6 Places That Are Even Better to Explore When it's Raining
We get it: whether it’s the occasional shower or trekking through steady downpours, the rain stops many of us from getting out from under our porch, never mind spending hours on the trail.
But it’s time to put that mindset in the past! Even when the rain is falling, there are plenty of great reasons to hit the trail and enjoy the outdoors: waterfalls are rushing, forests are never greener, and trails are rarely packed with weekend warriors.
And if you head outside with a piece from Marmot’s EVODry line, all the better. The line is rated 20K for waterproofing and 20k for breathability, and its water-repellent treatment protects against rain and provides support for your adventure.
With EVODry’s advanced technology, you don’t have an excuse when it comes to getting outdoors. Here are a few of our favorite places for getting the most from nature, *especially *when it’s raining.
1. Portland, Oregon
Portland might only get 36 inches of rainper year—far fewer than most of the cities on this list—but the city is synonymous with the wet stuff.
There’s plenty to love in Portland proper (like the short but scenic Pittock Mansion hike), but nowhere in Oregon is rain a more integral part of the outdoor experience than Silver Falls State Park. Roughly 50 miles south of Portland, the 9,000-acre park receives nearly 80 inches of annual rainfall—but nevertheless attracts nearly a million hikers, cyclists, trail runners, and campers each year.
The crown jewel at Silver Falls State Park is the Trail of Ten Falls. Coming in at just less than nine miles, the route offers close-up—and occasionally behind-the-curtain—views of 10 impressive waterfalls. (At least five of them are 100 feet or taller!) Summer might be the trail’s busiest time, but winter rains give the falls up to 10 times more water than in July and August.
2. Seattle, Washington
With cloudy skies perpetually populating the five-day forecast, we’d suggest you swap hikes to expansive viewpoints for a closer look at the Seattle area’s urban environment along the Burke-Gilman Trail. The paved path covers 20 or so miles and connects parkland on the city’s western edge with the suburb of Kenmore at its eastern terminus.
What makes the multi-use path so remarkable is that it’s woven into the fabric of the Seattle region. The Burke-Gilman Trail follows an old railroad line, so cyclists, walkers, and runners are never far removed from the region’s busy urban core—even as they follow the Seattle’s waterways and pass through its dense forests. The path starts on the shores of Puget Sound and, from there, passes Gas Works Park on the shores of Lake Union, cuts through several of Seattle’s bustling neighborhoods, and follows the shores of Lake Washington. Nowhere else in Seattle can adventurers enjoy so much variety in such a compact space.
And with more than 20 access points along the way, it’s ideal for quick hikes and rides—especially if an afternoon shower transforms into a torrential downpour.
3. Vancouver, British Columbia
It would be irresponsible to compose this list without a nod to "Rain City," as Vancouver has been dubbed.
The largest city in British Columbia receives nearly 60 inches of rain each year, so it’s no surprise Vancouver is awash in green. And when the rain starts falling, there are worse ways to pass the time than with a hike in the world-famous Stanley Park.
Even in the midst of another rain shower, the 1,000-acre park hosts numerous trails that offer incredible views of both Vancouver’s urban setting and the city’s natural beauty. The Avision Trail, in particular, takes you to the underside of the iconic Lions Gate Bridge, while the Lovers Walk is named for two trees that appear to embrace each other.
4. Cherrapunji, India
The town of Cherrapunji, located in the Indian state of Meghalaya, is world-famous for two things.
Predictably, the first is rain. The BBC dubbed Cherrapunji the second-wettest place on Earth, thanks in part to its extreme altitude (nearly one mile above sea level) and mountainous terrain. Cherrapunji’s rainy season lasts nearly eight months (from March to October), which means no shortage of rushing waterfalls, lush forests, and limestone caves—all perfect for the avid hiker or outdoor aficionado.
The rain also makes Cherrapunji’s other claim to fame possible: living bridges.
Also called living root bridges, the iconic structures are made from living tree roots and are constructed to span streams, creeks, and rivers. In most cases, locals guide the roots over the course of years to create walkable bridges over waterways—all without damaging the trees from which they grow. These bridges have become popular tourist attractions and offer an innovative way to explore the wet forest landscapes.
5. Maui, Hawaii
You probably associate Maui with clear blue skies and Instagram-worthy sunsets, but would you believe its annual rainfall is just as big a part of the island’s weather?
According to the Rainfall Atlas of Hawai’i, the area near Big Bog at the edge of Haleakalā National Park receives nearly 34 feet of rain every year*. *And according to worldatlas, two of the 10 wettest places on Earth can be found on Maui.
It might be tempting to cozy up in your room with a tropical drink and wait out Maui’s frequent rainstorms, but you’d miss out on a lot of natural beauty by doing so.
Crowds clamor for sunrises from the summit of Mount Haleakalā, but don’t miss out on hiking the park’s trails when the weather doesn’t cooperate. The park's summit area offers more than 30 miles of hiking trails, most of which are suited for experienced hikers and avid backpackers. If you’re looking for something more relaxed, explore the Kīpahulu Area, a tropical forest with three miles of hiking trails.
6. London, England
London has a perplexing reputation for rain. On one hand, rain is one of the city’s defining characteristics. On the other hand, it only sees about 24 inches of rain each year.
That said, London’s rain tends to fall in a kind of mist-like drizzle, which leads to days where it feels as if it’s raining all day long. You might be tempted to stay inside, but you’d be missing out on all kinds of outdoor adventures that blend the city’s natural beauty with its expansive urban setting.
For instance, there is no better way to see the city than from a kayak on the River Thames. The pleasant trip offers up-close views of many of London’s attractions, including the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye. If you’re not afraid to get wet, try whitewater rafting or kayaking, inner tubing, or hydrospeeding (which crosses a bodyboard and a personal float) at Lee Valley White Water Centre. The water park offers two public courses: one measures roughly 984 feet, and the other runs about 525 feet.
Whether it’s winter rain or spring showers, there are still plenty of places to explore when it’s wet. There’s #NoBadWeather when you have the right gear.
Originally written by RootsRated for Marmot.