Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cache Creek Ridge Trail Backpacking Trip with the Fam

Cache Creek Ridge Trail Backpacking Trip
During the kiddos spring break, we took them on their first backpacking trip. We are planning to backpack with them multiple nights in the Tahoe area this summer and thought of this as a practice run to see if they were even capable and interested in overnight hiking trips. Backpacking is so much different because you have to carry everything on you for camping including - tent, sleeping bags, food, water, etc. For that reason, light weight gear is ideal. For our first trip, Hubby found the Cache Creek Ridge Trail for our first backpacking adventure.

Hubby found the trail on which is a great resource for hikers in Yolo county and surrounding areas. There are maps and directions on how to get to the Cache Creek Ridge Trail here. The drive from Davis to the Judge Davis Trailhead was about an hour and 20 minutes. There are bathrooms at the parking lot which is great especially for backpacking trips. It is so nice to have a real toilet especially on the way back. :)
We put our packs on and headed out. Hubby and I had the heaviest packs. Both kiddos carried their own water bladders and we tried to make their packs as light as possible (having them carry our compact pillows and two mattress pads). 
The hike starts on a fire road and already an uphill climb. The beginning was actually the hardest part with the gradual climb and then a steeper climb before it flattens out. Here's an elevation map I got from my Garmin stats.
It was a beautiful day and perfect for backpacking.
The kiddos did pretty great considering they had not hiked with backpacks before. 5 year old did awesome with his little pack and 6 year old did fine for a while until we heard some complaints of his pack being heavy. We made a point of taking a break every mile. We came up with celebrating each mile with candy. Yes, bribery works and also makes it fun. Here are the kiddos at one of the breaks, happy with their Skittles.
Last year there was a bad forest fire and walking through the devastated land was pretty sad. Hubby even made a reference that it reminded him of the Lorax, which it totally does. 
The Cache Creek Ridge Trail is on Bureau of Land Management land or BLM so you are allowed to camp anywhere. Hubby even called their office to check in and they said nothing is going on in the area and everything is ok and we can camp wherever. When we got close to 3 miles, Hubby ventured ahead of us to look for a camping spot. His spot had us go off the trail when we came across a downed tree.
It was probably 10 minutes from the downed tree until we got to our amazing campsite. It was up on the hill with pretty awesome views. According to my Garmin it was a 3 mile hike to our spot. 
The kiddos did awesome and were very excited to help Hubby with the tent.
Tent shot with such a great backdrop.
Amazing views calls for a jump shot pic with my 5 year old.
We relaxed a bit and the kids played. 
Then broke out our Jetboil stove that we used for the first time and loved how fast it was to boil water. It makes for a fast dinner since we brought dehydrated food, Mountain house meals.
After dinner, we played some games. 
Then we hung our food and garbage in case there were any bears or other animals in the area.
It was awesome watching the sunset with the kids. Such a great picture taking opportunity. It was so beautiful out and very peaceful.
Before going to bed, we spent time looking at the stars. It was an awesome clear night and the stars were spectacular. Hubby pointed out a bunch of constellations and the boys had fun pointing out the satellites. 
Morning was just as beautiful with the sun rising.
Watching 5 year old sleeping peacefully is so precious and check out the view from the tent.
We had some breakfast, took down the tent, stuffed everything back into our packs. We couldn't leave without taking a family shot.
 Our little backpackers!
Overall, it was an amazing first trip with the kids. We did a total of 6 miles. The boys did great with their packs and most of all they both had fun. When both boys say separately and unprompted that they like backpacking, it is a success. Hubby and I are both very happy and proud parents. We are already looking forward to our next trip.
Happy hiking!

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