Pack up a water bottle and hit the trail while you’re in Arizona, California and Nevada. While staying at Verde Valley in Arizona, visit the mile-long Jail Trail. The Jail Trail brings hikers to the Verde River and gives a show full of birds, fish and natural wildlife. The trail sits on a flood plain and is surrounded by beautiful cottonwood trees, which provide shade in the summer and vibrant color during the fall months.
Idyllwild in California offers numerous trails for beginning hikers as well as those ready to tackle a 17 mile hike. The San Jacinto Peak via Palm Springs Tram presents some of the area’s best mountain views, meadows, pine forests and granite formations in Southern California. During your time at the Snowflower preserve, be sure to visit Steven’s Trail in Colfax. Located in the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, it begins in Colfax and ends where the Secret Ravine and the North Fork of the American River meet. For more information, visit http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/folsom/stevenstrail.html.
While most who visit Las Vegas, Nevada, are looking to spend a lot of time on the strip, give yourself some time to become truly accustomed to the area by hiking the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Located just 17 miles from the Las Vegas preserve, this area offers more than 30 miles of hiking trails – it’s no wonder over one million people visit the area each year. Check out the non-neon beauty of Las Vegas here www.nv.blm.gov/redrockcanyon.
September 21-23: Horseshoe Tournament at San Benito Preserve, Paicines, CA.
October 15: Fall Line Dance Festival at Lake of the Springs, Oregon House, CA.
October 26-27: Haunted Fort at Sutter’s Fort, just 27 miles from Lake Minden Preserve, Nicolaus, CA. Once a portal for weary pioneers, again serves as the gateway for their restless spirits, who return to tell the tales of their lives and melancholy deaths at this special family friendly event. Hours are 6:30 to 9 p.m. and tours leave every 10 minutes. Tickets available at www.suttersfort.org.
September is the best at Verde Valley because the Farmers’ Markets are buzzing and the temperature cools down to enjoy day hiking or bicycling the beautiful area. ~ Angela Holmes, Verde Valley Administration