Hiking Season

April showers bring May flowers – not this year. True, I saw crocus in full bloom, but this June for crying out loud.

A sure sign of spring! (Photo: M.Kopp)

There were others signs that Ma Nature hasn’t been keeping up with the calendar. The leaves on the trees are the brilliant green, the kind of color you only see during the first week out of the bud. Snow on mountains passes is still thigh deep.

And hikers, oh, you should have seen how many hikers were out on a trail where we normally see less than half a dozen. The rain stopped and the sun came out this weekend and they’re desperate to gain a little elevation. This trail, south-facing and on the dry eastern slopes of the Rockies, was one of the few, snow-free ones to be found.

But the worst of a cool, wet spring and the first couple of warm days is humans aren’t the only creatures to emerge in hoards – mosquitoes are back. Yup, the season is upon us and if this weekend was any indication, it’s going to be a buggy one.

Tips for Spring Hiking

  • Make sure insect repellent is on packing checklist.
  • Bring a flower guide (books organized by flower color are easier to use for non-botanists) to start identifying the multitudes of blooms that will eventually appear).
  • Don’t forget to pack the bear spray – the bruins are active too and I imagine rather grumpy at the delayed start to the wildflower season that will turn later summer to the all-important berry season.

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