5 Quick Tips for Hiking in Snow
If you're hoping to take a hike this winter while visiting any one of our properties, then take into account these five quick tips to get your planning started.
1. Plan Your Hike
This always seems like a no-brainer when it comes to hitting the hiking trail, but when freshly laid snow is on the ground planning ahead is a must. Even if you’re planning to hike a trail that you’ve taken many times before, taking a moment to call the ranger station to ensure your hike will be a safe one is not a terrible idea. Call park rangers for information on how popular the trail is that day, how safe the conditions are, and if there are any animals you should be wary of before heading out. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to secure a map of your location or a reliable GPS tracking device that can get you back to the trail if you get lost.
2. Dress in Layers
When you’re hiking in the summer, generally you can expect a fairly similar temperature to follow you from the top to the bottom of the mountain so you can keep your outfit fairly simple overall. In the cold of winter though, layers are the best way to go. Your base layer should be warm but should also be able to wick away your perspiration for a comfortable hike. Synthetic wool fabrics will work best for this base layer while fleece materials will work great for your insulation layer. This can include fleece pants and a soft shell jacket as this will help you maintain your body heat to keep warm. Your final layer, the weatherproof layer, will be most important to protect you against the elements. You’ll want a jacket with a laminated outer layer that can protect you against the elements but also provide some breathability to expel excess heat.
3. Protect from the Sun
Sunscreen and sunglasses are just as important for a snow hike as a hike in the summer. Just like water on a like, snow on the ground provides an added form of reflection for solar rays to travel. Protect yourself with sunscreen under your nose, chin, and ears. Additionally, because of the reflection off of the snow, bringing along a decent pair of sunglasses for your hike is just as important as sunscreen.
4. Avoid Cliffs
Odd as it might sound, unseasoned snow hikers don’t always consider the possibility of an avalanche while hiking. Avoiding high cliffs and mountain faces that are covered in snow will eliminate the chance that you’ll be caught up in a dangerous avalanche.
5. Bring a Friend
Many minor and easy trails can be trekked alone, but always consider taking a friend with you for your hike. In a moment where you may be stuck in the snow or lost on your trail, a friend is a great help in those moments as well as others where you may need some help. Not only does taking a buddy with you ensure some extra safety for you in case you encounter any difficulties on the trail, but there’s nothing like enjoying a great hike with a friend.
Take these tips with you if you’re planning on heading out for a hike this winter while at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon or even at Mormon Lake Lodge. Always take a moment to speak to our front desk staff members at our properties to find out more about some of the best snow hiking trails in the area before you go out for your hike.