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The Southern Utah Hiker’s Essential Checklist

The mountains are calling and Southern Utah’s panoply of national parks are entering the prime season of the year for recreation and exploration. Spring is the most popular time to visit parks like Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches because it’s a preferable temperate climate (compared to summer’s soaring temperatures) and there’s a full symphony of nature’s awakening from blooming wildflowers and trees to thawed, clear trails.

If you’re hitting the backcountry, it’s important to be prepared. We’ve compiled a complete checklist of essentials to pack so that you’re ready for whatever the excursion throws at you:

__ Backpack – A lightweight and portable backpack that can fit all of the things. Don’t forget to stash your wallet, keys, hand sanitizer, and phone (true essentials!).

__ Weather-appropriate clothing – The weather can turn at a moment’s notice, so we recommend layers that can be quickly added or removed. Hiking boots or trail shoes add an element of sure-footedness that will help you confidently traverse the trail and terrain.

__ Trail snacks and water/hydration – Nourishment for a short jaunt or a longer day trip cannot be overstated. And in the event of becoming lost or redirected, the hike may take longer than anticipated. Keep yourself fueled and prepared.

__ Navigation tools – A compass and trail guide or map will help you confidently navigate the planned trip. Have old school instruments at your disposal in case your phone is out-of-range (i.e., don’t rely on internet maps).

__ First aid – Band-aids for blisters and minor cuts or scrapes is helpful. Throw in a triple antibiotic and some gauze for good measure.

__ SPF and bug spray – Protect your skin from the sun and bites and double up on sunscreen and bug spray.

__ Knife – A small pocket knife functions as a multipurpose survival tool in a worst-case scenario. Or in case you need to prepare your trail snacks.

__ Firestarter – Another survival tool that is good to have on hand.

__ Whistle – In case you get separated from your group or need to call for help, a whistle is a small and effective tool for alerting others in the surrounding area.

__ Binoculars – Southern Utah bird watching is spectacular in the spring! Bring binoculars to catch all the high-flying action.


Don’t miss out on a beautiful season in Southern Utah! Pack your bag and hit the trail for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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