Winter hiking can be one of the most challenging but picturesque experiences one can do, mainly because one can walk for miles without encountering another soul. There are many proven benefits of seeing and experiencing snow: it awakens a sense of wonder in us, it calms us, it connects to our childhood memories, it reminds us of the beauty in nature and brings people together.
In the United States, there are several hiking trails to experience when covered in snow where the icy cold temperatures can regenerate your body and your soul. Here are our top 3 picks.
Watchman Trail in Zion National Park, Utah
The alien-like landscape of Zion National Park is just as beautiful in the winter as in summertime, and more so if you happen to catch it with snow. Being an easy 3 miles around-trip, this trail catapults you to a land of sandstone spires and spectacular cacti that bask under the desert sun year-round.
Cape Falcon Trail in Oswald West State Park, Oregon
Oregon is known for its stunning vistas in any season. The 2.5-mile trail to the cape, or more specifically the Salal Headland, is a truly majestic journey through some of the Northwest’s best preserved old-growth coastal forests. In a few other places you will see Sitka spruce and western redcedar on such scale.
Cumberland Trail in Cumberland Trail State Park, Tennessee
This trail is characterized by unique geologic features that include Mushroom Rock in Sequatchie County, waterfalls, bluffs, overlooks, rock houses, arches, stream and a large variety of spectacular plant life. Among the rare plants found on the trail are large flowered skullcap and Virginia spirea.
No matter your trail choice, anywhere around the world, the secret to winter hiking is making sure you have the right footwear, especially when your feet need to stay dry and warm throughout your experience.
A key role in the choice of the right pair of hiking boots is played by the membrane
: this is the technological wonder that keeps your feet dry under intense wet weather conditions. The membrane keeps water out via a sophisticated breathing method: the holes in the membrane are too small to let water in yet just large enough to allow water vapor to escape. This means your feet can both breathe and stay dry.
This is very important for your outdoor experience, especially if you consider also that feet have a high concentration of sweat glands which tend to produce a lot of heat. Hence it is essential that moisture and heat can move between the inside and outside parts of the show.
At GARMONT® we use different membranes. Some of our product styles feature GORE-TEX®
membranes, one of the most established and global manufacturing companies, to make sure our products are best in quality and protection against the elements. This is how it works: each square inch of the GORE-TEX® membrane has nine billion pores. Each of these tiny holes is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet. So the deal is that rain and snow simply cannot get in. But in addition to this, this membrane is also breathable, and windproof
, which makes it perfect for any kind of outdoors activity, from bike riding along the coast, to hiking under a hurricane.
GARMONT® also developed its own type of membrane called G-DRY
, featured in styles like DRAGONTAIL
. The G-DRY membrane guarantees a windproof barrier with up to 10,000 mm waterproof protection while keeping the foot dry and comfortable even in the wettest weather conditions. GARMONT® has developed this specific membrane as it combines breathability and impermeability with a sustainable approach with its environmentally friendly lamination.
So, even before picking your hiking destination, make sure you are picking the right footwear that will enhance your outdoor experience and make it special.