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.