3 Tips For Hiking With Kids Near Jackson Hole
Go with a guide for the best experience. Guide Dan Austin offers these suggestions with children in mind.
Dan Austin, the director and founder of Austin-Lehman Adventures, has been offering guided trips in and around Jackson and Yellowstone National Park for more than two decades. For a classic Tetons hike the whole family can enjoy, he suggests the four-mile loop in Grand Teton National Park to Bradley and Taggart Lakes. There are also hikes with spectacular views on Rendezvous Mountain from the top of the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram in Teton Village, just steps from Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. (You gain 4,139 feet before you even start hiking!)
When hiking anywhere with kids, the focus is always on the journey itself rather than the destination. In other words, you can’t get hung up if kids are more excited about looking at bugs or overturning rocks along the way than reaching a particular peak.
Austin shares these tips to make sure everyone in your family has a fun, safe experience along the trails.
1. Go with a local guide! You don’t want to waste time on the wrong trail or hiking to a view that isn’t there. You want an insider’s insight that comes from years of exploring an area. And you get the extra benefit of a guide’s knowlege on flora, fauna and history. (A guide is also helpful in encouraging and entertaining children; ultimately guides can help kids have more patience for the total experience.)
2. Pack smart! Make sure you’ve got a first aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, water, a camera and extra batteries, binoculars, energy bars and other kid-friendly snacks.
3. Be prepared for cold! Bring gloves, a hat and an extra layer (light weight synthetic blends are best). Even a rain jacket, because the weather can be so unpredictable.