( Image: Canyonlands National Park (UT). By Rog Wilmers. Canon 20D. Score: 70.9)
Update January 3 2014
Wilderness backpacking conjures up lightweight, space efficient, backpacking gear. There are survival skills to hone for preparedness. Magazines like BackPacker help with trails and destinations. Here are some tips to Moab Utah backpacking places, which include trail backpacking of Canyonlands National Park, as well as, backpacking hiking requiring use of map and compass to navigate the desert wilderness.
Canyonlands National Park in the Needles District has a fine system of trail backpacking, designated campsites and permits to enable peace of mind traveling in the backcountry. Water in the desert is always an issue. You will be limited by how much water you are able to carry. Over in the Maze District of Canyonlands a visitor may hire an outfitter to base camp, car camp and commit to longer day trips to remote walls of rock art tucked away in the labyrinth known as the Maze. Permits are finite. Planning is required to secure permits for these two districts out on your own. For around $30 secure a reservation for your backcountry park use. These permits are popular. Utilizing an outfitter creates more guaranteed opportunity to enter these fantastic hideaways. There are limited backcountry outfitters too. Contact the National Park Service for a current list of concessionaires. In 2013 Canyonlands National Park instituted an online calendar showing permit availability for the Maze 4-Wheeling camping, Needles Backpacking, Needles 4-Wheeling camping, and White Rim camping. Reservations are to be made no more than 4 months prior to the intended date.
In Arches National Park, a backpack permit is also required, but does not cost anything extra than the park entry fee. Because the trailheads to the hidden arches are largely along the 18 mile paved access road, many visitors are content to explore with day trip hikes in Arches National Park. You'll have the backcountry to yourself in Arches. There are old mining roads from the Ranch Exit off of Interstate 70 to park and enter Arches by Yellow Cat or Lost Spring Canyons. Backpackers could access mountain bike trailheads and parking off of Hwy 191 to navigate into Klondike Bluffs. Or start from the Colorado River and up Court House Wash and points within the park from that entrance.
The National Parks do not allowed pets in the back country. Backpackers and hikers with pets may cross the Bureau of Land Management grounds dappled with State Lands around Moab. Keep in mind the Bureau of Land Management still issues licenses to trap. Visitor services advise to maintain the leash law required in the city of Moab in the backcountry for the protection of your pet. Moving across the land requires strict adherence to the Leave no Trace principles, strong ability to use map and compass, and understanding the topography which has complicated passages of cliffs, fins and canyons. Be sure to create an itinerary and leave it behind with instructions of what to do should you fail to check-in on schedule. Dialing 911 can kick off the emergency system to include the Grand County Search and Rescue for backcountry recovery. You will be billed if you get lost and hurt, so please travel conscientiously.
Try dropping out of Hatch Point Area south of Moab and making way back to Moab through Kane Creek, that way there is some water to filter to drink. Or explore Indian Creek or Lockhart Basins using a jetboat shuttle to drop you out there and hike back to Moab. See Tag-A-Long Expeditions and Tex's Riverways, who head right to the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers in Canyonlands to pick up canoe campers, thus the power boat runs down empty and would have room for backpackers.
The La Sal Mountains has streams for sufficient hydration. Just as one would in the desert, a means of treating found water to rid it of micro organisms for consumption must be carried and used. An understanding of traveling in bear territory is necessary for the mountains in order to avoid wildlife mishap. The Forest Service office in Moab published a new map in 2013 on tear resistant paper specifying bike trails and driving routes. For backpacking you may invest in USGS quads: Mt Waas, Mt Mellenthin, and Mt Peale.
Coming to Utah for a conference? Add to your trip a pre or post excursion to Moab to undertake your backpacking hobby. March 2, 2014 SkyWest Airlines will service flights between Salt Lake City and Moab's Canyonlands Airport. Reserve flights utilizing Delta.com. Phone 435-259-1340 for travel solutions from your meeting to Moab Utah. Or recommend to your company executives to set up Moab for a business meeting, training session, or board retreat. Find detailed help with Michele Hill in the Moab Travel Council office, marketing Moab for Meetings, Weddings and Events. Phone 435-259-1340