Experience a winter wonderland in the folds and fins of Utah’s southeastern desert. Canyonlands and Arches National Parks remain open all year round. Share the vista with photographers bundled, waiting to capture the fascinating winter light. You’ll be a privileged few.
A winter visit may very well refresh you with a positive attitude to endure the remaining winter months. What else is there to do in Moab Utah in winter?
Surprised? Foot races are scheduled for Moab in winter too. Grass Roots Events provides Moab’s Red Hot 55k/33k endurance trail race Presidents’ Day Weekend, on 16th February.
The sun striking the snow-covered red spires resembled hot embers glowing to the Grass Roots Race Director one sunny winter day, which then became the inspiration for the Red Hot race. In December, a short course, the Winter Sun 10k, is produced by the Moab Half Marathon. The course is largely downhill and entirely on paved surfaces. The race occurs the first Saturday in December and in 2013 takes place on the 7th.
Photographers Andy Biggs and David Forster have photography workshops in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, between 20th and 24th February, and 27th February to 3rd March. And if those dates don’t fit with your travel calendar, look into Photography Workshops later in the year during November.
Moab Photo Tours features Night Landscapes in Arches National Park with Tom Till 3rd-9th November. Andy Cook’s photography workshop is 3rd-8th November; Peter Shinyeda’s is 3rd-7th November; and Richard Bernabe has a workshop 6th-9th November. All of the photographers utilise Arches and CanyonlandsNational Parks for the workshop.
Skates and snow sports
Moab locals have begun a roller derby team. Find the group on Facebook and join them for skating while you are in Moab. You have to bring your own skates, padding and helmet. In-line skates are not allowed. Or plan to come to watch the event Moab Mid Winter Mayhem, scheduled for 19th January. You’re welcome to stop by to scrimmage or be a spectator.
Moab locals are hopeful for a solid season of Pond Hockey on Ken’s Lake, (pun intended). Winter temperatures do not support an annual frozen lake but people are ready to act when Ken’s Lake does freeze when an oval is cleared for additional free skating. Shovels are handy, so every user can pitch in to keep the ice clear. Skaters must bring skates and sportsmen can be seen ice fishing or will otherwise be on the lake shore fishing throughout the winter months.
If winter has not blanketed the MoabValley, winter will certainly be aloft in the La Sal Mountains. The road is plowed along the GeyserPass access to provide parking for snow sports. Tubing in Utah is fun for the entire family and the La Sal Mountains have a designated site for tubing near the plowed turn around of the GeyserPass road. Bring your own tube or sled and thermos of hot cocoa. Or enjoy excellent snowshoeing in the La Sal Mountains. Wind in and out of the tight forest of Aspen and conifer trees. Rent snowshoes in down town Moab from Gear Heads or Rim Cyclery. Rim Cyclery also rents cross country ski equipment.
Take advantage of the short days for an early hour to peer into a telescope to explore the stars, planets and moon with Red Rock Astronomy who could also set up a telescope in the daytime to gaze SAFELY at the sun. On your own, tour the scale model of Earth’s solar system radiating from the monolith at Sun Court on Center Street in downtown Moab. There is a plaque affixed to the monolith itemising the locations of planets emanating from this point.
The Moab locals are fond of eating breakfast at The Diner or Eklectica with friends before continuing the day with a sunny late morning hike. Pick a trail in full sun and you are likely to peel layers to turtle necks and slacks. Pick up the Rock Art Auto Tour leaflet from the Moab Information Center. Feel how the sun warms sites such as Courthouse Wash, the Golf Course rock art and the Wolfe Ranch panel in Arches National Park, likely winter sites frequented by the early cultures hunting or living in this area.
No matter which activity you choose, at the end of the day sit in front of a fire and read a book. There are lots of accommodation to choose from with a fireplace in Moab.
Adventure continues even in winter in Moab. The scenery lifts spirits gazing at the landscapes enroute to Moab from home places. The outdoor winter recreation, the spectacular beauty of natural wonders and the respite of quiet is said to improve attitudes for the remainder of the winter. Let us know if it’s true.