If you live in Southern California or other places where the population is pretty dense, it can sometimes be hard to go out and enjoy the “cool” places because they are crowded. Especially since the worldwide pandemic, these outdoor places are getting even more attention because there really isn’t much else to do!
Some people don’t mind the crowds and that is awesome! For me, I like to go out into nature to get away from people and clear my head. And since I became a mom, my social anxiety has sort of increased, so less people is so much easier to handle.
With all of this in mind, I wanted to share some tips and tricks that I use to avoid the crowds!
1: Wake up early and GO! There are still a good amount of people who wake up early, but of course it’s significantly less than if you were to wait until 9 AM to get on the trail. It might be intimidating to do this when you’ve got young ones, but I always make sure things are packed and ready to go before I sleep the night before (sometimes even just sleeping in my hiking clothes). My son is such a happy morning person so it isn’t super difficult for me, but I usually just keep him in his PJs when we go and change his clothes once we get to the destination just to make sure we can get there as early as possible. We also do breakfast that we can eat in the car like yogurt pouches, cheese sticks, breakfast sandwiches, etc.
2: Go in the off season. So many people are deterred from hiking in the winter months or they are intimidated. There are obviously good reasons for this, it can be significantly more dangerous hiking in the snow, but as long as you’re properly prepared it’s all good! Winter is my favorite time to hike. Less bugs and scary animals. 😉
3: Do more difficult hikes. Easy hikes are obviously going to be filled with more people because they are the most accessible. Harder hikes will have less people. If you’re not ready for hard hikes, work up to them. I think the hardest hike I have done with my son was Mount Baden-Powell which was 9 miles roundtrip and about 3,000 feet of elevation gain.
4: Travel. Easier said than done, of course! But don’t be afraid to drive a few hours to get to a place that has less people. The adventure is worth it in itself.