Happy Fall, friends! Who knows if it’s here to stay, but the temperatures are finally moving from stifling to bearable, so we’re spending more time outdoors again. As much as I love Summer, I’m pretty excited to pull out my fave Patagonia pullovers and get outside in the crisp air!
Mr. SP and I love finding trails all over the area, and taking long hikes together. Some of our best talks have been while wandering together! There’s something about having a common goal and a focal point that makes it so much easier to open up.
We’ve learned over the years how important the right gear is…specifically hiking shoes and socks! Backcountry is always my first stop in all things outdoor activities, and where we find the best, most-reliable gear for hiking and skiing, to biking and camping.
This backpack has been all over the world with us, and now the kids have the same one for school. It’s lightweight and sturdy, with tons of pockets and compartments, including a padded spot for laptops, and room for a water bottle.
We’ve had one for close to ten years, and it’s still in perfect condition!
And speaking of workhorses…my hiking shoes have carried me from the Grand Canyon to the cliffs of Ireland! They are hands-down the best hiking shoes I’ve ever owned. They have incredible traction, are water-resistant, clean easily, and aren’t bulky or heavy. In fact, they’re actually comfortable (which isn’t always the case with hiking shoes this sturdy!)
They’re made by Adidas, so you know they have great support, too (like my beloved UltraBoost, the only running shoe I wear!).
Staying hydrated is essential, and this water bottle sling is a great alternative to a backpack for short hikes. It holds your water bottle, while allowing you to have both hands free. Pretty genius, don’t you think?! Would be great for kids and teens, specifically at sporting events.
These lightweight shorts have a built-in liner, which is always my preference for hiking, and a comfy waistband. They run small, so definitely size up. The tee is a performance knit, and dries quickly.
Oh, and spring for Polarized next time you get sunglasses…they make a world of difference when you’re outside!
Once the temps drop a little more, I’ll add a pullover to my shorts (leggings don’t come until it’s cold!)…this is a brushed material, that’s super soft and really lightweight. Easy to tie around your waist without weighing you down, too.
Fit Tip: I always size up in outerwear, this is a small.
If you love getting outside and hiking, too, I rounded up some of our favorite places to hike in the United States. Each make a perfect long weekend if you have a trip in your future. We’re currently scheming our next spots, since Fall is the perfect time for outdoor trips like these!
Click the city name for our Trip Report on each, with tips for where we stayed, ate and more.
Favorite Hiking Spots
Sedona has a great mix of culture, incredible food, quaint town, and incredible scenery nearby, making it great for a couple’s getaway. There are tons of hikes for all experience levels, and the views can’t be beat!
Waimea Canyon, Kauai //
There’s talk of Hawaii opening to visitors again soon, and if you’re a nature buff, Kauai is the perfect island! Our family loved the moderate hike up Waimea Canyon, and we were treated to stunning views of the Napoli Coast at the top. Pack some snacks, as it could take you awhile!
One of our favorite places ever, our entire family loved Bryce Canyon and the spectacular topography. It’s almost carved out of the earth, so you start at the top and hike down. The ground was pretty wet when we went, and my shoes were coated in clay…but washed right off!
Just outside of Albuquerque, this little gem is like being on a different planet! Similar hoodoos to Bryce Canyon, but with sweeping views at the top. The ground is more of a sandy dirt than clay, too. Pair it with a stay at one of our fave hotels, Los Poblanos, and you’ve got the perfect couples weekend!
Where Texas meets Mexico, lies Big Bend National Park…also known as the Mini Grand Canyon. They restrict the number of visitors each day (even prior to Covid!), so arriving early is essential. Looking across the Rio Grande to another country is really cool, and the landscape is beautiful. Stay in nearby Terilinqua for a fun family trip.
Mendocino is known for it’s vineyards and quaint towns, but there’s also beautiful trails that hug the coastline. The views are jaw-dropping, especially in late Fall when it gets stormy.
Obviously I had to include the Grand Canyon! You could hike every day of the year and still not cover all the trails and loops! There’s something for everyone, too…from paved sidewalks around the perimeter, to steep and rocky trails to the base! It’s definitely something everyone needs to see in person once in their lifetime!
Another family favorite, Zion was a fun challenge (I can still remember the brutal switchback!). The lodge sits at the base, with most of the trails leading up. We went early March, so the water was too high to hike The Narrows, but it’s still on all our bucket lists!
Not necessarily a hike, but more of a wandering trail of sand…Antelope Canyon is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!!
These photos are giving me all the feels…I miss adventures with my people! I definitely see some road trips and long weekends in our future…what about you? And did you notice the same pieces on repeat? My hiking shoes and this backpack in particular, we never adventure without them!
If you’re hitting the trails or the mountains this Fall and Winter, start first with calling a Backcountry Gearhead. They are incredibly knowledgeable in all the necessary gear for every outdoor activity, and their expertise and time is free!! And if you’re a first time Backcountry shopper, be sure to use code SUGARPLUM15 to save 15% off full-price items!
Where are your favorite hiking spots in the US? I’m looking to add some new ones to our list! Will you be heading out anywhere this Fall?
*This post is created in collaboration with Backcountry and ShopStyle, but all product selections, opinions and wanderlust are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*