Utah's high elevations (almost) ready for hiking
Published: May 25, 2012 07:42AM
Updated: May 24, 2012 12:10PM
Cordell Andersen takes in the beauty of Grandaddy Lake in the High Uinta Mountains. Courtesy Cordell Andersen

Yes, indeed, what a difference a year can make.

Uinta Mountains hiker extraordinaire Cordell Andersen created the attached photo illustration showing how snowmelt is roughly two months ahead of where it was in 2011. Just about every mountain thoroughfare is open and so are the low-elevation trails.

That does not mean, however, every trail is going to be open this Memorial Day weekend. Despite the small snow totals from the winter and recent hot spells, snow can still be found above 8,000 feet and trails at that elevation will be iffy.

Anyone wanting to hike at those elevations in the northern half of Utah should check with their local Forest Service office and inquire about the status of the trails. Remember, snow can be deceptive. What doesn't look deep can be up to your knees. Also, slogging through the snow can wear you out when you're already hiking up a mountain.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes