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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hiking The Parks During Snow

Snow Canyon with snow - Dave Webb photo
Snow Canyon is one of my favorite winter hiking destinations and I enjoyed a trek there this afternoon. There was snow on top the sand - a somewhat rare site. I enjoyed seeing the white stuff drifted against red rock.

Snow Canyon is a popular Utah State Park in the St George area. During a typical winter, 2-3 storms may leave light snow in the canyon. Warm temperatures usually return quickly and so the snow seldom lasts more than a day or two.

But this is no typical winter. The area got blasted by heavy snow last weekend and we've seen chilly temperatures the past several days. Today it was close to 30 F when I hiked, and that felt warm. The forecast calls for a heat wave - afternoon temperatures should climb into the mid-40s as we move toward the weekend, and the snow will disappear.

Typically, winter temperatures here will rise into the high 40s or low 50s many days.

The snow enhances the dramatic scenery and creates a paradise for photographers. If you want to experience it, you should get down here during the next 2-3 days.

(More storms will come, of course, but they probably won't drop as much and the snow probably won't last as long.)

The snow has generated quite a buzz. Zion Park released the video below showing some of its winter scenery and giving tips for exploring in the snow. KSL.com has this interesting feature: 5 reasons to visit Bryce Canyon in the winter.

The annual Monument Valley Balloon Event will be December 13 – 15, 2013. It is always fun seeing colorful balloons behind the area's iconic rock towers. This year should be particularly good because there will probably still be snow in the area.

It isn't winter-specific, but KSL.com also has an interesting video compiled from spectacular photos: 30 photos that will absolutely make you happy you live in Utah

Here's the Zion video:

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