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Old 10-24-2008   #11
Kayak/SUP Instructor
Theophilus's Avatar
The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
Why not pick up some inexpensive bear paws or get creative with some parachute cord and make your own? Post holing it through the back country is no fun. At least get some gaiters.

"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 10-24-2008   #12
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 432
I second southern utah. I grew up there and there is an abundance of desert backpacking. Zion is amazing in the winter as well as Capitol Reef, and for atypical desert you can head out south of st george outside of the virgin river gorge.
The Grand may have snow up top, especially on the North Rim, but I don't know how deep it gets and how long it stays. Otherwise the Grand might be nice.

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Old 10-25-2008   #13
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4
Grand Canyon is wonderful in the winter. In fact, it's one of the best times to backpack there. The North Rim is closed by around mid-November to any road access (it's a thousand vertical feet higher than the South Rim) and requires long ski or snowshoe approaches. The South Rim has access year round and has incredible trails to be backpacked. I've done the Tanner Trail at New Year's and loved it. Crampons are great to handle the snow and ice at the top, but even inexpensive Yaktrax work well. Down at the river it was balmy and warm enough for shorts during the day. The Grand Canyon backcountry office is staffed by an excellent group of rangers who can help narrow down a trail that is a good fit for your level and what you'd like to do - 928-638-7875 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Expect to make several tries before getting through to them.

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