Hiking with a toddler is a whole new ball game, especially if you have a two year old! Toddlers are in that magic stage where they want to experience everything on their own two feet, which can be a bit tiresome on a long hike (or dangerous where cliff edges are concerned).
After my experience hiking with my toddler and nieces/nephews, I quickly re-evaluated what I thought were kid friendly hikes. There is a big difference between hiking with a baby, toddler or a 7-year-old kid!
So for you parents of toddlers, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best toddler-friendly hikes in Utah. These hikes are short engaging trails that will make sure your little ones (and you) have a good time.
1. Rocky Mouth Waterfall: Rocky Mouth Waterfall is a very short and sweet hike to a nice sized waterfall. Kids can get right under the falls or play in the shallow pools just below the falls. You will have to walk through a neighborhood to reach the trailhead of this hike, but it quickly becomes a true outdoor adventure Also, keep your eye out for the two tiny caves the kids will have fun crawling in. Note that this trail is short but follows a steady incline the whole way. Be prepared to take your time with the littles. To learn more about Rocky Mouth Waterfall click here.
2. Big Springs Hollow: The Big Spring Hollow trail near Provo offers scenic mountain views, aspen forests and lots of wooden bridges crossing babbling brooks. Probably my favorite toddler-friendly hike other than Grotto Falls (see next on list). Your toddler will love investigating this trail (and you will love not worrying about cliff edges). This trail is located up the South Fork branch off of Provo Canyon. For more tail info go here.
3. Grotto Falls: Have a toddler that is hard to impress and keep engaged? Grotto Falls is the trail for you! Your toddler will have a blast trekking across the river via narrow tree trunk bridges and be wowed when they reach the cave-like grotto falls. Shaded, level and adventurous are words that I would use to describe this hike. To learn more about it click here.
Oh, and if you are in the area anyway, I would also stop by the “Devil’s Kitchen” lookout point, which is described as a mini Bryce Canyon! For more on that click here.
4. Red Cliffs & Dino Trail: What’s better than a trail with dinosaur tracks? Nothing. At least in the eyes of your dino obsessed two year old there’s not! This trail is extremely short, but it is also located right next to the Red Cliffs trail, which has fun little waterfalls and pools the kids can splash around in. Both of these trailheads are located at the Red Cliffs Recreation area near Leeds Utah. To learn more click here.
5. Battle Creek Falls: A tall waterfall that your kids can get right under! This trail is a bit of a steep ascent at the very end, but it is worth it! I would consider this the “hardest” hike on this list, but a very popular hike for families in Pleasant Grove Utah. Only take your toddler on this hike if they are up for a steady incline. To learn more about Battle Creek Falls click here.
6. Lisa Falls: Another popular mini trail near Salt Lake City. This trail takes you to a seasonal waterfall up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Very popular among those with little kids. The unique slant of Lisa Falls makes it a fun waterfall to add to your summer hiking list. This trail is a steady incline to the falls, but not as steep as Rocky Mouth Falls. Consider combining this trail with Hidden Falls (referenced at the bottom of this post). To learn more about this trail click here.
Bonus ‘Micro’ Trail to Hidden Falls: Seriously, the shortest trail I have been on and it is located right up Big Cottonwood Canyon. This might be a good option if your toddler is totally new to hiking and you want to get them excited about it. It has a lovely waterfall and a cool mine that the kids can holler into. The trail is also easy to combine with Lisa Falls (located in the adjacent canyon) or the Temple Quarry Trail (located at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon). For more info click here.
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