According to the child's age
Really little ones
There is no minimum age when bringing a child to the mountains. Nevertheless, great care needs to be taken if an infant is in a baby carrier because they are immobile and much more vulnerable to weather hazards. Remember to protect them well with sunglasses, high SPF sunscreen, hat, and full-body clothing. Do not go above 1,800/2,000 m in altitude, do not carry the infant for more than two hours, and take breaks once you reach 1,500 m.
Between four and eight years old
You can set off on much longer hikes. According to their ages, children can walk between three and 12 kilometres and climb to 2,200 to 2,500 metres in altitude. Count on an average of one to three kilometres an hour for older ones. Prepare a small rucksack for them, and they'll feel all grown up. It's purely symbolic, of course, so don't put too much in it—just a 33 cl bottle of water, granola bar, and t-shirt will do.
Between eight and 12 years old
Older kids can hike up to 15 km a day and even go on multi-day treks as long as the adults carry the bags.
Above 12 years old
Teens can set out on hikes much like what adults do—even more so if they have been introduced to it at a young age by coming with you.
Advice for hiking with kids
- Take breaks every 30 to 45 minutes to rest and drink
- Slow down at the first signs of fatigue
- It's not the child's physical ability that counts, but the motivation to keep going
- Choose interesting things they might like to do, like looking for animals
- Get in touch with a mountain guide, who will know how to answer any questions