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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.

The park is a fantastic year-round destination. However, the best seasons for hiking and climbing are spring and fall; while spring weather might be unpredictable sometimes. The most stable weather outside of high season is usually from mid-September until mid-November. If you’d like to avoid the crowds at all costs and still experience pleasant temperatures go in OCTOBER: The heavy crowds are gone and the weather is still nice: Average high 62°F (17°C).

Weather and Crowds

Smith Rock State Park benefits from minimal rainfall and mostly sunny weather throughout the year. It has its own microclimate: The highs average some degrees warmer than recorded at the closest weather station. Monthly weather: Scroll down to the chart

March - May (Spring): Usually pleasant temperatures for hiking and climbing, especially in May. However, spring weather is sometimes unpredictable. Particularly April can still be tricky, because of the snow and rain. Quote from a local: 'April and May here in Central Oregon is some of the strangest weather months.'

June - August (Summer): Extremely hot, especially in July/August! With temperatures that often crack 100 degrees in midsummer, you have to start your hike early and bring plenty of water. It’s also ridiculously busy. Particularly narrow tracks like Misery Ridge get very crowded, even more on weekends.

September - mid-November (Autumn): Stable weather, pleasant temperatures. Perfect months for hiking and climbing. It's still crazy busy in September.

December - February (Winter): If you don’t mind the cold (dropping below 32°F / 0°C) and want to experience pure nature without any crowds go in the winter. Hiking or even climbing is a great experience. An excellent winter report: Smith Rock State Park in Winter


Avoiding Tourist Crowds

Most of the time it’s heavily crowded from May until September. Even in April, the weekends are already jam-packed. Only in OCTOBER, the crowds start to dissipate. If you visit in late spring, summer or early fall: Avoid weekends at all costs. Instead go early and on a weekday. Otherwise, the park gets ridiculously busy. The parking lots fill up extremely quick, and trails are crowded as well. However, especially in spring and fall, you should be able to get away from the crowds after hiking a few miles.

US United States
Weather
  • Spring is pleasant (flower season August and especially September), but rain is possible until the end of August. October is not too hot and a good month for hiking and rock climbing.
  • Summer from November to March is warm and dry but hot at midday with almost any shelter. Hiking in summer is best in the morning.
  • Autumn from April to mid-May is still warm and pleasant for hiking, but rain showers can occur.
  • Most precipitation in winter until August. Nights are really cold. Snow on the peaks is possible. Low water bridge across Olifants river can be flooded and closed.
Crowds

Crowded at weekends, public holiday and school holiday. More popular for the South Africans. Stadsaal Cave best sunlight in the afternoon.

ZA South Africa

This is probably a year round hike but only as long as the weather is decent. The best time with least rainfall is from mid April till the end of May. Can be a bit crowded during summertime. I would recommend to go in the afternoon to experience fine sunset on the way back (of course when the sun is out:-))

GB United Kingdom

The best seasons to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge are winter, spring, and autumn. Read our detailed tips regarding each season:

Winter, Low Season (December - January/February)

A good time to hike the gorge. Days are often sunny, dry and clear (up to 12°C / 54°F), but nights get cold (to 0°C / 32°F) and mornings very chilly. Keep in mind that in February it’s Chinese Spring Festival: Accommodations are heavily booked for two weeks. Check the starting dates: Spring Festival Eve in China

Spring, Soulder Season (March - May)

March and April are excellent months to hike. Especially in April, the weather is comfortable with possible temperatures up to 20°C (68°F). Still, bring a light jacket. May is still a less busy month with even warmer days than in April and blooming flora. Quote from our reviewer Rajdeep: 'A great month is April: Fewer locals to pester tourists to part with cash combined with pleasant weather'

Summer, High Season (June - September)

Wet season, not the best time to hike. The rain lasts until September / mid-October. The wettest months are July / August. Hiking is still possible as there are many sunny days. However, during or after heavy rainfall the road and trail through the gorge might be closed on certain days. Despite the unpleasant weather conditions, this is also the busiest season with the most ‘scams’.

Autumn, Shoulder Season (October - November)

Mid-October until November are also excellent. Usually dry and sunny, beautiful landscape, green trees, and blossoms. However, bring a long-sleeve shirt, light sweater, and a coat. Nice November hiking report: Hiking TLG in November. Monthly temperature and rainfall overview (the climate in Lijiang is almost identical): Lijiang Weather Regardless of the month: Check the weather forecast.
 

Annoyances/Scams

Besides the official gorge trail fee, there are many locals demanding cash from tourists. These unofficial posts collect money for parts of the path. Most of them are present during the busiest time from May/June until September/October. Less from March to April or mid-October to November and often none in winter (December - January/February)!

CN China

The best time to climb the hills on the Isle of Skye is usually from mid April till end of May but you can experience a day with decent weather throughout the whole year. My experience is to start after noon since the evenings are usually more calm on Skye.

GB United Kingdom

The best time for hiking is usually from the end of May till the end of June, then September till the start of October. July and August are very hot and the glacier can melt very fast in the afternoon when the sun is out. It is necessary to start early in the morning to be sure you will get back down as soon as possible. However, it's pretty cold minus degrees throughout the year

Crowds

Due to the easy accessibility, the mountain is often a bit busy. The cable car is often very full of skiers. However, it's a perfect climb for beginners in such a height. To avoid crowds and the melting glaciers take the first cable car to the Kleinmatterhorn. 

IT Italy