Rocky Mountain Tot Goes to Cub Lake

Last week we headed to Colorado to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary, because what could be more romantic than bringing a one-and-a-half year old hiking? Well, maybe it wasn’t the most romantic trip we’ve been on, but I couldn’t think of a prettier place to celebrate than Rocky Mountain National Park.

Spring Weather Conditions in Rocky Mountains

When we plan hikes with our little one, the first thing we think about is the weather conditions. The Bear Lake area currently has 40 inches of snow. We wanted to stay in lower elevation, so we decided to check out the Cub Lake trail which is in the majestic Moraine Valley. We were lucky to arrive on a sunny day, but melting snow made the trail muddy in places and we went through a few snow patches.

Hiking Gear for Kids

It’s amazing how fast Cecy is growing.  We are planning to replace her beloved baby carrier for a sturdier kid carrier soon, but for this trip we rented one at the Warming House in Estes Park for $10 per day.  This carrier is similar.

I bought trekking poles which helped keep our balance in the snow and took some of the impact off our knees and back. I was also very thankful for my waterproof hiking boots! These hiking boots are similar.

hiking in the moraine valley rocky mountain national park

The Cub Lake trail is 2.5 miles each way. The trail-head starts out in the Moraine Valley where we spotted elk grazing right off the trail.

hiking in the moraine valley rocky mountain national park

Feeling the Burn

Beyond the valley you enter a wooded section of the trail that is scarred by fire damage. Truthfully, the first time I hiked through this area I didn’t think it was very pretty. This time I decided to find the unique beauty in it which made a big difference on how much more I enjoyed this section of the hike.

fire damage in rocky mountain national park

fire damage tree stump rocky mountain national park

There were a few uphill bursts before the lake – made more challenging by snow and baby.

april hike in snow in rocky mountain national park

We made it to Cub Lake and took a little refreshment break! Later in the season we’d likely see lily pads on top.

cub lake in spring rocky mountain national park

After our break I offered to take turns and have Cecy ride on my back. This lasted about 25 minutes going down hill. Aren’t I nice? But honestly, I couldn’t have gone much further. It was tough work!! I’m excited to try again and build up some endurance and muscles this summer.

hiking with a kid carrier

Baby Under Armour

Cecy has sensitive skin and riding in the carrier against her Dad’s back was making her little stomach break out in a rash because she’d get hot and sweaty. Now before we go on hikes I put a protective lotion like Aquaphor on her and then put her in a little pink Under Armour outfit I got at Scheels. I kind of felt silly buying Under Armour gear for my little one who can’t walk yet, but I’m telling you the breathable fabric helped so much. I think the key was getting a romper or onesie. I was afraid a shirt would ride up on her during hikes.

Under Armour Baby
Under Armour Baby

Here is a link to a similar outfit: Girls’ Infant Under Armour Kaleidostar Romper

Cecy’s first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park

As this summer winds to an end, it’s fun to look back at all of the fun trips we’ve had. This summer started for us on May 30th at an elevation of 10,013 feet with panoramic views of Rocky Mountain National Park and a little bit of snow. We strapped our six month old daughter to my husband’s back via our Ergobaby and hiked a six mile round trip trail up and back down Deer Mountain.

Deer Mountain trailhead
Deer Mountain trailhead

We chose Deer Mountain for our first family adventure in Colorado because some of the higher altitude hikes were still covered in snow. There was some snow near the top of this trail too, but far less than in other areas of RMNP.

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Cecy napped the whole way – how cute are her little feet hanging out of the carrier!? I didn’t have a clue what babies should wear on hikes, so I kept her in her pajamas. At least her little feet stayed warm, but I’ve since found better baby hiking apparel options which I’ll write about soon.

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This was a fun early season hike and also a great way to celebrate my husband’s birthday!

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