to explore and touch things, so if they want to stop and look at a pinecone or bug on the patch, let them!
Also make sure you take extra clothing along, since weather in Utah can change dramatically.
If you’re looking for great hiking ideas for your kids in northern Utah, check out these trails that we’ve tested.
1. Hidden Valley Park
This is an easy walk around the beautiful park, and you can head up a dirt trail that connects with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. There’s even a stream and a little waterfall up the path, which is a great spot for a picnic lunch.
How to get there: Take 12300 S in Draper east towards the mountain, and turn right on Wasatch Blvd. The park is located at 11700 S. Wasatch Blvd.
2. Cecret Lake
There’s so much to see on this hike. While it’s a long one (1.5 miles round trip), it’s relatively easy for kids. Check out the wildflowers as you’re trekking up to the lake.
How to get there: Drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon until you reach the Albion Basin campground. The trailhead is on the west side.
3. Donut Falls
Hiking up to Donut Falls is almost a rite of passage for many Utahns. This is an easy trail with a little bit of elevation gain up to the falls.
How to get there: Drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon until you get to the Mill D trailhead. Head toward the Jordan Pines picnic area, and then follow the signs.
4. Bridal Veil Falls
Ah, yes. This is one of my favorites, because we always end the day with a stop at the BYU Creamery for hamburgers and ice cream. Provo Canyon is beautiful any time of year, but the falls are spectacular when the runoff is high. The trail is open year round, but parking may be a challenge during the warm months.
How to get there: Follow Provo Canyon up about 4 miles until you reach a parking lot with a sign for Bridal Veil Falls. Once you park, enjoy a walk up the Provo Canyon path until you reach the falls.
5. Battle Creek Falls
We discovered this beauty a few years ago, and has been one of our favorite hikes since then. It’s a super easy hike up to the top, where you can look down at everyone getting soaked by the falls.
How to get there: Follow 200 S. in Pleasant Grove toward the mountain, which ends at the trail head.
Backpacking With Kids [Checklist]
So, what are all the things you should bring along on a hike with kids?
You should certainly take the essentials, like a first aid kid, snacks and extra layers of clothing.
Here are a few other things you should take:
◻ Knife or multi-tool
◻ Rain jackets
◻ Insect repellant
Check out this list from REI on tips for taking kids into the backcountry:
What’s your favorite hike for kids? Let me know in the comments!