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5 Fall Hikes For Students in The Pacific NorthWest

5 Fall Hikes For Students in The Pacific NorthWest

With the back-to-school season in full swing again, students in the Pacific NorthWest are back to full days in class and long nights paper writing and studying. What better way to let off some steam and get away from the busy student life than getting outdoors and enjoying the fall hikes in the great PNW?

Here’s 5 Fall Hikes for Students in the Pacific NorthWest!

1: Silver Creek Falls | Silverton, Oregon

silver creek falls

Who doesn't want to see a bunch of beautiful waterfalls on your hike? With 10 waterfalls and 24+ miles of hiking and walking trails, this hike has it all. Located just outside of Salem, Oregon, it's located in the largest state park in Oregon. This hike can be for anyone from beginners to even advanced hikers.  The most popular is the South falls, which is the most visited out of them all.

Chances are you'll see a variety of animal life in the autumn when it's usually not filled with hikers and people, and get to enjoy some really spectacular waterfalls, in fact, 10 of them! 


2: Washington: Bandera Mountain Hike.

bandera mountain hike

Found within the Snoqualmie Pass region, this is another moderate level hike. This particular route shouldn’t be undertaken by absolute beginners or those who are severely out of shape as it can be tough. But if you want a challenge and a stepping stone to some more advanced hikes, this would be ideal. Known to be easier at the beginning, you shouldn’t let this fall you, the last half mile can get a little intense, with rock fields and steep climbs.

Don’t be put off though, this 8.0 mile roundtrip hike offers amazing panoramic views of meadows and distant mountains. A popular hike, it also shares trails with other popular hikes, so may get busy, and parking can be an issue. But if you are looking for a challenge and want to see some truly spectacular sites, this is the trail for you.

**Please note you may require a NorthWest pass for parking**

3: British Columbia: Stawamus Chief Hike.



This popular and scenic hike is a perfect day out for your and your friends. With amazing panoramic views of Howe Sound, the Squamish Valley and nearby mountain peaks, as well as the town of Squamish, this moderate level hike is ideal for beginners. For an easy time, the three hour hike is perfect, but if you would like to stretch yourself, the full route takes around 6 hours. This is a varied hike and will be both challenging and relaxing. Situated about a one hours drive from Vancouver, camping is allowed on this trail, so could be ideal for a weekend getaway. With the hiking season running from March to November, you’ll have plenty of time to get away from your studies and take in the natural wonders of the region.

As the cool, crips autumn air brings colder temperatures with it, be sure to layer up and dress appropriately for your outdoor hikes. Looking for some Pacific NorthWest clothing?Stay warm and cozy with a  Pacific NorthWest Hoodie or Pacific NorthWest Sweater from Pacific NorthWest Lifestyle, made local in Vancouver, British Columbia and ships to both US & Canada. If you order over $75.00, two sweaters or a hoodie and a t-shirt, you'll get free shipping!

4: Alberta: Lake Agnes Hike.


This is a moderate level hike and takes around three hours and will take you through scenic forests, past Lake Louise and give you wonderful views of the rocky mountain peaks. Perfect for a day out, the hike ends with the welcome site of a teahouse, where you can relax and take in the sites around you. For more secluded and to take in even better views of the area, head up to the little beehive summit!  This is quite a popular trail and there are many options once you get out there to hike and explore. As always with Pacific NorthWest weather, make sure to check the weather conditions before leaving as it can change quite fast. 


5: Washington: Maple Pass Loop in the North Cascades

maple pass loop

Who doesn’t love a loop hike? This is one of the best in the Cascades, climbing moderately most of the way to a long romp along a ridge with top-of-the-world views of some of the North Cascades’ most iconic peaks.

At 4,800 feet, when you arrive and step out of your car, your first order of business is to decide whether to hike clockwise or counterclockwise. If you choose a lake with your loop, head counterclockwise and climb toward Lake Ann, a destination in itself for many hikers. At 1.3 miles, you’ll reach a signed intersection for Lake Ann; head another half-mile to reach a dreamy mountain watering hole.

At about 8.2 miles roundtrip, this is a moderate level hike with beautiful views of Mount St Helen’s and definitely one of the top on our list if you're around the Washington area. 




pacific northwest camping

As fall approaches in the Pacific North West and West Coast, the cooler temperatures arrive, the sun starts to set earlier, and the forest and wilderness start to undergo renewal at the end of a long year. These same things also draw a huge crowd of new and experienced autumn campers as they bundle up to enjoy the great outdoors. There’s nothing better than sitting round a campfire with a few alcoholic beverages, sharing stories with your friends or canoodling with your significant other and taking in the autumn night air. Outdoor camping in the fall is one of our favourite times of the year for exploring and camping, not having to worry about any mosquitos, extreme heat or dehydration. However, you'll still want to come prepared so here’s a quick prep list we’ve created of 7 tips for Pacific NorthWest camping in the fall season.

1. Locate an amazing destination

locate an amazing campsite location

You'll want to do some research on finding the best location for your fall camping and not just leave it until the night before! Check out your local camping and parks & recreation websites for the latest updates, guides, photo's and recommendations for your perfect camping trip spot!

2. Find Cheaper Camp Sites

cheap camping

Camping at paid parks and reserves in Autumn is often much cheaper than summer so do yourself a favour and check out some of the popular camping sites and you may be surprised at how much cheaper it is. 

3. Plan Around Peak Colours

plan around peak fall colours

One of the most incredible feelings of fall is seeing the vibrant forest foliage change many different colours, however many people don't really know when the best time to see the leaves are. Do some research in your local area to find out when the peak leaves change occurs so that you can make the most of your beautiful outdoor excursion. As a rule of thumb in North America, generally Mid-Late October is the peak time for seeing the most colourful foliage in the forests.

4. Check the Weather

fall rain

Although Autumn is one of the most wonderful times of year, seasonal changes can happen quick and before you know it you may be caught in a torrential down pour or ill prepared for an early winter snow. Do your homework and plan ahead so that there won't be any drastic weather changes and if there are, prepare extra incase they occur.

5. Pack Cold Weather Gear

mummy sleeping bag

One of the biggest challenges and most underestimated thing in planning for a fall camping trip is cold weather gear. Make sure to bring a cold weather rated sleeping bag (0-30 degrees F). Our favourite is the mummy-shaped sleeping bags, which keep you snug and warm and are often rated for anywhere from fall camping to arctic/winter temperatures.

Mummy-shaped bags have narrow shoulder and hip widths in order to maximize warmth and reduce weight. Although just as a precaution, some people do have trouble getting comfortable in these and don't like them as much as the traditional rectangular sleeping bags as they can be somewhat restrictive.

Remember to always layer up your clothing as well to keep warm and keep from hypothermia....having extra layers enables you to remove one or more when you start to sweat, so that your body can cool off and it doesn't freeze. Our Pacific NorthWest hoodies & crewneck sweaters are the perfect addition to any fall camping trip, you can check out our best sellers here

6. Sleeping Pads! 

sleeping pads

For inexperienced campers, this is a critical piece of gear to have. Sleeping pads keep your body above the cold, heat-sucking ground which in turn, help insulate your body while you sleep. This is one of the most important things you can do to stay warm at night. For example, any survivalist in fall or cold weather situations without proper gear will cut down pine boughs to make a bed of boughs in order to keep themselves off the ground. It's extremely important so make sure to pick yourself up a quality, good rated, closed-cell pad and don't be afraid to double it up with another foam pad if needed. 

7. Purchase a Cold Weather Rated Tent

3 season tent

Consider buying a high quality three-season tent. Make sure it includes a full rain fly to keep moisture out. Always bring a tarp or tent footprint to place underneath your tent to protect from moisture seeping in. We always recommend bringing an extra tarp to set up over the top of your rainfly just as added insurance incase of those really bad rain storms.

Thanks for reading our top 7 Tips for Fall Camping in the PNW and remember to do your homework, bundle up, pack the correct gear and stay safe so you can enjoy the stunning autumn foliage & season!