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.


  1. Utah is the center of America's national parks, ski resorts and golf courses. Visit and find out the reason why multitude of locals and tourists come year after year to Utah.

    Utah National Parks

  2. Utah is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable places for friends, families and lovers. There is something in Utah for everyone, and adventure around every corner. Utah is often touted by its visitors as one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    Brian Head UT