Family friendly loop trail hike. Trailhead begins at Canyons Resort at the top of the High Meadow chair lift.
Hiking a loop trail is the ideal hike with kids since there is always something new to see along the way. The Red Pine Loop trail is one of those great family friendly loop trails, perfect for families with young kids. This trail can actually be split into two loops, a southern trail (1.2 miles long with a small elevation differential) and the northern trail (1.6 miles long also with a small elevation differential). The north and south loops are split by the High Meadow ski lift.
Getting to the trailhead requires a ride on the Canyons Resort Red Pine Gondola which brings passengers to the Red Pine Lodge at mid-mountain. Here you can either hike the entire loop, uphill approximately 1.2 miles, then downhill another 1.6 miles, or catch a ride uphill on the High Meadow ski lift with your gondola ticket and hike downhill on either of the north of south loops back to the Red Pine Lodge. The High Meadow ski lift seats four, there is no age limitation and it’s a relatively short ride. However, be prepared to see you kids hanging from high elevations from the lift; it may not be conducive for families with a particularly wiggly toddler. Also note that the High Meadow ski lift is only available for uphill rides requiring a downhill hike to return to mid-mountain.
I took kids age 10, 7 and 2 on the south red pine loop trail, after our ride on the Red Pine Gondola and High Meadow ski lift. The walk was enjoyable along a nice groomed trail. This trail is a shared hiking and mountain biking trail so be prepared to share the trail. Proper outdoor etiquette requires that bikers yield to hikers, but its best to be cautious around tight curves. We did not have any issues with bikers and found that most of the mountain bikers stayed on the wider trails with biking obstacles.
The hike is lovely through wildflower meadows, across bridge covered streams and along the Canyons Resort private reservoir where you can cast a line to catch a Tiger Trout. We stopped to admire a squirrel tucking away acorns when low and behold a juvenile moose stood up from the brush, just 15 feet away from the trail! I was able to snap a few pictures of the moose, but we kept our distance knowing that if spooked, it could charge. Before long we had returned to the Red Pine Lodge and gondola. Nobody was whining and nobody was tired, instead we were happy and content comparing notes of our moose sighting; a sign of a good family hike.
In summary, this hike possesses attributes that make it family friendly; it’s a loop trail, plenty of wildlife to admire, and groomed for any age and ability resulting in a five star hike for families.
Disclosure: Although I received complimentary gondola and lift tickets, my reviews are always my own opinions and are not influenced by staff or its affiliates.