Friday, August 9, 2013

Short Hikes for Little Tykes

When the grandchildren grow up, I would like them to have nice memories of visiting Yellowstone, not memories of sitting in their car seats for hours on end while the adults 'ooow' and 'ahhh' over things the children couldn't even see from their perspectives.  So. We have been keeping our eyes out for things for the kids to do.  This list will be added to, in months and years to come, I hope.

We set out to find hikes we could take the kids on.  Here are three we decided would work.

The first we took was to Harlequin Lake.  It is found on the road from West to Madison Junction, almost to the junction.  It is on the north side of the road.  There is a parking area on the south side of the road, so you will have to cross the road without a crosswalk.  Once there, it is about a half mile in through thick, young, short trees.  The trail is well maintained with a slight incline in elevation.  The lake is lovely, with lots of lily pads in August.

There are a few areas to spread out a blanket and picnic, and some rocks for little boys and girls to throw into the water.  A family of ducks were the only animals we saw.  We ran into a few other hikers, though.

The second hike we took was to Ice Lake.

This lake is found on the road from Norris to Canyon on the north side of the road again.  The parking area is on the same side of the road as the trail head.  There were two trails, one went to the lake and the other to the campsite.

We took the campsite trail, as we already had been on the other and figured it would be too much for 5 year-olds and younger (3 mile loop).  The campsite was a short 0.1 mile in.

The entire lake can be seen from the trail.

Tent site

Fire pit

Wash room!
There was a tent site, fire pit, and even a pit toilet at the end of a spur trail.  Bring your own toilet paper and umbrella!

The last hike was to the falls on the Wolf Lake trail.  Wolf Lake is just a little further toward Canyon on the same road.  The parking area is on the opposite side of the road and a short walk from the trail head.  The lake is on the north side of the road and the trail connects to the Ice Lake trail.  The falls are about a mile in and before the lake.  There is a little elevation change at the end getting up to the falls.

Above the falls there is a place the kids can put their feet in the water and a small grassy area to sit on.  The bridge to the other side where the trail continues on is a fallen log.

Along the trail back to the car we discovered large strawberry patches.  The strawberries were wonderful and sweet, but Brian thought it was way too much work for what you get. Still, it is a fun sideline to all the walking for kids.  I could see 8 - 10 year-olds enjoying this one.

When we were on the trail a few years ago the meadow area was ankle deep with water, so the trail sort of disappears.  Be prepared for mosquitoes and bring a bear bell. :)

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