The long hot lazy days of summer are over and while work and school influence a majority of the day, it doesn’t mean that the outdoors isn’t still calling. In fact, fall time is the perfect season to venture outside and enjoy some spectacular scenery. Foliage turns to yellow and gold, animals are out in abundance preparing for winter, and cooler weather keeps bugs and pests to a minimum. Before the cold winter winds hit, here are the reasons why it’s the perfect time to take the opportunity to try new adventures and enjoy being outside.
Those who live in the northern states are all too familiar with the changes in color as the leaves lose their summer green and dry out to a golden hue that shimmers with a fall sunset. How about those in the southern states? What do they get? Down south, in a park such as the Everglades, it’s the time when the groves and the leaves are starting to turn from the wet summer rainy season. Taking a canoe or venturing out into the backcountry will reveal a lush forest of mangroves and vines just before they dry out during winter. Many of the animals are out making their winter homes under the dense bush and even the alligators return to abundance, having spent a majority of the summer having hidden in the farther reaches of the park where it’s cooler and wetter. October and November make great seasons for exploring places such as Shark Valley since the water is now the optimal temperature where alligators and birds return to the water ways.
For the northern states, the cold crisp air combined with the orange, red, and yellow tones makes for truly magical moments. A recent biking trip through Anchorage’s famed twelve mile coastal trail revealed light filtering through shimmering passageways, creating the effect of a golden tunnel when ridden during sunset. The air was crisp but not cold and made for an iconic autumn moment.
As summer’s heat gradually draws off, the weather becomes clearer and more bearable especially for camping and even for climbing. In the high deserts of the southwest, the cooler air draws away rain and moisture and leaves clear cloudless skies, the perfect time for finding great weather windows while scaling the tall desert towers. California weather clears around this time as well making prime conditions for taking a rock trip through the Yosemite Valley or through Joshua Tree as a late summer or early fall trip.
For those who are not vertically inclined, it’s the perfect time to get deep into backcountry hiking before the snow season hits. Packing a tent and heading off into the peaks or the highlands will be rewarded with spectacular mountain views and the southern states don’t have to deal with sticky moisture while having the energy to push farther with cooler breezes.
Fall is the perfect time to pack up and hit the trails, not only are the crowds dying down from the summer rush, but the conditions make certain areas more accessible and in some cases more thrilling. For whitewater rivers, the water is running higher from the rainy season and makes for a more intense ride than what would be found in the spring. The climbing walls can be empty during the week giving more of an opportunity to venture into new areas, and camping spots that are booked far ahead in the summer give way to less traffic in the fall, offering the opportunity to find easier solitude in the wild.
The national parks will be observing Veterans Day weekend from November 10-12 where all National Parks, Forests, and Sites will offer free admittance to all parks across the United States. Although the campsites are not free, it’s the perfect weekend to hit the trail, find a day hike, or start practicing peak climbing for the upcoming spring season.
When venturing into the fall, remember to practice proper safety. Animals are getting ready for their migrations and bears get ready for hibernation so it’s imperative not to impede on their territory. Be wary about weather changes and always be sure to check conditions before you head out. Outfit with proper gear and functional equipment, and most importantly get off the map, and enjoy yourself!
What adventures are you planning this fall?