National Parks in Winter

Southern Utah in winter is full of quiet splendor (not crowds)

The summer months in Southern Utah pass along a familiar path. During the high season, the hot and sunny, red rock wonderland welcomes the majority of its annual visitation — travelers from around the world flock to Utah’s five national parks to witness the postcard scenery in person under the steady summer sun. But on the flip side, this same veritable movie set of scenic landmarks is practically empty during the winter months. The five national parks and their surrounding country are full of solitude and with an adventurous spirit to shrug off mild doses of moody weather you can count on having it all to yourself.

But you’ll want to be prepared. While winter weather in Southern Utah can be mild you’ll still need to deal with cooler and widely fluctuating temperatures as well as intermittent rain and snow. Throughout the season, nights and shaded areas are quite chilly, while exploring in the sunshine can be delightful. Watch current conditions, as unsettled winter weather can bring storms. Finally, businesses in many of Utah’s smaller communities shutter for the season. But with some advanced planning and a good set of layers, these small impediments are easily handled.

The reward is pure solitude as you gaze out of some of the most stunning vistas in the world. Skip the beach trip and explore Southern Utah like you’ve never seen it before. Here are your guides to going south this winter.