November doesn’t have to be just preparation for the holiday season. Step outside and kick up some leaves. Or maybe find a creek to splash through with your furry friend. If anything, at least just step outside and take in the views during nature’s most spectacular season. Here are a few hot spots for doing just that this fall.
Maroon Bells, Aspen, CO
Maroon Bells, Colorado’s most photographed landscape, will wow you, even more, when it’s showing off fall colors. Bring your best camera and capture the distinctive symmetry of snow-dusted Maroon and North Maroon Peaks. Framed by aspens, the beautiful view is amplified by its reflection on Maroon Lake. Don’t forget to stop by The Aspen Brewing Company’s new downtown tasting room while you’re in town.
June Lake, CA
With lakes, waterfalls, and jagged peaks, a trip to June Lake is worth it. Find your way to the corner of the Eastern Sierra as it has something for everyone. Some people travel here just to see the flaming trees alone. Rent a pedal boat at Gull Lake Marina to take in the views from the water. Or, if you’d rather, hike the 4-mile round-trip Parker Lake Trail.
Oak Creek Canyon, AZ
Fall takes Oak Creek’s crimson canyon walls and sun-dappled stream to a whole new level. Head 13 miles north of Sedona on U.S. 89A to the Oak Creek Vista overlook. The 3-miles-one-way hike on the West Fork Trail will have you skipping through the creek and soaking in the views.
Wildwood Trail, Portland, OR
This 3o-mile trail just outside the city of Portland will not disappoint! Wind your way through Hoyt Arboretum, which has beautiful Douglas fir flanking the narrow path most of the way. Not ready to go the distance? Find the 4-mile loop that starts just above the Oregon Zoo. This trail will give you a glimpse of the Japanese garden and take you down the Redwood Trail through a sequoia grove. Cross Fairview Boulevard and follow signs to Overlook Trail; turn right on Wildwood and you’re back where you started ― and ready to eat. 4000 Fairview Blvd.; www.hoytarboretum.org.