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



Forsythe Canyon Trail: No Plan, No Problem

I’m a planner. I make lists. I’ve learned that if we don’t make a plan, our days off run the risk of slipping away. Besides, the planning and preparation is all part of the fun.

This past Memorial Day Weekend, I let go and let my husband do things his way- loose and list-less. And it all worked out, despite one minor little hiccup. Continue reading “Forsythe Canyon Trail: No Plan, No Problem”

Horsetooth Falls Trail: Remembering Lucy

Lucy still had that puppy smell. Even at ten years old and even as she lay in the dimly lit room at the vetinary hospital. The room with the Kleenex box you hope to never visit.  Continue reading “Horsetooth Falls Trail: Remembering Lucy”

Red Mountain Open Space: A Favorite Spring Hiking Destination

She squatted close to the red ground surveying the rocks before selecting a smooth oval one. She carefully added it to the top of the cairn, looking back at us with a triumphant grin. L didn’t have to look far to see another one, leading us onward. Continue reading “Red Mountain Open Space: A Favorite Spring Hiking Destination”

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!”

Big South Trail

She hiked midway up the hill, did a spin and climbed on without missing a beat. I smiled, as I just happened to be taking video, getting my fancy hiker in action. We marched on a bit longer. Stopped for another quick snack and looked farther down the trail, looked at the time, looked back where we had come and, very anti-climatically, called the hike for the day.

Continue reading “Big South Trail”

Love the One You’re With- Big South Campground

When it comes to camping along the Cache La Poudre River, we believe the higher up the canyon the better. Heading where the air is cooler, the woods are thicker and the wildlife is bigger- to us- is worth the extra miles.

Unfortunately many of the established campgrounds in the Upper Poudre Canyon don’t open until late June due to snow- Chambers Lake, Tunnel and Grandview Campgrounds to name a few. There’s no way we’ll wait until July to start our camping season. Dispersed camping is always an option in the spring months but sometimes, especially with kids, you want a bathroom, a fire pit and a picnic table. Continue reading “Love the One You’re With- Big South Campground”

Stevens Gulch Picnic Site

You know the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where the guy takes out the other guy’s heart with his bare hand? While our 5 year old was dragging her feet on Lower Dadd Gulch Trail, her dad may have jokingly told her he was about to do something similar to her if she didn’t pick up the pace. We were all laughing, and no organs were removed from anyone’s body. We really are a nonviolent family. But when she decided to retell this story to the young couple we rescued from the Stevens Gulch Picnic Site there was no telling what was going through their heads. Were they being driven down the canyon to the nearest gas station by serial killers? Or child abusers? I’ve been told this is the first of many times our children will embarrass us in such a manner.

Continue reading “Stevens Gulch Picnic Site”

Lower Dadd Gulch Trail

“We’ve been in the car forever!  I hate hiking!”

“There’s too much wind on my face! ERRRRRRGGHEEFE!!” (sound made while arching back in car seat)

Not the sounds or words you want to hear from your 5 year old for whom you just purchased actual hiking boots. And it appears we are now paying for years of excellent car behavior.

It was already afternoon, and unfortunately L did not nap on our way to Lower Dadd Gulch Trail like her sleeping 18 month old sister beside her.

Maybe we’ve been pushing too hard. We’ve hiked a lot lately…

These thoughts along with her sour mood melted away after a pre-hike snack of Gorp. After getting C on my back I took a handful myself and noticed a (not surprising) disproportionate amount of peanuts and raisins to m&ms…

Continue reading “Lower Dadd Gulch Trail”

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