I would argue that Utah has some of the most beautiful hikes in the nation. In fact, when you travel to Utah you will likely have trouble deciding what hikes to do since there are so many incredible ones to choose from. After my last hiking adventure in Utah, I decided to put together a few tips for your hiking trip. I have only been here once so I will say that this list is not comprehensive by any means, it’s just what I personally learned on my trip.
Helpful Tips for Hiking in Utah
We went to Utah in March so the weather was insanely unpredictable. For example some days we started out for our hike and it was around 30°ish degrees and then by the time we were mid hike or close to the end of the hike the temperatures were upwards of 60°-70°. Layering was, therefore, necessary to make sure we were never too hot or too cold.
What I wore on a typical hike:
- Basic running shoes with good grips for hiking
- Two pairs of socks
- Two pairs of leggings – one pair fleece lined and one normal pair of athletic leggings
- Sports bra
- Tank top
- Long sleeve lightweight shirt
- Fleece vest
- Two layer jacket – the jacked had a fleece zip away and an outer shell which was light weight
- Light weight gloves
Take a Backpack
We did some pretty long hikes so a backpack was essential. I would recommend that if you are doing anything over 3 miles that you consider taking a pack. I would also recommend a smaller light pack that holds a bladder for water.
What I packed on a typical hike:
- Plenty of water. Important note I am pretty over the top about bringing water as I have been on a 20 mile hike in the heat without water and it was brutal. I know it’s extra weight, but it’s worth it. Pack enough water. No, actually pack more than enough water. Think 1/2 liter of water per hour of hiking.
- Food. You have to fuel your body properly to do those longs hikes. Some of my favorite hiking foods include trail mix, meal bars (like Cliff, Lara, or RX), pre made protein shakes, clementines, bananas, apples, dried fruit, peanut butter tortilla rollups, pretzels, and salted nuts.
- Maps. I would highly advise getting printed copies of the maps. I know we all have smartphones, but worst case scenario you could get lost in the woods and if your phone dies you are SOL my friend. Go old school and grab paper copies of the maps. Getting lost is quite easy on many trails and you will be thankful that you have a map to help determine if you are on the right trail or not.
- Layers. If you don’t feel like wearing all of your layers initially it is a good idea to pack extra clothing in case you end up in a canyon or valley where the temperatures drop. Certain hikes might also have you wading through water and so a dry pair of socks may be a true life saver.
Do Your Homework
Wow is there a lot of natural beauty in Utah. Be sure to do your homework and plan your adventure to see the sites that are most appealing to you. There are so many National Parks and hiking trails it is enough to make your head spin. Remember, that to see everything you may need to make several trips to this gorgeous state.
Take Your Time
When you are out on your hikes take your time to really appreciate the trails. You might find that you are feeling rushed to complete one hike so you can get to the next. I get it, there is a lot to see, but you are definitely going to enjoy your experience if you just slow down. If you miss a planned hike, so what? It’s just another reason to plan another trip back.
Put Your Damn Phone Away
For the Gram! Ugh, no. Hiking is an opporunity to connect to nature. Quit thinking about the photos you can use on social media and just enjoy the experience. Excuse my language, but f^ck social media. Hiking should not be about showcasing your incredible life on the internet. It should be the exact opposite actually. It’s about disconnecting form our devices and connecting with Mother Nature. Put your phone away and truly enjoy your experience.
Take Away Message for Hiking in Utah
Get ready for an incredible journey. Set yourself up for success and do some planning before you hit the trails. Embrace disconnected from your busy life to simply enjoy Mother Earth. Happy hiking!