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Winter in Southern Utah
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Winter in Southern Utah

For anyone with an adventurous spirit, winter in Southern Utah is an explorer's dream.

As the chill of fall motivates the tree’s final leaves to meet the ground, there are those, the bold, who eagerly await winter’s arrival in Southern Utah. The bold know that here, they'll be rewarded with quiet, solitude, and vibrant night skies. For Southern Utah, winter is enchanted, a season less traveled with snow-capped peaks and endless canyons. The bold, maybe you, await the wonder that is winter in Southern Utah.

The Season Less Traveled

Explore the Regions

Southwestern Utah

Popular base camps of this region include Torrey, St. George, Cedar City and Kanab. Three (of five) of Utah's national parks also find their home in this portion of the state: Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef. For good reason, these spectacular parks are heavily visited. The beauty of southwestern Utah, however, does not end within national park boundaries. Be bold and step off the beaten path, whether across BLM land or through the acres of two national monuments (Cedar Breaks and Grand Staircase-Escalante) — here, you will find a new world of winter unfold. Layer up: Many travelers have found their favorite memories were created in hidden gems, parks and landscapes that will leave you breathless.

From snowmobiling and snowshoeing to winter star parties and cozy yurt camping, the rewards of winter's depths are beckoning the well-prepared traveler to Southwestern Utah.

Southeastern Utah

From base camp, jot down your plan, gear up and set out on your winter expedition in Southeastern Utah. This region includes Arches and Canyonlands national parks, both incredible landmarks, but not the only noteworthy and wonder-filled locations found here. Bears EarsNatural Bridges and Hovenweep national monuments are more than ready for your trek across their landscapes. Even Monument Valley has waited all summer for winter to let loose its magic across its famous views and iconic spots, lately dusted with snow. Your journey continues, on roads less traveled, but overflowing with quiet and winter's panache. Embrace your boundless curiosity and desire to explore more deeply the textures of these landscapes.

Southeastern Utah, between the warmer seasons, emanates solitude and offers a slew of wintertime recreation welcoming those who are willing to seek it. Escape the indoors this winter and satisfy your itch for adventure, whether hiking, biking or canyoneering, among a vast list of opportunities.

Make a Note

Head south and you will find what you're looking for this winter — come see what lies in months less traveled, but bear in mind nighttime temperatures will dip below freezing and high mountain passes may be closed and/or snowy. Be sure to check local road conditions and weather utilizing webcams and alerts. Plan ahead with our Tips to Pack for a Southern Utah Winter Trip. With the privilege of solitude, of course, comes some responsibility: It’s crucial that visitors to the area follow Leave No Trace principles to keep the locations beautiful year-round.

Southwest Basecamps

Southeast Basecamps

In Winter's Depths Slideshow

  • Zion National Park

    Zion National Park

    Clouds lingering in the heights of Zion. Photo: Jay Dash

  • Zion National Park

    Zion National Park

    A winter-water trek through the Narrows. Photo: Hage Photo

  • Zion National Park

    Zion National Park

    Zion's park East entrance in Southwestern Utah offering a snowy welcome. Photo: Hage Photo

  • Robbers Roost

    Robbers Roost

    In Southeastern Utah, Robbers Roost beckons the bold in winter. Photo: Andrew Burr

  • Robbers Roost

    Robbers Roost

    This area is incredibly remote, but accessible in winter. Photo: Andrew Burr

  • Kanab


    Examining the ancient petroglyphs in Buckskin Gulch. Photo: Ted Hesser

  • Cedar Breaks National Monument

    Cedar Breaks National Monument

    Stargazers take in the bright winter, night sky. Photo: Hage Photo

  • Winter Roads

    Winter Roads

    Be sure to check road conditions and weather for high mountain passes that may be closed and/or snowy. Photo: Hage Photo

  • Cedar Breaks National Monument

    Cedar Breaks National Monument

    Snowmobiling at Cedar Breaks. Here, you will find a new world of winter unfold. Photo: Jay Dash

  • Capitol Reef National Park

    Capitol Reef National Park

    The park's winding canyons and Parisian boulevard-like washes offer stunning displays of the power of wind and water to shape the land. Photo: National Park Service

  • Capitol Reef National Park

    Capitol Reef National Park

    This park is essentially empty during the winter months – perfect for family vacations or weekend getaways. Photo: National Park Service

  • Burr Trail Scenic Backway

    Burr Trail Scenic Backway

    On this scenic route, stop at the overlook to take in the scenery of Bullfrog Creek Canyon. Photo: Jay Dash

  • North Lake Powell

    North Lake Powell

    With the help of a guide, visitors can explore deep into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area's canyons. Photo: Jay Dash

  • Canyonlands National Park

    Canyonlands National Park

    Winter working its magic at an overlook at the park. Photo: Jacob W. Frank

  • Turret Arch

    Turret Arch

    Turret Arch in Moab glows beneath a waxing crescent moon. Photo: National Park Service

  • Petrified Dunes

    Petrified Dunes

    These dunes are a series of rock formations found at Arches National Park. Photo: National Park Service

  • Zion National Park

    Zion National Park

    Kolob Canyons of Zion National Park may require some extra effort to explore, but it is well worth it. Photo: Jay Dash

  •  Zion National Park

    Zion National Park

    Kolob Canyon: the lesser-visited corner of Zion National Park. Photo: Jay Dash

  • Brcye Canyon National Park

    Brcye Canyon National Park

    Taking a pause for a photo of Bryce Canyon in the snow. Photo: Hage Photo

  • Bryce Canyon National Park.

    Bryce Canyon National Park.

    Cross-country skiing at Bryce Canyon. Photo: Hage Photo

  • Brian Head Resort

    Brian Head Resort

    Brian Head boasts of spectacular skiing terrain and 360 annual inches of annual snowfall in the winter. Photo: Jay Dash

  • Brian Head Resort

    Brian Head Resort

    Surrounded by contrasting evergreen spruce and aspen, Brian Head boasts the highest base among Utah's resorts. Photo: Jay Dash

  • Valley of the Gods

    Valley of the Gods

    Valley of the Gods, located nearby Bears Ears National Monument and Mexican Hat, Utah, attracts individuals looking for idyllic sandstone structures. Photo: Sandra Salvas

  • The River House Site

    The River House Site

    This site offers visitors a true taste of southern Utah’s storied history — ancient Pueblo sites, pioneer history and stunningly preserved petroglyphs and pictographs. Photo: Sandra Salvas

  • Bears Ears National Monument

    Bears Ears National Monument

    Spanning high-elevation peaks, wild plateaus, deep canyons and towering sandstone, Bears Ears National Monument is at the heart of southeastern Utah. These lands are imbued with layers of culture. Photo: Rosie Serago

  • Gooseberry Mesa

    Gooseberry Mesa

    Pausing at the point of the South Rim of the mesa for sunset. Photo: by Ted Hesser

Follow an Itinerary

Here are a few itineraries providing tips and guidance on your winter journey(s). A trip through the season less traveled doesn't necessarily mean it's less planned-out. Although, spontaneity is greatly welcomed. 

Customize your itinerary search below or view all itineraries.

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:: Start Over

Take five or more days to combine the thrills of skiing and boarding with exploring the wintertime wonders to be found in Utah’s red rock country.
  • Zion National Park
  • Brian Head Ski Resort and Cedar Breaks
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Eagle Mountain Resort
Hoodoos and Stars takes advantage of the proximity of Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef national parks to slow down and also experience some of the must-see southwestern Utah landscapes and experiences along the way — including the world's best dark skies.
  • Zion National Park
  • All-American Road Scenic Byway 12
  • Capitol Reef Country
  • Kodachrome Basin