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Old 12-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Winter Backpacking Ideas

Hey. I have some time to kill in january. Im looking to head south to lower elevations in between storms to do some backpacking/day hiking. I want to escape the cold so I am thinking southern arizona, california or NM.

I'd like to find some canyons to explore(the slottier, the better). The Sonora desert looks cool but I cant find much info on routes and such.

any suggestions?
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey. I have some time to kill in january. Im looking to head south to lower elevations in between storms to do some backpacking/day hiking. I want to escape the cold so I am thinking southern arizona, california or NM.

I'd like to find some canyons to explore(the slottier, the better). The Sonora desert looks cool but I cant find much info on routes and such.

any suggestions?
if you make it to so cal we have some great mountains and the snow level rarely drops below 5k feet and is usually around 7k feet. I don't do much winter hiking because I snowboard but I hike in the spring and fall. I live in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains and there's tons of great stuff to hike.


this site has info on trails and conditions.

Hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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snowolf has some AZ beta for you i'm sure. you might pm him...


just make sure you remember a swiss army knife for when you need to saw your own arm off
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks Snowolf. Ive spent a good amount of time in the BC of southern Utah/ northern Arizona and love it. Most recently in buckskin last month.The problem is, as you already pointed out, is the fact that it gets so damn cold in those areas during the winter at night. (its not so much the cold that I dont like, its the 12 hours of idol darkness that comes with it) I dont really do the hotel thing when i travel so Im trying to avoid that.

The probem Im running into is the areas that dont get get crazy cold during the winter, dont have much to make a backpacking trip worth the effort (for my tastes at least).

That being said, the Superstitions look awesome based on your pictures. They will definately be considered.

Im also thinking that Joshua Tree NP might suit my needs as well. Anyone been there?

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Old 12-22-2012, 09:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i have been to JT. its pretty awesome - its like being on the moon or something with all the crazy dr. seuss trees all over the place.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I drove through the JTNP once. It really is like being on a different planet. Those "trees" are so weird, and yet so cool.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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+3 on joshua tree. It's amazing there but you said you wanted to escape the cold?


It's freeeeezing there in the winter!!!! To me anything below 50 is cold. .. there are places you can hike up to 5k feet and never have the temps go below 50. However, none of them will be as aesthetically pleasing as JT. If you're ok with hiking in the 30s and 40s then you will love joshua tree. If you rock climb (I don't but my co-workers do) there's the tram way which is pretty close to JT.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I figured I ought to show you guys some pics from a recent trip. I went on a solo trip this week to the Zion NP/ St George area in SW Utah. Im gonna save trips to JTNP and the Superstitions for when I can drag a someone else with the help with the gas. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

MLK day was free admission into the park so I did some hiking in the fee area.

Looking down Zion canyon




Angels Landing


The next day I did a 18 mile loop through a wilderness area of the park. The terrain varied alot.








Lunch break



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Old 01-27-2013, 06:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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On my way home I decided to check out the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve/ Dixie National Forest area north of St George. I went on a whim but was glad I did. It was a very colorful place to say the least.

Sunrise


I love the sunrise surpise you get when driving into a new place at night.
Those couloirs behind my truck ares supposedly skiiable. I might have to come back in the spring when things fill in..


I spent the day hiking through a few canyons




[








I think I stopped about 20 times driving out via the forest service road to take pics of things that caught my eye. It was a pretty unique area. I will have to dig deeper in the future.

Although I do any backpacking like I was looking to do, It was great to get out of the cold depressing inversion and into the warm sun for a few days.

PS..about 4 inches and counting of snow fell on the roof just outside the window from me while I was putting this together..

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