Local hunters, outdoor enthusiasts prepare for fall camping excursions
|Carbon County residents LaRay Chidester and Johnny Christiansen shuck corn on the cob during a fall family outing. Many Carbon residents find fall camping a welcome getaway from the large crowds of the summer. |
As fall weather changes the hue of trees in Carbon County, local hunters and campers gear up for outdoor recreational activities, during what some say is the best time of the year.
According to available information, one of the most beneficial aspects of fall camping is the lack of crowds that can be stifling at popular Utah destinations in the summer.
A second and maybe biggest benefit is the fact that, after Labor Day, many campgrounds reduce fees.
Although daytime temperatures are still warm in the fall, campers must take additional clothing and bedding for the cool evenings and nights as October rolls around.
As the seasons change, the weather patterns do so as well. Therefore, the Utah Department of Health cautions all campers to be prepared for severe weather during the fall. The department recommends taking gear that will ensure safety and warmth during the worst possible conditions.
Local residents should not assume that, because crowds have thinned out during the winter months, reservations are not necessary. Utah state parks staff recommends making reservations especially at state and national parks for all weekend camping.
With the arrival of colder weather, most insects have slowed down or died by October. And with continuing cases of West Nile virus reported in the summer, that fact makes fall camping much safer than its summer counterpart.
Cooking can be great during the fall months. According to campingearth.com, "Hearty Dutch oven beef stew, thick chunky chili and luscious warm fruit cobblers taste best when cooked and eaten outside when there's a little bit of a chill in the air."
Campingearth.com focused its list of fall advantages on food and produce, reporting that the bountiful fruit and vegetables available during the summer months are rivaled by fall fare which includes, "brilliant orange pumpkins, plump fall raspberries, crisp juicy apples, hearty potatoes, crunchy carrots and multiple varieties of squash along with the last of the ripe tomatoes."
In Utah as in many places in the west one of the main attractions of fall camping are the spectacular autumn colors.
According to the health department, "Utah parks put on a dazzling show of rich yellows, oranges and reds set against a backdrop of bright blue skies. And driving down a tree lined road that is a canopy of color or hiking a trail while leaves flutter down off trees can only happen during the fall."
The health department rendered the following information for some of Utah's more popular state parks:
Zion National Park, temperatures are a little more tolerable at Zion this time of year and crowds are typically smaller than in the summer months.
The average high temperature makes a huge drop from 91 degrees in September to 78 in October.
Fall colors usually start in September and peak in October.
Wasatch Mountain State Park, park staff encourages visitors to take in the colors while playing golf on one of the parks four courses.
The park includes 139 camping/picnicking areas. The park also offers ranger talks and special events for children during the fall months.
Boulder Mountain, the 8,200 foot elevation of Singletree camp can make for cool nights during the fall, according to park information.
However, Capitol Reef National Park and the distant Henry Mountains make Boulder Mountain a great fall destination. Other campgrounds in the park include Oak Creek, Pleasant Creek and Lower Bowns.
Monte Cristo, located 22 miles southwest of Woodruff on Utah State Highway 39, this 47 unit campground ranks among the best fall destinations along the Wasatch Mountains, according to park employees. The camp is located away from the highway and is ideal for a quiet camping destination. The staff also reports that the fall colors at Monte Cristo are remarkable.