The Family Hike

Family Hike

Our family is blessed to live near many beautiful hiking trails. We are right next to the Superstition Mountains and within 30 minutes of many other parks, lakes and trails. Hiking is one of our family’s favorite pastimes. Our hikes range from one hour excursions to all-day adventures.

Hiking is a wonderful way to get some exercise, see nature, spend quality time with our family and catch up on conversation. The children love it because they get to explore, use their outside voices, and learn new things. My husband and I love it because it provides great exercise (burns about 400 calories an hour), quality family time, a chance to appreciate the beauty around us and – of course – it is a great energy burner for the kids.

Here in the desert we can hike nearly year-round. If your weather permits it, why not schedule a family hike this spring? Here are some guidelines:

  • Research your local trails ahead of time and choose a realistic trail. Be careful not to get in over your head if you are a beginner by checking out the trail length and terrain beforehand. Also, be sure to tell someone where you plan to go. 
  • Come prepared! Some items to bring include: water, hats, sunscreen, a small first aid kit, dry snacks, a camera, and a child carrier if you think those little legs may get tired.
  • Rest if necessary. Make sure to rest if you get tired. That sounds like common sense, but I have seen people push it beyond their limits just to make unrealistic distance/time goals. Also, remember that unless you are hiking a loop, you have to hike back the same distance you hiked in.
  • Do a risk assessment. Are there any concerns in your area? Out here in the desert we have to be aware of snakes, heat injuries, and monsoon storms in the summer. Year-round we have to be wary of wild animals such as javelina and mountain lions. Make sure you know what your risks are and plan for them. 
  • Don’t forget to have fun. Focus on your family and your adventure together. Oh, and if you insist on bringing your cell phone along, make sure you turn it off.

Does your family hike? Feel free to leave a comment. Share and let’s talk about it.

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. http://JollyGreenOne says

    We "hiked" around Papago Park last week with the Mountain Buggy. Cheating, I know. But it was hot enough that I was glad to not carry TQ in the Maya the whole time! Had a great time, and was SHOCKED at how many moms were out with kids… with NO water, NO hats, and inappropriate shoes for the terrain. I gave away nearly half our water to folks out unprepared. Yikes!

  2. http://Aunite%20Pam says

    I love to hike!!! Went on beautiful hikes with my sister (Janice) and the kids while we vacationed in AZ this winter. The weather was very chilly, which came as a surprise to my husband because he thought AZ winters were warm. They usually are just not when were there. Cannot wait to go back and go hiking in the beautiful Superstitions with my family again. Love and miss you sweetheart.

  3. http://Wendy says

    We love hiking too! Can't wait for the little guy to be big enough to make it the whole way on his own. Great new blog!

    Around My Family Table

  4. http://Kristy%20Hite says

    Nate and I live hiking but we don't get out nearly often enough. We need to get out there before the weather gets too bad.

    I feel like I recognize the scenery in that last picture. Is that on the north side of the mountain, off Firstwater Trailhead? Maybe Treasure Loop?

  5. http://Janice says

    Kristy, you are right. When it's just the kids and me we only do easy hikes. We usually take the First Water exit off the highway and park on the left right after you enter. There's a gate on the right side of the road and we just start walking. It's super easy and the kids know it by heart. Sometimes we go to Treasure Loop, sometimes to Jacob's crosscut.

  6. http://Karen%20F says

    Sounds like so much fun!!

    Mommy's Moments

  7. http://Digi%20Stitches%20Embroidery%20and%20Gifts says

    One of my favorite past times. Great exercise, fresh air, makes you feel good about everything when you’re finished.

  8. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do to too! We too are blessed to live near the mountains and in a very scenic area with lots of great hiking opportunities. We haven’t done as much this summer with two little ones (2 and infant) but I look forward to doing more next summer!
    Thanks for posting about this!

  9. We love to hike! We don’t have the scenic mountains you do for a backdrop though, we’re more wooded around here, with just a few rolling hills.

  10. We love to hike as a family. My 15 year old pretends she doesn’t like to go with us, but she still enjoys herself, she just likes to complain.

  11. http://Dinorah says

    Hi Janice I loved your great article on The Family Hike. i am really amazed with how much expertise you’ve got in this matter

  12. http://Debra%20Wagner says

    I gotta say Arizona is SO beautiful! There is so much to do outdoors and so many trails and even areas without trails to explore. Superstitions is a great place to do it! Nothing better than spending the day with your family discovering the desert landscape. Next vacation to the trails with everyone!

  13. http://Auntie%20Pam says

    I live in Missouri so we don’t really have to many places to hike per say. I do miss the trails of the Supersition Mountains. Also, I adore the fact that so many enjoy the trails I used to frequent. Enjoy and have fun.

  14. http://Debra%20Wagner says

    You really need sunglasses for hikes on the AZ trails!!

  15. How do you prepare for Javelina or Mountain Lion? We hiked Sabino Canyon in Tucson not that long ago and I was worried about encountering a big cat the whole way. We are also going up north this weekend so on my mind again. =/

    • http://Janice says

      My hubby is a military man and we are usually armed if we go out too far into the wilderness. If you can not carry a weapon or do not want to, then you can stick to busier trails, avoid wilderness trails, carry “bear mace”, avoid watering holes, and that sort of thing.

  16. http://Sally says

    Great tips! Thanks!

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  1. […] Go take a hike (and have fun).  Before you head out on that hike, check out these hiking tips for families. […]

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