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Backpacker Magazine – February 2003

Powder Hungry? Hike These Snowshoe Trails

Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.

by: Dan Nelson


Utah
Under The Rim Trail
Bryce Canyon National Park

Bring extra film for this magnificent tour, which runs 23 rough miles one-way through the knobby sandstone spires (hoodoos) that rise beneath the rim of Bryce Canyon. With elevations of 7,000 to 9,000 feet, this high-desert forest sees subzero temperatures and plenty of soft snow in winter, so bring a warm sleeping bag and wide snowshoes. Expect plenty of solitude, since this summertime favorite gets quiet in the winter, leaving its red-rock formations and stately ponderosa-pine forests to deer, mountain lions, raptors, and a handful of hikers. Shorten or extend your trip by following side trails up narrow slots to the canyon rim. Or spend a full week on the 46-mile round-trip so you can appreciate the various painterly moods produced by the ever-changing colors of snow and sun on sandstone.

Guides: Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, by Erik Molvar and Tamara Martin ($14.95). Trails Illustrated's Bryce Canyon National Park #219 map (800-962-1643; backpacker.com/mapstore; $9.95).

Contact: Bryce Canyon National Park, (435) 834-5322; www.nps.gov/brca.




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