Moonshine Wash slot canyon is tucked away in the middle of the San Rafael desert, and is now one of my favorite non-technical slot canyons in Utah. The best section of the Moonshine Wash slot canyon lasts for about 1.5 miles, and at every nook and cranny the lighting can look very different and vibrant. There are a few chock stones creating a fun obstacle for hikers, where you have to use a down climbing technique called stemming (also chimneying). Both techniques require you to push your weight up against the slot canyon walls to help maneuver down drops more than 6 ft.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Friday, April 21, 2017
Meadow Hot Springs in Central Utah is a great family-friendly spot to hang out and soak in warm water. It's conveniently located right of I-15 and there's no hiking involved, so it makes for a great, quick soak when you are on a road trip. Meadow Hot Springs is located on private property in the middle of a cow pasture, but they do allow public access. There are a total of three pools to soak in, all around 100F degrees. The most popular pool is one of the smallest and closest to the parking area, and it is also the warmest. Each of the pools have algae in them, so its wise to wear water shoes to keep from slipping on the rocks under water.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Notch Peak (9,658 ft) is in Utah's West Desert near the town of Delta, Utah. Notch Peak is part of the House Range mountains and Notch Peak Wilderness Study Area. The northwest face of Notch Peak is also well known for having the 2nd tallest cliff face in North America with 2,200 ft of vertical rise, making it a popular spot for BASE Jumpers and climbers. The tallest cliff face is of course, El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park. Overall, the summit of Notch Peak rises roughly 4,500 ft above the Tule Valley. Because of this, Notch Peak has been called the "desert equivalent" of El Capitan.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Reflection Canyon is a side canyon of Lake Powell that was first brought to the public's attention when National Geographic photographer, Michael Melford, took an amazing photo of this canyon and wrote the article, Glen Canyon Revealed. Since then, Reflection Canyon has slowly become popular over the years as a "must see" location for photographers, backpackers, and hikers looking to explore this secluded area.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Hole in the Rock Road runs from Escalante, Utah to the actual Hole-in-the-Rock on the Western shore of Lake Powell. It's a 62 mile dirt road that follows the general route of the original Hole in the Rock Expedition, when the Mormon trailblazers crossed the Colorado River and ended their journey in Bluff, Utah. The Hole in the Rock expedition established the trail in 1879, and has since become part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and within BLM Land.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Hiking at night offers a much different experience of your favorite trail compared to hiking in daylight. You start to hear sounds, see shadows, the trail might look different, and you may feel like someone, or something, is following you. Getting use to hiking at night takes some practice, and also requires a little preparedness. Whether you planned on hiking at night, or perhaps your 3 mile hike turned into a 10 mile hike, use these 10 Tips to Hike Safely at Night!
Monday, April 3, 2017
Friday, March 31, 2017
Lower Hacberry Canyon is located in Southern Utah off the famous Cottonwood Road Scenic Byway, in between Cannonville and Big Water, Utah. It's rarely visited since you need to drive down a dirt road to get to the trailhead. However, it's now one of my favorite large slot canyons to hike for a few reasons: 1) the water is never more than ankle deep and makes for a great water hike 2) dogs are allowed and also enjoying playing in the water 3) no matter what your level/skill of hiking is everyone can do this hike 4) you'll likely see no people and 5) you can choose your distance.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
The Nautilus is a delicate and beautiful rock formation made of wind and water eroded sandstone, at the edge of a small ravine near the Paria River, a mere 9 miles Northeast of The Wave. The Nautilus is an outcrop of a soft, thin-layered rock with a rippled surface texture, with the formation of a corkscrew-like gully. It's reminiscent of a conch shell, hence the term nautilus.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Valley of the Gods is a scenic backcountry area in Southeastern Utah, near Mexican Hat, UT. It's a 17 mile point-to-point drive along a well graded dirt road that even small, passenger cars can drive. It is a beautiful area with scenery similar to the nearby Monument Valley, without the fees or tourists. Valley of the Gods offers views of isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and spires, and wide open spaces. Because of it's isolation, people exploring and driving through Valley of the Gods need to be well prepared and self-sufficient and carry emergency supplies. Have a full tank of gas and plenty of water at the minimum.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Hovenweep National Monument is home to six prehistoric, Pueblo villages spread over a 20 miles range of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced boulder lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of the builders. The trail system at Hovenweep provides excellent views of all the archaeological sites.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017
We wear base layers when hiking in the cold, why not put a base layer on your camera? Matador has created a unique cover, or base layer, to protect your camera while you are still able to as active in the outdoors as you always have been. No need to shove your camera down your pack anymore - keep the Matador Base Layer on hand, so you can capture that awesome shot at the perfect time without any pack hassle.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Hiking the Hidden Valley Trail right outside of Moab makes you feel like you are in a totally different place - look anywhere in Moab and the dominant sight is the Moab rim. It's known as "Behind the Rocks" - an interesting mix of sandstone fins, large rock walls, and domes. Is Hidden Valley really a valley? Not quite. It's actually two hanging terraces that descends into Behind the Rocks and eventually widens into a 4-wheel drive road while a boot-beaten path detours along the base of a sandstone wall with petroglyphs.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Onion Creek is located off of HWY 128 near the gorgeous Castle Valley and Fisher Towers area - both excellent for hiking and climbing. Onion Creek actually extends for roughly 22 miles, but the best section, the Onion Creek Narrows, lasts for only 1 mile. Because of the short distance, it's a great hike (really more of a walk) for the whole family - dogs will appreciate the cool relief of the creek on a hot summer day.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Corona Arch is one of Moab's most popular trails and one of the most impressive arches in Southern Utah. From Moab, Corona Arch is closer than that of any arch in Arches National Park, and dogs are allowed (whereas in Arches NP dogs aren't allowed to hike any trails). Though this trail is extremely popular, it doesn't see the traffic like Delicate Arch does. I believe this is simply because when people visit Moab, they only think of hiking in Arches NP, not hiking outside of the park. Yet, that's where the best hikes are! Hiking to Corona Arch takes less than an hour for most hikers and offers beautiful views of Bootlegger Canyon.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
The Amasa Back Trail, like many in Utah, is an old road, more popular with mountain bikers, four-wheelers, and motorcyclists than hikers. Most people's attitude is, "Why hike when you can ride?" The easy answer is rather than being preoccupied with a machine, hiking allows you to connect with the earth directly, allows you to look up more often and take in the views, and (for me) more fulfilling than riding.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Whether you are a novice or experience hiker, I think we are all together when I say, "I hate cleaning my Camelbak bladder!" Yet, it's a necessary evil. Reservoir maintenance is essential to make sure you're getting hydrated properly without sucking in mold or bacteria. Reservoir cleaning should be given priority after every one to two uses. Cleaning your bladder doesn't have to be hard, use these 9 Ways to Clean & Dry Your Camelbak Bladder!
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
Friday, February 24, 2017
Today's Guest Post is brought to you by Aria Zoner of Whole Food Hiker!
Every day is a chance to snack and rebuild yourself. But are the snacks you’re choosing creating an optimal environment for health to dwell in or a habitat that’s ripe for disease? How can you tell the difference? I would suggest looking at the landscapes where your snacks come from. Are they coming from healthy places that you would want to go hang out at yourself, or are they coming from factories and production plants where safety equipment may be required to be protected from cancerous agents and radiation? I don’t know about you but the later doesn’t sound like the kind of place that I’d want to go hang out at and I certainly don’t want to eat food that comes from there either.
It’s important to realize that step by step, snack by snack, our bodies are slowly changing like the landscapes around us. And also like the landscape, we’re either building up our ecosystem or creating desertification.
As I hike, I’m always looking around to see how edible the landscape is. Sadly, most of the time there’s not usually very much out there. So with that being said, here’s what I like to put in my backpack to ensure that I don’t go hungry.
There’s no shortage of nuts in the world and by no means do you need to eat all of them. What I invite you to do instead is to explore their world, but in the end, just pick out the ones that are your favorite. Be mindful though of always choosing raw and organic when it comes to nuts. Why? If you’ve ever felt repelled, turned-off, or have grown “tired” of eating nuts - it’s likely a reaction to their oils having turned rancid during the roasting process. Like most nuts, almonds should be bright white inside and snappy, not pale yellow and chewy.
Tip: Switching to raw instead of roasted, many hikers have found that they’ve regained their love for nuts.
Now-a-days, most people are familiar with these 3 protein powerhouse seeds: hemp, pumpkin, and flax. But there’s also a ton of other medicinal and performance enhancing seeds that should be in the food bag too; such as cardamom, clove, and chia. Seeds are an excellent food source that can be used as the foundation for dehydrated crackers, soaked then blended into a patѐ, or dried then ground up as spices that can be added to things like homemade oat bars and energy nuggets.
Seeds are nutrient dense and loaded with potential, which is critical for me. They can also be sprouted and replanted, which truly makes them an investment that keeps giving and re-giving.
I’m a huge fan of making my own hummus and patѐ mixes. These “mediums for the spice” are an excellent way to get-in beans and also seeds. Once blended and placed into a recycled hummus or pesto container, all that is needed is a handful of hearty vegetables to dip it with.
Tip: Eating green vegetables is great, but eating ones of every color is even better!
Dehydrated fruits are essential to any hike, and compared to vegetables, are easy to find. But a lot can be said too for having a piece of fresh fruit. What I like to do is pack-in fruits that pack-out their weight in flavor; like strawberries, bananas, and yes…even mangoes! My style is to wait until I get to the top of the climb – or to the apex of the hike – before savoring it.
The way I look at fresh produce is, it’s like edible weights that I only have to carry for half of the hike!
According to the park curator at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, a cricket - which had recently entered into and was now living inside of the cave there – was not only the fastest evolving animal on the planet, but was subsisting mainly on roots! This got me thinking about how many of the foods I eat are root vegetables – like onions, garlic, turmeric, carrots, and ginger. I noticed that these foods also help develop eyesight and protect against diseases and stress. Adapting to your environment is important when going out hiking in the wilderness and having a variety of roots in your food bag can help. Besides carrots, yams, and radishes I also love snacking on beets.
Here are 4 ways to get beets on-trail:
· Powdered – added to water
· Fresh - grated or thinly sliced
· Steamed – for 8-10 minutes
· Dehydrated – until crispy
An indicator of a food’s health-giving power is in its ability to be enjoyed in all 4 of these ways.
What you may have noticed by now is that each of these snack foods is a part of a real plant. I would encourage you to also try eating foods that would make up the rest of the ecosystem – meaning berries, grasses, mushrooms, flowers, etc. By eating in this way, you’ll not only have an abundance of quality foods to choose from for your hike – ones that will also support your health and vitality beyond it - but you’ll rest easy knowing that your food choices have supported a healthy habitat on this planet as well.
Or in short, it’s not just the fact that “foods” with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colorings, and hydrogenated oils are unhealthy. It’s the fact that to produce them there are too many solvents, machines, agents, and chemicals required.
Chemicals! I’m sure Hayduke is turning in his grave right now!
The best part about snacking this way is that at the end of the hike, there’s no garbage bag to deal with.
Thanks for reading this & please snack responsibly. NOW GO GET ON A TRAIL!
Aria Zoner is the creator of The Hot Springs Trail - the world's longest therapeutic trail - and is dually certified as a Health Counselor & Nutrition Coach. Aria's passionate about food and its effects on both performance and the envrionment; for the past 11 years he has been using his knowledge of nutrition to successfully complete long-distance thru hikes including the Idaho Centenially Trail, the Arizona Trail, and the Hayduke Trail. For more insights on nutrition and a free Insider's Guide about his adventures, visit his blog at Whole Food Hiker.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
These trips of a lifetime will challenge you physically and engross you spiritually, leaving an unforgettable and enduring impression of the richest wild places on the planet. The southwest contains literally thousands of amazing hikes. Therefore, we decided to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you the absolute cream of the crop. We rounded up 7 of the grandest adventures in the southwest, treks we have experienced firsthand.
Monday, February 13, 2017
Friday, February 3, 2017
Rob's Trail in Park City, UT is a fun & easy trail that climbs a mere 730 ft over 2 miles to a beautiful overlook of The Canyons Ski Resort, Park City, and surrounding mountains. The trail works its way through evergreen forest, aspen trees, with great views along the way. This is a very popular trail, and therefor gets packed down during and right after a snowstorm. In summer it's a popular trail with mountain bikers connecting from the Mid-Mountain Trail so be careful of bikes flying through in warm months. This trail is dog friendly as well, but the best time to hike here with your furry friend is in Winter to avoid the bikers.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
12 Mile (Bishop Creek) Hot Springs is one of Nevada's hidden gems that is oh, so relaxing. Nevada has more hot springs than any other state in the U.S., with more than 300 occurring naturally; most are found in Northern Nevada. With only a 2 mile hike, the whole family can get in on this one. The trail, which follows an old dirt road, is flat and quite scenic. How did it get its name? That's easy - it's roughly 12 miles north of Wells, Nevada along Bishop Creek. Getting to these hot springs is accessible year-round, but the 102F water temperature feels amazing in Winter. Worried about crowds? Don't be - most people haven't even heard of this place which makes it even more unique! Grab your swimsuit and snowshoes, and let's get soaking!
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
Wasatch Mountain State Park is located in Midway, Utah and offers activities year-round such as hiking, biking, riding horses, riding ATVs, playing at the 18-hole Golf Course, as well as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing. You can also camp at the Pine Creek Campground in the summer months. Wasatch Mountain State Park (WMSP) is a 23,000 acre preserve, which was set aside by the state in 1961 and the park elevation is at 5,900 ft.
Friday, January 6, 2017
Want to know all of Utah's most popular trails you can hike with your dog off leash?
If you are like me and love hiking with your dog, then you NEED this checklist. This Ultimate Checklist will help you keep track of where you been and where you've still need to go. Already hiked a few of these? Make a new goal and check off one per week!
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Diamond Fork Hot Springs is one of Utah's must-see places! Offering four pools ranging in hot temperatures, it's a great place to soak away your worries, take in nature, and relax. Hiking to Diamond Fork requires a 2 mile hike in Summer, and in Winter it's 6 miles one way. These hot springs are extremely popular so don't count on getting any along time. However, the hike in and soak is well worth it - you might even make some new friends depending which pool you sit in! Hiking to Diamond Fork Hot Springs in Winter does require more effort and planning, but in my opinion it's much more enjoyable in Winter and you get to see the canyon covered in snow. Pack your swimsuit, a thermos of hot tea or cocoa, and get ready to soak!