While the coming cold temps might but the kabash on hiking and camping in your neck of the woods, Fall weather means it’s Desert Season. Many of the best places in the Desert Southwest are just plain too hot to handle during the Summer, but with cool weather on the way, now is the perfect time to explore some incredible country. Put these desert destinations on your to-do list!
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico
South of Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Tent Rocks is a long way from anywhere. Its desolation only lends to its eerie and at times otherworldly beautiful. Tent Rocks is a land of volcanic ruin, hoodoos and spikey cones. It’s relatively small and is great for a short day trip. It features two hiking trails, bird watching, and some incredible geology.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
You could spend a lifetime exploring the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, UT. From petroglyphs to secret arches to camping to slickrock scrambling, Canyonlands offers something for every adventurer. The national park is split into three districts: Needles, Island in the Sky, and The Maze. While The Maze requires four-wheel drive to access, the other two districts are easily accessible for all vehicles. Book a backcountry permit, and spend several days winding through canyons and over slickrock in Needles or check out the great day-hikes in Island in the Sky.
Zion National Park, Utah
Me hiking the Observation Point Trail in Zion. Photo by Larry Gross.
I recently spent several days exploring one of America’s greatest treasures, Zion National Park. You’ve probably heard of some of the hikes: Angel’s Landing or Observation Point. Zion isn’t a bucket list destination for no reason. It’s one of the most incredible landscapes I’ve ever seen. But it does get busy, so if you can, visit mid-week.
Be sure to bring along plenty of eNZees when you head into the desert. Sometimes hiking in new environments, temperatures, and humidity levels can cause blisters. Have fun and happy trails!