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Moab In The Cold Weather - Questions

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Can any one tell me about Moab in the winter months. November or February.

1. Is there a lot of snow and mud due to the snow?
2. What trails get closed?
3. Is all of the lodging/restaurants open?
4. Etc., etc

Thanks,
Dave
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woodysfj40

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Moab doesn't shut down, but some businesses do limit their hours during the "winter". Trials are generally open, but snow multiplies the difficulty, and may make them impassible and dangerous.

Snow varies a ton, most of the winter is warm enough to not let it stick, but they do get an occasional "big" snow that will effect things for a few days or more. Generally, Moab is dry but coldish.

Hurricane/Sand Hollow on the other hand gets less snow and it's a rare day that it's not wheeling weather :)
 

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Total crap shoot. There are winters where we can hit White Rim Trail for an over distance day on mtn bikes, and winters were it is shut down.

Winter in Moab is actually nice. The tourons have gone home. A few climbers around, but those folks are generally hard core and knowledgeable about wilderness travel and ethics.

Our storms generally come out of the south. So El Nino La Niña weather patterns are something that you cannot bank on.

Snow generally doesn't last at that elevation. However if you have fixed dates, and a front moves on, your motorized activities could be limited. If you have flexibility and are watching weather, and are prudent, you will be good.

As a side note, anyone going to Moab should read Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. It will provide a sense of place and culture.
 
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PrepVet

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Last time I was there in the winter I brought my own food and slept in the back of the truck with a heater and a CO detector and supplies. There were more places open than I was worried about but not a ton. But my goal was to sleep in the car as much as I could. One thing I did learn was how piss poor my lighting was. I put lights on all around the car afterwards. The darkness out in the boonies is swallowing. Especially when it is cloudy or snowy. As was said some trails and area may be closed, even if they are not, check conditions. It can get insurmountable quick.

I actually am planning a winter trip again. It was a lot of fun and very different from the normal season.
 

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We've done Moab in early November a number of times and always had a great time and no snow. We're planning on going the 2nd weekend in November this year and the hotel rates are way cheaper than when we went in April (paying the same for 3 nights that we did for 1 then). Normally there's not a ton of snow in November, even in the mountains, so odds are it'll be ok (but in Utah you never know, since the weather can be unpredictable).
 

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The answer to all of your questions is: Maybe.

Your chances are better than 50% that conditions will be good. I‘be done the White Rim in both November and December - 60’s during the day and high 20’s at night. it was awesome. I’ve also had to cancel a few trips. Moab in the winter is glorious due to lack of crowds. The biggest challenge with winter in Moab are the short days. If you’re out under a new moon, it might be the darkest dark you’ve ever encountered. Plan accordingly.
Just keep an eye on the weather and you’ll do fine.
 

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Another area to consider, that is off everyone's radar, is around Aztec and Farmington. Tons of great canyons, ruins, and virtually everything that Moab has - without the guidebooks and crowds.

Chaco Canyon is close, and very worth visiting. If fly fishing is your jam, the quality waters of the San Juan are one of the top trout rivers in the US. Just be sure to hire a guide. It is not an easy river to fish if you don't know the drill.
 

jzweedyk

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Moab gets an average of 6" of snow a year. Most days it is above 32 degrees. There can be some mud on certain trails. The town is open and almost all businesses are open. Very few trails ever close unless there is a rockslide, or washout.
 

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Another area to consider, that is off everyone's radar, is around Aztec and Farmington. Tons of great canyons, ruins, and virtually everything that Moab has - without the guidebooks and crowds.

Chaco Canyon is close, and very worth visiting. If fly fishing is your jam, the quality waters of the San Juan are one of the top trout rivers in the US. Just be sure to hire a guide. It is not an easy river to fish if you don't know the drill.
Well so much for "shall remain nameless" on your other post...
 

Durangatan

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Well so much for "shall remain nameless" on your other post...
That other location is a coveted private ranch where I am one of the few to fish it. Farmington (like Moab) was trashed a long time ago.
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