Leaves are changing color, and there’s a fresh autumnal smell in the air—what a good excuse to explore the great outdoors! Pull on your hiking boots, grab plenty of water, and perhaps a sweater too—because fall is the perfect season for hitting the trail with your little adventurers. To give you an idea of the adventures that lie ahead, we’ve rounded up the best autumn hikes in the country. From mountain rambles and forested strolls to historic walks and more, you can discover them all in the album below.

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Colorado National Monument – Grand Junction, Co

The Bookcliffs mountain range towers over Grand Junction at the edge of the desert. Look out for mule deer and wild mustangs while hiking these exciting trails. There are several short hikes that are great with kids. Try Otto's Trail, Window Rock or the Alcove Nature Trail—easy trails with amazing views and a chance for some light rock scrambling. On the Escalante Petroglyphs trail, you'll see fascinating petroglyphs carved into the canyons.

Insider Tip: Temps are cooling off in the fall but it's still advisable to hike early in the morning.

Onlinenps.gov/colm/index.htm

 

photo: Glenn Merritt via Flickr

 

Can you recommend a favorite fall hiking spot in your neck of the woods? Tell us about it in the comments below!

— Helen Walker Green