Family Hiking & Rock Climbing

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Boulder, Colorado, in the summer is a fantastic place for a family vacation.  The nearly vertical rock faces of the Flatirons seem to watch over the Boulder valley and beckon people to be active outside.

The cooler, drier temperatures in the Rockies make it easier to get outside.  The activities range from rock climbing and hiking to biking and strolling the Pearl Street Mall.

My husband Lance grew up in Boulder, and our kids loved listening to his reminiscing of growing up in this college town and his outdoor adventures.  We stopped by the REI store to pick up more climbing rope, so the kids could go rock climbing in one of his favorite places…The Amphitheater.

There are several sandwich shops just off the University of Colorado campus, so we picked up some lunch before driving up to the trail head.

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We roped the kids up with a harness and Lance belayed them up the rock face from a secure position on top of the face.

(Note: this is a very steep rock face, and only an expert should do the rope tying and belaying.  Confident climbers only).

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Let the fun begin… It was a gorgeous day and the kids were not afraid of heights, so I said a safety prayer and let them have at it.  This little chipmunk kept me company while I waited.  It ate all of my peanut butter granola bar and wanted more!

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And here they go!  Even though Chris did not climb, he had a blast hiking up to the Amphitheater and giving suggestions on where Hannah and Ben should make their next foot and hand hold.  It really was a family effort… I was in charge of hiking up one of the climbing ropes and most of the water.  And not a video game in sight 🙂

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Safety first!  Multiple high quality climbing ropes used to belay kids up the rock face.IMG_1347

IMG_1331Chris points the way to trail head!

This was a fun packed morning that was just minutes away from downtown Boulder.

The next day we had brunch with friends at the Walnut Cafe which provides many yummy gluten-free and healthy food choices.

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Fun meeting up with family friends for breakfast at Walnut Cafe located at 3073 Walnut Street before heading to stroll along Pearl Street Mall.

We even had time to walk Pearl Street and enjoy the shaded sidewalks and outdoor stores.  A family can find a variety of restaurants on the Mall and lots of interesting people to watch for free 🙂  My kids had fun looking at all the bikes at The University Bike Shop where you can watch repairs being done and rent bicycles for the day.

Walking and-or driving through the CU campus is another great activity to do with kids.  The beautiful, matching red rock buildings and are off set by the emerald green grass, majestic pine trees, and brilliant blue sky.  A picnic lunch here would add to a relaxing day.

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The Piece, Love, Chocolate sweet shop was a nice place to take a break mid afternoon.  Eclectic and colorful decor make it a cheerful destination. The chocolate brownies and lemon bars were delicious, And so was the complimentary free cold water.

The Chautauqua Cottages (call 303-442-3282 for reservations) sit at the foothills of the Flatirons. Since they are in such a perfect location, between the mountain and CU campus, make your reservations early.  A three night stay at one of the area hotels, bed and breakfasts, or cottages should give your family plenty of time to enjoy this scenic town.

Until we meet again…. Wishing you and your family Many Happy Trails together!

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