Why Spring is the Moment to Embrace Desert Season

Mud season, shoulder season, desert season—whatever you call it, spring (and sometimes fall) in the mountains is often a great time to get away. The snow hasn’t melted yet, the trails are muddy, the snow may still be falling well into June, and the dry, warm desert is calling.

I’ve been heading to Red Rock Country come spring and fall since I moved to Crested Butte, Colorado back in 2008. The Great Sand Dunes, Moab, Capitol Reef, Fruita, Naturita, Taos, Scottsdale, St. George—they’re all arguably best experienced in spring or fall, when temperatures aren’t punishingly hot and climbing, mountain biking, and camping are prime.

In my second story for Travel + Leisure (March ’22 issue), I interview a couple local legends (writer Stephen Trimble and writer/climber Luke Mehall) about what makes spring in the desert so irresistible. No digital version, so squint below.

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