Project Description

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

The weather in Moab could not be more beautiful. It’s cold during the days, with temps hovering around the mid 30’s, but the sunny skies make it prime winter conditions for adventuring outside. We are ringing in the New Year with a few scattered storms but unfortunately no snow in the La Sals for the foreseeable future. It is very cold up there, however, and will likely keep the snowpack we have in a semi-stable condition. The Lower Utah Nordic Alliance (LUNA) groomed all the trails last Tuesday, so the Nordic Ski trail should be in fairly good condition. 

The La Sal Loop Road is mostly pavement at this point, but there are lots of deer and some nasty patches of ice. Two-wheel drive vehicles can make it up to the Geyser pass trailhead but please drive cautiously if you plan on exploring up there! 

The Utah Avalanche Center is still issuing a considerable avalanche warning for all North facing slopes. The South facing slopes have a low avalanche rating. Follow the link for a complete forecast including an in-depth dissection of the current snowpack and other local observations. 

The Lower Utah Nordic Alliance will be grooming Geyser Pass road periodically all winter long. Currently, the track is packed, smooth, and soft. 

Moab Gear Trader is Moab’s Winter Sports Headquarters!  We have Moab’s largest selection of hiking traction for icy trails, snowshoes for mount adventures, backcountry avalanche gear, and one of the largest brick and mortar collections of Nordic Touring Gear in the US.  We also are well stocked with NEW & USED hats, gloves, scarves, balaclavas, snow boots, hand warmers, goggles, and mittens.  These tools will allow you to enjoy our desert and mountain home comfortably.

La Sal Mountain Conditions

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

Like we said earlier, the La Sal Loop Road is mostly pavement but does have patches of ice. Two-wheel drive vehicles can make it up there, but in the winter it is always recommended to bring chains or a four-wheel-drive vehicle. 

Once you’ve turned on to Geyser pass road you should expect mud, snow, ice, and some gnarly washboards. From the Geyser pass trailhead, the snow is packed, smooth and the classic tracks are set. The snow continues to improve as you ascend, with the Gold Basin turnoff being particularly nice. There have been a few snowmobiles driving quickly along the track, so it is unfortunately damaged in some places. 

The snow is fast and glossy, making it particularly good for anyone with a FatBike since the snow is so hard.

Hiking along the track with traction devices or snowshoes would be a fun activity, but please try to stay to the side of the groomed track. Leave the well-groomed snow for the folks coming downhill! 

There will likely be excellent skiing conditions all weekend long, which is rare. 

There is very minimal snow in the woods, but off-trail exploration is still quite fun. If you can manage to stay in the shady and snowier sides of the meadows you’ll have a great time. 

The season is still early so don’t hurt yourself now. We have plenty of time for more snow to develop. Be patient, and in the meantime enjoy the groomed nordic trail while getting some excellent cardio!

Moab Conditions

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak)

The highs in Moab all week are likely to stay just above freezing, until the following weekend when we will see a slight increase in daily temps with the peak of the day hitting about 42 degrees. There is a bit of snow sticking around town, and north-facing hiking trails are quite cold, but if you’re looking to get outside you can easily stick to the sunny areas around Moab and enjoy yourself. 

Highways 313, 191, Potash Road, and Kane Creek Boulevard are all clear, and the roads to Monticello and Dead Horse point are also clear. 

Sunny days and well below freezing nights will make north-facing trails quite slippery, so wear your traction devices (we have some in the shop for purchase) and layer up. The canyons around town hold freezing pockets of cold air and a warm start to your hike might mean nothing once you turn the bend. 

Regional Conditions

Kaya Lindsay Delicate Arch Snow

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Regionally, the Colorado Plateau and the South West are enjoying cold temps and sunshine. Avalanche conditions have not improved since last week and it is recommended that if you go into the backcountry you stick to south-facing slopes. We have plenty of avalanche gear in the shop including shovels, probes, and beacons, from brands like Black Diamond, Arva, and Pieps. Please stay safe out there folks, the season is still early and we have plenty of snow to come our way. Don’t hurt yourself early. 

Denver: Mid 50’s

Vernal: Mid 20’s

Jackson Hole: Low 20’s with snow on Wednesday and Friday! 

Salt Lake City: Mid 30’s and low 40’s

Flagstaff: Mid 40’s to low 50’s

Durango: High 30’s low 40’s 

Weather Forecast

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

Temps in Moab will stay below freezing for most of the day, only peaking to about 34 degrees at the height of the sun. In the evenings it will get down to 11 degrees on Sunday, with the other nights seeing similar lows. It will remain sunny with partial clouds from Tuesday through Thursday but will brighten up again with cloudless blue skies for the coming weekend. Friday is by far the nicest day next week, with cloudless skies, warm for the season highs, and a low of 20 degrees. 

Recreation in Moab will be lovely all week, but please remember to layer up. Hiking, biking, and climbing can all be enjoyed in the sunshine, but as soon as the sun goes around a corner (or you do) temps can drop drastically. 

Shop Conditions

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

Hey shoppers! With the avalanche danger being what it is right now, no backcountry skiing is possible. The snow is just too dangerous to be exploring right now. If you’re still itching to get into the mountains, we suggest you pick up Nordic Skiing! There is no avalanche danger and it’s still an incredible cardio workout. There are also plenty of snowshoeing opportunities in the La Sals and the surrounding areas. We at Moab Gear Trader have everything you need to get into nordic skiing or snowshoeing, just stop on by Mainstreet and ask one of our friendly staff to help you pick out the gear that is right for you! 

We also want to remind you that Moab Gear Trader is a proud participant of the Buy Local Bucks program this winter. All residents of Grand County should have received three $15 Buy Local Bucks coupons to be used at local businesses in Moab! These coupons can be used like real money and don’t expire until March 1st, 2021. 

This Buy Local Bucks program has been made possible thanks to Federal CARES Act funding.

Thank you to everyone who comes in to shop local for all your adventure needs in 2021. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Nordic Skiing

With backcountry skiing being so dangerous right now, we encourage our customers to take up Nordic skiing! There is an excellent groomed trail in the La Sals, Geyser Pass Road, and it’s a great social distancing activity as well! Our nordic ski equipment will be the most commonly updated item in our store this time of year. 

Moab Gear Trader has the largest in-stock inventories of metal edge nordic skis in the west. We have a wide variety of boots, poles, and clothing for your first or fiftieth time in the mountains this winter. 

Snow Shoes 

Another fantastic alternative to backcountry skiing is snowshoeing. We encourage everyone to just get out into the mountains (safely) as often as possible. Until the avalanche danger clears up, we should all be getting out on to the groomed track in the La Sals. Our friendly staff can help you pick out the right snowshoes for you, just stop by and we’ll get you set up in no time. Stay warm, layer up, and have a good time out there! 

Avalanche Gear 

The shop is stocked with avalanche gear this time of year, so stay safe and stock up. The avalanche danger is at an all-time high in most areas right now. Stay safe and if you do venture into the backcountry, make sure you bring your avi equipment. We have shovels, probes, and beacons, from brands like Black Diamond, Arva, and Pieps. If you intend to do some winter mountaineering this season you will need a fully equipped avalanche kit. We also have plenty of ice axes, snow flukes, warm winter mountaineering jackets, and boots! 

Camping

Many people will be forgoing camping this time of year, however, we know there are still a few snow camping crazies out there. Are you one of them? Make sure you have a warm sleeping bag and pad to keep you cozy during the below-freezing night temps. Stop by the shop to check out our large selection of 0° and even colder rated bags. Did you know your sleeping pad also needs to be insulated for comfortable winter camping?

Hiking

Warm layers aren’t just about jackets and boots. Make sure you have a neck gaiter, warm socks, gloves, hats, long underwear, and more for your weekly hike to Hidden Valley. Layering up will be crucial to your enjoyment of outdoor hikes. At this point in the year, it would be silly to hike without traction devices. Get yours today to make your favorite Moab hikes safe and enjoyable.

Climbing

It may be getting too cold to climb in Moab, but we know there are still a few desperate climbers out and about seeking the sunny crags. Bring your puffiest jackets to the crag and don’t forget the hand warmers! Belay gloves can make a huge difference as well, so make sure to pick a pair up on your way to the crag. 

Biking

We always stock basic accessories for bikes, including lights, bells, gloves, sleeves, and more. Our newest addition to the store is brand new helmets from Smith, so keep that in mind when shopping for the Mountain Bike enthusiast in your life.

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

We look forward to seeing you (with a mask!) in our store for all your winter needs very soon.