One Word That’ll Get Kids Excited To Hike

One word that will get kids excited to hike

As a family, we enjoy spending time outdoors and hiking whenever we can. We’ve been “all systems go” on this activity for years now… until this season when my son no longer rides in the child carrier backpack.  Alas, as full of boundless energy as this kid is – he doesn’t get that excited about HIKING.  Little stinker.

Five minutes in to the trail:  “My legs hurt!  Carry me, mommy!”

He’s just not the trooper that his big sister has always been, when it comes to hiking. She used to cover miles, starting at age 3, sporting her own little mini Camelbak.  Aaaah…. good times.

It’s all a bit frustrating, and rather ironic, as my son is one of the most active and adventurous kids I’ve ever met.  What a minute.  Adventurous.  Hmmm… let’s tap into some of that…

So on our camping trip a week ago, I wanted to take one last hike with the kids before returning to civilization.  I find a pulloff area near a pretty red mountain and rather than ask, “Do you guys want to hike?”, I say, “Should we get out and explore here?”

A resounding, excited, “YES!!!!” from the backseat.  Bingo.

So we didn’t hike.  We explored.  Here’s some of the neat things we found along the way.

HIke Exploring Rock Fort

A rock fort, part man made, part natural roof – previously built and large enough for the fire ring we saw inside.

Hike Exploring Wildflowers

I can’t get enough of Colorado mountain wildflowers.

Hike Exploring Rock Climbing

I love when they can climb rocks, without a 70 foot sheer dropoff alongside. Fun for them, stress free for mom!

Hike Exploring Golden Retriever

Our Golden Retriever enjoys “exploring” as well.

After hiking… err, exploring… for about a half hour, focused on the red rocks we were climbing, my daughter turns around and exclaims, “Mom!  Look behind us!”.  This was what we saw:

Hike Exploring Canyon Behind

Dominguez Canyon area, looking towards Gateway, Colorado.


On our way back to the car, my 4 year old anti-hiker son declares, “I wanna go on 10 hikes!!”.

Hike Exploring Pit Stop

So yeah, he wasn’t totally fooled by my play on words.  And this sneaky technique may not help you make steady, linear progress down a set trail.  But we sure had a lot of fun exploring that day.

If you’ve got a reluctant hiker in your crew, I recommend taking them exploring next time.  🙂

*o*     *o*     *o*


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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.


  1. Great tips! I sometimes have to play the word game with my husband as well, but whatever will get us outside right? Thanks for sharing.

    • COMtnMom says:

      Ha! Exactly. We wives know how to be sneaky when it comes to helping our husband realize what’s fun. Like camping & repeated Disney trips, in my case… 😀

      Just checked out your blog, I love it. Thanks for swinging by!

  2. Yes! I love this – it’s all about context with kids. The word “hike” has a lot of meaning for us, most adults have experience and memories tied to this word – but not so with a lot of children. This is a great reminder to try to look at things from their perspective and remember that for them, it’s all about the magic of the moment not the destination.

    • Beautifully said. Thanks so much for swinging by, I checked out your blog and it’s lovely! And I’m going to try out your strategy… telling them “I’ll follow you.” I’m sure my kids will love that! 🙂

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