Traveler's Guide to Things to do in Utah in Winter
Utah transforms into a winter wonderland when the snow blankets its stunning landscapes. From world-class skiing and snowboarding to serene snowshoeing and cozy hot springs, there's no shortage of winter activities to enjoy in the Beehive State. Here's your comprehensive traveler's guide to the best things to do in Utah in winter.
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Things to do in Utah
Any traveler's guide to things to do in Utah in the winter would not be complete without including Zion National Park. One of the top things to do in Utah in winter, Zion National Park offers a unique and serene experience with fewer crowds and stunning landscapes transformed by snow. Here are some popular activities in Zion National Park during the winter months:
While some trails may be icy or closed due to winter conditions, there are still plenty of opportunities for hiking. The Riverside Walk and Lower Emerald Pools are usually accessible year-round, providing scenic views even in winter.
The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive are open during the winter, allowing you to take in the park's beauty from the warmth of your car.
Winter can be a great time for wildlife spotting, as animals come down to lower elevations in search of food. Keep an eye out for deer, bighorn sheep and other wildlife.
Check with the park for ranger-led programs and winter-specific activities, which can include guided snowshoe walks and talks about the park's unique winter ecology.
Experienced canyoneers can explore some of the park's slot canyons during the winter months when they are less crowded. Be sure to check with the park for permits and safety guidelines.
Start your visit at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to get updates on trail conditions, weather and park alerts.
Kanab, Utah, one of Southern Utah's hidden gems, offers a range of enjoyable activities during the winter months, including outdoor adventures and opportunities to appreciate the area's natural beauty. Here are some things to do in Kanab in the winter:
While many trails in Kanab and the surrounding area are open year-round, be prepared for winter conditions. Some popular hikes include Wire Pass, Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch and the Kanab Overlook Trail.
Slot Canyon Exploration
Winter is a great time to explore slot canyons like Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass, as they are often less crowded and cooler than during the summer.
Located just outside Kanab, this park offers a beautiful setting for sandboarding and ATV riding and the contrasting red sand against the snow can be quite picturesque. You can also rent sleds and tubes here for some winter fun in the dunes.
The nation's largest no-kill animal sanctuary, Best Friends welcomes visitors year-round. You can tour the sanctuary and even interact with some of the animals.
Explore Kanab's Downtown
Take a stroll through Kanab's charming downtown area, where you can find local shops, art galleries and cozy cafes.
As you plan your visit to Zion National Park or Kanab in the winter, check local conditions and the availability of guided tours or equipment rentals for winter activities. Make sure to dress warmly and be prepared for varying weather conditions, as temperatures can drop significantly in the evenings. Enjoy the peaceful beauty of southern Utah during the winter season!
Here's is more to add to your bucketlist for the best things to do in Utah in winter throughout the entire state.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing
For a more tranquil experience, venture into the backcountry or explore dedicated trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Glide across outdoor ice rinks in picturesque settings like Park City or Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City. Don't forget to sip on hot cocoa afterward!
Take a dip in one of Utah's natural hot springs, such as the Homestead Crater in Midway, for a unique and relaxing winter experience.
Test your skills with ice climbing in places like Ouray Ice Park or the Wasatch Range. Guided tours and equipment rentals are accessible things to do in Utah in winter.
Enjoy a magical horse-drawn sleigh ride through snowy landscapes in destinations like Park City or Heber Valley.
Experience Utah's unique winter festivals like the Sundance Film Festival or the Ogden Winterfest, which offer entertainment, culture and fun.
Visit the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Park City. You can watch athletes train, take a bobsled ride or tour the museums.
Enjoy family-friendly fun with snow tubing at various resorts and tubing parks throughout the state.
After a day on the slopes, unwind at cozy mountain lodges or indulge in gourmet dining at local restaurants. Apres Ski is currently a popular trend among things to do in Utah in winter.
Utah's clear winter skies make it an ideal destination for stargazing. Head to designated dark sky areas like Capitol Reef National Park for breathtaking celestial views.
Don't miss the festive holiday light displays in cities like Salt Lake City and Ogden.
Remember to check weather conditions and travel advisories before your trip. The state offers a wide range of things to do in Utah in winter for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat in a snowy paradise. So, bundle up and embrace the beauty of Utah in winter!
Places to eat & drink in Utah
While completing your list of things to do in Utah in winter you are sure to work up an appetite. When visiting Zion National Park, you'll find a variety of dining options in the nearby town of Springdale. Here are some places to eat and drink near Zion National Park:
Zion Canyon Brew Pub: This brewery and pub offers craft beers and a diverse menu with options for all tastes, from burgers to salads. It's a great spot to unwind after a day of hiking.
Oscar's Café: Known for its delicious Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, Oscar's is a popular choice among visitors. Try their tacos or enchiladas and don't forget to enjoy the outdoor seating area with views of the surrounding red rock cliffs.
Bit & Spur Restaurant and Saloon: This rustic restaurant offers a mix of Mexican and American dishes, along with a lively atmosphere. The outdoor patio is a great place to dine while soaking in the views.
Cafe Soleil: A cozy spot for breakfast and lunch, Cafe Soleil serves up delicious crepes, sandwiches and fresh salads. It's perfect for a quick meal before hitting the trails.
Whiptail Grill: Located just outside the park, Whiptail Grill offers a unique blend of Southwestern and Caribbean flavors. Their dishes are known for their bold and delicious combinations.
Sol Foods Supermarket: If you're planning a picnic in the park, Sol Foods is a grocery store in Springdale where you can pick up supplies like sandwiches, snacks and beverages.
Please note that Springdale is a relatively small town, so it's a good idea to make reservations, especially during peak tourist seasons. These dining options provide a range of choices to satisfy your appetite while exploring the stunning beauty of Zion National Park and things to do in Utah in winter.
If Kanab, Utah is on your list of things to do in Utah in winter, there are a variety of dining options to satisfy your culinary cravings. Here are some places to eat and drink in Kanab, Utah:
Rocking V Café: Known for its creative American cuisine and art-filled ambiance, Rocking V Café offers a diverse menu featuring dishes like steak, seafood and vegetarian options. Don't miss their rotating selection of local art.
Iron Horse Restaurant: A family-friendly spot with a diverse menu, Iron Horse serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their burgers and sandwiches are favorites among locals and visitors alike.
Houston's Trails' End Restaurant: A cozy eatery with a menu that includes comfort food and southwestern dishes. It's a popular spot for breakfast and lunch.
Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen: This restaurant offers wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches and salads in a relaxed setting. It's a great place to grab a meal after a day of exploring things to do in Utah in winter.
Willow Canyon Outdoor: Not just a restaurant, but a great place to pick up deli sandwiches, snacks and drinks for picnicking or taking with you on outdoor adventures.
The Outlaw Saloon: If you're looking for a drink, The Outlaw Saloon is a Western-themed bar with a selection of beers, cocktails and a friendly atmosphere.
These dining options in Kanab provide a range of choices, from casual to upscale, guaranteeing you'll find something to satisfy your appetite while exploring the beauty of southern Utah and things to do in Utah in winter.
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