Bryce – Solo Winter Adventures in Utah: Day 1

Bryce – Solo Winter Adventures in Utah: Day 1

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The ‘Silent City’ of hoodoos at Bryce from Inspiration Point at sunrise (Janaury 27, 2020; 18℉)

Overview Trip Report: Bryce (Day 1)

  • Date: January 27, 2020
  • Activity: Winter Hiking; 3 separate day hikes
  • Weather: 18ºF to 34ºF (maximum wind speed: 35 – 45 mph)
  • Trail Name(s):
    1. The Rim Trail: Inspiration Point to Sunset Point (0.6 miles one way). I hiked it as an out-and-back (1.2 miles) just after dawn. Trail conditions: 8 – 12 inches light powder on top of packed powder; ~3 foot drifts in the margins. Traction: snowshoes recommended.
    2. Peek-a-boo Loop Trail from Bryce Point (5.5 miles total). I hiked from, and returned to, Bryce Point. Trail conditions: drifting snow, light powder, 4 – 12 inches of packed powder and occasion ice with Intermittent ice and mud at the lower elevations. Traction: microspikes and trekking poles.
    3. The Rim Trail: Sunrise Point to Sunset Point (0.5 miles one way). I hiked it as an out-and-back (1.0 miles) just before dusk. Trail conditions: black ice on pavement sections, unpaved sections were a mix of snow and ice (1 – 4 inches of powdery snow obscuring underlying ice). Traction: microspikes and trekking poles.
  • Parking/Access: Before sunrise, roads in National Park hadn’t been plowed yet (4 to 6 inches of powder had fallen overnight). They plowed just after sunrise. Rainbow Gate remained closed throughout the day. I was the second car to enter the park for the day, and parking remained easy throughout my time at Bryce.
  • Background about Bryce: For information about the history, geology, and terms used when discussing Bryce, see my previous post: What is Bryce Canyon? Hoodoo?

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Keeping it Raw? Actually Backpackers You Might Still Want to Treat Your Stream Water

Crossing Streams in the Andes

When I come across a bunch of raw water in the backcountry, what do I do? Sometimes I swim in it, sometimes I desperately try to avoid it in the hopes of staying dry, and sometimes I drink it. When I drink it, do I keep it raw? Very rarely. During my Appalachian Trail (AT) and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thru-hikes, the most popular approaches when it came to drinking raw water were to:

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Doggone Cold! Winter Gear List for Dogs

Winter on Mary's Rock

Here’s a list of the winter hiking and backpacking gear that M’s Seeing Eye Dog Edge used on our winter Appalachian Trail adventure in Virginia for New Year’s. This list includes the gear he used for climbing up to Mary’s Rock with wind-chills of -15℉, as well as the gear he used for his first winter overnight (with a record-breaking low of -2℉).

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6 Shiny Things for Winter Adventurers

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For me one of the shiniest (best) things is a beautiful winter’s day in the mountains with sunshine, bluebird skies, sparkling fresh snow, and glittering cascades of ice (Mt. Monroe, NH 2017).

During winter when the darkness comes too soon and lingers for far too long, all the shiny, sparkly, and glittery things seem to have extra appeal. The six things that made my list for this year’s winter gift guide ($7 to $70) and gear review all make dark winter days and long winter nights a little bit brighter, shinier, and more sparkly. So, without further ado, here are a few of my shiniest things (additional holiday song spoofs included in photo captions):

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5 Ways to Keep Mosquitoes and Ticks from Bugging You! (Gear Guide+)

Black flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects can turn the most peaceful outdoor paradise into a stressful tormenting nightmare. In this post I’ll discuss the bug repellent strategies and gear that have worked for me as well as those that are recommended by the CDC, and that are registered with the EPA (after being shown to be both safe and effective for human use in repelling ticks and mosquitoes).

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