Hiking Taylor Creek Middle Fork in the Winter
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who shared my passion for hiking when he told me he had never really hiked in the winter. I was shocked, but the real shocker should have been that I didn’t realize most people don’t hike in the winter. Turns out I’m the weird one for loving to hike in the winter. Strange as it is, hiking in the winter is epic. I started with my friend but now I’m on a mission to convert everyone to winter hiking. Hopeful sharing my experience hiking Taylor Creek Middle Fork in Zion’s Kolob Canyons will win you over to my side.
Better Temperature for Hiking
This point cannot be stressed enough! In the winter, you can hike in layers and drop layers until you find the right balance for how hard you’re working. In the summer, I’m a bit more constrained on how many layers I can lose before bothering every person that passes me on the trail. This particular trail is used enough that the path is packed down so that I could use my hiking boots. I create enough of my own heat hiking in the winter that I easily find a perfect temperature instead of sweating to death like I would in summer.
It’s Not Popular
If you’re anything like me, you enjoy hiking in part because it allows you to get some solitude and be freed from distractions. Nothing ruins that like too many people sharing the trail with you. Aren’t people the worst? While my friend and I hiked Taylor Creek, we saw exactly zero other people. That’s on a Saturday in the third-most visited National Park. Pretty sweet, right? There was nothing to distract from the awe-inspiring cliffs surrounding us or to rush us away from the double arch finale of the hike.
Completely New Views
I’ve hiked Taylor Creek in the summer and it’s great. I’m not making the pitch that the hike is better in one season over the other. The only reason I bring it up is because it was so cool to see how different the terrain looked in the dead of winter compared to when I was there in the summer. It’s like a totally new hike, which I loved. The cliffs hung with giant icicles and the creek was frozen over in most places. It really had changed with the seasons.
Keeping Busy in the Winter
For me, getting off the couch and away from Netflix is a victory in and of itself in the winter. That victory compounds when paired with the fact that I hiked 4 miles in easily one of the prettiest canyons in southern Utah. It’s so easy to get sucked into a sedentary lifestyle during winter months, but my waistline and mental health both benefit from getting out there and making my body move. The fresh air and pine trees don’t hurt either.
If hiking under normal circumstances is adventures then doing it in snow is easily double the adventure. Do yourself a favor and try both winter hiking and Taylor Creek Middle Fork. When I found the old abandoned homesteader cabins on the hike, it gave me a new perspective on what it was like to settle this area. I feel like I’m gushing a little too much here, but facts are facts. This hike is cool, and doing it in cool temperatures makes it that much cooler.