Spring has sprung and with that has come longer, warmer days and the rebirth of all the natural beauty nature has to offer.
However, in many places spring also means big temperature swings: it can be 75 degrees and sunny one day, then snowy and 32 the next. Because spring is so unpredictable, these tips will help you stay ahead of the unknown when you’re out on a trail.
1, Always check the weather and pack more than you need!
As they say: “April showers bring May flowers” and the last thing you want is to be stuck in a snow or rain storm without proper gear. Pack extra dry layers and a rain cover for your backpack. Always monitor the weather before heading out into nature.
2. Just because it’s spring doesn’t mean the trails are free of snow.
It is very common for snow to still be present at higher elevations or shaded regions, even in the warmer months, and it can be deep. Post-holing—when your leg falls through the snow crust and in deeper—can be an exhausting and dangerous way to spend a hike. If you find yourself post-holing, maybe skip that trail until next month.
3. Rattlesnake season!
Depending on where you’re hiking, spring is when rattlesnakes come out of hibernation and are in high population until around mid June. Be aware of your surroundings on the trail and educate yourself on what to do if you are in the unfortunate situation of a rattlesnake bite.
4. Check for trail closures and monitor trail conditions
Between snowmelt and rain, trails can get really muddy and this often results in trail closures to conserve the trail. Check your local .gov website for trail closure updates so you aren’t disappointed at the trailhead. If the trail is muddy and is still open, walk through the mud on the designated trail rather than going off-trail to avoid erosion and the destruction of the trail.
5. It’s wildflower season!
Our favorite part of spring is seeing everything bloom and walking through the lush tall grass and spotting new wildflowers. Research your area for prime wildflower blooming times and places so you won’t miss out on the beauty! And don’t forget to take a minute to stop and smell the roses (or daisies, or any other flowers you may come across).