Cold Weather Packing List for Moab

Travel Tips, What's New — By julietrevelyan on December 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm

The high desert in Utah can be a surprisingly chilly place during winter. Don’t let that stop you from visiting Moab, though. Although it’s a warm-weather mountain biking, river rafting, and rock climbing mecca, winter outdoor pursuits around town and in nearby Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are pretty sweet, too. Outdoor activities around here are even more breathtaking in wintertime because there are fewer travelers. And let’s face it–the sight of white snow on red rocks is a pretty hard combo to beat.

red rock winter wonderland

photo: Julie Trevelyan

Bring the right gear, plan for sunny but cold days and frosty nights, and you can still enjoy everything the area has to offer. Bonus: you’ll fit right in with the locals, who are prepared with the right cold weather gear themselves.


-synthetic upper base layer, long sleeves

-synthetic upper top layer, long sleeves

-warm fleece pullover or a sweater

-dry and warm outer layer

-synthetic lower base layer (think silk long johns)

-synthetic warm, dry lower layer (ski pants work if there’s a lot of snow)

-warm gloves

-fleece or wool hat (it can be helpful if this covers your ears for particularly nippy days)


-synthetic liner socks

-wool socks (these aren’t itchy anymore, thanks to modern technology)

-waterproof hiking boots, or

dry overshoes to pull over your non-waterproof boots

Other Gear

-sunglasses (bright Utah sunlight reflecting off snow can hurt your eyeballs!)

-sunscreen (your face is vulnerable to good burning from that same sunshine bouncing up off the snow)

-water (always–you can get even more dehydrated in the winter because it’s so cold you’re not thinking about drinking water)

-cozy camera case (cameras don’t like cold temps–they often work sluggishly or quit altogether when it’s too cold. Keep cameras in a good case as close to your body as possible)

-extra camera batteries (also keep them warm)

-extra snacks (you’ll get hungry quicker when you have to work harder, such as hiking through snow)

lovely snow hiking

 photo: cybot586/Flickr

Tags: packing tips, winter, wnter packing tips