Kid-Friendly Hikes in Summit County

Plan a hiking vacation with your family in Keystone and turn each day into a spellbinding adventure. Check out these kid-friendly hiking trails.
Posted June 20, 2023
Family Walking Around Lakeside Village at Keystone on a Summer Day

Set amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Colorado, Summit County is a great pick when planning a family vacation. With its gentle trails that wind through meadows and forests and lead to stunning vistas, the county offers the best family hikes in Colorado. 

You can customize your hiking experience to suit even the youngest member of your team. Take scenic gondola rides to the Decrum Summit at Keystone Resort and turn every hike into a beautiful descent. If you prefer rolling terrains, take an educational tour at the Dillon Nature Preserve, stroll to the Lily Pad Lakes, or savor the stunning views on the Gold Hill Trail. 

The Scenic Schoolmarm Trail 

Schoolmarm Trail is a family trail on Keystone Resort, offering a beautiful hiking experience to the entire household. At 3.5 miles, it's the longest trail and offers magnificent views of the mountains and the valley. 

The trail is relatively flat, so you can easily hike up and down. Some sections are steep but manageable. You can take a thrilling gondola ride to the summit and trek downhill. The descent offers exceptional views and colorful wildflowers as the trail switchbacks down the mountain. 

Keystone Resort offers lunch packages to keep you fueled as you enjoy the scenic hikes. The chairlifts have limited operating hours and might not be available when planning an early morning or a late evening hike. 

The Gentle Decrum Summit Hiking Trail 

The Decrum Summit Hiking Trail is a family-friendly hike inside the Keystone Resort. With an elevation of 180 feet, the 2.3-mile loop offers a relatively flat terrain to ensure the whole family tags along. You can take a scenic gondola ride to the summit and work your way down. 

The trail is characterized by several switchbacks that make it manageable for the youngest members of your team. The trail path is well-marked to ensure you don't wander off. The Resort recommends that you hike the loop in a clockwise manner. The trail is dog-friendly, but only service dogs are allowed on the chair lifts. Sign up for an EpicPass and enjoy free summer gondola rides and other discounts. 

The Welcoming Sapphire Point Overlook 

The Sapphire Point Overlook is an out-and-back that's only 0.6 miles long, making it the embodiment of easy family hikes in Summit County. The short trail is perfect if you're hiking with toddlers. 

Since the hike features almost no elevation gain, you can bring a stroller on this hike. It's only 75 yards from the parking lot along a wide gravel path with a slight descent. You can rest on the benches and savor the panoramic views of the Dillon Reservoir and the mountains. Further on, there's a beautiful picnic area with equally stunning views. 

Sapphire Point Overlook is under 30 minutes from Keystone Resort and offers a dedicated but limited parking area at the trailhead. Get here early to secure a spot. Carry supplies, including water and snacks, and wear appropriate hiking footwear. 

The Stunning Lily Pad Lake Trail 

Lily Pad Lake is a kid-friendly trail that combines manageable distances, and beautiful scenery. With a round trip distance of about 3.2 miles along a rolling terrain, this trail offers one of the best kid-friendly hikes near Keystone. 

Before getting to the lakes, the well-marked trail winds through a thick, old-growth forest, beaver ponds, and two boardwalks. The first lake has the biggest lily pads. Water lilies flower mid to late June, producing vibrant yellow blooms. The second lake is much larger, and its open waters are great for fishing, but you need a valid Colorado fishing license. 

Lily Pad Lake Trail is about 40 minutes from Keystone Resort and offers no amenities except a small parking area at the trailhead. Get there early to secure a spot, or hop on the free Wilderness Loop bus. 

The Educational Dillon Nature Preserve 

With its easy trails, diverse wildlife, educational content, and beautiful scenery, Dillon Nature Preserve offers the best hikes for families near Keystone. The preserve offers two hiking trails—Meadow and Ridge Trail Loop—well-suited for families with kids.  

The two trails create a 3.2-mile loop winding through forests, wetlands, and meadows, providing a picturesque landscape. You'll find educational signs throughout these two easy hikes near Keystone, Co. They offer valuable information about the preserve's history, native vegetation, wildlife, and trees. 

The preserve is about half an hour from Keystone Resort and offers free parking. The trails are open in summer and winter, and fishing is permitted in the nearby Lake Dillon. The preserve is dog-friendly and offers Mutt Mitt boxes, but bikes aren't allowed. 

The Colorful Oro Grande Trail 

Also known as the Gold Hill, this trail turns every hike into a rewarding and scenic family affair. The trail starts near Lake Dillon and offers sweeping views of the lakes and the towering Tenmile Ranges. The wide path is easy to follow as it cuts through multiple aspen groves and winds through mountain slopes.  

As you continue on the trail, the groves give way to expansive meadows, home to more than 50 wildflower species. During summer, the fields offer a compelling play of colors and scenic vistas that will leave you breathless. 

With the Gold Hill Trail, you can customize your hiking distance. Great turnaround points at 1.5 miles and 2.5 miles reward you with scenic views. The Oro Grande Trail is only half an hour from the Keystone Resort. The trail has no amenities, but there's a parking area. 

The Easy Rainbow Lake Trail 

Rainbow Lake Trail is a fantastic kid-friendly destination in Summit County, Colorado. The trailhead is conveniently located near Frisco, and the trail is easy and accessible to children of all ages. 

The hike starts on a gentle, well-maintained trail that meanders through a beautiful forest leading up to a shallow stream crossing. With no dedicated bridge, balancing on the makeshift logs adds an element of thrill to the hike. 

Reaching Rainbow Lake is the highlight of this short but scenic hike. Dense pine forests surround the serene alpine lake. It's a great place to enjoy a family picnic. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail, and there's free parking at the trailhead. The trailhead is half an hour's drive from the Keystone Resort. 

Treat Your Whole Family to a Summer Adventure 

The Keystone Resort lets you plan the ultimate summer vacation for the whole family. Have your pick from an action-packed roster with exciting offerings. From mounting biking to horseback riding, golfing to gondola rides, mountaintop yoga, to summer snow tubing, your summer holiday will be off to a flying start. 

Learn about Summer Activities at Keystone Resort.