Hiking With Kids: The Sanitas Valley Trail
I can feel Autumn in the air. As the days get shorter, temperatures drop, and school + work shift into high gear, it becomes more difficult to justify getting out into nature just because.
And yet, I know this is what my family I sorely needed. Adjusting to new schedules and workloads had definitely taken a toll. When my husband and I realized we had a shared day off, I instantly suggested a hike. Didn't matter where, as long as it disconnected us from our devices and routine.
The Sanitas Valley Trail in Boulder did just that! Because it's a flat, wide trail that works well for most ages and abilities, our whole family felt challenged, but not defeated. I highly suggest supportive footwear, especially for those with weak ankles (like me). Parking spots are available, but limited; we chose to park in the charming Mapleton neighborhood and stroll a bit on the way to the trailhead. Also, dogs are allowed, but bikes are prohibited. Because we have a two year-old daughter, we chose to take the shorter loop starting at Sanitas Valley and connecting to Dakota Ridge. Not sure how long it was, but it was enough to wear us out. The Dakota Ridge Trail is shade and lush, but is a bit narrow in parts. Further, there are loose and jutting rocks to be aware of. All three kids tripped while walking, so take it slow if you're unsteady, and consider packing a small first-aid kit, just in case.
We brought our Kelty carrier for Joy, but she happily spent most of the hike walking independently! The Sanitas Valley Trail is stroller-friendly, so feel free to bring one if you need to. It may be tough to push up hill, depending on how long you stay on this particular trail. More info on that on Day Hikes Near Denver, one of my favorite local hiking resources!
Transitioning from the Sanitas Valley Trail to the Dakota Ridge Trail offers beautiful views as well as shady places to sit and rest. The kids enjoyed sipping water and taking in the scenery (and having their picture taken).
Once we resumed, the trail became a bit treacherous for Joy, so E opted to put her on his shoulders rather than placing her back in the carrier. She was happy as a clam perched atop her daddy.
As we prepared to head back to our car, a kind person offered to take a photo of all of us, so naturally we accepted! Of course, not everyone was cooperating, but you know what? That's life, our life. And I'm just happy we were able to spend an entire day together.
Plus, I had a sushi burrito for lunch afterward. Yes, folks, a sushi burrito, which is basically a giant roll. Best. Lunch. EVER!