Tips for Hiking with Children

Cascade Springs

Cascade Springs

I am so excited to be participating in Girl Love Glam’s Summer Fun Series! Be sure to check out all the fun projects and activities at the end of this post!

Hiking is one of our little family’s favorite activities. With three children under the age of five, my husband and I have learned some tips and tricks to make hiking with toddlers and babies fun for everyone.

1. Practice Makes Perfect. 

Before our first hike of the season, we take our little ones out in the backyard or on a walk around the neighborhood for a practice hike. We emphasize the 3 W’s – watch, walk, and wait.

Watch where you are going.

Walk, don’t run.

Wait for family.

I love to give my children the opportunity to run wild in nature, but not on uneven mountain trails! Practicing these three things on walks at home makes the actual hike much easier. We turn the 3 W’s into an easy mantra – watch, walk, wait – so that our children know exactly what to do with just three simple words.

2. Dress for Success










Dress your children assuming that they are going to be dipping their toes in the stream and sitting in the dust/mud to examine insects. Much less stress for everyone when mama doesn’t have to worry about clothes getting stained or good shoes being ruined!

3. Well-equipped with Water

Little bodies get thirsty fast, especially in the sun. We love our Ledge Hydration Pack. Since it is a backpack, it is hands-free and simple enough for all of us to use. As our children get older, we plan to get them their own.

4. Sneak a Snack

A quick snack goes a long way on the trail. My kiddos love GoGo Squeez Applesauce and they are perfect for on the go. Be sure to pack all your litter back out.

5. Stop for Service









Last year we participated in the Governor’s Summer of Service – got to start them young, right? One of the easiest ways for our five-year-old daughter to serve was to pick up litter on the trails. We looped the handle of a plastic grocery bag through my daughter’s belt loop and bought her child-sized gardening gloves to use to pick up the garbage. Lily loved it and thought it was as fun as a treasure hunt. As an added bonus, she and her little brother were much less likely to litter on the trails.

6. It’s a Wrap

Hands-free Hiking

When hiking with the under two-years-old crowd, a good wrap or hiking backpack comes in handy. I love my Moby Wrap for my babies who are still little bobble heads. With my young baby contentedly snuggled to my chest, my hands are free to help my older children. As my babies get older, we transition them to a hiking backpack that my husband typically carries. Our Sherpani hiking carrier has great storage and a sunshade for the babe – we love it! The biggest advantage of the Moby Wrap, hydration pack, and hiking carrier is that they are all hands-free making it much easier to hold other little hands on the trail when they need help.

I hope these tips have been helpful! See you on the trails this summer! Some of our favorite trails to do as a family include:


Mesa Falls & Harriman State Park


Grotto Trail by Nebo Scenic Loop

Bridal Veil Falls and the Provo River Trail

Battle Creek Falls in Pleasant Grove

Bonneville Shoreline Trail

Cascade Springs on the Alpine Loop

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What are your favorite hikes with your kids?


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20 thoughts on “Tips for Hiking with Children

  1. Pingback: Hiking with Kids: Summer Fun Series - Girl Loves Glam

  2. Savannah miller

    I would love to take my family on a hike this summer. I love your 3 W rules and I will def. go over them with my kiddos 🙂

  3. Karina

    Awesome tips! I’m going hiking this summer and I was worried about going with a baby and a toddler but with your tips I might be ok.. lol thank you 🙂

  4. Pingback: Enjoying Nature with Little Ones | Because Babies Grow Up

  5. Maria Oller

    We love some hiking and trekking now my kids are teenager are it’s easier but when they were little we dd most of the things you point, the shoes are so important and also a nice hat and sunscreen.

  6. Pingback: 8 Incredible and Inexpensive Things to Do in Midway Utah

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