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Hiking

When should you hike a trail? Some hikes lead to fascinating forests, some have tremendous views and others are rich in variety. Share your favorite trails with other hikers and nature lovers.

Usually from March to November. However, one highlight are the two Kneipp basins for water-treading. To enjoy these higher temperatures are recommended: May until September.

DE Germany

To escape the heat, spring and fall are the best times for hiking. In summer, it is oven-like and can get well above 100°F (38°C) and on the other side thunderstorms occur. If you go in midsummer avoid long hikes. Snow and ice can be an issue in winter unless that's what you’re looking for but mind, half of the annual rainfall comes during the winter.

This trail is not as popular as Angels Landing or The Narrows, the reason that it's less busy. However, start early to get shade along the exhausting switchbacks.

Avoiding Tourist Crowds:
Peak months are June to August. Fewer hikers in spring and fall. Very quiet in December, January, February but bear in mind road or trails can be closed. However, you can avoid crowds year-round by starting your hike or exploration right after sunrise. At that time, you’ll have the park almost for yourself. Most visitors don’t start before 10 a.m.

In the morning, there is also a better chance of spotting wildlife and the best light for photos.

From March to October you have to take the shuttle bus, cars are not permitted. From November to February you can park your car at a small parking lot at the trailhead. The scenic drive in Zion can be closed at weekends in February and shuttle bus transportation has to be taken. Check shuttle bus schedule for each season first, includes maps and hiking trail information.

In May, high chance for spectacular wildflowers along the trail, especially in Echo Canyon.

Sweet Spot Months:
The best months with usually good weather and less crowds than during peak months are: March/April and October/November.

US United States

Hiking in the Cradle Mountain National Park is very popular throughout the year. However, in the winter you have to deal with snow, and despite more pleasant temperatures in the summer, the weather is even more unpredictable. During the summer Cradle is pretty busy with the highest accommodation rates.

Weather by Seasons

Winter (May-September)

Cradle Mountain covered in snow during winter

Snow in winter usually from July to September with an average daily temp of 6°C / 43°F. It can get even colder and freezing during the night (below 0°C / 32°F). The coldest months are July and August. Hiking can be difficult depending on the amount of snow. May and September are a little warmer.

Spring (October-November)

Cradle Mountain hiking trail to Marions Lookout in spring

Wildflowers are abundant during spring and early summer. Day temps range between 10°C-15°C / 50°F-59°F on average. But we already experienced snow in November and 0°C / 32°F while hiking.

Summer (December-February)

Cradle Mountain on a clear day during summer

More stable weather from December to April with warmer daily temps on average around 15°C-18°C / 59°F-64°F. The "warmest" months are January and February.  Less precipitation from January to March. However, the weather is unpredictable. Be prepared for 4 seasons in one day even during summer. If you like camping be prepared for one digit night temps throughout the year. 

Autumn (March-April)

Cradle Mountain on a clear day in Autmn

In autumn from late April to May autumn colors are ranging from gold to deep red. Daily temps are around 10°C-15°C / 50°F-59°F on average. Nights are already freezing cold between 3°C-5°C / 37°F-41°F.

Avoiding Crowds

It's one of the most popular National Parks in Tassie. You almost don't experience any crowds in the low season during winter. During summer it's busy with visitors from around the world, especially at Dove Lake. Longer and more strenuous hikes are less frequented. Enjoy a more peaceful hike and start in the early morning. It gets less busy again in the late afternoon. Peak season lasts from October/November until April.

Hiking Trail on a boardwalk in the Cradle Mountain National Park

Top Tip for the Peak Season: Start your hike before dawn with headlights and enjoy a breathtaking sunrise from Marians Lookout. 
Shuttle Bus Service and Parking

There is one car park at Dove Lake and one at Ronny Creek. Arriving early is recommended. Otherwise, shuttle buses have to be taken from the Visitor Center or the Interpretation Center. For National Park Pass holders; the shuttle bus is for free. The last bus leaves Dove Lake in the afternoon. Due to the increasing numbers of visitors, new bus service also for people with disabilities was introduced in 2018. When these medium-sized buses operate from 8 am to 6 pm cars can't get to the parking. If you want to hike independently, you have to be at Dove Lake parking before 8 am.

AU Australia

Anytime is magical! Most comfortable temperatures in spring and fall. End of summer violent storm and heavy rainfall can occur which quickly causes flash floods.

More than 1.4 million visitors each year and the number is still growing. The most popular months are from March to October. Delicate Arch is the most famous one. Often there are more than hundred people and even more at sunset. Winter is great without crowds, but can be very cold. If you have snow trails can get slippery.

To avoid crowds and to get your car parked arrive early morning or even better late afternoon when temps are getting cooler. Morning and evening are best times to photograph.

TIP: If you want to avoid 100 degree temps but still enjoy comfortable weather go April, May or September, October. In September, it gets less crowded after Labor Day. Again, crowded in October at the Utah Education Association break
[updated by whentobewhere]

US United States

May through October

US United States

Most of the day visitors come for the Painted Cliffs. However, the hike can be a bit crowded during the peak season in summer. The summit is pretty small there is just space for a few hikers. For hiking, the very best months are from December to March/April. These are the driest months. From May to October less busy. The winter months from June to August can be pretty chilly especially during the night with temps around 7°C. It depends on you if you prefer warmer temperatures and less rain or fewer people on the island. If it's too rainy the last part of the climb might be slippery. November (end of spring) most of the plants and flowers are in bloom, but it's also one of the wettest months. 

Ferry

The ferry is going from Triabunna to Darlington, Maria Island. This island is very popular, and the ferry was often fully booked in summer. Now the service is offered more often. It’s a big advantage to visit the island by bike.

By bike on Maria Island in Tasmania

For renting it has to be booked together with the ferry ticket. It’s a bit pricey $ 33 for adults and $ 20 for children for each bike and day. Check the ferry timetable and return fares

September-April: The ferry is going up to five times daily depending on demands and bookings.

May-August (winter): The ferry is going up to three times daily on five days. It's not going on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Avoiding Crowds

The ferry service is offered more often from April 2017 on. Even more day visitors are coming to the island. During summer, up to several hundred tourists visit the island each week. From now on the winter is the best time to visit Maria Island. When the ferry left the island in the afternoon, it becomes more tranquil and peaceful. If you arrive on Monday or Wednesday, you have to stay for two nights at the campground. The big advantage; the next day only a few people are on the island. Still no ferry transfer on Tuesday and Thursday. The hike itself might be not very crowded in spring, fall, and winter. 

Fossil Cliffs on Maria Island in Tasmania
Fossil Cliffs

Weather

Maria Island has a mild climate without frost in winter. The average summer day temperature is around 21°C / 70°F. The driest month is January although rain showers often occur the whole year. One of the wettest months is November. May and October are a bit cooler but also worth a try. Night temps in winter and spring are below 10°C / 50°F. During our stay in November 2016, the night temperature was around 6°C / 43°F.

AU Australia