Trails traveled: Hidden Fawn Trail, Sisters Trail, Ponderosa Trail, Difficulty: Green (Easy), Blue (Moderate), Black (Difficult)
Loop, 2.5 miles round-trip, 400ft elevation gain
Time: 2 hours
Weather: Partly Cloudy
- Solo Parent with the Kids Hike
I have the best kids.
If I haven’t shared that before to this point, then I am saying it here now. If I have shared it before, it bears repeating: I have the best kids!
I wanted to gauge my kids’ current level of stamina for a hike with this hike, which can be challenging for some adults. The hike actually had all three skill levels (green, blue and black) packed into one “mini-but-mighty” hike, which starts at almost 7,500 feet above sea level.
So I prepped the kids, especially the younger one who would be “hiking,” that we can take frequent stops, get water or a snack, but that she couldn’t spend the entire time whining and crying or it would really put a damper on everyone else’s mood while we try to enjoy the great outdoors. I also gave her frequent encouraging words, spurring her on as best I could that she was doing a great job, and that I am proud of her. Both of which are true statements.
The nice thing about this hike was that it started out with a easy, gradual upslope and if things got “bad” early on, we could cut the hike short before any meltdowns. After distracting away any early grumblings with a search for their very own walking sticks, it seemed to help them keep on without much difficulty.
The other welcome distractions were the multitude of boulders to climb along the trail and the wildlife, we saw a few chipmunks to the delight of the kids. The boulders were fun, but came at the price of a couple scraped knees and elbows. Those made for a good “post-hike” pic so they could remember their battle scars in the future.
The final challenge was the youngest who hitched a ride in the backpack carrier. A very generous friend loaned it to me, as their kids are no longer small enough to utilize it, and it has been a lifesaver for the couple of hikes we’ve done together. It is heavy, and my youngest is almost too big for it, but he had a fun ride, in the shade, on my back. For now, I think his weight and my other two’s current ability level to a 2-to-3-mile maximum at this point for hikes. The other downside is that if he is on my back, I can’t carry a backpack, which limits the supplies I have on me as we go.
The hike was a great success, the kids had a blast and look forward to future outings, and it was a fun family accomplishment with Dad that we can remember together with fondness at a later date.