Hiking: Fall/Winter Edition

Hiking is breathtakingly gorgeous in the PNW

Don’t believe me…..

During the last year we’ve been working on building up hype around our family hiking trips.  Between the grumbling teenagers and the cranky toddlers it was a bit of a challenge.  But low and behold, the kids’ began to enjoy themselves.  And it’s true, nature can help combat mood disorders just check out this article from the American Psychological Association.  After this past year with all it’s challenges and increase of screen time we felt this was an important goal.  But living in one of the wetter regions of the nation and the dropping temperatures makes planning ahead all the more important.

Hiking, Christmas Eve 2020


Here are some tips and trips we found helpful for getting our brood out the door.


  • We highly recommend buying a State Parks Pass, it is a good motivator for getting out in all seasons.  Plus it eliminates the first step, parking and having cash handy.  (Please note, some parks are State, Federal, or National parks. So take some time to plan ahead which would be most useful for your area, also some are covered depending on the age of your school aged children)


  • LAYERS ARE CRUCIAL… we typically like to wait for a dryer day (as Oregonians we don’t mind mist at all, but it can still soak you good) but having layers you can shed ensures everyone can stay dry and warm.  The first layer is usually a long sleeved shirt (not too restricting for movement), then followed by a sweater or hoodie and topped by a light rain jacket or a warmer heavier coat.  We like having hats, gloves and scarves be lightweight as these get ditched once they start to warm up.


Teen boys choose sweaters, what is it with teens and abhorring jackets???  Anyhow they assured me they weren’t frozen.

Winter Hike with Layers ***Teen boys choose sweaters, what is it with teens and abhorring jackets???  Anyhow they assured me they weren’t frozen.


Fall Hike with Layers



We're all about tying our jackets around our waist 



  • Bring an extra pair of shoes and leave them in the car, stuff gets muddy fast starting in the fall.  I usually have a garbage sack in the trunk and everyone changes out of their boots/hiking shoes at the door and then I don’t have mud tracked all over.  Saves my sanity every time!


  • Enjoy the flora and fauna of the season. It's especially fun to revisit the same place during the cold months as you did during the summer or spring.  It’ll blow your kid’s minds at how much a place can change and really that’s one of my favorite things about being a parent.  Experiencing the simple joys of life. 
  • I always like having a warm drink available in the car or blankets and blasting the heater for a bit after.  Just having the van be a “warming station” after helps immensely.


That’s it really, just having a simple plan ahead helps.  But half the battle is just getting out there.  Do you and your family enjoy fall or winter hikes??? What helpful tips or tricks would you recommend to other families???


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