a family goofs off while sitting outside

Family Photography

Colorado Lifestyle Family Portraits : Hiking in Lyons

Colorado Lifestyle Family Portraits at Hall Ranch

Hiking at Hall Ranch in Lyons, Colorado + Portraits

When some of my favorite people hired me to do a lifestyle family portrait session, I suggested we go for a little late afternoon hike in Lyons, Colorado. (I love Lyons for so many reason, among them the hiking trails, red rocks and dirt, and the vacation-y vibe I always feel while visiting there.) So we headed to Hall Ranch, just up the South St. Vrain Canyon.

Hall Ranch is well-known for its mountain biking, but we stuck to the hikers-only trail as much as possible, which I believe is a necessary decision when hiking with any toddler. (Just one less thing to deal with!) The family had plenty of room to roam beneath the mesa and enjoy a warm late fall evening.

Enjoy the photos from our hike, and keep reading below the photos for my thoughts on taking your own family to Hall Ranch to hike.

Of course, if you want your own Colorado lifestyle family portraits or have questions about hiking with kiddos in the area, contact me.

All images © Susannah Allen 2016

Family Hiking at Hall Ranch in Lyons, CO

My husband, toddlers, and I have enjoyed hiking at Hall Ranch.

A few things to consider:

  1. Stick to the Nighthawk Trail, especially if you have younger children. Mountain bikers love Hall Ranch, and I’m already corralling my kids enough. I don’t need to keep pulling them over to the side of the trail to make way for bikes.
  2. Don’t plan on doing the entire hike. We could tell when our boys started to get bored/tired, and turned around then. Plus, as you get more and more into the hike, the incline continues to increase. (The Boulder County website labels this hike as moderate to difficult, but we were hiking at the pace of a three-year-old, and we turned around before we reached any endless, steep incline, so I never experienced anything difficult.)
  3. There isn’t much shade. Meaning this probably is not a good hike for a hot summer’s day. And like everything else you do outdoors (especially when you are lugging your kids), pack the sunscreen, water, and hats.
  4. And pack snacks. We did find a couple of shade trees and enjoyed sitting and snacking. This helped give the boys bursts of energy to continue the journey back to the car.
  5. Bring toy trucks–lots of dirts/rocks can be moved around, and this helped give us a little more outdoor time. (And since I have two boys who love all things vehicles, I have no ideas on what to suggest for kiddos who don’t love dump trucks, excavators, and backhoes.)
  6. Watch out for wildlife. Although my oldest and I saw a beautiful butterfly that just may have been a monarch, I am mostly talking about snakes and other animals. If I were a rattler or a cougar, I think I would love Hall Ranch.
  7. Your kids will most likely get dirty. Dry, dusty dirt abounds.

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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.