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What is Shoulder Season backpacking?
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Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
What is Shoulder Season backpacking? on 08/16/2011 23:30:22 MDT Print View

I recently had a nice e-mail thanking me for the trip info.

But, he asked me "What exactly is shoulder season backpacking?"

It is a term that seems to be used more in the past few years. And it is one I use myself.

I gave the gentleman a quick answer (late or early season backpacking, borrowed from the travel industry, yadda, yaddda, yadda) but thought it might be a good idea to write something more thorough on my website.

So here it is...

Now I can be lazy and just give the next guy a link!!! :D

Shoulder Season - The Time in Between

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: shoulder season on 08/17/2011 08:09:15 MDT Print View

Very much looking forward to shoulder season and getting Glacier back from the circus.

For me shoulder season is when I'll probably be hiking in snow at least a bit, but definitely won't be skiing.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
snow, but not skiing on 08/17/2011 10:32:50 MDT Print View

Here in CO, that's about my criteria as well.


Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: What is Shoulder Season backpacking? on 08/17/2011 12:08:51 MDT Print View

where I live, shoulder season is that time of year where its still mostly sunny, but the temps can drop as low as 55* or rise as high as 75*.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
shoulder on 08/28/2011 10:29:51 MDT Print View

if the bugs are completely gone and I'm not on snowshoes- it's got to be shoulder season :)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
What is Shoulder Season backpacking? on 08/28/2011 10:40:22 MDT Print View

It's when fall foliage is in full swing, and those of us fortunate enough to live in or near Washington State can head for the high country to feast our eyes on the golden larix lyalli (alpine larch). Washington is nice enough to give us 2-3 weeks between the end of early "High Buck" hunting season September 25 and the opening of general hunting season in mid-October, just at the time when the alpine larch is at its peak! Of course, rain/snow and cold temps are to be expected!

Or it's in the spring the snow is not melted out yet. This year, the "spring shoulder season" extended into August!

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/28/2011 10:41:42 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What is Shoulder Season backpacking? on 08/28/2011 11:07:31 MDT Print View

Spring and Fall. Before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, with the trails clear of snow.

Edited by dwambaugh on 08/28/2011 11:10:37 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"What is Shoulder Season backpacking?" on 08/28/2011 11:12:07 MDT Print View

If I'm out backpacking, it's gotta be shoulder season. I never seem to get in trips during "optimal" or "peak" times of the year.