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Favorite Season To Hit The Trail
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Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Favorite Season To Hit The Trail on 08/02/2011 12:22:17 MDT Print View

Was just thinking about backpacking in October and how much I enjoy being in the Sierras during this month. The change of color in the trees, the cool crisp weather, and the feel that the seasons are a changin' hiking in Oct.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
October Newbie on 08/02/2011 12:32:02 MDT Print View

I am going to be in colorado in the middle of October for a wedding. I am going to go some hiking around the area. I don't know what to expect that time of year. It could be wet and snowy or nice and sunny. Either way, I am looking forward to it!!!

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Favorite Season To Hit The Trail on 08/02/2011 12:32:14 MDT Print View

I would agree with that. Last year I spent a week in Emigrant wilderness in early october and it was perfect. No bugs, comfortable temperatures and very few other people on the trail. I like September as well, but unfortunately that's when I am busiest at work and can't take any time off. Backpacking in the northeast is pretty nice that time of year as well. I'm hoping to get in a trip in Vermont next fall.

Edited by csteutterman on 08/02/2011 12:33:13 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Favorite Season To Hit The Trail on 08/02/2011 12:51:02 MDT Print View

Every day I wake up above ground.

I am fortunate (actually planned) to live in an area that affords year round hiking within a close radius to home.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Favorite Season To Hit The Trail on 08/02/2011 12:56:33 MDT Print View

I am fortunate (actually planned) to live in an area that affords year round hiking within a close radius to home.

me too, Nick. an hour in any direction.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
hm on 08/02/2011 13:24:46 MDT Print View

I like fall too. I also find I like winter, anytime it's cold but there's no or little snow (happens in the mid-Atlantic, for all you snowy mountain people).

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Favorite Season To Hit The Trail on 08/02/2011 15:23:56 MDT Print View

Late spring for visiting Yosemite and Kings Canyon for the crazy water levels, early/late fall for backpacking in the Sierras for nicer weather and less bugs, winter for Death Valley for cool temps.

Bryan Crook
(bcrook007) - F

Locale: Nebraska
Fall is great on 08/02/2011 15:47:17 MDT Print View

For the Rocky Mountains (RMNP and surrounding area) I'm a big fan of hiking in the Fall, especially after Labor Day. Just have to be ready for any kind of weather.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Fall is great on 08/02/2011 18:42:13 MDT Print View

Like Nick, I chose where to live and I too have many places to backpack. Big Basin, and Castle Rock are within a half hour drive. Ventana is an hours drive....

Something about hiking in the's unbeatable. Just love the feeling that something is changing and you can actually FEEL it..............

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Favorite Season To Hit The Trail on 08/02/2011 21:04:08 MDT Print View

I'll vote for the stretch beginning one hour after the last mosquito dies to the first snowfall that won't melt until next year.

Yup, fall is great. I don't especially like the short hiking days or people shootin' up the joint, but there's something special about being in the mountains as things transition towards winter.



tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: Favorite Season To Hit The Trail on 08/02/2011 23:52:35 MDT Print View

Although October is my favorite month here in northern New England, I don't really care much for backpacking in the Fall. It may be that I've hiked so much in the spring and summer that I'm burnt out by Fall. Or maybe I'd just rather be apple picking, taking road trips, or just sitting around at home with friends. I never seem to hike much in late-Sept and October.

Without a doubt, I love winter hiking the best. Which is a good thing, since we usually have 6-months of snow. This past winter was especially fun! I guess one benefit of hiking on snow covered mountains is that you can sled down.


Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Summer is Not a Winner (in the Mid-Atlantic) on 08/03/2011 07:15:35 MDT Print View

I do hike all year round. But gosh darn, summer heat in the 90s with humidity to match really makes me reconsider why I decide to go on a few trips. Fall and spring are great. Winter is almost perfect here in the mid-Atlantic but we could use more snow.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Favorite Season to Hit the Trail on 08/03/2011 19:36:12 MDT Print View

Like a couple of the others, I'm able to comfortably hike year-round where I live. Our changes in seasons are pretty subtle around here: summer is reliably warm and sunny while winter is mostly warm and sunny! Nonetheless, I think late fall into early winter (Nov-Jan) is probably my favorite time of year to hike in my local backcountry.

By then, temps are a little cooler, most of the nuisance critters are hiding for the winter, water starts to become more reliable and what small changes we have in the leaves are underway.

Aside from the infrequent and mostly short-lived rain or snow, our late fall and early winters are blessed with cool clear days and frosty, but clear nights. I especially love the crisp bite to the air on a clear fall morning. I look forward to waking up to the first day of that weather each year.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Favorite Season to Hit the Trail on 08/03/2011 19:38:46 MDT Print View

Nicholas, you So Cal folks have it made!!!!!!!!!

Josh Platt
(EasternBox) - F

Locale: Southeast
not the summer on 08/04/2011 13:34:27 MDT Print View

I absolutely hate the summer. Being light skinned, I turn to an instant crisp when I am in the sun. I love the transitions into certain seasons. Love winter into spring and fall into winter. Couldn't ask for better.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Favorite season? on 08/04/2011 22:11:19 MDT Print View

Spring means the early season wildflowers are starting to come out in the foothills and the world is coming alive again...

Summer means the wildflowers are in full bloom in the high country and there are patches of snow dotting the mountains still...

Fall means the aspens are yellow, the ground cover turns a russet color and the air is crisp, cool and inviting...

And winter? The powder is fresh, I glide along in my skis and feel the same joy I felt as a 6 year old on my Flexible Flyer back in the New England winters when sledding..

How can I choose????


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Favorite season? on 08/07/2011 21:42:17 MDT Print View

Where I (and Nicolas) live, spring flowers begin in January and are full-force in March and April.

Summer begins in May with flies and brown grass.

A dormant hot season begins end of June. I switch to hiking in the frontcountry where the ocean air cools things a bit. Any backpacking I do in Summer is elsewhere.

Fall hiking begins in October or so, but some years there isn't enough water available to do any long backpacks until the first rains.

November hiking is the best, with warm days, cool nights and a little bit of color change with the sycamores and alder trees. It's usually rained at least once by Thanksgiving weekend, thus my backpacking season begins then.

The cold nights December-February and the rainy season usually keep me home dayhiking until the flowers are in full bloom again.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Favorite Season To Hit The Trail" on 08/07/2011 22:40:36 MDT Print View

Early spring backpacking, keeps me on my toes- postholing, no crowds, breaking trail, felled tree hopping, brisk evenings and cool days, all those great things I associate with hiking in the mountains in March and April.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: "Favorite Season To Hit The Trail" on 09/12/2011 16:32:56 MDT Print View

Missed this discussion: I prefer May - June (late spring/early summer) as it starts warming up but before summer thunderstorms come through (almost hit by lightning once, so I avoid stormy conditions).

Anytime off can be good with the right gear, clothing, and access.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
October on 09/12/2011 17:21:14 MDT Print View

I too love fall backpacking. Here in the south late sept to early nov is the best hiking weather. Warm during the day cool at night. It's rarely cold that time of year. And tge weather is the most predictable.

Winter is good too. I usually go to VA thanksgiving week and trudge through wet snow. December-February is nice if it's too cold in north GA I head down to the pinhoti in Alabama.

Spring is the time to go to western NC/east TN for wildflowers.

Summer here is downright oppressive and runs from may to September.