From Oktoberfest to Nevada Day, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate autumn's arrival in Cerca country.
Wednesday, Zion National Park, Utah: Wednesday Naturalist Walk. This workshop will be led by zoologist and ecologist Allen Brown and will include low- to moderate-level walking while learning about the park's fauna, geology and botany. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. 800-635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
FRIDAY-OCT. 7, LONE PINE, CALIF: Lone Pine Film Festival. The festival, in its 23rd year, features film screenings, celebrity panels, parade, arts and crafts fair, and tours to various movie sets. 760-876-9103. www.lonepinefilmfestival.org.
FRIDAY-OCT. 7, YERMO, CALIF.: Calico Days. This three-day event pays tribute to the town's origins in 1881. American Indian village and gunfight exhibitions throughout the weekend. Wild West parade. 760-254-2122. www.calicotown.com.
SATURDAY, ST. GEORGE, UTAH: The St. George Marathon. This marathon is one of the largest in the United States. The race begins in Pine Valley and descends nearly 2,600 feet into St. George. 435-627-4500. www.stgeorgemarathon.com.
SATURDAY-OCT. 7, BEATTY: Tough Mudder. This 10-mile obstacle course race tests participants' all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie with more than 25 military obstacles. Spicer Ranch. www.toughmudder.com.
SATURDAY-OCT. 7, RENO: Annual Reno Celtic Celebration. This event features bagpipe bands, Irish and Highland dancing, Celtic crafters and athletic competitions. Bartley Ranch Regional Park. www.renoceltic.org.
SATURDAY-OCT. 7, RENO: Great Italian Festival. Celebrate Italian heritage with grape-stomping, spaghetti-eating contests, Italian food and gelato. Also, arts and crafts, bocce ball tournament, farmers market and live entertainment. Eldorado Hotel. 775-786-5700. www.visitrenotahoe.com.
SATURDAY-OCT. 7, VIRGINIA CITY: World Championship Outhouse Races. This race has to be seen to be believed as outhouse team members push, pull or drag their outhouses across the finish line. 775-847-4386. www.virginiacity-nv.org.
SATURDAY-OCT. 8, DEATH VALLEY, CALIF: Furnace Creek 508. This is one of the world's premiere ultramarathon bicycle races. The nonstop 508-mile race with more than 35,000 feet of elevation gain runs from Santa Clarita to Twentynine Palms via California's Death Valley and Mojave Desert. www.the508.com.
SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS THROUGH OCT. 27, BIG BEAR LAKE, CALIF.: 42nd annual Oktoberfest. Sing Bavarian songs, dance, drink beer and feast on plenty of authentic German food. Convention Center of Big Bear Lake. 909-585-3000. www.bigbearevents.com.
OCT. 12 AND 19, ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH: Rim to Floor or Rim and Back Hike. Learn about the park's geology, botany and biology as you hike. This is a strenuous seven- to eight-mile hike, and participants must be fit. Reservations Needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. 800-635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
OCT. 13, CEDAR CITY, UTAH: 12th annual Pumpkin Festival. Pumpkin carving and painting, leaf corral and other fall activities. Cedar City Main Street Park. 435-586-4484. www.scenicsouthernutah.com.
OCT. 13, FALLON: Dune Riders International Sand Mountain Open. Slalom, Big Air and Drags. Exhibitions. Open to all participants. 541-997-6006. www.sandboard.com.
OCT. 20-27, SEDONA, ARIZ.: Sedona Plein Air Festival. Enjoy the work of some of the finest plein air painters from around the country as they create works of art in the outdoors throughout Sedona. 928-282-3809. www.sedonapleinairfestival.com.
OCT. 26-28, BEATTY: Beatty Days. Celebrate the history of Beatty with three days of events, including a chili cook-off, Dutch oven cook-off, Old West shootouts, parade, bed races, antique car show and a 5k run and 2k walk. Also, music and entertainment. 775-553-2424. www.beattynevada.org.
OCT. 26-28, CEDAR CITY, UTAH: Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival. The festival features a novice-to-professional Dutch oven cook-off, stock dog competition and a parade including hundreds of sheep on Historic Main Street. Cross Hollow Events Center. 435-586-8132. www.scenicsouthernutah.com.
OCT. 27, CARSON CITY: Nevada Day Parade. The largest parade in Nevada travels down Carson Street. Longest beard contest takes place on the Capitol steps and a rock drilling competition will take place at the Nugget's parking area. (775) 882-2600. www.visitcarsoncity.com.
OCT. 27-28, FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ.: Annual Celebraciones de la Gente. A lively celebration of the Day of the Dead, an ancient Meso-American holiday. Musical and theatrical performances, storytelling and artists from throughout Arizona. Museum of Northern Arizona. 928-774-5213. www.musnaz.org.
OCT. 27-29, ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH: Fall Foliage Photography. This workshop is catered to the serious photographer who wants to further his or her techniques. Indoor lectures and field work. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. 800-635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
OCT. 29-30, ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH: Archaeology Service Project. Work outdoors while taking part in fieldwork at archaeologically significant areas of Zion. Learn about the prehistoric and historic settlements of Zion from the Basket Makers to the Mormon Pioneers. Moderate-to-strenuous hiking required. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. 435-772-3264. www.zionpark.org.