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MOAB — Moab was recently named as a “destination on the rise” winner, by TripAdvisor.
Of 45 destinations worldwide, Moab made the cut and even holds its own place in the top 10 destinations on the rise in the United States. Other destinations included Gettysburg, Pa., Brooklyn, NY, Jackson, Wyo. and Santa Fe, NM.
While Moab is famous for its Easter-time Jeep Safari and picturesque summertime hikes, Moab in the winter is a more relaxed, albeit colder, experience than during the warmer seasons. If you’re willing to put up with a little chill in the air, any of the following activities can entertain you this winter.
These rustic cabins are a mini home-away-from-home and perfect for the winter. Designed for cold weather, they protect campers from the elements and and make winter camping more attainable for those unwilling to sleep in the snow.
But the real plus to staying in one of these huts? The beautiful scenery and serenity of your surroundings. Often located in the backcountry, these shelters provide a stunning view of nature from your doorway.
More information online
In areas like Arches National Park and Canyonlands, heavy snowfall is unusual and snow doesn’t stick around for long. Though it gets cold (think high temperatures at 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and lows averaging 0 to 20 degrees), when dressed appropriately and planning ahead, one can stay warm hiking through the parks. The cold keeps many people away, giving those who brave it a chance to see the land at their own pace, uninhibited by summer tourists.
Be sure to check local weather conditions before heading out, as even a little bit of snowfall or ice can make roads and trails impassable, according to the National Forest Service. Find more weather information online or call (801) 524-5133.
Find hiking trails online or talk to a park ranger.
Embrace the snow, get your skis and head out to La Sal Mountain for cross-country and backcountry skiing.
Ski trails wind all over the mountain’s face, with trails that accommodate beginners and challenge skiing veterans.
Always use caution when backcountry skiing. Call 435-259-SNOW for taped recordings about avalanche conditions or check online for updates. Pack the appropriate gear and practice proper safety techniques while you’re out. The Utah Avalanche Center has education material available online for beginners or anybody in need of a refresher course.
If you’re looking for a less skill-intensive activity, head up La Sal for some serious sledding. Find a clearing, put some cocoa in a Thermos and spend a day with the family speeding down the snow.
Don’t forget the extra mittens or hats, as those seem to be the first things to get lost — and the things that quickly turn a happy, warm kid into a cold and miserable one.
Snowmobiles can quickly take you further into the country than hiking or skiing. Whether that’s to your yurt or cabin, a viewpoint or picnic spot, climb the mountain quickly.
As with all snow activities, check the avalanche advisory for conditions and dangers.
Any other suggestions for a winter weekend in Moab? Let us know in the comments.