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Hiking in the Fall Shoulder Season

When the snow starts hitting the ground, you might feel like it's time to hang up the hiking boots until next year. But wait! There's no need to hibernate yet! Even with snow in the mountains, there are still many opportunities to get in a few last hikes. Maybe even knock off a few from the to do list. Plus, you still have a little time to wait until the snowshoe and skiing season can really start anyways.

For one, hiking in a little snow is not a big deal. In some cases it can make life easier. That crusty, hard-packed snow can provide good foot holds on the way up. Snow can also make the descent easier allowing you to showcase your best bum slide or boot skiing moves, or even just a nice heel plant to ease the impact on the knees.

Not only can you make the most out of the snow, but the cooler temperatures also provide some benefits. Most importantly, the bugs should be gone! You can finally take breaks, soak in the views, take photos, and enjoy your lunches in peace. Also, the cooler temperatures make huffing it up a mountain a little more comfortable - no overheating, less sweating, and the cool, clean air feels so good you could probably go as far as to say it's a hangover cure.

Of course you may want to consider taking on a little more gear as you venture out. If you use hiking poles, consider putting on the baskets so they don't sink into the snow as much. Pack along the gaiters to keep any snow out of your boots. As the snow continues to fall over the next few weeks, you may even want to strap your snowshoes to your backpack in case things start to get really deep, keeping in mind how high up you plan on going.

Some trails in the Yukon that are usually still great to hike later in the fall shoulder season include: So until the snowline finally creeps down and the snow gets really deep, keep the hiking boots off the shelf and on your feet!