Great report! I have 4 kids, ages 14,11,5 and 2. They love the rocks! Even the 2 year old is a scrambler. They could care less about hiking a trail and attaining a summit. Give them rocks and life is good.
If you love the southwest you might want to consider Lake Powell. Rent a houseboat, pick a beach each day and turn the kids loose. There is endless scrambling there.
This was great! I have 3 year olds and am looking forward to going the mountains with them. I also enjoyed your painfully honest (but funny) descriptions of your own lapses in judgment, selfish thoughts, etc. I can get crabby in a similar way on vacations.
Thanks for sharing your insight!
but Lake Powell and Lake Mead are a popular destination. There's
always things for kids to do near an awesome body of water, with
the cliffs rising overhead. And, they can always catch crawdads!!
I think your assessment is absolutely correct. When I was a kid, I was an unstoppable scrambler. If a slab or ridge of rock came into my sight, I headed straight for it. My folks encouraged it, and I think the amount of freedom they gave me really helped me to be more safety aware and responsible. My grandfather took me to a lot of summits in the Tahoe area, but the summits themselves were pretty much lost on me: just a nice place to eat lunch. It was all about getting there, and the more time off trail and on rock the better. Come to think of it, my outlook really hasn't changed in twenty years.
You are right on about kids and summits "just a nice place to have lunch (!)" - Evan does not seem to have any need to reach tops of things as long as he can have fun on the way up. Coincidentally, I am going to be in Tahoe for a few days this summer before going to Yosemite. Have any kid scrambling recommendations? Don't be afraid to mention summits I might like either (Since I am bringing the whole family, I can leave Evan behind some hikes).
Boy, it's been a long time since I've been out there. We had a cabin on Upper Echo Lake, so most of my scrambles were in that area. Flagpole Peak was definitely a favorite: scrambling right to the summit to look over an awesome vertical face. Becker Peak is a nice cheap thrill from Echo Chalet, quick hike on a wooded ridge to a nice little summit of craggy jumbled blocks. I also really liked climbing Ralston Peak via the bowl above Ralston Lake. Round Top was also fun. All of these except Becker are on SP. Also, anywhere in the granite slabs back by Lake Aloha was a blast; that can get to be a long day from the road, though. Have fun!
Anyone have kid scrambles in Yosemite for this August?
Even if your young climber can't manage the final Class 4 move, the extended Class 3 scramble on awesome flawless Tuolumne granite will put him high in the middle of the spectacular Cathedral Range. Also, several domes in the area offer terrific scrambles and friction routes for both the young and not so young. Good Luck!
My 8 year old son is the same. Give him some rocks to scramble on, with a sense of danger and none of the structure of roped climbing, and he is a campy camper - literally. We're going to do a Southeast road trip this summer between DC and Florida. Any suggestion on some short hikes or areas to scramble along the way? Perhaps in Great Smokeys or Shenandoah NPs? Thanks.
Smoky Mountains are what I know best in the southeast - but unfortunately we were not into scrambling back then. But I remember a nice swimming area by Abrams Falls. Also, to get a true Smoky Mt homestead experience, do the short Little Greenbrier school and Walker homestead hike. Because it takes a mile uphill to get there, the cabin is in pristine condition - unlike the easily accessible Cades Cove area, where generations of vandals have carved their names.
When my dad reads this he will definatly consider bringing me around the country to scramble. Great storyy to!
Thanks, Patrick B.
Truly fantastic. Thanks for sharing it.
And I want to thank you personally for the wonderful information you provided in this and other web sites. It made the vacation possible and much better than it would have been via guidebooks.
I'm flattered. You're very welcome.
...to doing the same things with my kids. It's been pretty limited thus far, but I have taken my 4-year-old son out to some rocky areas a few times and let him do some scrambling, which he has enjoyed. I was quite proud when he recently completed a scramble/hike on Bearfence Mountain in Shenandoah National Park that had some other hikers-- some older boys and their mom-- scared.
Good reports, this and the sequel both.
As a parent of 4 kids, I agree that scrambling holds their interest better than long hikes. I really enjoyed this report - especially the account of the Subway (which I still need to take my daughters on), getting stuck (which I can relate to several times over), and then wondering if you've also spent many hours in the car with your son wondering why there can't be more conversation with Dad when he can be so talkative with others.
Lastly, I can't help but recommend to you and Evan Bridge Mountain in Red Rock Conservation Area if you are ever in the Las Vegas Area. It is a classic scramble that is very scenic and enjoyable.
Thanks for the recommendation. I go through Vegas often but have never hiked in the Red Rock area. I will put it on 'the list'.
Thanks. Evan is 13 now and still wants to come with me, so I haven't ruined the mountains for him yet!
Your storytelling is great. I would agree, neither of my kids are huge on hiking, but they both love to scramble!