On Saturday I took my kids on the biggest hike of their young lives. I took them on a ten mile hike in the Grand Mesa National Forest. The trail we took is called the Crag Crest Loop Trail. Here is a video from the local PBS Station about the trail from 2008:

The trail is rated as moderate on alltrails.com, and I'd have to agree with that for adults. For kids I'd say it is difficult. A great portion of the trail is over fallen basalt rock which is tough on your feet. Plus no matter which trail head you start on there is a lot of uphill hiking.

I brought my two kids (daughter 9, and son 5) as well as my dog on this trek. I think I may have bit off more than my kids could chew with this one. My daughter didn't complain very much, but my son did nothing but whine, cry and complain for the last four miles. It was really tough on him, but he pushed through (I'm proud of him!).

Here are some pictures of my kids on the trail:

Eating canned "trail food" for lunch

Smiles after doing our best Bear Grylls yells from the top

Playing on the basalt rocks
The only really bad thing about the hike is that my dog Sadie lost a fight with a porcupine. She always runs off to hunt on our treks, and at one point when she hadn't been back in a while I started to worry. We were about three miles from the truck when we all stopped and started calling her. When she came back she had porcupine quills in her lips, gums, tongue, roof of her mouth, nose and feet.

Here she is pre-porcupine:

I managed to get a lot of the quills out of her on the trail with my bare hands, but a few were really stuck in good including one in the bottom of her left paw. At that moment I wished I had a multi-tool on me instead of just my swiss army knife because I couldn't get a good enough grip on the rest. I ordered one yesterday from Amazon.

She had to walk three miles to the truck with a big quill in the bottom of her foot! When I got her home I used a hemostat to get all but three out. The rest I will have take her to the vet for today. Poor thing...

Anyway, both my kids are okay and my dog will be fine after today, but I'll never forget this trail. It was so beautiful throughout the entire hike, and I'd recommend it to anyone (Except maybe small kids)!