While winter got off to a slow start in Utah, things are starting to pick up in terms of snowfall. In fact, there's enough snow at Cedar Breaks National Monument that the superintendent will lead a cross-country ski and snowshoe hike this Saturday.
Indeed, back on December 10 snow and drifting snow forced closure of wheeled-vehicle access to Cedar Breaks.
But, if the weather holds, on Saturday Superintendent Paul Roelandt and ranger Matt Walls will lead any interested skiers and snowshoers on a 3-mile roundtrip to a yurt in the monument that serves as the winter ranger station.
The plan is to meet at the Main Street Park Pavilion in Cedar City, Utah, at 9 on Saturday morning. From there the participants will carpool 38 miles to the starting point at Brianhead. From there it's only about 1.5 miles one-way to the yurt.
Superintendent Roelandt says this is not a difficult route, "but at least a beginners knowledge of how to use cross-country skis or snowshoes is required." Elevation gain along the way is less than 300 feet, and participants will ski/snowshoe alongside a groomed snowmobile trail.
It's suggested that if you plan to join this outing that you not only dress warmly but also pack a lunch and water in a small day pack.
"Mittens/gloves, a wool or fleece hat, and sturdy hiking shoes or ski boots that are waterproof are recommended as well as a personal first aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses, at least 2 quarts of water and snacks," suggests the park. "A place to get warm by a woodstove fire, hot chocolate or apple cider will be provided at the Cedar Breaks winter ranger station."
The group is expected to return to Cedar City by 4:30 p.m.