hike. camp. get outside in northern colorado. with kids.



Long Draw Road

My dad wanted a picture of a moose, so of course we took him down Long Draw Road. Mere minutes after turning off Highway 14 a young bull sauntered in front of our truck, posing briefly, before hoofing it up the other side, into the woods and out of sight. As always Long Draw Road delivered for our out-of-town guests.

Continue reading “Long Draw Road”

Red Feather Lakes: Dowdy Lake Campground

The toddling two year olds climbing in and out of a hammock, or a canoe or a bear-box more resembled playful cubs than human children. As cute and equally mischievous as can be. Reinforcing the known truth that nothing entertains kids more than other kids.

Lucky for us L made friends at daycare with kiddos whose families also love to camp and for the third year in a row we’ve gotten together for a weekend full of marshmallows, stories and lots of girl giggles.

Continue reading “Red Feather Lakes: Dowdy Lake Campground”

Roadtrip: Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO

“I’ve been star-ing at the edge of the water, as long as I can remember…”

If you have a young girl you’re probably familiar with this lyric from Disney’s Moana. L sings it inside, outside, in the car and even on stage at her school’s talent show. But my favorite rendition may be on the rocky beach of Turquoise Lake. We haven’t made a family trip to the ocean yet, but we will eventually. In the meantime, we’ll visit the sandy shores of our mountain lakes, watch the waves roll in and listen to the girls sing How Far I’ll Go.  Continue reading “Roadtrip: Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO”

Pawnee National Grasslands: It’s a Butte, Clark!

Our exploration of the Colorado eastern plains had been limited to the views afforded from I-70 on trips back to Illinois. Our outdoor adventures had always taken us west toward the Rocky Mountains, but last March we headed east for an impromptu visit to the Pawnee National Grasslands. Continue reading “Pawnee National Grasslands: It’s a Butte, Clark!”

Gift Ideas for Your Tiny Hikers and Campers

As the kids eagerly submit their Christmas lists and toy flyers with nearly every item on every page circled, they most likely did not include any hiking or camping gear. But Christmas is an excellent opportunity to outfit your tiny adventurers, sneaking in some useful gifts now, that will make a more enjoyable summer and offset costs when gearing up before the first trip of the season. Continue reading “Gift Ideas for Your Tiny Hikers and Campers”

Top 5 Things I Learned this Summer

It’s officially fall and we have another season of camping with kids under our belts. It was a fantastic summer and as always we made many “notes to self.” Here are my best hacks/tips we discovered this year. Continue reading “Top 5 Things I Learned this Summer”

Dispersed Site Car Camping: Top 3 Pros, Cons and Essentials

I think of dispersed car camping as the happy medium between campgrounds and the back country. And since I can’t fathom carrying the gear required to take kids camping on my back, this will be the most rustic experience we can manage- until we buy that alpaca.

There are more dusty roads in the Colorado wilderness than a two year old can shake a stick at. And along these roads are dispersed sites that are a great way to get off the beaten path without hiking in. But as wonderful as it is, there are some things to consider, especially when camping with kiddos.  Continue reading “Dispersed Site Car Camping: Top 3 Pros, Cons and Essentials”

Deadman Road: Dispersed Camping near Red Feather Lakes, CO

The sun is setting on the summer of 2016 and it’s possible we’ve already had our last camping trip of the season. (Unless we make it up in October. Weather permitting. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.)

But if our dispersed camping trip to the Red Feather Lakes area stands as the last, we can rest assured we squeezed every last drop out of this summer. We made good on our early spring plans to spend as much time outside as humanly possible with two small kiddos, full time jobs and limited vacation hours. Continue reading “Deadman Road: Dispersed Camping near Red Feather Lakes, CO”

Tent v. Popup: The Struggle is Real

When discussing camping with a new acquaintance, a detail that is often asked immediately is whether or not we sleep in a tent. Up until this summer that answer was “yeah, we’re tent campers” and this was followed by a congratulatory wink and a nod. I half expected to break out in a secret handshake. Continue reading “Tent v. Popup: The Struggle is Real”

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