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February 2003 Winter Gear

Powder Hungry? Hike These Snowshoe Trails

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

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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