Winter Aglow in Southeastern Utah
Find your sense of adventure and awe in the vast yet intricate swaths of desert from Arches National Park to Monument Valley. From delicate river-fed ecosystems to crimson-hued rock buttresses, this magical landscape is awash in history, dating back thousands of years to the original Native American settlers to whom these places were sacred.
A journey through Southeastern Utah is an expansive, enthralling geological paradox: It's vast and wide-open..."empty." Yet, up close, this landscape bears the most intricate topography imaginable: deep twisting slot canyons, towering rock formations, winding rivers cutting through eons of rock layers and ancient dwelling sites bringing history within reach.
During the winter, the sense of awe is heightened. Not only are the dramatic red, orange and sandy desert hues brightly lit by the low wintery sun, but they may be topped with touches of white snow – a photographer's dream. In the "off" season, the summer crowds are long gone. It's just you. And the silent, crisp desert air.
This itinerary guides you through classic Southern Utah vistas, archaeological sites, geographic marvels, and sacred Native American lands, including the famed Bears Ears National Monument.
Keep in mind that, while winter is an extraordinarily beautiful time to visit this corner of the world, the roads can at times be wet, icy, or snowy, especially on some of the remote roads you'll be traveling. It's a very smart move to use a four-wheel-drive vehicle with good tires and plenty of water and snacks packed along. As any seasoned cowboy could tell you, you'll never regret bringing extra snacks. (Read: "How To Visit Southern Utah in Winter")
Start: Green River or Salt Lake City
Finish: Mexican Hat
Hours of drive time: 11-14 depending on starting point; plan at least six hours for return to Salt Lake
A Winter’s Desert: Visiting Southern Utah in the Slow Months
Experiencing the peace of canyon country in the winter is an attraction of its own.
Across a Snow-Covered Desert
Follow this itinerary for a week-long winter road trip across the snow-covered desert of Southeastern Utah.
Find a Winter Refresh in a Utah State Park
The best Utah state parks will entice you with ice fishing, white sand and snow-dusted scenery. Take a winter break to refresh with a visit to a few of these places.
Gravity and Water: Mark Making in a Winter’s Desert with Anne Kaferle
Finding Helper at a time when she “needed it the most,” landscape artist Anne Kaferle has put down roots in Utah, thanks to plein-air painting and the healing power of time alone in the landscape.
The Complete Winter Camping Packing List for Staying Warm in Southern Utah
For most travelers, Southern Utah winters prevent comfortable camping, and occasional snowfall can make outdoor adventure a little more challenging. With a little extra planning, good layers, and the right equipment, however, you can enjoy Utah's national parks in the solitude of winter.
Turning the Lens on a Wintry Southern Utah
Discover some of the most picturesque places to photograph in Southern Utah, and learn some tips for how to shoot and travel responsibly.
Winter in Southeastern Utah: Arches and Canyonlands
Want to avoid the Utah national park crowds? Plan a winter Southeastern Utah trip. Experience more peace, quiet and solitude.
Winter in Southern Utah Like a Local
Southern Utah comes alive in winter with unexpected experiences for those who are well-prepared and solitude for those who want to expand their view.