Five Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Laramie
As we finally have some dry, hot days, getting outside may be impossible with school starting and lives becoming activity-crazy again. However, if getting outside happens, here are some kid-friendly hikes around Laramie.
Kid-friendly, to me, means there are cool natural features, the mileage is doable, the trail is easy to moderate, and it’s fairly close to Laramie. Emphasis on the cool natural features, because my kids will whine about hiking until they encounter distractions.
I’m always outside, hiking, biking, or skiing, and I’m trying to impart my love of nature to my children. Perhaps hiking Laramie Peak with a 3, 5, 6, and 8-year-old was a bit much; they swore off hiking “forever!” after that 10-mile, 2,500-foot trek…in the rain and hail. I can’t blame them, but their appreciation for the outdoors was redeemed with a fairly short waterfall hike two weeks later.
My kids hike in sneakers for the most part; one or two might have a pair of hiking shoes purchased from Nu2u. The girls wear skirts and dresses, because who cares about practicality? The point is, a closet full of Patagonia isn’t necessary to get kids outside.
Two of the hikes are in the Happy Jack area; one is just outside of Curt Gowdy, and the other is off Old Highway 30, which you access by taking a right on Exit 323.
One is in Vedauwoo, and it's not hiking Turtle Rock. It's skipping about 2.5 miles of that, and instead climbing to the top. With kids. Fairly easily.
One hike is a bit longer of a drive, going past Encampment. However, that’s one of my favorites because: waterfalls. It was a longer trek of just over three miles, but the trail was entertaining enough, with plenty of fun very easy water crossings, and the beautiful cascades at the end. The kids thought they were in paradise. I did, too.
The last one is Medicine Bow; as difficult or cliche as that may seem. But the joy of such an accomplishment for a kid, the core memory, and the experience are all worth the miles. Pick a Saturday or Sunday and try one out.