Is there a better place to trek than southern Utah in spring? An outcropping near Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park provides the killer view. The up-and-back is 3.4 miles and 670 feet of climbing. No, that is not me on all fours above the arch. Just a day earlier, snow swept through the area.
For day hiking, I use Osprey’s Talon 11 backpack. Big enough for an extra jacket, a monster lunch, a bladder and a few odds and ends. Comfortable, with plenty of ways to attach poles and other things to the outside.
For my feet, I have found none better than Salomon Ultra X shoes and, for tougher terrain, boots. They are lightweight, sturdy and grip sandstone like you want them to.