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5 Ways To Get Outside This Spring

There's no excuse for staying indoors during the springtime.

By: Michael Graw + Save to a List

Longer days, more sunshine, and everything is green and fresh. It's spring and it's time to get outside. Here are just a few ways you can take advantage of everything spring has to offer:

1. Discover Blooms

Everyone associates spring with flowers, but why settle for the landscaping around your neighborhood - nature has its own spectacular spring displays! Wildflower season begins in mid-April in most places and can stretch all the way until mid-July in high-altitude mountain meadows. These blooms are often short-lived, though, so be sure to keep an eye on local trip reports to time your next hike right. Use the “Wildflowers” filter when searching for adventures on The Outbound to find the perfect wildflower hike in your area, and bring along a wildflower guide on your next hike and see how many different kinds you can identify.

Another option is to seek out flower farms, which also hit their peak color in early spring. Many of these farms hold festivals throughout the spring, welcoming visitors to walk through their vibrant fields. The Pacific Northwest, for example, is renowned for its multicolored daffodil and tulip fields, while Missouri is home to azaleas and Washington, D.C. hosts an annual cherry blossom festival.

2. Explore a New Waterfall

Photo: Michael Graw

Rapid snowmelt brings huge quantities of water down from upper mountain slopes, meaning that many waterfalls reach their peak flows in springtime. If you haven’t stood in front of a roaring waterfall before, it’s definitely worth the soak - the power of a waterfall at full power is pretty awe-inspiring! For waterfall veterans, spring is a great time to go hunting for new, off-the-map cascades. Many areas, particularly sun-drenched foothills, feature unnamed flows that only last for a few weeks until the last of the mid-elevation snow has melted away.

3. Get On Your Bike

Photo: Jake Young

Bikers rejoice! After months of wet and cold, the days are getting warmer, sunnier, and longer, and the roads and trails are finally dry. Even better, the summer heat hasn’t yet set in to make longer rides a trial. Spring is also an easy time to find cycling partners, as many athletes are gearing up for race season and would love a training buddy!

4. Shred the Backcountry Slopes

Photo: Stephen Matera

Although many ski resorts start shutting down for the season in April, ski season continues off-piste for far longer in many areas. Backcountry spring skiing offers generally better weather (think blue sky days!), soft snow that makes for easy carving, and a freedom to explore that resorts can’t match. Just be sure to keep an eye on the avalanche forecast - the only downside to all those sunny spring days in the mountains!

5. Stay Up Late

Photo: Michael Graw

After spending the winter below the horizon, the Milky Way makes a spectacular return to Northern Hemisphere skies just in time for clear spring nights. In order to see it, you’ll need clear, dark skies - which means getting away from the lights of towns (a perfect excuse to get into the backcountry for a weekend!). Check out the Clear Sky Chart to plan the best night to stay up late and stargaze.

Cover photo: Michael Graw

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