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Cirrus2000
10-19-2006, 10:07 AM
The discussion in Win's car camping tent/cot thread is making me think long and hard about my next trip to Utah... I was going to be back in May with the whole family (and I still will), but it looks like I'll maybe come back to southern Utah in either January or March first...

Having only been there in May and September, how wintery is the winter hiking/backpacking that people talk about? Can I hike, say, the South Canyon in January? In March? Longer days in March would probably be better, yes?

(Then I think I'll drive down in the fall, look into some canyoneering... This is getting obsessive!)

Off to check into airfares...

stefan
10-19-2006, 10:39 AM
one of my favorite places to hike and backpack in winter is cedar mesa. it can have snow there often, but it's usually not alot unless you're in the higher elevations like upper arch canyon/hammond/darkcanyon.

i have often found there to be no snow to a few inches of snow in fish/owl, bullet/grand gulch, road/lime etc. etc. but it hardly impedes progress.

though one time i enjoyed two days were 2 feet of snow (checked at nat. bridges) fell. my friend brynja and i spent each day in the mule canyons. the alcoves with the ruins were magnificent in this hurling snowstorm ... bright, vibrant orange, and completely dry with a completely white, swirling world outside ... if only i had had a camera then.

the needles is also a great place in the winter.

the list goes on and on ... obviously lower elevation is better. it depends on your tolerance to cold (which it can often be), short days (which you know in vancouver), and the possibility of some snow, or the freak snowstorm.

i am sure scott will have some great info for you

Scott P
10-19-2006, 11:01 AM
Having only been there in May and September, how wintery is the winter hiking/backpacking that people talk about?

I depends on where you are. Winter temperatures in Utah have varied from a low of -69 to a high of 93. As long as you can dress for any temperatures in between there, you could be fine in any part of Utah. :2thumbs:

Prime locations in Utah for winter include the following:

Lake Powell area
Robbers Roost (usually)
Eastern Reef-San Rafael Swell
Laberynth Canyon area
Lower San Juan River
Moab
Snow Canyon
Ticaboo

That should be a good start.


Can I hike, say, the South Canyon in January?

I'm not familiar with the Utah one. You wouldn't be speaking of the one in Arizona by chance? If so, January is a good time to go.

R
10-19-2006, 11:10 AM
I know it's not Utah, but I think the most meaningful, most mysterious, most spiritual place to be when it's cold is Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

http://richardbarron.net/desertcold/

Cirrus2000
10-19-2006, 02:00 PM
... it depends on your tolerance to cold (which it can often be), ...
Oh, cold I can do... Thanks for the info!



Can I hike, say, the South Canyon in January?
I'm not familiar with the Utah one. You wouldn't be speaking of the one in Arizona by chance? If so, January is a good time to go.
Yeah, that's the one! (Tanya was mentioning it in the the "cot vs. tent" thread, and I checked out some photos.)

I'd like to see the desert in winter - what's it look and feel like with a dusting of snow? Heading further south for some more moderate temperatures is good, too.

Thanks for the list, Scott - gives me ideas to investigate.



I think the most meaningful, most mysterious, most spiritual place to be when it's cold is Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

Wow - looks amazing! More to look into...

I'll have a hard time deciding between doing something with high snow potential, or doing something warmer. (ponder, ponder, ponder...)

tanya
10-19-2006, 02:32 PM
The discussion in Win's car camping tent/cot thread is making me think long and hard about my next trip to Utah... I was going to be back in May with the whole family (and I still will), but it looks like I'll maybe come back to southern Utah in either January or March first...

Having only been there in May and September, how wintery is the winter hiking/backpacking that people talk about? Can I hike, say, the South Canyon in January? In March? Longer days in March would probably be better, yes?

(Then I think I'll drive down in the fall, look into some canyoneering... This is getting obsessive!)

Off to check into airfares...


I like to hike South Canyon in the winter, but the dirt road to the trailhead needs to be dry so you dont get stuck. In the summer it would be crowded on the beaches due to boaters and it would be hot. It would be a grueling hike in the heat. (Seems the ones from the bottom of the Grand Canyon back up to the rim are) We did it in December and the weather was perfect all but the last day. The hike back was chilly as a storm was brewing. If we stopped we really noticed, but the cold felt good on the trek up to the rim.

I loved everything about this trip. The remote trailhead started it off right. I like driving in the boonies. Then we never saw another sole the entire hike. When camping for 2 days --- again no one. There was a cold beer or two floating down the river for us though. We had the Grand Canyon to ourselves! :kickit:

http://www.zionnational-park.com/south-canyon-grand-canyon.htm

stefan
10-29-2006, 09:52 PM
... it depends on your tolerance to cold (which it can often be), ...
Oh, cold I can do... Thanks for the info!



Can I hike, say, the South Canyon in January?
I'm not familiar with the Utah one. You wouldn't be speaking of the one in Arizona by chance? If so, January is a good time to go.
Yeah, that's the one! (Tanya was mentioning it in the the "cot vs. tent" thread, and I checked out some photos.)

I'd like to see the desert in winter - what's it look and feel like with a dusting of snow? Heading further south for some more moderate temperatures is good, too.

Thanks for the list, Scott - gives me ideas to investigate.



I think the most meaningful, most mysterious, most spiritual place to be when it's cold is Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

Wow - looks amazing! More to look into...

I'll have a hard time deciding between doing something with high snow potential, or doing something warmer. (ponder, ponder, ponder...)


well cirrus. basically you can't really go too wrong unless your stuck in too much snow or your vehicle can't make it, that is if you like cold. frequently it can be as cold as 20