Here we explore Outstanding Experiences with Things To Do In Southern Utah In The Winter are the Land of Red Rock Arches, National Parks, and Outdoor Adventures. As winter approaches, many Americans find themselves attracted to the sunny beaches of Mexico or the amusement parks and Cheap Things To Do in Orlando
But for those seeking a distinct and serene winter escape, Southern Utah sticks out as a strange choice. With its abundance of hiking and bike routes, national parks, and monuments, Southern Utah truly shines in the winter.
How to Travel There
Southern Utah’s solitude adds a dash of adventure to the trip, which is part of the attraction. From Denver International Airport, United Airlines offers a convenient daily flight to Canyonlands Regional Airport, which is situated just north of Moab, lasting seventy minutes. Additionally, you may fly directly into the center of the Grand Circle with Contour Airlines, which offers a daily, 70-minute flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Page, Arizona. If you decide to take a road vacation, you can reach the area in three to five hours, depending on your destination, by car from Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas or Salt Lake City International Airport.
What to Pack
What to Pack Carefully packing is necessary to enjoy Southern Utah’s winter beauty. For continuous outdoor activities, layering is essential. Base layers made of wool or synthetic materials should be paired with a warm jacket and hat. Sunglasses and shade are essential especially in January, because sunny days are so usual. If you plan to go snow hiking, you might want to get some cleats for better grip in the winter.
Where to Stay
Many of the national and state parks offer winter camping in Southern Utah, but there are other excellent lodging options available at motels, inns, and glamping sites. The Red Sands Hotel & Spa in Torrey, Utah, provides a haven with individual bathing rooms and salt-float tubs for visitors to Capitol Reef National Park. Glamping choices close to Bryce Canyon National Park include Escalante Yurts and Ruby’s Inn. Lovers of Zion National Park can enjoy luxury glamping at Open Sky or comfort at Watchman Villas, and guests visiting Arches or Canyonlands can stay at the 4-star Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa along the Colorado River.
How to go on
It’s essential to pay a visit to one or more of Southern Utah’s national parks. Every national park offers a unique winter wonderland, from the mysterious hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park to the small slot canyons and pink sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park. Many outdoor pursuits are available in the area, such as cross-country skiing, hiking, biking, camping, and backpacking. Eagle Point Resort and Brian Head Resort offer less crowded, more reasonably priced options for those who enjoy downhill skiing. Enjoy the extended winter hours for superb astronomy as darkness falls.
Embracing the Winter Tranquility
Visiting one or more of Southern Utah’s national parks is essential. Every national park, from Zion National Park’s tiny slot canyons and pink sandstone cliffs to Bryce Canyon National Park’s mysterious hoodoos, offers a different kind of winter beauty. There are lots of outdoor activities in the area, like biking, hiking, camping, and trekking in addition to cross-country skiing. If you prefer downhill skiing, Eagle Point Resort and Brian Head Resort are less busy and more cheaply priced options. As night falls, savor the longer winter days for amazing astronomy.
What things to do in southern Utah in the winter?
Utah is an outdoor lover’s heaven for travel with lots of national parks, long trails, hot springs, and excellent skiing. Explore Utah’s top locations for glamping, including the yurt and covered carts.
Explore pleasure in Utah’s numerous facilities for an exciting American vacation.
Southern Utah offers a wide range of winter activities, such as hiking in the sun or skiing in brand-new powder at Brian Head Resort. Enjoy the amazing beauty of St. George and the surrounding attractions without the need for a jacket.
1. Snowmobiling and Thunder Mountain Sports
Experience adventure effortlessly with a snowmobile ride through Brian Head’s backcountry with Thunder Mountain Sports. Opt for the driver’s seat for a thrilling ride or share the experience with a friend, marveling at the vistas of Dixie National Forest and Cedar Breaks National Monument.
- Prices start at $105.00 per machine, with an additional $20.00 for each passenger on the 1.5-hour tour.
- For the ultimate adventure, go for the 3-hour tour and encounter unique sights like an abandoned school bus and enchanting rows of snow-covered pine trees.
- Stay at the conveniently located Best Western Premier Brian Head for easy access, just a 10-minute walk or a 1-minute drive away.
2. Dead Horse Point State Park
Explore the ever-changing landscape from the 2,000-foot prominence of Dead Horse Point in Utah during winter.
- Witness vertical cliffs meeting canyons, shaped by ice, water, and wind, creating a visual masterpiece.
- Amid extreme conditions, discover the stories of ancient hunters and 1800s cowboys, who used the narrow neck to corral wild mustangs.
3. Snow Canyon State Park
Snow Canyon State Park, is an attractive Southern Utah gem with 7,400 acres of lava flows, sandstone cliffs, and charming desert tortoises.
- For just $10 per car, explore over 38 miles of hiking trails, though be prepared with sunblock and ample water.
- Winter visits, especially on weekdays, offer a quiet escape, with the likelihood of having the trails mostly to yourself. RV travelers can enjoy a 33-unit campground with water and electric hookups.
4. Zion National Park (Hiking Destination)
Zion National Park is one of the most famous destinations for hiking in the USA, It has trails with range from strenuous to leisurely. Meet a park ranger at the entrance for guidance on the best hiking trail for you.
- For photography, I opted for the Angel’s Landing hike, a two-part journey with the first stop at Scout Lookout (2 miles) and Angel’s Landing at 2.5 miles.
- Exercise caution on the .08-mile stretch to Angel’s Landing, as it’s extremely strenuous with narrow sections and drop-offs.
- For stunning photos, stop at Scout’s Lookout for breathtaking mountain views, red or pink rocks, and a mesmerizing lake below.
- The hike takes 2-4 hours, so plan accordingly and avoid rushing through this remarkable experience.
5. Kolob Canyon
Explore Kolob Canyon for stunning photos without the need for a hike in Southern Utah. Keep your Zion National Park entrance ticket for a 7-day validity to access this side of the park. The 5-mile scenic drive culminates at the must-see Kolob Canyons Viewpoint.
- This lesser-known area offers nearly a dozen hiking trails, providing a crowd-free experience. Southern Utah, easily accessible from neighboring states, makes for the perfect Mountain West road trip.
- Whether arriving from Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, or Nevada or flying into Salt Lake City, embark on a journey to discover the best of Southern Utah. Enjoy your adventure!
6. Zion Glamping Adventures
Explore Zion Glamping Adventures, where bell-shaped tents adorn a hillside in a private canyon just an hour from Zion National Park.
- These deluxe tents boast comfy queen-size beds (some with two), high-end bedding, and nearby campsites with amenities like fire pits, grills, and picnic tables. Shared outhouses and outdoor showers add to the rustic charm.
- Situated near the Water Canyon Trail, this glamping spot offers more than just cozy tents.
- Engage in a guided hike through Water Canyon, featuring waterfalls, a spring, and a natural rock bridge. For added adventure, book buggy and horseback rides through the Zion Glamping Adventures team.
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7. The Narrows
True to its name, The Narrows is the narrowest part of Zion Canyon, offering one of Zion’s most popular and challenging winter hikes.
- Guide towering walls of Navajo sandstone, reaching up to 2,000 feet, across the 16-mile trail. Experience nature’s raw beauty, with stunning zebra stripes on cliffs and breathtaking slot canyon scenery.
- Prepare yourself with water shoes, walking sticks, and waterproof bags, as the trail traverses the Virgin River. Check for flash flood warnings and, for a safe journey, consider a private tour with a professional guide.
8. Angels Landing
Angels Landing, formerly the Temple of Aeolus, is a majestic 1,488-foot rock formation in Zion National Park, southwestern Utah, USA.
- A famous trail carved into solid rock in 1926 guides you to the summit, offering panoramic views of Zion Canyon.
- Explore this iconic destination as part of your winter adventures in Utah.
In winter, shorter days make extended outdoor activities challenging. However, the offseason brings quieter popular tourist spots and national parks in Utah, offering a potentially more enjoyable exploration, if you don’t mind the cold.
Southern Utah experiences winters with approximately 2-3 instances of snow annually, which doesn’t linger. Temperatures seldom fall below 30 degrees, and even when they do, the sun typically continues to shine.
If planning a park visit, note that May through September and holidays are peak times. Consider exploring outside the park from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during busy hours or opt for early mornings or post-sunset visits. Parks and monuments remain accessible year-round, 24/7. Be aware of crowds, and remember, winter offers a great opportunity for solitude in Southern Utah’s stunning landscapes.
Bryce Canyon National Park, is the #1 attraction in Utah founded in 1928 by Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, stands as a must-see for its breathtaking beauty. Accessible with a Senior National Park pass, the park features an 18-mile road through a pine forest, canyons on the east side, and unique horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved by erosional forces. Recognized for its remarkable geology, Bryce Canyon is a top attraction in Utah.
December and January are the coldest months in Utah of the year.
Utah has recorded its lowest temperature at 50°F below zero. With strong daytime insolation and rapid nocturnal cooling, the state witnesses wide daily temperature ranges. Despite hot days, nights typically remain cool in Utah.