Hiking Bald Mountain Scenic Area / Baby Yuzu’s Second Hike
I’ve been meaning to check out Bald Mountain Scenic Area in Boulder for a while. It’s a 30 minute drive from our house for a short trail, so I hadn’t made it out there on my own, but I thought it would be a great spot to take baby Yuzu. Yuzu was 7 months old when we took her.
The hike is 1.1 miles long with minimal elevation gain, although there is one hill to climb. This spot is on Sunshine Canyon Drive, about 10 minutes’ dive beyond the Centennial Trailhead for Mt. Sanitas, or the Lion’s Lair Trailhead.
There is a porta-potty at the trailhead.
Preparations for Hiking with Yuzu
- Ergobaby 360 baby carrier
- Sun Hat
- Carter’s baby sunglasses (Different sunglasses for Yuzu than last time that we thought might not fall down as much)
- My husband’s Columbia UV protection shirt (we had a jacket for her, but it seemed too hot, so we opted for this lighter covering for her arms, tucking it in around my shoulders and in the baby carrier)
Separate from Yuzu’s gear, we brought –
- A diaper bag, which we left in the car, since the trail was so short
- 2 full Nalgene bottles of water (1 more than last time)
What we didn’t do this time –
- Carry a separate backpack with us, because the trail was short
- Bring along a bottle of pumped milk, since she ate pretty well before we left the house
We started out from the top of the parking lot. From the start of the trail, there are some lovely pine trees.
There are also a couple of benches you can sit at for a picnic.
From the get-go of our hike, we had to keep adjusting Yuzu’s sunglasses. Even though the new sunglasses had shorter temples on the sides, which we thought would mean they wouldn’t get pushed down as often, they kept falling down every few steps I took.
About 0.2 miles in, you reach the turn-off to head to the summit. Here we followed the sign and turned left.
Even though the hill here is mild, I felt the difference going uphill while carrying Yuzu in the baby carrier. She was at least 16.5 lbs at this point. It brought back the feeling of being pregnant!
The views from the summit are beautiful –
Panorama from the summit. To the left you can see the Boulder peaks (Green Mountain, Bear Mountain, South Boulder Peak) –
We were lucky that there was another family at the summit sitting on a bench there. They offered to take a family photo for us –
That family had a 1 year old baby and a 3 year old toddler with them. It seems like this area is a good choice for a family-friendly hike.
The way back is also easy. At one point there is a nice bench in the shade looking out at a view –
There is another viewpoint, where it looks like you can climb on the rocks and look out, or hang out and have a snack.
A more expansive view along the return trail –
Even though it was a short trail, for the last quarter mile or so Yuzu started getting fussy. It’s true…our happy hiking pictures are somewhat staged! The amount of times her sunglasses were falling off was starting to get ridiculous, so we took off her sunglasses and pulled her sunhat over her eyes where it was sunny. We hurried along back to the car as quickly as we could, but I made sure to still be careful walking, especially because I was carrying Yuzu.
Lessons Learned for Hiking with Baby
1) This was a good hike in terms of length for a hike with baby, but the drive was a bit too far to be comfortable for us. Since we live in Longmont, the drive was about 30 minutes long. Even an extra 10-15 minutes driving in each direction really adds to the time spent outside, especially if baby is being fussy and not drinking milk. After finishing the hike, Yuzu did not eat in the car and ended up taking a nap. By the time we got back home, she hadn’t had milk for about 4 hours. This is not dangerous for her at this point, but not great either. At her age (7 months) she’s supposed to be eating every 2.5-3.5 hours.
2) Similarly, the length of the trail vs. the length of the drive didn’t make for a refreshing enough hike for us parents. We’d prefer a shorter drive and hiking longer.
3) We need to buy sunglasses for baby that have an adjustable strap, so they don’t fall off all the time.
4) We need to be mindful of the outside temperature and bring a couple options of clothing / coverings from the sun.
Recommended as an Easy Trail
Bald Mountain Scenic Area provides an easy 1.1-mile long trail with excellent views that is a great option for a casual hike or a hike with young children. It is definitely worth the trip out there to see the beautiful views.
Although it was a bit far for us to drive and hike it, it all depends on your baby’s constitution and how they handle trips and hiking. I suspect that Yuzu might just need to get used to going on hiking trips more often in order to feel comfortable drinking milk outside of the house. Also, we need to get a handle on what gear is best for her. If she was more comfortable, maybe we could have done two loops around the park, making for a better hike for us in terms of exercise. That being said, I’m glad we went and brought Yuzu along with us.