After visiting Zion, Arches, and Canyonlands on previous long fall weekends, Bryce Canyon called to us as the next destination. I had fond memories of visiting Bryce as a child, and Kyle had never been. Despite both of us having colds, we enjoyed three days of hiking in Bryce and a stop at Cedar Breaks National Monument on the way back to the airport.
Friends are visiting Seattle from late June to early July. They recently asked:
I was wondering if there were a few places that you could recommend for some epic hiking. Your flickr account is filled with gorgeous photos of spots that are easy to get to from Seattle, so deciding based on photos seems daunting. We’re thinking of doing three days of hiking (and we’d stay in a cabin overnight) in one or two locations. We’ll have a rental car also. We’re just looking for gorgeous scenery, and up to a moderate level of hiking difficulty. Are there 4 or 5 favorite hikes that fit this that you’d recommend?
This is a challenging time for planning a hiking trip. Some years, the northwest will have warmed up months earlier and the snow will be gone. Other years, many of our favorite trails may still be covered in snow. So, unless you are prepared to deal with snow, you need a base with some different options. There are a few that should fit that bill. Read on for some suggestions of areas to stay and corresponding hikes.
In February 2017, we spent a long weekend on Kauai, splitting our time between Princeville and Poipu, with hikes along the Nā Pali coast, near Princeville, and in Waimea Canyon State Park, a visit to Kilauea Point, and lots of good food.
We picked Kauai as our February break from Seattle’s rain and grey, we picked Kauai. Kyle had never been and I had not visited since I was a kid.
After the previous year’s enjoyable fall escape to Zion, we decided to escape the onset of Seattle’s rainy fall with a trip Moab, Utah. Moab offered the chance to explore Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and could be reached by an easy, direct flight to Salt Lake City followed by a four hour drive.
Our visit included two days of hiking in Canyonlands — one in the Island in the Sky and one in the Needles District — and two days exploring Arches, including the Fiery Furnace, Devil’s Garden, Delicate Arch and Windows Arch. We also enjoyed three breathtaking sunrises at Mesa Arch, Delicate Arch, and the Windows.
Visiting in the fall meant that we got to see the most popular spots without the high-season crowds. We also got to do some hikes that the Park Service and others recommend against doing in the hot summer, including Druid Arch and Syncline Loop.
Since I was about two years old, visiting the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Maine has been part of most of my summers. Over those decades, I’ve explored the mountains and valleys extensively. While I’m always eager to check out a new trail or summit, I want to share a few favorite day hikes to which I keep returning. This post covers hikes in the Presidential Range.
Since I was about two years old, visiting Cold River Camp in the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Maine has been part of most of my summers. Over those decades, I’ve explored the mountains and valleys extensively. While I’m always eager to check out a new trail or summit, I want to share some favorite day hikes to which I keep returning. This post covers hikes in the Carter-Baldface Ranges and Evans Notch area.
My family has spent a week hiking together every summer since I was a child, usually in the White Mountains. I love the White Mountains, but I’ve found it difficult to pull myself away from the local splendor of the Cascades since moving to Seattle. Last August, we compromised and spent a week day hiking the Cascades on the north side of Mount Baker.
I frequently come back from vacations wanting a few days to recharge. Despite finding our trips invigorating in many ways, the constant decisions (where to eat? what to do? when to do it?) and moving around can also leave me exhausted.
My family’s trips to Cold River Camp, in the White Mountains on the border between New Hampshire and Maine, always leave me refreshed. My family has made the trip every year since I was about two. Since moving to the west coast, I have not made the trip every year. With Kyle’s first trip to Cold River this summer, though, it seems like a good time to share some notes.
If you hike, fall is one of the best times to visit the southwest. Crowds have thinned, the days are cooler, and small spots of fall color can light up the canyons even more. Frequent summer thunderstorms can become less frequent. The days are shorter. You have to make good use of your limited daylight, but it makes it easier to catch sunrises and sunsets and to enjoy the stars.
To take advantage of this, we visited Zion National Park in November 2015, spending a day and a half in the Zion Canyon section, a day in Kolob Canyons, a day in the Subway, and a beautiful morning on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway.