Friday, March 2, 2012

When not to take kids hiking in certain areas

Avoid desert hikes during summer and the wet season.
As selecting a trail to day hike with children, you can eliminate those in certain regions when specific weather conditions prevail:
g Coastlines – Always check local tide tables if walking along beaches and coastlines, as you don’t want to get stranded in the ocean or large lake by rising water.
g Cold climates – Winter and spring will be chilly and often wet.
g Deserts – Avoid them during the wet seasons as flash floods can occur, sweeping down sandy washes and canyons, leaving you stranded, wet, or worse drowned. Outside of the wet season, avoid any days in which rain, high wind, and hot temperatures are forecast. This makes summer a bad time for desert hiking. Late autumn and early spring usually are the best times to hike deserts.
g Forests – Spring usually is a wet season to avoid. Summer and autumn make for the best hiking.
g High altitudes – Whenever high winds, precipitation and cold temperatures are forecast at lower elevations, they will be worse in the mountains. Winter, early spring and late autumn are dangerous times to hike high mountains. Low mountains and hilly country are best hiked on pleasant spring days; late summer is best for high mountains.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.