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Posts from November 29th, 2015.

Southern Utah: Snow-Free Winter Wonderland for Hikers

The Opinionated Hikers On Patrol For You

Since mid-November, we’ve been hiking in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park, in south-central Utah.

We’ve been alone. Under sunny skies. On bare slickrock, free of snow or ice. And it’s been glorious.

                      (Click on a photo once enlarge. Click on it again to enlarge fully.)

The daytime temperatures have been comfortable: about 54° F  (12° C). The nights have, of course, been well below freezing, but we’ve been dayhiking, not backpacking, so frigid nights have not deterred us.

Minimal daylight (sunrise at about 7:21 am, sunset at about 5 pm) necessitates we start early and be vigilant about our turn-around time. But that’s the only drawback here, in the season when hiking is fraught with discouragement across most of North America.

Looking ahead, into the first week of December, the weather forecast remains optimistic: no precipitation, and daytime highs nipping above 40° F (4° C). So we’ll continue ranging into the backcountry.

Our intention isn’t to gloat. It’s to prod you to consider a winter visit to canyon-country. By February, the high-desert terrain at about 4800 ft (1463 m) will again likely offer the optimal hiking conditions we’re enjoying now.

To plan your trip, get our book: Hiking From Here to Wow, Utah Canyon Country. You’ll find it online at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hiking-Here-WOW-Canyon-Country/dp/089997452X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448821951&sr=8-1&keywords=hiking+from+here+to+wow+utah

Walk on!

Join us—in person, or in print:


Hiking and camping in the wilderness can be dangerous. Experience and preparation reduce risk but will never eliminate it.

Information published in a book or on a website—regardless how authoritative—is not a substitute for common sense or sound judgment. Your safety is your responsibility. The unique details of your specific situation and the decisions you make at that time will determine the outcome.

When hiking, threats to your wellbeing are unpredictable; you must always be aware. In the backcountry, risk is subjective; you must gauge it for yourself. Away from civilization, small mistakes can have severe consequences; you must vigilantly prevent injury and avoid becoming disoriented.

Never hike alone. Before setting out, check the weather forecast and current trail conditions; adjust your plans accordingly. Always carry a map and compass, a first-aid kit, extra clothing, a personal locator beacon, plus enough food and water to survive an emergency.

If you doubt your ability to negotiate rough terrain, respond to wild animals, or handle sudden, extreme weather changes, hike only in a group led by a competent, licensed guide.

The authors and the publisher disclaim liability for any loss or injury incurred by anyone using information published on this website or in the books presented on this website.