A Choose Your Own Adventure Memorial Day
You want to get your family outside hiking for Memorial Day weekend, but you're not sure where to go. You either a) find hikes near your campsite b) throw the kids in the car and snag a first-come, first-serve campsite c) take them backpacking or d) take some phenomenal day hikes.
It's only a few days until the long Memorial Day weekend, and you either:
- a) already have camping reservations for your family.
- b) don't have camping reservations. You need reservations to go camping? That's crazy!
- c) don't plan on camping. You just want to get outside a day or two with your family.
Jump below to choose your own adventure, one that gets your whole family outside for a great start to summer.
a) You already have camping or cabin reservations
Good for you for planning ahead. Now, you just need to check the weather, pull together your car camping and hiking essentials and find a few snow-free hikes nearby.
- Check the weather. Rain, sun, and even a little snow may be in the mix.
- Make your car camping checklist.
- Find a hike: follow in the footsteps of parents filing trip reports and use our hiking guide to find seasonal hikes near where you're staying.
b) You don't have camping reservations
Reservations aren't your style, or maybe this weekend just snuck up on you. No worries. You've still got options, but you've got to be a little flexible.
- Option 1 - Last-minute camping: You can try to sneak your family out of town early and secure a camping spot at a first-come, first-served campground. If you try for one of the National Forest campgrounds that don't accept reservations, then your plan B can be dispersed camping. But first you need to check conditions and check in with a ranger.
- Option 2 - Overnight: This is the chance you've been waiting for to take your family on a short, lowland or coastal backpacking trip! Yes, the weather might be a little damp. But you're Pacific Northwesterners, and you're going prepared with rain gear and extra warm, dry clothes for everyone.
- Option 3 - Day Hike: You just want to do a little hiking. Skip to c)
c) Take your family day hiking
Who needs to camp this early in the season? You'd rather take the three-day weekend to take a rambling picnic close to home or seek out the far-away hikes on your list with enough time to catch a movie and weed the garden.
- Catch some sun. Visit Lenore Caves or one of the other great desert trails, where temperatures are more likely to reach into the 70's.
- Take a river walk and look for wildflowers and wildlife.
- Explore more ideas for family-friendly hiking destinations from the coast.
- Safety Tip: find snow-free hikes and get tips on which trails to avoid until the snow is gone.