New and looking for an adventure

Mormadmom

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Jul 13, 2021
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Hi! Trying to plan a hike next May 2022...50 miles for my 50th birthday! Here for tips and info and help...I am from Michigan so hiking is not new, but never anything this extensive. Hoping not to be a PITA with questions, but not even sure where I want to go at this point! Reading lots of things here to get ideas. Thanks in advance! :)
 

Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
Messages
449
Hi! Trying to plan a hike next May 2022...50 miles for my 50th birthday! Here for tips and info and help...I am from Michigan so hiking is not new, but never anything this extensive. Hoping not to be a PITA with questions, but not even sure where I want to go at this point! Reading lots of things here to get ideas. Thanks in advance! :)
Welcome to another Michigander! I'm from SE Michigan and have enjoyed a few long backpacking trips in the UP. We've also loved our trips out West. Do you have a sense of what type of scenery or region you're interested in? Canyon country? Mountains? Coastal areas? May is too early for most of the mountains out West but can be a great time of year to enjoy lower altitude mountains in the South & East. Lots of people on this site are super knowledgeable and can share some great ideas with you!

Also, our first backpacking trip was also when we turned 50 (57 now). We've been doing as many trips as possible ever since!
 
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Mormadmom

New Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
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Welcome to another Michigander! I'm from SE Michigan and have enjoyed a few long backpacking trips in the UP. We've also loved our trips out West. Do you have a sense of what type of scenery or region you're interested in? Canyon country? Mountains? Coastal areas? May is too early for most of the mountains out West but can be a great time of year to enjoy lower altitude mountains in the South & East. Lots of people on this site are super knowledgeable and can share some great ideas with you!

Also, our first backpacking trip was also when we turned 50 (57 now). We've been doing as many trips as possible ever since!
Thanks! Looking at the Porcupine Mtns in the UP as well as Utah, I think? I loved the desert this past spring when my daughters and I went...but don't want to bypass the UP, of course! Timing is a challenge, but posts are good at advising when it could be too wet/snowy and buggy! :)
 

Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
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449
Thanks! Looking at the Porcupine Mtns in the UP as well as Utah, I think? I loved the desert this past spring when my daughters and I went...but don't want to bypass the UP, of course! Timing is a challenge, but posts are good at advising when it could be too wet/snowy and buggy! :)
Last summer, we spent 5 nights in the Porkies as a pandemic alternative to our originally-planned trip to Wyoming. I'm not sure what it's like in May, but if you'd like ideas about routes/trails/campsites, let me know. You have to reserve sites in advance, but I imagine there are plenty available before the summer season gets busy.
 

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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Just noting that May can be a bit awkward in Utah since it's early for the mountains and often already warm in the desert, and the cedar gnats may already be out (definitely ran into them mid-May this year). So somewhere as high as possible but below the snow/mud line would be the way to go, unless you specifically want a snow trip in the mountains.
 

Janice

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Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
449
Just noting that May can be a bit awkward in Utah since it's early for the mountains and often already warm in the desert, and the cedar gnats may already be out (definitely ran into them mid-May this year). So somewhere as high as possible but below the snow/mud line would be the way to go, unless you specifically want a snow trip in the mountains.
One great option to consider in May in Utah/Arizona is Paria - in mid-June 2014 we hiked Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch to the confluence with the Paria River to Lee's Ferry. Once you're along the Paria, you can cool off in the water whenever you want, and in Buckskin the walls of the canyon are so tall that much of it is in shade, so even if it's really hot it's not too bad. You need a permit for this, and permits get snapped up quickly so if you're interested plan ahead. But I'm thinking this may be a bit intimidating for a first backpacking trip - it was our 2nd ever and I remember thinking I was a bit in over my head, experience-wise...
 

priz1234

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Jun 10, 2020
Messages
39
I agree that May is a tricky time in Utah. I have been in Buckskin in June and it was totally fine. Haven't been down the Paria so can't speak to that part but Buckskin Gulch is a very cool hike.

If Zion ever decides to actually do something and work on opening up the east rim trail again you could look into doing the Zion Traverse. May would still be pushing it as to being a little too warm in some parts of the park but would still be doable. Like I said, totally dependent on the park opening up the switchbacks on east rim trail again. It's been closed since a rockfall in August 2019.
 

Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
Messages
449
May is probably a good time to be at Bryce (cooler due to higher altitude), but I don't think there's a long enough backpacking route there to make 50 miles. Maybe you could do 2 shorter trips to total 50ish miles, perhaps Bryce plus Coyote Gulch or some part of the Boulder Mail Trail/Death Hollow/Escalante route.
 
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