It’s never the wrong season to go hiking! Winters in Southern Utah are (usually) mild, with little to no snow for most of the season. So if you wear a jacket, you can pretty much hike any trail in Southern Utah. And for us, there is no better place to hike in the winter than Capitol Reef. Here’s three trails to get you started hiking in our favorite national park during winter:
Hickman Bridge – this is an easy trail, perfect for beginners, or families, and it’s one of the most popular hikes in the park. There are some mild inclines over the course of the two-mile hike, but nothing extreme. The trail has very few shady spots, which means that there shouldn’t be a lot of ice accumulation. It’s great exercise, and you get to walk under Hickman Bridge, which is a lot of fun.
Fremont River Overlook Trail – this one is a bit more challenging, but still very doable. (We’d call it moderate.) There is one steep incline at the beginning of the hike, which can sometimes have some snow accumulation. But the hike across the mesa to the canyon overlook is wonderfully sunny. And the view at the end is incredible. It’s the perfect way to spend any winter day.
Golden Throne – this is one of the lesser known hikes in Capitol Reef, but it too is a lot of fun. Located on the Scenic Route toll road, the trail leads to the monolith nicknamed “Golden Throne.” The hike is moderately strenuous, with some steep inclines for most of the way, but there shouldn’t be too much snow or ice. There are lots of cool views of the sandstone canyon and, of course, of Golden Throne.
Obviously when hiking in the winter you should bring warmer clothes. But equally as important is plenty of water. (Don’t eat any snow, it’ll only make you thirstier.) Add some good hiking shoes, and you can hike in Southern Utah all winter long.