Cabin Fever Antidote: Adventure
Winter is a great time for hibernating and and being lazy. Everyone loves sipping hot chocolate next to a fireplace. But winter is also a great time for exploring the outdoors. Hiking is one of our favorite winter activities because the winter sun feels so pleasantly warm against the skin and the crisp chill of the air is a perfect compliment to the heat radiating off the body.
In the winter, the game changes. What you may have experienced on a trail in the summer is completely flipped around if snow and ice are added. That's why we've come up with our list of the 3 most important tips for camping and hiking in the winter:
Top 3 tips for Winter Hiking and Camping
1.) Check the weather because it changes fast and will make a big difference in what you pack. It will determine how many layers you need, whether you need waterproofing, and how much waterproofing you will need.
2.) Check for road closures in and around the park you're visiting. Each national park website has a section (plan your visit > current conditions) that lists out if any roads or attractions are closed. Always have chains on you, especially if you don't have AWD.
3.) Our last and most important tip for hiking in the winter is bring well gripping trail shoes or hiking boots, lots of water, and dress in layers. If you're going to be in the backcountry, don't forget extra safety equipment like GPS beacons.
P.S.: Our favorite winter hiking trails of all time are at Donner Lake in Truckee, CA: https://goo.gl/tAEuCM
BONUS 3 tips for hiking and camping in the winter at Zion National Park
1.) The best winter hike in Zion will be dependent on conditions. The best trails to hike will be the trails that get plenty of winter sun. Emerald Pools is an awesome winter hike in Zion. Stop by the visitor center and ask about current conditions. Bring snow and ice traction devices for your boots, like crampons.
2.) If you cross country ski or snowshoe, bring your gear! There's trails around Zion. If you haven't done either, we highly recommend both. Snowshoeing is easy and really fun. There's also good snowmobile trails right outside park boundaries.
3.) There's less people during the winter in Zion so the shuttle is no longer required to get to the trailheads. You can drive your car straight into Zion Canyon. The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway drive is a very scenic drive too.
So that's it! 6 tips for a successful hiking and camping trip in the snow.