Taking in the Land: Hiking in Eastern Utah

Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear—the earth remains, slightly modified.

—Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire (1968)

The overlook at Dead Horse Point State Park. Photo by: Colleen S. Good.

The overlook at Dead Horse Point State Park.
Photo by: Colleen S. Good.

People come to Moab, Utah to enjoy participating in a variety of activities; all come to enjoy the unique beauty the area has to offer.

To have the opportunity to truly take in the splendor of Moab’s natural features, one activity is a must: hiking.

Hiking Around Moab

Members of West Virginia University's Adventure Journalism Travel Writing and Photography class hiking in the Needles District. Photo by: Colleen S. Good.

Members of West Virginia University’s Adventure Travel Writing and Photography class hiking in the Needles District.
Photo by: Colleen S. Good.

Hiking gives visitors to Moab a chance to take in the scenery at their own pace, allowing visitors of a variety of ages, abilities and experience levels to participate.

Six Hiking Musts

When heading out on a hike, remember these six tips.

1. Bring at least two water bottles per person

Moab’s climate is arid. The dry air in combination with the high afternoon temperature in the spring, summer and fall makes carrying plenty of water a necessity.

2. Wear good hiking boots or shoes

Make sure your shoes have good tread for traversing rocks and walking on loose sand.

3. Wear hiking socks

Non-cotton socks with thicker bottoms are important for preventing blisters.

4. Pack a map and a compass

In the Moab area, one wrong turn can take your hiking party hours out of your way. Be sure to double-check your map at each trail crossing.

5. Bring snacks

Hiking trails in Moab can require a lot of physical exertion. Be sure to pack good snacks to help you refuel along the way.

6. Have sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses and a sun hat

Many of the hiking trails in the Moab area are very exposed. Sun protection is an important part of making your trip an enjoyable one.

Recommended areas for hiking:

Marking Your Journey

Cairns are used as trail markers along many hiking trails in Moab, Utah. Photo by: Colleen S. Good.

Cairns are used as trail markers along many hiking trails in Moab, Utah.
Photo by: Colleen S. Good.

One unique feature of hiking in Moab are the cairns, stacks of rocks that help mark area trails.

In the Needles District, cairns are used quite frequently, as the surrounding landscape usually doesn’t provide other opportunities for marking the trail.

Keep an eye out for cairns on your hike to avoid missing any sudden turns or steep climbs along your route.

Final Advice

IMG_7709

The Needles District offers beautiful views. Photo by: Colleen S. Good

While it’s easy to get in a groove hiking, and to move at a brisk pace throughout your journey, be sure to make time for occasional stops.

Use these times to really take in the area you’re hiking through. Look around. Sit and think. Connect and be present where you are. The land will be there long after you’re gone.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s