Easy Backpacking Destinations in Washington for Little Kids
Sometimes it can be a little difficult finding short, low elevation, kid friendly backpacking destinations for your toddler or little one. The following is a list of easy first trip destinations for you and your little one(s) to enjoy. Be sure to check here if you have an older kid or one who wants more of a challenge.
Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)
Sheep Lake is one of my all time favorite backpacking destination with little kids. The route is 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the lake with a gain of 500 feet. For parents with little ones, the mile and a half may take a while, but the payoff will be golden. Plenty of campsite surround the small alpine lake and there is a nice shore for kids to splash in the water. Most summer weekends, the lake is surrounded with many other little kids experiencing their first backpacking trip.
Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Wall
If you are willing to drive a few hours, this is a perfect destination for little kids going backpacking. The hike along the coast keeps little ones captivated the entire time with crashing waves, shells and seaweed. Camping spots are found along the beach after hiking a mile and crossing over Ellen Creek. After setting up camp, head farther down the beach toward the Hole-In-The-Rock. The beach is lined with rocky outcrops showcasing tide pools filled with sea life. You and your little one will fall asleep watching stars light up the sky and waves crashing fifty feet away.
Talapus Lake is an easily accessed lake in the Snoqualmie Pass region. With its gently climbing two miles from the trailhead to the lake, the 600 feet of elevation gain seem manageable with little legs walking with you. For little kids, there is plenty to keep them preoccupied on the way to the lake such as little rushing creeks, fallen logs and small bridges.. A popular break spot sits next to a beautiful creek where many stop for snacks and pictures. Although there are only a handful of camping spots, these don't often fill as backpackers are headed farther up the trail to Ollalie Lake or Pratt Lake.
This trail had to be created with little backpacking kids in mind. Located in Cle Elum, this trail winds through a forested meadow on a very gentle trail for two miles and only 100 feet of elevation gain. After reaching the two mile mark, you will notice the lake lined with large camp site. On a summer weekend, you can hear the sounds of many happy little backpackers along the lake.
The trail along Thunder Creek has so much to offer to the little backpacker. The creek is enormous and the rocks are gigantic. The trail climbs to an elevation of 300 feet as it makes its way passing Thunder Creek. At 1.5 miles you will find camping at Thunder Camp or continue on another 3/4 mile to Neve Camp. This trail provides an easy day of backpacking in the North Cascades for the little backpacker.
6. Barclay Lake: 4.4 miles / 500 feet gain
7. Greenwater Lakes: 4 miles / 200 feet gain
8. Third Beach: 3.6 miles / 280 feet gain
9. Blue Lake (Mt. Baker area): 1.7 miles / 300 feet gain
10. Independence Lake: 1.6 miles / 680 feet gain
11. Mirror Lake (Snoqualmie Pass): 2.2 miles / 870 feet gain
12. Icicle Creek: 4 miles / 100 feet gain
13. Cutthroat Lake: 3.8 miles / 400 feet gain
14. Slide Lake 2.5 miles / 300 feet gain