Is this hike doable with kids. We have fairly active five and eight year old. Thanks,!
It really depends on your kids...there is no standard. I can only give you what I know about and what we have experienced.
What we know for sure is that if you take the 2 boats (some younger kids get bored with that to begin with). Then there will also be a hike between the lakes that is the equivalent of 4 flights of stairs...both heading up and coming back.
After getting off the boat there is a steep 1,700’ climb up over a fairly short distance...and at some significant altitude if you are not used to it. If you all make it up all the way...then you have to hike back down. Hiking down can often be harder on knees and stamina when you are tired from the climb.
Then after all that, the kids have to endure the 2 boat rides and the 4 story descent between them again.
So, if your kids have been used to some strenuous physical activity and not just the normal horsing-around in play and are actually really interested in doing the hike, they will probably be fine. They may even have more fun than you do.
Kids who have been coaxed away from their electronic devices and are not too enthusiastic to begin with may not be good hiking companions on the Grinnell Glacier trail.
We have seen both kinds of kids along this particular trail...thrilled and having a great time...and those who are crying on the side of the trail because they were tired, sick (because of dehydration most likely) or have blisters on their feet.
Now, kids aside, we have hiked the Grinnell Trail at different times in our lives. Younger and more fit, it was an adrenaline rush and a lifetime thrill. Getting older, having injured a knee badly and less aerobically fit, the Grinnell Glacier Trail has become a real endurance test and not much fun.
A a couple of final things to think about:
1...If its a hot summer day, making the hike is harder. There is very little shade. It seems contradictory but it can get hot on the way up to see a glacier. And it can get chilly when you near the water and snow, especially if the wind comes up.
2...You all must carry water and keep hydrated.
3...If not hiking with a Ranger, you should carry bear spray. Even in a long conga line of other hikers...you don’t want to be the ones mama bear chooses to charge.
4...Near any standing water, berry bushes or plants where aphids have deposited sweet exudations on foliage that attracts wasps and Yellow jackets, you should be extra cautious.
Use Insect repellent. Long sleeves and no sandals. Sun screen and sunglasses.
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