Friday, December 28, 2012

Trail Backpacking Utah's National Parks Near Moab

Moab Utah Backpacking Places

Moab Utah backpacking places include trail backpacking of Canyonlands National Park, as well as, backpacking locations resulting in use of map and compass skills through other public lands surrounding Moab Utah. Lightweight shoes are preferred over the heavier hiking boot in the desert, but heavier hiking boots will provide the support for rugged alpine trails in Moab’s La Sal Mountains. All of the backpacking places require strict adherence to the Leave No Trace principles.

Canyonlands National Park 
Canyonlands National Park in the Needles District has a system of trail backpacking, designated campsites and permits to reserve camping sites for hikers in the backcountry. Water for hydration in the desert is an issue. Distances and duration will be limited by how much water can be carried. The Maze District of Canyonlands has limited permits. 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. Planning is required to secure permits for these two districts out on your own. Twenty dollars reserves your backcountry park use, when you can get one. These backcountry National park permits are popular. Utilizing an outfitter creates a guaranteed opportunity to enter these fantastic hideaways. There are limited backcountry outfitters too. Contact the National Park Service for a current list of concessionaires.

Arches National Park
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. Camping must occur out of sight from park view points, trails, roads, parking lots and the public.

The National Parks do not allow 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 lease law required in the city of Moab in the backcountry for the protection of your pet. Moving across the land requires strong ability to use map and compass and understanding of the complicated passages of cliffs, fins and canyons.

Search and Rescue 
Be sure to create an itinerary and leave it behind with instructions of what to do should you fail to check-in on schedule from your backpacking jaunt. Dialing 911 can kick off the emergency system to include the Grand County Search and Rescue’s billable services for backcountry recovery. Please travel conscientiously and stick to the itinerary.

La Sal Mountains 
The La Sal Mountains have 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. There are about 18 developed trails on the La Sal Mountains. The Forest Service office in Moab has a trail guide, map of winter Nordic trails and driving routes. For backpacking, the detailed USGS quads, for Mt. Waas, Mt. Mellenthin, and Mt. Peale, will be beneficial.

There is fishing in the mountain lakes. Fishing permits can be purchased in Moab at the City Market grocery store and Walker Drug Store. Fishing supplies are available at these stores and the ALCO store. Other backapacking/camping gear can be purchased at Walker Drug Store, ALCO store and Gearheads.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

KlonZo Mountain Bike Trails of Moab Utah Open - New Map for 2013

Get your ride on in Moab in 2013.
The Mountain Biking Opportunities 
Keep Growing in Moab!
(Thanks Moab Trail Mix and the many Volunteer Hours that have completed these trails.)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Disney? Boundary Waters? Green River Canoe Camping?

A quick calculation of a five day vacation itinerary Canoe Camping reveals a canoe camping trip is a good deal, especially for budget-minded vacationers. Disney World ($560 per person) compares to Green River ($264 per person) canoeing and Boundary Water ($340 per person) canoeing. (Camping trip prices include pre and post trip accommodations, fully outfitted rentals, shuttles and required permits.) The environment of canoe camping is going to be intimate compared to a Disney vacation.

Canoe Camping, is it car camping or backpacking? A river canoe trip is similar to car camping. Canoe camping requiring portages needs to pack lighter, similar to backpacking. So let's examine river canoe trips compared to lake canoeing.

Boundary Water permits can be reserved starting in early January of the travel year. Green River Canoe Camping trips can be reserved earlier, starting the second week of July for the following travel year. There is no portaging in Utah’s Green River corridor. Typical Boundary Water Canoe trips are 5-7 days. Routing is a big responsibility. Upon the Green River paddle 4-10 days downstream with the current.

The longer Green River itinerary requires a jet boat shuttle from a road-less region of Canyonlands National Park. Rendezvous there with one of two authorized companies to roof rack the canoe, stow gear in the jet boat and up-run the Colorado River to Moab Utah to conclude this quality expedition canoe camping trip. Reservations will be required to determine the date for pick up by jet boat.

In the Boundary Waters, a Forest Service permit limits group to nine people or fewer to a private permit. Group size on the Green River may not exceed 40 adventurers on a private trip. Boundary Water permits cost $16 per adult and $8 per youth 17 and younger. For the Green River, fill out a free permit with the Bureau of Land Management for the Labyrinth Canyon section. For trips concluding in the heart of Canyonlands National Park, pay $30 reservation fee, plus $20 per person on the river permit. This permit fee system has been revised as of July 9, 2012.

Both trips specify archaeological, historical and rock painting sites are to be left undisturbed. Campsites are to be kept free of litter. It is mandated: do not build structures, cut live wood, carve in wood or write on rocks. Both places can expect to have astonishing afternoon winds. Both canoe camping trips can have mosquitoes, although the Green River has more predictable seasons of the pests. The Boundary Water mosquitoes are incessant. Both trips can experience rain. Rain in the Boundary Waters can be daunting, seemingly endless and causing mildew. Rain in the desert can also wreak havoc for the unprepared. Watch for flashfloods in the desert. Take advantage of the arid environment to dry everything out. In the boundary waters single serve beverage containers are prohibited. For the Green River, glass must be left behind, cans are acceptable and to be packed out as trash.

Now apply imagination. Be removed from the stimulation of video, long lines, mechanization, and staged entertainment of other vacation choices. Interact with earth and one another. Manifest memories spotting wildlife rather than hurrying to meet a character from someone else’s imagination. Determine the kind of camping that is suitable, car camping versus backpacking, and retro fit it into a canoe camping trip.

Continued details for Green River outfitters can be found on www.DiscoverMoab .com.
For Boundary Water details should help.