Adventuring: High Sierra Backpacking Trip WITH KIDS!

We did it! We took the kids up into the high country of the Sierra Nevadas for two nights, with only what we could carry on our backs. And we survived to tell the tale! Not only that, we had a great time.

We hiked in through Little Lakes Valley to Chickenfoot Lake.

We went with my sister's family, so there were 4 adults and 5 kids (two aged 10, two aged 8, and a 6 year old) in our little posse.

It rained on and off as we were hiking, but we didn't let that get us down.

We attracted a lot of attention on the trail. Everybody we passed seemed quite amazed at our group, and impressed with the kids who were all carrying their own packs. The kids were amazing.

We made camp at Chickenfoot Lake, about 3 miles in from the trailhead. There was no campsite, you just had to find a flat patch to pitch your tent. The amenities were limited to the views, which were spectacular. The picture below was taken at sunset from my tent.

It was amazing to see the kids in this spectacular place.

Everywhere we looked, it was pretty. There was big pretty, and small pretty.

The water was incredibly clear.

There were challenges too. Sleeping was hard. (Note to self: invest in an inflatable pillow next time.) Going to the bathroom (with a trowel in hand to dig a hole) was... awkward. Freeze dried food isn't the best. It poured rain and hail for three hours late one afternoon. (Though the kids barely noticed... I heard shrieks of laughter emanating from the tent they were holed up in, throughout the entire storm.)

It was all worth it to see this:

This is my reluctant traveler who hates hiking (above), and here she is (below) taking in the lake at our campsite. She told me "this isn't as bad as I thought it would be."

The kids were even brave enough to wade in the water. Briefly. It was C O L D!

My husband led the kids on an expedition up a talus slope to reach one of the last patches of snow. Snow in summer!!!

A HUGE thank you is owed to my husband, who make this trip happen. It was a lot of work to prepare for it, and to take care of everybody on the trip. He was my hero this weekend.

That's him, getting a well deserved hug from my daughter.

I still kind of can't believe we did it. That I did it. That the kids did it.

On my mantle, I have some chatterblocks that I use to spell out messages. I put this up before we left:

Upon returning home late last night, we were greeted by that message on the mantle. It still rang true, thank heavens.

But, this morning I had to admit....


  1. Wow, I don't even have kids and I can imagine that this was a brave thing to do! Looks like it was well worth the effort, though! And thanks for sharing the beautiful landscape pictures--I've never been to this part of the country but hope to visit someday. :)

  2. What an amazing landscape! And what a memorable experience for the whole family! I am a little jelous - there's so little nature left in the Netherlands