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Inside Backpacker Magazine’s 2019 Utah Trip

Backpacker editors spent a week camping in Utah testing gear, exploring canyons and *gasp* backpacking.

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The desert called, and we went. On a weeklong trip to Arch Canyon in Utah’s Bears’ Ears, we explored side canyons, posed for photos, and caught a couple of all-time sunsets.

Inside Backpacker Magazine’s 2019 Utah Trip

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On the hike to our base camp, we were loaded down with a week’s worth of supplies and plenty of gear to test.

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With nighttime temperatures cold enough to freeze the water inside our hydration bladders, we spent a lot of time gathered around the fire to stay warm.

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Leaving your cozy tent in the morning can be tough.

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Proof that dogs are a hiker’s best friend: Freelance writer Morgan Sjogren and her dog Phil cuddle up atop a ledge overlooking the canyons. 

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Tent: $400 Boots: $200 That glorious moment when the sun finally rose over our campsite in the morning: Priceless

Utah Arch Canyon
Louisa Albanese

Get up high, and the vast scale of the canyons unveils itself.

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Shady oases made prime spots for snack breaks.

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There are spots in the canyons where the sun rarely hits, resulting in large patches of ice. We took full advantage.

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Don’t forget to stop and smell the desert wildflowers.

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There was no shortage of views on this trip. Looking up, we could see the magnificent bedrock formations, and looking down, the flourishing desert plant growth.