Warning: This post has about a million pictures…
I’ve been wanting to visit Petit Jean Mountain for years but for whatever reason we haven’t. With four active kids, John’s PhD work, and my crazy racing calendar we don’t have many free weekends. When I discovered a Saturday in October with nothing on the calendar I knew it was our chance to plan a getaway to Petit Jean!
I made reservations for two cabins. My in-laws were joining us and stayed a couple cabins down the road. Petit Jean Mountain is less than 2 hours from our house so it was an easy drive. We arrived Friday afternoon so we had plenty of time to settle in before dinner at the Mather Lodge restaurant.
Saturday morning at 7 Abi and I hit the trails while everyone was still asleep. There was a 4.5 mile trail less than a mile from our cabin. We had planned 5 easy miles but we underestimated the trail. About a mile and a half in Abi asked if we could turn around. The trail was much more technical than we thought so we turned around to make our total run 3 miles. It was plenty!
After lunch we headed to the Cedar Falls trail, the most popular one in Petit Jean Mountain. It’s two miles total and took us a while but the view of the falls was amazing. The kids loved it and did great on this hike.
That evening my oldest son (10) asked if we could run the trail that Abi and I had run that morning. He knew she only made it 3 miles and I think he wanted to see if he could do all 4.5. He has been running a lot in the Grand Prix this year and he’s on the swim team so I thought if any kid could do it he could.
We left early Sunday morning for the same trail. He did great!! I let him lead the way and the pace. He looked for the tree markings so we could find the way. I am so glad we did this together. This “4 hour trail” took us 1.5 hours! We ran and climbed up and down over and across rocks and logs. It was so much fun. I have a feeling he may be a future trail/ ultra runner. It just comes natural to him.