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Can Kids Hike Mountains?

25 December 2022

It’s a question that we often get asked but there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends a whole lot on the kids involved and it depends as much on the mountain. Below, we've summarised some of the factors that may affect children's ability to hike mountains.


It should go without saying that the older the children are, the easier they are generally likely to find a trek up a mountain. Younger kids will usually and understandably find it harder as they have a shorter stride length so have to expend more effort to climb. This doesn’t always hold true though, there are some younger children who exercise a lot and whose fitness levels are higher and there are some older children who spend too much time in front of an Xbox and too little in the open air.

Fitness and Usual Activities

The more active the children are in their daily lives, the more chance they have of managing to hike up a mountain. If they regularly go walking, running or cycling with their parents or family members on flatter surfaces then they should be able to do well at this. It is also important to manage your own expectations of what is achievable. The last thing you want to do on what should be a fun trip is to demoralise a kiddo because they can’t manage to do it and they then feel like they are “spoiling it” for everyone else.  

Picking the Right Mountain

There are also some excellent mountains for beginners. The highest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon, is nonetheless doable for children if the correct path is chosen. This is an easy early victory in mountain hiking, as is Ben A’an in Scotland. Both of these offer routes that kids can manage, it won’t be easy but that is also partly the point. It is a great life lesson that effort can lead to amazing rewards like the incredible vistas awaiting them at the top of these two majestic mountains. 

Bring the Right Equipment

Planning and preparation are also key to whether your kids can hike the particular mountain you have in mind. If you decide to tackle a mountain with the kiddos in tow, be sure to bring a full complement of equipment including a compass, powerful flashlight and a paper map in case mobile devices are unable to get reception. It is also very important to bring a first aid kit because we all know just how accident-prone children can be. 

Get Them the Right Gear

The clothing and footwear that the kids are equipped with will make all the difference in the world to whether they are able to traverse the mountain trails without incident. Hiking boots will give them a good solid grip on the terrain and the ankle support afforded them by a good pair will make it a lot easier on their young and developing bones. Waterproof jackets and trousers will help to keep the kiddos warm and dry and ensure it is a much more pleasant experience for everyone! 

We recommend starting off on gentler slopes and slowly graduating from hills to mountains as the children gain confidence and experience and you all get used to hiking and climbing together.  

Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

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