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Hiking Poles

New England
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Hiking Poles

My husband and I have all of our plans set for a trip in April that includes Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonland and a variety of other spots in between. Our main interest is hiking as we are experienced hikers. Here in the northeast I would never hike without my hiking poles due to the uneven terrain and steep ascents/descents. I also have relied on them to save my knees in North Carolina and Alaska but did not really miss them when we were in Zion.

I have done lots of reading on the hikes we plan to do and other than the steepness of Bryce am wondering if people use poles when hiking in the area. If my knees will not be taking a pounding or the footing is not terribly rough then I wonder about bringing them along. I am able to travel with just carry-on unless I bring them, so that is another consideration. Also, I would want to be sure that the use of hiking poles would not damage the fragile desert environment.

Thank you in advance for any information you have that will help me with the decision.

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North Carolina
North Carolina
United States
Alaska
Alaska
United States
Las Vegas, Nevada
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1. Re: Hiking Poles

I use hiking poles most of the time when I'm hiking a steep trail. Hiking in Bryce will be steep downhill at first, then it levels off as you walk amongst the hoodoos, then it's a steepclimb to get back up to the rim. So, yes, I would recommend using them. Getting them on the plane is a different issue. I doubt they will let you carry them on.

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New England
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2. Re: Hiking Poles

lvziggy, thanks for the reply. I know that if I choose to bring the hiking poles I will need to do checked baggage which is what I did for my trips to Alaska. I can fit everything else in carry-on so am trying to get opinions on the use for Utah hiking and then will decide.

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
Utah
Utah
United States
Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: Hiking Poles

Most of the hiking in Arches and Canyonlands won't require hiking poles, and depending on where you hike in Capitol Reef, you could probably get without them there too. If you didn't use them in Zion (I do, on the West Rim and Observation Point trails), then you could probably get by without them. The steep parts in Bryce don't last very long.

I guess I'm kind of contradicting myself, but I think if your only reason for checking a bag is to bring the poles, I'd say skip them. Now, if you were going to hike the Grand Canyon, I'd say bring them.

Edited: 11 March 2012, 20:53
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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4. Re: Hiking Poles

I agree with lvziggy. While the trails are steep in Bryce they are short. The trails in Arches and Canyonlands won't be an issue either.

I need them on the trails in Zion, and last time even with them I had a very hard time coming down from Angel's landing. So if you didn't use them for that I'm not sure bringing them would be needed.

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Salt Lake City, UT
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5. Re: Hiking Poles

I concur about the no poles. And I am a downhill hiking WIMP so love using them when it's very steep and rocky. I've never taken poles on any hike in any of the parks you're visiting, and I've never wished I had them. Good luck! Sounds like a great trip!

New England
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6. Re: Hiking Poles

Thank you all for your help in making my decision. I think the poles stay home. We are very excited to be visiting the Utah parks soon. Our daughter and son-in-law were married at Zion five years ago and we had a great week there canyoneering, hiking the Narrows and celebrating. We have been looking forward to exploring other parks since then and are happy with our 9 day plan.

Again, many thanks! And if you ever need information on hiking the Presidential Range here in NE let me know!

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Utah
Utah
United States
Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
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7. Re: Hiking Poles

A question that I'll ask for curiosity sakes, couldn't you rent a set of poles from say one of the outfitters in Springdale..?

Zion would be a nice place to get married. Right at the lodge would be perfect.

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8. Re: Hiking Poles

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