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Thread: Winter Backpacking Southern Utah

  1. #1

    Winter Backpacking Southern Utah

    Just wanted to check with anyone if that had any good ideas for winter backpacking in Southern Utah? Craving a few nights out by a camp fire and I know water will be scarce, but anyone know any places where the would be access to water? Let me know.

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  3. #2
    Moab, Robbers Roost, Labyrinth Canyon, Eastern Reef San Rafael Swell, Lake Powell and around St. George are all good bets in winter. There are more that the above, these are just some ones that popped up in my head. Starred routes = no campfires though.

    Moab backpacks usually good in winter:

    Pritchett/Hunters Canyon Loop
    Upheaval Dome/Taylor Canyon Loop*
    Cottonwood/Thompson Canyon (if roads are dry)
    Lower Red Lake Canyon* in the Needles is usually good too.

    Robbers Roost backpacks usually good in winter:

    Lower Larry Canyon
    Robbers Roost Canyon via White Roost Trail
    No Mans Canyon
    Happy Canyon (one wade-bring neoprene socks)
    Hatch and Fiddler Cove Canyons

    Book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hiking-Explori...3140998&sr=1-1

    The book below may be of use to put some of the routes together (such as the Red Benches route into Fiddler Cove):

    http://www.amazon.com/Canyoneering-T...3910962&sr=1-1

    SP pages:

    http://www.summitpost.org/hatch-canyon/457422

    http://www.summitpost.org/fiddler-cove-canyon/457448

    http://www.summitpost.org/happy-canyon-narrows/705698 (it's much better to come in from Poison Springs)

    Labyrinth Canyon backpacks usually good in winter:
    Lower Horseshoe Canyon/Twomile Canyon

    http://www.amazon.com/Canyoneering-R...3140900&sr=1-1 (hard to get-look around)

    Eastern San Rafael Reef backpacks usually good in winter:

    Iron Wash/Ernie Canyon
    Cottonwood Wash
    Spring and Nates Canyon
    Chimney Canyon (one short wade, bring neoprene socks)

    Books:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hiking-Explori...3140867&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Canyoneering-R...3140900&sr=1-1 (hard to get-look around)

    Lake Powell backpacks that are usually good in winter:

    Moki Canyon
    Ticaboo Creek/Fourmile
    Swett Creek
    Castle Creek

    Books:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hiking-Explori...3140998&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Non-Technical-...3141354&sr=1-1

    Castle Creek and Moki Canyon are not in any books, at least not for overland routes.

    St George Area backpacks usually good in winter:

    Coalpits/Huber Wash*
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  4. #3
    Many of the wilderness areas near st george also work (cottonwood canyon, red mountain)

  5. #4
    Outdoorsman gnwatts's Avatar
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    Winter on Cedar Mesa is my favorite time to be there. You need to pick the right weather pattern, my guide is if it is sunny and in the 40's in Blanding then it will be a little warmer in the lower canyons of Grand Gulch, Johns Canyon, Slickhorn, Mule etc. The air seems warmer, maybe because of heat from the canyon walls, I don't know. Pick an open sunny area (Government Trail in Grand Gulch?), easy access, plenty of water but I would just melt snow.
    Have fun.
    Greg

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gnwatts View Post
    Winter on Cedar Mesa is my favorite time to be there. You need to pick the right weather pattern, my guide is if it is sunny and in the 40's in Blanding then it will be a little warmer in the lower canyons of Grand Gulch, Johns Canyon, Slickhorn, Mule etc. The air seems warmer, maybe because of heat from the canyon walls, I don't know. Pick an open sunny area (Government Trail in Grand Gulch?), easy access, plenty of water but I would just melt snow.
    Have fun.
    Greg
    I love this area in the winter also. One downside though is that I believe campfires are only allowed on the mesa top and not in the canyons.

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