A Winter Trip Through the Heart of Utah’s Desert
Experience a world unlike any you’ve ever imagined in the high desert mountains and plummeting canyons of south-central Utah. Your winter journey will include into two national parks, three state parks and all the scenic winding roads your heart could desire.
When you journey to south-central Utah and wander grand mesas, twisting slot canyons and oversized red rock "goblins," your first thought will probably be, "How does this even exist?" Short answer: geology, of course. But the long answer? Well, you'll just have to get to know the area up close to begin to grasp it.
This swath of high desert is awash in history, from its original Native American inhabitants to nineteenth-century settlers and cowboys...and now, you, stepping foot into the wide open. This 4-day itinerary takes you into slot canyons just as wide as your shoulders, toadstool-shaped rock gardens, soaring sandstone arches and a hiking trail worthy of the name "Fairyland."
While these lands are remote, Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon national parks draw many visitors during the warmer months. Which is why the wisest travelers wait till winter sets in. The desert falls quiet. Just you, your breath, the crunch of snow and a near-mystical landscape.
This is, of course, a desert, but keep in mind that it's high elevation, and certainly not warm in the winter. Temperatures can dip into the 30s, 20s, or lower and roads can get icy. So bundle for cool-weather hiking and keep in mind that a hotel or Airbnb will probably be much preferable to camping. (Read: How To Visit Southern Utah in Winter)
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