Know Before You Go: Desert Addition

There is nothing like heading out into the Mojave Desert to see towering red and white Navajo Sandstone cliffs, canyons & wildlife, amazing geological sites that exist no-where else in the world, cinder cones and an almost constant Utah Blue Sky.  Our expansiveness of beauty is hard to put into words and better suited for first-hand experience.

As you plan your trip we suggest you keep in mind the climate and scenery that make Southern Utah so beautiful almost make it an area that requires constant awareness and diligence.

Climate

Our climate ranges dramatically during the course of the year and through a day.  We have winter in the desert!  December, January and February overnight temperatures can get as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius) but will warm up to 50+ degrees Fahrenheit (+10 Celsius) by afternoon.  Compared to many parts of the world these temperatures are ideal!  This is still perfect daytime weather for golf and outdoor activities.

Our summers get hot with morning July & August temperatures starting around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (26-32 degrees Celsius) and reaching highs during the day of over 100 degrees (37 degrees Celsius).  We only have short windows of heat in this extreme temperature but it is not uncommon.

We are unique in that we typically reach our high temperature late in the day, depending on the time of year it can be between 4:00-6:00 pm before we reach our daily high.

It is common for more activities to begin earlier in the day as we move into summer.  A 7:00 am excursion start time is not uncommon.

Rainfall

Our winter months are our rainy season with total rainfall of just over 1 inch in January, February and March.  The rest of the year we do not typically experience rainfall of significance, totals are less than 1 inch per month and when it does happen to rain it comes down fast for a brief period.

When you have planned your dates check the weather!  Keep checking the weather and plan accordingly.

Should you be planning a visit to Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon please pay special attention to rain.  Flashfloods in Zion are not infrequent and not something you want to be stuck in.  Bryce Canyon is higher in elevation and lightning strikes are not uncommon.

Emerald Pools water fall

Humidity & Dry Heat

When coming from other parts of the world most of our visitors are unaware of the impact of a “Dry Heat” and how it affects your body, hydration, and ability to function.

The most common issue we see with those unfamiliar with the area is their lack of water, dehydration is by far one of the largest challenges our visitors face.  Bring more water than you think you need.  Going on a hike on an unfamiliar trail?  Bring lots of water, 2-3 liters per person is recommended.  It is not uncommon for us to see groups starting out on hikes they have found “on-line” grossly, and negligently, ill-prepared.

Just recently we passed a family of 5 with the husband carrying one child, 2 small children trudging down the trail (over rocks, up and down hills, etc.) with a pregnant mom pulling up the rear.  While the temperatures were mild, around 80 degrees (26.6 Celsius) and brilliantly sunny, they were 1 hour into a 3 hour hike with no idea where they were going, on sparsely marked trails, with no supplies (water, snacks, hats, sunscreen, etc.).  Shortly after we passed them they had to return to the car with their destination unseen.  Unfortunately this is not uncommon.

We have beautiful flowers, cacti, and flowering seasonal vegetation.  What we do not have in abundance are shade trees.  The sun gets hot and after prolonged exposure, without the right precautions, it can be draining.

road biking up a bike path in Snow Canyon State park

ROAD CYCLING

Apparel

Our advice is typically to wear easy to add and remove layers.  Depending on where we are going, what we are doing, etc. you will need to be able to adjust.  A morning ATV/UTV or horseback ride can start off cool and end up warm by the end of the ride.  Canyoneering has you higher in elevation, more shade and in and out of sunlight where your temperatures will vary.  Mountain biking will range the gauntlet of cool, warm, changes in elevation, etc.

Depending on what you are planning on doing while you are here you will most likely want to bring closed toed shoes (hiking boots/shoes, trainers, athletic shoes, etc.), potentially long pants, etc. as well as seasonal appropriate clothing.

Visiting Southern Utah provides an amazing amount of active vacation options and we want you to enjoy them.  Please be informed, plan cautiously and have fun.  Check the weather, bring the correct apparel and invest in a camel-pack or bottle for carrying your water.

Should you wish to learn more about experiencing new things and having amazing memories please contact us, we would love to help. You make the memories; we’ll take care of the rest.

You can reach us at;
Red Dirt Excursions, rde@reddirtexcursions.com, 435.625.1799
www.reddirtexcursions.com

We can also be reached at;
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