The weather was nice, Harper didn’t, have school, the entrance fee was waved and it’s my birthday so we went outside to Badlands National Park. We did a few small trails including a juniper forest and massive canyon but mostly we climbed and explored.
This weekend we went to Elk Creek, only 20 minutes from our house. It was a perfect day and a perfect walk for Harper because there was water to play in and rocks to climb on. Chad had fun with bouldering, we spent a lot of the walk looking for rock climbing routs and wondering why there weren’t any bolts to be seen (I think because it was sandstone but still, couldn’t you put bolts deep enough to make sandstone safe?), there are some perfect cracks and climbs up there. Harper didn’t climb high but we did teach him about hand and foot holds and he practiced a little, he ended up settling for climbing the boulders on the ground which is still good for us.
The trail is 2.7 miles before a turnaround where it meets the centennial trail. We stopped about a mile short because Harper was tired and we were getting a little hungry. It wasn’t a hard or strenuous trail at all but we spent most of our time playing, climbing and talking with Harper so we had been out a while. Hiking with small kids isn’t as easy as walking but it is much more fun. When we first arrived at the trail head there was only one car and it wasn’t parked anywhere near us. When we got back we had a laugh at being surrounded by other subarus, guess we live slightly similar lifestyles.
Be honest, it’s pretty great out here isn’t it? Add milk 70 degree weather in mid October and we have nothing to complain about. The trail itself was very well maintained, people and dogs we saw were friendly, we didn’t see any garbage and it was never past the difficulty of a 3 year old so it is ranked pretty high on our list of favorites. If this is the last hike of the year I won’t complain (though it would be nice to get more hikes in, schedules and weather may not play along).