For kids’ first hikes, many parents on family vacation choose half or full day walks in the woods doubling up for a picnic. This is easy to organise with a local guide, where the parent can have constant supervision while checking out how the kid does before he/she undertakes a multi-day trip.
While this works great for introduction to the wilderness, a more immersive experience on a multi-day hike is something else. For a starter multi-day hike, it’s best to choose a short easy route not touching more than 12,000 feet, with option for good ground support and easy evacuation in case of an emergency.
Some of the best 2-4 day starter options are in Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, where the mountains are much greener and water is plentiful. Uttarakhand, in contrast, offers views of more rugged river gorges and higher mountains, and is more steeped in myth and legends. Starter hikes in Nepal come with views of some of the highest peaks in the world, including Mt. Everest & Mt. Annapurna.
PS: For starter treks, we have only chosen routes in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kashmir and Nepal. We have not considered Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh (trails are less accessible and approaches are longer), and Ladakh (the altitudes are generally higher and require careful acclimatisation). Note that some of the postcard images are representative.