Larger Than Life: Winter in Southwestern Utah
This desert is dramatic. In a really good way. Experience the towering heights of Zion, the depths of Buckskin Gulch, the dunes of Snow Canyon, the sunset over Gooseberry. Southern Utah’s wilds are wearing their winter splendor.
The southernmost wilds of Utah are known for going big. Really big. From Zion National Park’s soaring 2,000-foot sandstone cliffs to Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the country, these lands awe and inspire at every turn.This journey will take you mountain biking on a sky-high red rock mesa, hiking some of Zion’s most iconic trails, strolling the soft warm sand of the Coral Pink Dunes, exploring an animal sanctuary where you can (and will) give a rescue pig a back-scratch, and finally wandering some of the state’s most dramatic slot canyons.
Our itinerary shares a sampling of highlights in this area, but there’s enough to spend a lifetime exploring. So if you can carve out any extra days to spend on this trip, take the time to go deeper into the rocky wonderland between Zion and Kanab.
Start: Salt Lake City (you can also fly into Las Vegas for a shorter drive to your day-one destination)
Hours of drive time: 12-14 depending on starting point
15 Must-do Adventures in Kanab
Looking for fun things to do in Kanab? Check out our list of the 15 must-do adventures in Kanab and start planning your visit today.
5 Road Trip-Worthy Restaurants in Kanab, Utah
Visit Kanab, an outpost of adventure where a shared love of place and friendly competition has spurred a culinary renaissance.
A Guided Ride on the Rolling Slickrock of Gooseberry Mesa
Utah resident and tour guide Katharina Merchant shares her "backyard" mountain biking
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located just five miles north of Kanab, is the nation's largest sanctuary for homeless animals and provides adoption, spaying/neutering, and educational programs. The organization has also been the world’s leader in the no-kill movement for 30 years.
Cycling Zion: Earning the Descent
Watch Utah cyclist TJ Eisenhart climb Zion National Park’s Kolob Terrace Road. It’s a one-of-a-kind ride that transitions from red rock desert to green valley plateaus.
How to Have a Wintertime Yurt-to-Yurt Excursion in the La Sals
Utah's La Sal Mountains have long been a summertime escape from the Moab heat, but they are also an excellent winter destination, with yurts available to help you explore this scenic range with one of the country's most country’s most iconic views.
Kanab's Western Legends Roundup
Kanab's Western Legends Roundup is filled with round-the-clock Western-themed entertainment — think: movies, cowboys and history.
Kayenta Art Village
Like a Marfa, Texas, or Paonia, Colorado, Kayenta is often regarded as an artist colony. Kayenta's Coyote Gulch Art Village is a hub of cultural and social activity for locals and visitors alike.
Mission to Mars: Riding Gooseberry Mesa
You haven’t truly ridden a mountain bike until you’ve visited the stunning slickrock of Gooseberry Mesa. Learn more about this spectacular Utah trail.
The Complete Zion Trip
Tucked into the southwest corner of Utah, Zion National Park is the centerpiece for a 6-day red-rock vacation that includes a little bit of everything that makes the state such a marvel to experience.
The Creature Comforts of Kanab
Visit Kanab, a welcoming town with classic Western roots and modern-day amenities sitting smack in the middle of Southern Utah’s greatest outdoors.
Three Utah Bikepacking Routes for Beginners to Intermediates
Find a route for your next Utah bikepacking trip that promises immersion in history, culture and ridiculous scenic beauty.
Unexpected Southwest Utah: Snow Canyon State Park
Why visit Snow Canyon State Park? The scenery is breathtaking, the trails are suitable for everyone and the Snow Canyon campground is a treat. Learn more!
Why You Should Ditch I-15 on Your Way to Zion
If you’re not in a rush to get to Zion National Park from Northern Utah, consider taking a long, meandering route that features historic sites, adventure breaks and out-of-this-world scenery. Hop off I-15 and take Highway 89 and four nearby scenic byways to see and do as much as you possibly can on your way to Zion.