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Topic: Moab, Utah trip help!, Trip Ideas< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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LithuanianHiker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 11:28 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello, so a co-worker and I (both relatively experienced in backpacking but no expert by any means) are taking a week off the second week in August to drive to Moab. So far we have decided we would like to hike the Narrows at Zion national park. We have done some research and know that we must get a permit to do so. We are planning in hiking on one day, staying over night, and then hiking back as we were suggested by another hiker. The question come as we are planning out the details of the trip. I have backpacked throughout the east coast and she has in the Rocky Mountains, however neither of us have really backpacked in a desert setting. What type of equipment is an absolute must? We also are wondering what other hikes or trails we should do while in Moab, we are not ones that tend to follow the normal beaten path as tourist do. Any suggestions or recommendations are more then welcomed! We are extremely excited for our trip!
Thank you!
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SW Mtn backpacker Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dry desert hiking usually requires a pack with a good enough frame to support about 1 gallon of water (or maybe more) per day.  No way around it in places like Canyonlands NP (I carried some but also stashed some in my vehicle so I made a "figure 8" loop returning to the vehicle every other night).  Other arid regions have forested mountain"islands" and have year-round water, like the Gila; there I usually camp where there's year-round water guaranteed.  At camp, just treat the next day's water and carry it to the next camp.

The Narrows however has as much water as you want.  It's a little spooky in the places with no sandbars but that's the fun. I would recommend a large sturdy hiking stick instead of hiking poles.  When I went at the end of May 2007, I really couldn't make out the bottom rocks and was focusing on the current instead.  If you keep looking at rushing water, it's disorienting as well.  Also check if you can go in both directions as well as the "summer monsoon" in the desert Southwest which goes into the Colorado Rockies.

Regardless almost always drink as much water as you can stand leaving the vehicle (except in the Narrows where you will be surrounded by water).  Water in your stomach is worth more than water on your back.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 12:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Southern Utah in August?  Sounds a bit warm to me.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 12:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

just to let you know, the narrows in zion are on the other side of the state from moab.  Probably atleast 3 or 4 hours arpart, atleast.

I think the first thing you need to figure out is where exactly your going in southern utah.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 1:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you for the insight so far! We are planning to drive to Utah from CO. We are leaving from Friday after work and not coming back until the following Sunday. We know that we definitely want to do the Narrows and are more then willing to travel to visit other locations in Utah. From what I have gathered (which may not be completely accurate as I have never been there) the narrows only takes about two days to hike. What we are looking for is other suggestions if we could, of places to hike or visit. We are trying to plan 7 days of doing things, subtracting the driving time. Obviously there is a little give or take as we are just in the beginning stages of the plan. (We were not positive we could both take off a full week until recently). Again, thank you so much for all help and sorry for not being completely knowledgeable.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 5:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sveiki ir laimingi žygiai jums.

I'm heat averse like Jer. That is also the time of monsoon, so you may have a LOT more water than you want to. There's a reason so many from Utah are in Wyoming in August.

Wherever you go have a wonderful time.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 5:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I haven't backpacked in the Utah canyon country, but I have plenty of dayhiking experience during Juky and August there.

If you're not used to the desert heat, take it easy at first until you know what you can handle. Hike early in the day and late in the afternoon if you have to, and hole up somewhere during the midday sun. It might sound counter-intuitive, but dress in lightweight long sleeves and pants in light colors; covering your skin protects it from the sun and actually keeps you coolor.

If you hike in a dry area or someplace with little or no natutal water, you're going to need to take a lot of water with you, or else plan on retuning to your car regularly to fill up.

Places to go "off the beaten path" include Dark Canyon and Grand Gulch. The huge Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is pretty much a trailless wilderness, though there are lots of old jeep trails.

Tom
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 6:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Narrows is not a hot hike.  I have to ask, though.  Can you both swim?  There were 3 places we had to hold our packs out in front of us and swim across the deep sections, when I did the hike in May several years ago.

As for other hikes in the Moab area, I would suggest you definitely do the day hike, in Arches, out to Dark Angel.  It is a well worn path, and will be hot, but worth every minute.  If I recall correctly it is about 9 miles.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 9:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have to agree with ol- zeke on Arches, it's the ultimate dayhikers NP. There's enough dayhiking for 3 days to hit all of the good stuff.

But August ?? It will be hotter than Hades, as in 100+ and it's also the peak of the Monsoon season, flash floods happen in an instant out in the desert.

While I just recently fell in love the the UT/AZ desert, I wouldn't even think of going there from mid-May 'till Sept !!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 10:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Eh, southern Utah isn't Phoenix or Death Valley.  Unless there is some extreme heat wave condition going on, I find hiking there in summer--even August--to be quite doable and even comfortable.  Certainly far more so than here at home when it's 85 and a 70 degree dewpoint. :D  One time at Zion, I did a dayhike that went to Angels Landing then continued afterwards up the West Rim Trail all the way to West Rim Spring and then back down. The high that day was over 100. I started at 8:00 am local time, and had no problems.  After that, mere 90-degree days were nothing. :D

Of course, I do wear long sleeve shirts and pants, a wide-brimmed sun hat, and I bring a LOT of water with me.  Typical is a 3L Camelbak plus another 2 or 3L of refill water.  Most of it is usually gone at the end of a long dayhike.

Yup, in Arches, the whole Devil's Garden Loop (plus the spur to Dark Angel) is a great dayhike.  Lots of places to go off-trail and explore various sandstone fins and such.  

Tom
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2013, 1:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree, (and I've been there.)

Heat can't kill you without stupidity...
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2013, 11:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(highpeakdrifter @ Apr. 12 2013, 1:55 am)
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Heat can't kill you without stupidity...

Boy, that's a loaded statement if I ever heard one.  One might say the same thing about the cold.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2013, 12:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

With all due respect to Ice Age Hiker and High Peak Drifter Lithuanian Hiker I would seriously reconsider leaving Colorado for Southern Utah in August. The Subway is a mazing, but gawd there are dozens if not hundreds of just as deserving hikes in Colorado.

Ice Age Hiker may be ok with hiking in opressive heat but most of us certainly are not, whatever our clothing and gear. Throw in the age old killer of the monsoon and you are likely picking, however slim the choices, the ABSOLUTE WORST TIME OF YEAR for hiking Southern UT.

At a minimum I would have a plan B, C, D....If you want a truly amzing water hike that IMO is far superior to the Subway go to the Bechler in Yellowstone and DO IT RIGHT. Do not skip Boundary Creek and Dunanda Falls. Get right up to Ouzel Falls, etc. Be sure to get the site at 3 Rivers Junction and spend a day with Mr. Bubbles and the wonders of the Ferris Fork.

Like most of us I'm anticipating another pretty serious fire season. Keep posted on that before deciding on any of what should be numerous options.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 13 2013, 2:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Double Cabin said it well. There is no way I would want to hike southern Utah in August but I don't handle heat well.  Southern Utah is for expanding the hiking season so that you can hike early spring and late fall.  Go to the mountains in August.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 13 2013, 6:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(kkvolk @ Apr. 13 2013, 12:46 pm)
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Double Cabin said it well. There is no way I would want to hike southern Utah in August but I don't handle heat well.  Southern Utah is for expanding the hiking season so that you can hike early spring and late fall.  Go to the mountains in August.

Amen to that.  The Narrows is about the only one I'd think about for August, but even that involves the possibility a monsoonal storm could wipe that plan out altogether.  

Extreme heat may not kill you (although it certainly has more than a few), but it sure can make a hike miserable.  Save those fantastic life list locations for a time of year when you can enjoy them.


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