Utah Nature April 26, 2017
7 Reasons To Hike Utah’s Wilderness…And 5 To Stay Home
We’re so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet! People come from all over the world to hike our trails, and many Utahns live just moments away from hiking trails. Hiking is something everyone here can do…but sometimes it’s a better idea to stay home.
Let’s start with the seven reasons you
should hike in Utah’s wilderness:
1. You'll find solitude in Utah's great outdoors.
Go far enough from the hordes of tourists, and you're likely to find some places in Utah's great outdoors where you can truly be alone. One important note: If you're hiking alone, make sure that someone at home knows exactly where and when you're hiking, and when you plan to return. Don't deviate from your route.
2. Some views are only found at the top of Utah's most spectacular hiking trails.
Angel's Landing is quite a hike, but the view from the top is unparalleled. There's nothing like seeing it in person.
3. Hiking is a great way to see wildlife up close.
When is the last time you saw a mule deer in its natural habitat? Spend enough time in Utah's wilderness, and you're certain to see deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, moose and more.
4. Hiking helps you breathe easier.
Utah's air quality can range from decent to downright crappy. One sure way to get out of the inversion is to find some high elevation hiking trails. The air is fresh and clean. Breathe it in!
5. Utah's hiking trails are the perfect place to bond with loved ones.
Hiking is an activity that's perfect for the whole family. Bring your kids along! They'll get some exercise and you'll make some lasting memories.
6. Hiking in Utah is an activity for everyone.
From trails that require technical skills and permits to paved ADA-accessible trails, Utah has a broad range of trails for every skill level. Truly every Utahn can enjoy the majestic beauty of the Beehive State.
7. Hiking makes you happy.
It's true! A 2015 Stanford study showed that walking in nature leads to a lower risk of depression. Feeling a little blue? Lace up your hiking boots and get outside!
I hope these seven reasons have inspired you to plan your next hike! However, here are five reasons why you might want to reconsider:
1. The weather is bad.
Hiking in bad weather can be deadly in Utah. Thunderstorms can bring flash floods and lightning strikes; snow can make trails slippery and the cold can quickly cause frostbite and hypothermia. Before you hike, check the forecast. Stop by the visitor center or ranger station for an update, too. Dress in layers and be prepared for weather changes, which can happen within minutes.
2. You don't have the skills for the trail you're hiking.
As we noted above, there's a Utah hiking trail for every skill level. Choose one that's above your skill level and you could quickly run into trouble. Be honest with yourself about your fitness and experience level, and don't let someone talk you into a trail you can't handle.
3. You can't leave well enough alone.
Some of Utah's wild beauty should be seen, but never touched. For instance, if you just can't help but mess around with rattlesnakes, you should stay home and watch a National Geographic flick instead.
4. You're not prepared.
Utah's hiking trails take you to some truly vast, remote places. You won't find a 7-11 on the corner if you run out of water out here. Every year, stranded hikers are rescued because they weren't fully prepared to head into the wilderness. Make sure you have plenty of food and water, decent shoes and the navigation skills to traverse the trail.
5. You don't have respect for nature.
Remember the Boy Scout leaders who toppled the 170-million-year-old hoodoo at Goblin Valley State Park? Don't be like that. If you're the kind of person who wants to carve your name in the trunk of an aspen or ignore signs that tell you to stay on the trail to protect a fragile environment, please stay home. Utah's hiking trails are truly for everyone - and everyone should be able to enjoy the pristine beauty.
Are you ready to hike now? If so, take a look at
15 of the most gorgeous trails in the state, and start making your outdoor bucket list!