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 in the Cascades on the north side of Mount Baker. We rented a house in Glacier, Washington, did day hikes within a short drive.
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.