If you’re staying with your family in Ouray, Colorado, don’t forget to take a hike! Here are some of the best kid-friendly hikes you don’t want to miss.
Hike Ouray the Right Way
Ouray is known as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado,” meaning it’s the perfect place to get out and explore! With an adventure readily available for everyone, this town is the prime destination for getting outside and making memories with your family. Whether you and your family are looking for wildlife, wildflowers, or waterfalls, there are plenty of kid-friendly hikes that offer those sights.
Just make sure you and your family hike Ouray the right way! Here are some tips (and a few facts) to make your hiking experience more enjoyable.
- Wildflowers start blooming in May, but the finest displays are from mid-July to mid-August. Local tip: please do not pick or walk through the wildflowers! They take years to grow old enough to bloom and picking these beautiful flowers harms the environment. If you want a memento of the flowers, stick to pictures only, please.
- Monsoon season can run from early July to the end of August. This means moderate to heavy rain after about 2 pm. If you’re going to be out and about in the afternoon, don’t forget to pack rain jackets!
- Many trails pass through private property, so please be responsible and follow the hiker’s motto: leave no trace. That means picking up any trash (whether it’s your own or someone else’s), leaving nature as you found it, and sticking to trails.
- Colorado is home to so many furry, scaly, and feathered creatures! If you happen to find some on your hikes, remember to keep them – and your family – safe by keeping your distance.
- Even if hikes are short, it’s best to come prepared. Always bring sunscreen, insect repellant, and plenty of water for everyone.
Box Canyon Falls
If there’s one kid-friendly hike you and your family go on, the Box Canyon Falls is it. There are three main trails in the park, the Falls Trail, the High Bridge Trail, and the Native Plant Loop. In addition to these hiking trails, there are picnic areas and a visitor center that features interpretive exhibits, describing the local ecosystem and history.
The Falls Trail is an easy 500-foot walk into the canyon and showcases an 85-foot cascade of water down Canyon Creek. This waterfall spills thousands of gallons of water each minute and is a breathtaking attraction. During the summer months, there is a small fee to see the falls, but it is certainly worth the cost.
After you’ve seen the canyon and the falls itself, you have the option of taking the High Bridge Trail, climbing a series of stairs, and following a quarter of a mile trail to a bridge above the canyon. The High Bridge Trail is a more moderate hike, but if you and your family are up for it, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Amphitheater Cirque peaks and an aerial view of town!
Uncompahgre River Walk Loop
This two-mile loop is an easy and popular trail and is great if you’re looking for a paved walking path that is mostly level. This short and sweet trail follows along the Uncompahgre River and has spectacular views of Mt. Abrams and old mining buildings.
Along the route are plenty of benches as well as interpretive signs that point out facts about the local wildlife and the area’s rich mining history. If you have little ones, they’ll enjoy taking a stroll through the Children’s Garden, which is near the midpoint of the east side of the trail.
Lower Cascade Falls
The Lower Cascade Falls trail is a short and beautiful hike to the base of a beautiful waterfall. The Falls are set high in the eastern redstone cliffs that overlook Ouray. Be aware that while it’s only a quarter of a mile walk to the waterfall, it is moderately steep. And while you hike down to the falls, remember that you’ll have to hike back up when you’re done!
That being said, this is a great hike to take with your family. The trailhead passes through a forest, where you might be able to spot a deer or two. If you decide to take this hike, you will want to allow for ample time to sit by the creek and walk to the base of the waterfall and feel the spray.
Baby Bathtubs Trail
This trail is a favorite among families with young kids! This short and easy hike (round-trip is less than one mile) is perfect to get a little outdoor time in with your family. The trail name came from the many little rocky potholes (which resemble baby bathtubs) formed along the shallow water of the Little Portland Creek. The trail itself is a forest trail that is distinct and easy to follow, and children will love splashing around in the pools of water!
Plan Your Stay with MTN Lodge Ridgway
Ready to plan your family vacation? Enjoy these kid-friendly hikes in Ouray, and then book your comfortable stay at the MTN Lodge Ridgway! We’re the perfect base camp for all your mountain adventures. We have comfortable rooms and incredible mountain views. Let’s make your stay a memorable one.