Salt Lake City has a lot to offer, and when picking a favorite thing about the city you’ll come up with a ton of different opinions; the community, the surprisingly robust foodie scene, proximity to premier National Parks etc. And while those are valiant efforts to pick the best thing about Salt Lake, they’re wrong. Just plain wrong. Nope, the best thing about our town, without a doubt, is the proximity to the mountains. Virtually wherever you are from Spanish Fork to Brigham City, within 20 minutes you could be alone in the mountains.
For most of us though, enjoying the mountains is a summertime activity. No doubt it’s much easier to pack up the kids and friends and head up the canyons for a quick day hike in the summer but you’d be missing out on half of what our Wasatch Mountains have to offer. Winter in the mountains isn’t just for snowboarding or skiing at one of our world class resorts. Most of the day hikes that we’ve come to love in the summer are still available to us when the snow flies. There is something amazing about taking a familiar hike in the snow and seeing a completely different side of the mountains. The muffled sounds, the crunch of your boots or snowshoes, and the glisten on the pure white snow. In my humble opinion, the best time to take a hike in the snow is at night. Despite the colder temps, once you get moving you’ll warm up quick and be the only one on the trail, many times a headlamp isn’t even necessary with the light reflecting from the moon. Who knows, you may even see a moose! When considering the trail, most times snowshoes or a ski touring setup isn’t even necessary since the path has already been made and easy to handle with just boots.
As always though, when traveling in the backcountry with snow pack it is best to rely on the many resources we have to travel safely in avalanche territory.
Check out Snowshoe Utah for an excellent resource on some of the more popular snowshoe and boot pack trails to enjoy. They give descriptions of trail length and difficulty, avalanche danger, and directions. Before heading out to a designated trail double check the avalanche danger with the Utah Avalanche Center for the most up to date avalanche danger.
So take advantage of one of the best and most unique opportunities we have in Salt Lake. And as always, travel safe and have fun!