Many people mourn the end of summer, but I’m over here celebrating. Don’t get me wrong, summer is amazing in each and every way… But I love fall, and that’s not because of those pumpkin spice lattes everyone goes bonkers over. I have plenty of reasons for my autumn adoration, and yes, my birthday is one of them, but there’s a lot in it for hikers too. So wipe those tears shed for the passing of summer and start praising this season, and here’s why:
1. Cool temperatures.
Fall temps tend to be a happy medium between the unbearably hot summer ones and the unbearably cold winter ones, aka they’re just right. Cool temps mean lessened risks of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and being a sweaty mess – all perks for me! I find it easier to conquer those harder hikes in autumn’s degrees, which (bonus!!) also means very little to no humidity.
2. Tourist off-season.
When it comes to other people on the trail, less [people] is more [fun]. Trails that tend to be packed during the summer become tolerable, with most people retreating back to school, work, or just losing interest in the outdoors once September hits. As a result, autumn is the perfect time to check out those popular hikes you’ve been hearing about, but avoiding – for example, everything in the Columbia River Gorge!
3. New takes on old sites.
Things look a lot different during the spring/summer than they do in the fall. In many parts of the United States (I’m looking at you, New England) beautiful foliage transforms the landscape entirely. Over here, in the PNW, I’m noticing a change in flora, as well as how the mountains are dealing with this in-between season – with glaciers continuing to melt at rapid pace, yet getting dusted with snow regularly.
4. Sleeping bags.
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a night that’s chilly enough for me to comfortably cuddle up in my sleeping bag. Most of the summer, I end up sleeping on top of it so any season that gives me a chance to put my bag to use is a good one.
5. No bugs.
No explanation needed.
For a hiker, there are many reasons to enjoy autumn, but the season also brings new required precautions – be mindful of hunters, sudden weather changes, chilly temperatures, and chances of snow in higher elevations.
Fall is the new summer… Don’t you agree?