With a potent winter storm dumping multiple feet of snow on Utah's high country, the timing couldn't be much better for the annual cross country ski and snowshoe event at Cedar Breaks National Monument in southern Utah.
The family affair is scheduled for January 8, next Saturday. Rangers Kerry Soltis and Terry Saa will lead visitors on skis and snowshoes roughly a mile to the park's yurt. There you'll have an opportunity to come in from the cold, enjoy some hot cider and hot chocolate around a woodstove, and then head back out to enjoy the views of the colorful amphitheater that the monument was created to protect and show off.
While this is a relatively easy ski/snowshoe, the rangers expect you to have a passing knowledge of how to move across the snow on these devices. There's not much elevational gain, perhaps 300 feet over hilly terrain, but it will be about 90 minutes each way.
If you don't have your own skis or snowshoes, they can be rented from Southern Utah University's outdoor club in Cedar City, or from a shop in nearby Brian Head, where the rangers will stop en route to Cedar Breaks.
If this sounds like a fun outing, meet at 9 a.m. January 8 in Cedar City at the Main Street Pavilion (Main and 200 North). From there car pools will be organized. The day should end back at the pavilion by 4:30 p.m.
You should bring a lunch and water, a small daypack to carry those items, and layers of warm clothing that you can add or subtract as temperatures dictate.
If weather or some other event forces cancellation of this event, park officials will make that decision by noon on Friday, January 7. If you have questions, or to check on the status of the event, call park headquarters at 435-586-9451