I love being outdoors and going on hikes. The sunshine, fresh air and beautiful views rejuvenate my soul. It gets a little trickier to try to enjoy the outdoors and go hiking with little kids because sometimes it turns into a big production and everyone starts whining. I really want to get out and do some exploring with my family this summer and discover some new favorite hikes. We have several great books at the library that can help in the planning.
FAMILIES ON FOOT
By Jennifer Pharr Davis and Brew Davis
This book focuses on the importance of getting out and hiking as a family. This can be through a downtown city, on a paved trail or in the mountains; it doesn’t matter as long as you are walking together. It talks about how to prepare and what to take with you and then some ideas of what to do while you are hiking. Each topic divides up the information into preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school age groups so you can read the information that applies to your family. This is a great resource for families that want to enjoy the outdoors together but be aware that it is not a trail guide.
BEST EASY DAY HIKES SALT LAKE CITY
By Brian Brinkerhoff and Greg Witt
This guide covers the Salt Lake Valley and Big & Little Cottonwood canyons. The hikes range from short strolls to full-day dventures. Each entry includes distance, hiking time, difficulty, trail surface, best season, if dogs are permitted, and fees. It also contains a detailed explanation of how to find the trailhead and then some details of what to expect on the hike. Not all of these trails would be appropriate for kids, but the information provided will help you decide what would work for your family.
BEST HIKES WITH CHILDREN UTAH
By Maureen Keilty
My favorite part of the book is the introduction section because it gives specific information on hiking with children, from how to involve them in the planning and packing to how to get them excited about the hike. It also has recommendations of what to pack. The hikes are organized in the following groups: Wasatch and North, Uinta and Central, Southwest, and Southeast. Each hike has easy to understand symbols and important information for the hike. And the best part is every hike in the book is appropriate for the whole family from toddlers to teenagers to grandparents.
Most of these hikes would be too hard for families, but this is a great resource to find local hikes and get some ideas of things to try. My favorite part of this book is the list of recommended hikes in the front. The author divides his list into categories like hikes of 1-3 miles, hikes near streams and rivers, hikes with waterfalls, best hikes for children, best hikes for dogs, best hikes for wildflowers, best for regular workouts, etc.
TAKE A HIKE SALT LAKE CITY: 75 HIKES WITHIN TWO HOURS OF THE CITY
By Mike Matson
Again, this trail guide has all level of hikes so you want to make sure you are informed before heading out and look for the easy hikes. There is a section in the front that lists the best 5 hikes for families. This guide includes trails around the Provo area.