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Southwest in July?
  
 
GroovyGeek
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Southwest in July?


OK, I know some of you will think that I am crazy but... my company is shutting down the week of July 4th and I need to make the most of it. Don't want to spend a lot of $$$ flying to the southern hemisphere. The Pacific Northwest or the Canadian Rockies are a maybe, depending on the snow pack, which is likely to be heavy if the rest of the winter is like the past 4 weeks. Wanted to see if I am missing something closer to home (San Diego).

During past years I have gone to Northern AZ/southern Utah but it was pretty damn hot. I distinctly remember that day at Coyotte Buttes where I got caught at 10am in 100F+ temps and had to get back to my tent via bee lines from shrub to shrub. Plus the weather is neither here nor there - not quite monsoon yet, just hot and hazy. How is Utah a bit further north? Anything at higher elevations that is tolerable and potentially worth it? Not interested in the National Parks, my threshold level for crowds is low and it dies not get much worse than NPs on the week of July 4th.



Nov 19, 2016 at 07:50 AM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Southwest in July?


northern Utah is probably mid 80s by 4th of July (at least in SLC). In the Uintas it will be cooler than that. Great Basin NP might worth a trip, since it is the least visited NP in the lower 48.


Nov 19, 2016 at 05:15 PM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Southwest in July?


Here's the trusty climate map: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/coopmap/

I'll second the Great Basin suggestion.
Or maybe the Bristlecone Forest above Bishop.
In either location the snow should be largely gone by July, leaving crisp nights and lovely days.

For a fling into the Great Unknown, how about the Ruby Mountains in NE Nevada? Lakes, trees, wildflowers, etc. Quite lovely. Overall, the area seems roughly equivalent to Great Basin N.P.

If you're feeling lucky with the weather, try Chiricahua N.P. in far SE Arizona. The monsoonal moisture arrives here several weeks before Tucson, and you'll have good chances of dramatic skies and thunderstorms. Camp in the 8000+ft mountains a few miles south of the developed park in the Pinery Canyon area (or other high areas.) With a full moon on the 8th, you can enjoy some VERY neat midnight hikes into the hoodoo forests in the cool evening.

Flagstaff is high enough to be quite pleasant. Little chance of storms, but plenty of pretty hiking trails.

Check out Elk Mountain Road. https://goo.gl/maps/cG4p69h8BiT2
Follow it north into the cools hills. Descend to explore the numerous Anasazi ruins in Lime, Mule, Road, etc. Canyons. Visit The Citadel. Other day trips to Natural Bridges Nat. Monument, Valley of the Gods (lower and hotter)



Nov 20, 2016 at 12:15 AM
GroovyGeek
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Southwest in July?


Thanks, these are useful suggestions. The Bristlecones are too limited for a week-long stint,plus they are close enough to me for a long weekend trip - this time I have full 9 days and want to venture a bit further. The East Sierras will be melting by then but they are very busy around 7/4, even at the high elevations where significant hiking is needed.

How about the higher elevations of the Colorado Plateau, for example the northern parts of the Kaiparowits Plateau around Death Ridge? Or Fiftymile Mtn further south? There seem to be lots of mesas at around 7000-8000 ft there looking at 1000+ ft drops both to the East and West, for example 37.3744, -111.574; 37.26715, -111.74005 and many others in that area above 7kft. Or some of the other highlands - the Kaibab, Markagunt, and Paunsaugunt plateaus? Never photographed them and the Jeep trails in that area look to be extensive so access is reasonable.



Nov 20, 2016 at 01:11 AM
stanparker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Southwest in July?


The Western Slope of Colorado is perfect in July. The valley may get a little warm at times, but the mountains are glorious then, wildflowers especially. Lots of hiking trails, plenty of 4WD trails. You could base in Silverton or Crested Butte and fill nine days easily.




Nov 20, 2016 at 03:00 AM
 

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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Southwest in July?


Alaska is nice that time of year. :-)


Nov 22, 2016 at 03:21 AM
GroovyGeek
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Southwest in July?




gdanmitchell wrote:
Alaska is nice that time of year. :-)


Not if the weather is evolving as it is now. From what I read at the moment they have record heat waves, record thin ice, and are suffering from flooding and slush. But yes, in principle I should probably think about flying to Alaska or at least BC.



Nov 22, 2016 at 03:31 AM
Tim Knutson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Southwest in July?


Fly into Vegas then go over to Death Valley. After that Arizona is going to feel like a cool breeze.
The grand canyon should be nice, except for all the tourists.



Nov 24, 2016 at 09:51 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Southwest in July?


GroovyGeek wrote:
Not if the weather is evolving as it is now. From what I read at the moment they have record heat waves, record thin ice, and are suffering from flooding and slush. But yes, in principle I should probably think about flying to Alaska or at least BC.


If you are going to visit Alaska, summer is a fine time to go. I've spent a total of about a month there (though it has been a while) in the late June through July time frame. The weather was mostly beautiful, though it can rain.

In fact, some significant climate change effects are being observed in and around Alaska from what I hear from reputable sources. The heat waves may affect summer weather, but the other things you mention — real as they are — are currently more about the winter season.

And, having been in both places, I can assure you that even a "heat wave" in Alaska is nothing like the norm in the desert Southwest.

Dan



Nov 25, 2016 at 12:56 AM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Southwest in July?


Fancy a crash course in Storm Chasing?
Early July in the central and northern plains is still within the 'Tornado Season' window.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/new/SVRclimo/climo.php?parm=anySvr



Fly into Rapid City, Casper, Denver, etc. and be ready to chase. Even in you don't see any 'naders (a very real possibility for a newbie), the sky can be wildly beautiful. If the weather doesn't cooperate, head for state parks and other 'secondary' destinations in the area. Lots of grasslands, wild life, and generally pretty, rolling landscapes....

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/ I've been to a few in S.D., including the pretty Bear Butte.
http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/
http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/
https://maps.outdoornebraska.gov/parksearch/
etc.



Nov 25, 2016 at 02:13 AM







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