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Utah in early January
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Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Utah in early January on 12/15/2008 16:50:53 MST Print View

I'll be in Utah from the evening of Jan. 4th, leaving the afternoon of Jan. 9th. Would appreciate any suggestions for single/multi day trips, and/or to join up with other hiker(s), for shuttles or round-trips. So far, I'm thinking of the Needles Area and Escalante, but will consider any suggestions. I'll be prepared for temps down to -5, but wouldn't challenge a blizzard.

Edited by swimjay on 12/15/2008 16:51:25 MST.

Craig Burton

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Utah in early January on 12/16/2008 20:35:59 MST Print View

Both are very large areas and very impressive areas to enjoy -- can't say I've experienced a winter in either though.

Any area in particular you are interested in?

The Needles would be much more of a challenge, with short horizons and a greater chance of getting lost in winter conditions. Scenery-wise, I think Escalante would be much more enjoyable in winter than the Needles District; but probably much more liable to snowshoeing conditions.

If you're prepared for -5, I would think Zion would be an excellent winter destination; but it's a little far from the areas you are currently considering.

Craig Shelley
(craig_shelley) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Utah on 12/16/2008 21:07:14 MST Print View

Hello James,

I live in Grand Junction Colorado and frequently backpack in Utah. Either of the areas you mention are possible areas to go. I've done quite a bit in both during the last few years.

I might be able join you for the Needles area for part of the time. The drive isn't far from Grand Junction. I'll have to check on when my daughter is returning to college.

Craig Shelley
craig_shelley at yahoo dot com

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Trip postponed on 12/19/2008 09:18:23 MST Print View

Both Craigs, thanks very much for your comments and suggestions, but I've had to postpone this trip. May try to do it sometime in March.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Spring on 12/19/2008 18:08:18 MST Print View

How about postponing till April or May. Winter grey and rainy! LaSalle's get snow!

Tom Bender
(shovelman) - F

Locale: Out East, sort of
Needles on 12/21/2008 14:04:49 MST Print View

Bummer, Needles is one of my favorite hiking areas. Great day hikes though I havn't tried winter.

Craig Shelley
(craig_shelley) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Winter on the Colorado Plateau on 12/21/2008 15:27:16 MST Print View

We don't have grey skies during the winter. There is very little precipitation in the desert. In Grand Junction, we get about 8 inches per year. Needles is similar.

Winter is a great time to backpack in desert areas where water is normally scarce. It is easy to find and melt pothole ice or icycles.

Sandstone with a little snow or ice is very photogenic.

In some locations, permits are required and they are easy to get during the winter months, generally at trailheads without restrictions on the number issued and at a lower price.

The only negative is your pack cannot be superultralight, less than 5 pounds.