Winter Camping/Snowshoeing in Utah?

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Joined
Jan 8, 2016
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Hey all. I recently moved to Park City, Utah. It's my first winter here, and I'm looking to go on a backcountry winter camping and snowshoeing trip. Nothing too long, probably 6 miles at the most since my little brother and sister will be coming. (When I say 6 miles, I mean either 3 miles in and 3 back, or a 6 mile round trip.) I've looked at different places, but I can't seem to find anyone who can give me a good recommendation with a clear and concise description and some instructions on how to get there. Just lookin' to see if anyone has any ideas as to where I could go. Thanks in advance.

-Lucas
 

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Nick

Spiral out.
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Joined
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12,669
When it comes to camping on snow, you probably won't find anything very clear other than the yurts and the well traveled trails. So just go hit one of those and then tromp off and setup your camp. That's the beauty of snow, it doesn't really matter where you setup camp (just be mindful of where your coals end up). One other thing to consider: 6 miles in the snow has a tendency to feel like twice that on a regular dirt trail. Might want to consider doing a test run a mile or so out. In the winter, that's not much different than being 10 miles out when it comes to solitude.

If I were you, I would head to the Uintas. There are some good trails just outside of Kamas on Hwy 150. Yellow Pine, Shingle Creek, Norway Flats, North Fork Provo River, Upper Setting Road, etc. There's some other good stuff on the opposite side of the road from Shingle but I can't remember the name of it. The area on either side of the North Fork Provo might be one of the best options. There is a great trail that is flared with snow markers that leaves Hwy 150 just down canyon from the bridge over the river. It passes by the Beaver Creek yurt and does a loop, but you could break off anywhere up there and find a place to camp. Perhaps the best thing about that area is that it is wider and flatter than many of the other options so it is probably safer and more forgiving for a first timer camping in the snow. And easier to find campsites too! I have a couple trip reports each on here for Shingle Creek and North Fork Provo, but they weren't in the winter so they might not help much.

This is where the start of the North Fork Trail I'm talking about starts: https://www.google.com/maps/place/40°35'54.0"N+111°05'55.6"W/@40.598327,-111.099749,536m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

There is another trail on the other side that would probably be great too. It's a road for a while but I'm sure it's just a trail in the winter.

Oh, and be sure to stay away from steep slopes and know the avalanche risk. It's not just backcountry skiers that get in trouble with that. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/

Now with all that said, camping on snow sucks. Go to the desert!
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
6
When it comes to camping on snow, you probably won't find anything very clear other than the yurts and the well traveled trails. So just go hit one of those and then tromp off and setup your camp. That's the beauty of snow, it doesn't really matter where you setup camp (just be mindful of where your coals end up). One other thing to consider: 6 miles in the snow has a tendency to feel like twice that on a regular dirt trail. Might want to consider doing a test run a mile or so out. In the winter, that's not much different than being 10 miles out when it comes to solitude.

If I were you, I would head to the Uintas. There are some good trails just outside of Kamas on Hwy 150. Yellow Pine, Shingle Creek, Norway Flats, North Fork Provo River, Upper Setting Road, etc. There's some other good stuff on the opposite side of the road from Shingle but I can't remember the name of it. The area on either side of the North Fork Provo might be one of the best options. There is a great trail that is flared with snow markers that leaves Hwy 150 just down canyon from the bridge over the river. It passes by the Beaver Creek yurt and does a loop, but you could break off anywhere up there and find a place to camp. Perhaps the best thing about that area is that it is wider and flatter than many of the other options so it is probably safer and more forgiving for a first timer camping in the snow. And easier to find campsites too! I have a couple trip reports each on here for Shingle Creek and North Fork Provo, but they weren't in the winter so they might not help much.

This is where the start of the North Fork Trail I'm talking about starts: https://www.google.com/maps/place/40°35'54.0"N+111°05'55.6"W/@40.598327,-111.099749,536m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

There is another trail on the other side that would probably be great too. It's a road for a while but I'm sure it's just a trail in the winter.

Oh, and be sure to stay away from steep slopes and know the avalanche risk. It's not just backcountry skiers that get in trouble with that. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/

Now with all that said, camping on snow sucks. Go to the desert!
Ok, those are some good suggestions. I was looking at places in the Uintas, but every map I've found says that highway 150 is closed in the winters. Also, it would be my first time camping in the snow, but my dad has been snowshoe camping since he was in college, and my brother, sister, and I are all experienced hikers. I'd be fine with doing some well traveled trails and branching off to camp, but I'm sure he'd scoff at that, so I've been trying to find some little-used trails. ;)
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,669
Ok, those are some good suggestions. I was looking at places in the Uintas, but every map I've found says that highway 150 is closed in the winters. Also, it would be my first time camping in the snow, but my dad has been snowshoe camping since he was in college, and my brother, sister, and I are all experienced hikers. I'd be fine with doing some well traveled trails and branching off to camp, but I'm sure he'd scoff at that, so I've been trying to find some little-used trails. ;)
It's closed at Soapstone. 'Well traveled' is certainly a relative term, especially in the winter. Unless you catch any of those trails soon after a snowstorm, the chances are good someone has walked it and it will look travelled. If that's not your thing, then you're probably not going to find any information on what you want to do, because no one is doing it! Just park the car and walk? Have fun!
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
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It's closed at Soapstone. 'Well traveled' is certainly a relative term, especially in the winter. Unless you catch any of those trails soon after a snowstorm, the chances are good someone has walked it and it will look travelled. If that's not your thing, then you're probably not going to find any information on what you want to do, because no one is doing it! Just park the car and walk? Have fun!
Ok, thanks.
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
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Joined
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1,072
Up by Snowbasin, Utah in the lower parking lot is an old dirt road with a gate across it. On google it looks like a well traveled road it is not. Cars have not been allowed in a long time. Anyway it goes over to the old Maples Campground. You could snowshoe over set up camp there. I would estimate that is bout 1.5 miles then snow shoe up the Cold Water Canyon over look as far as you wanted it and back down. Or hike up the Cold Water trail until you found a suitable place to camp. Or another option would be to head out that same trail but before getting to the old camp grounds watch for a turn off on the right heads down to Art Nord trails and Wheeler Canyon and camp where ever you want. Lots of options over there.

When I lived in Ogden that is where I took Sarah to snowshoe. Probably find lots of tracks to follow. For trail information you could look on MTBProject, those trails are heavily traveled in the summer by mountain bikers.

 
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