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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Backpacker Magazine Does Moab in Winter

The dead of winter is a great time to explore Canyonlands, Arches and other attractions in the Moab area, according to this new article in Backpacker. Below are excerpts.

Sure, it's winter, but the days were sunny and in the mid-50s, snow and ice were minimal, and best of all, there were hardly any dirtbag climbers or flip-flopped tourists jostling with us for access to the region's slickrock, serpentine canyons, and sandstone.I was steeling myself for my first winter camping trip—but lucked out big-time. After some white-knuckle driving across I-70's high passes in a blizzard, we descended into a decidedly mild Moab night. My -20-degree bag and extra handwarmers were clearly overkill; I've endured colder nights in the Rockies in August. Even better: The jam-packed campsites so typical of Moab in the high season were nowhere to be found. Instead, we pitched a tent at a prime spot on BLM land along Kane Creek with zero hassle.

We saw only a handful of other intrepid souls on the 1.5-mile hike to uber-popular Delicate Arch, which means no fistfighting required to get a people-free shot of Utah's poster child.

Maybe we got unusually lucky: Typical nighttime temperatures in the Utah desert can dip to the teens. But wouldn't you trade a little shivering for solo access to a couple of life-list parks? If it gets too bad, you can always bail ... Desperate, off-season Moab motel rates hover near 40 bucks.

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