Places to Visit in Utah in the Winter

Here’s a list of places to visit in Utah in the winter to see Utah’s stunning snowy or red rock landscapes, enjoy outdoor activities, and attend fun events.

You’ll find a variety of Utah vacation destinations to go during the winter month of December, January, and February like National Parks, State Parks, and National Monuments! Take advantage of the holiday and winter events in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas as well.

6 activities and places to visit in utah in the winter

We have lived in Utah for over 20 years and get to explore the state often. Even though there may be snow and cold temperatures, we enjoy traveling around Utah in the winter! We’re excited to share our list of places to visit and things to do in Utah during the winter months of December, January, and February based on our travels!

Use our Utah Packing Lists to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for your winter vacation! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

Utah packing lists for spring summer fall and winter
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Visiting Utah in the Winter

One thing many people don’t know is the state of Utah is usually divided into two regions: northern and southern.

Salt Lake City and Park City are located in Northern Utah. St. George and all 5 Utah National Parks are in Southern Utah.

Remember that a drive from Salt Lake City in the north to any of the National Parks in the south can take 4 to 5 hours during good weather.

Expect delays or slower drive times during a winter storm! Be prepared with the food, water, and supplies you’ll need in case you’re stuck on the road due to a storm or accident. There are long stretches of road between the small towns, many with limited services. Cell service can be spotty in areas driving from northern to southern Utah as well.

Winter Weather in Utah

Utah weather in the winter will be cold and snowy. The temperatures will vary between Northern and Southern Utah. The higher elevations will have more snow and temperatures will be colder than the lower elevations by 10 to 20 degrees.

December Weather

  • Northern Utah (Salt Lake City): highs 39 / lows 27 degrees F
  • Southern Utah (St. George): highs 63 / lows 40 degrees F

January Weather

  • Northern Utah (Salt Lake City): highs 39 / lows 24 degrees F
  • Southern Utah (St. George): highs 54 / lows 28 degrees F

February Weather

  • Northern Utah (Salt Lake City): highs 45 / lows 29 degrees F
  • Southern Utah (St. George): highs 59 / lows 32 degrees F

What To Wear In Utah In The Winter

If you’ll be doing any outdoor activities, we recommend at least the following:

  • Base Layers: Wicking base layers will give you the warmth you need to fight off the cold winter weather. Plus, you can take them off easily whenever you no longer need them. 
  • Fleece jacketsFleece jackets serve as a light layer on warmer days in the park but can also add warmth to your layering.
  • Insulated Jackets: Insulated jackets provide the perfect warmth for short or extended excursions. 
  • Wool socks: Do not wear cotton socks. It is best to wear wool socks for winter. Bring a spare just in case anything unexpected happens.
  • Insulated hats: An insulated hat will protect you from losing too much of your body temperature through your head.
  • Winter gloves: If it’s extremely cold, use an insulating glove inside a waterproof shell mitt to provide dexterity and warmth.
  • Waterproof hiking bootsHiking boots need to be waterproof. You may also need traction devices for some trails.
man-and-woman-at-Zion-in-January-Photo-Jeepers-1080x775 (1)
Wear warm clothing for Zion National Park in the winter

Activities and Places to Visit in Utah in the Winter

Use this list of Utah winter activities to help plan an amazing itinerary full of fun things to do like snow skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling in the higher elevations as well as hiking, biking, and scenic drives in the lower elevations or southern part of the state!

If you know the month you’ll want to visit, we’ve detailed Utah winter activities and events taking place during those times:

Bryce Canyon in the winter hoodoos with snow
Bryce Canyon in the winter hoodoos with snow

Utah National Parks in the Winter

Visiting Utah National Parks in the winter is always a good idea. With 5 National Parks in Utah, you are guaranteed some beautiful views and adventures to enjoy this winter.

At Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion you can go hiking, biking, climbing, and off-roading all day and not worry about the intense sun and heat you get during the summer.

If you enjoy the snow mixed with amazing views, then you’ll love to visit Bryce Canyon. Due its high elevation there is snow in the winter there to enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

The best thing about winter at Utah National Parks is the solitude and serenity you’ll experience. It’s quite the contrast from visiting in the summer months!

family snowshoeing at Silver Lake Utah
Family snowshoeing at Silver Lake, Utah

Snowshoeing in the Winter Utah

If you’re a fan of hiking and snow, give snowshoeing a go. You can get started by renting or buying snowshoes and poles, and go off on a familiar trail. Here are 5 snowshoe trails near Salt Lake City to get you started.

A good way to acquaint yourself with snowshoeing, if you’ve never gone before, is with a tour. There are many outfitters leading snowshoeing tours out of Park City.

Another fun snowshoeing activity in Utah is snowshoeing to The Yurt at Solitude, for a delicious 5 course dinner.

woman on a snowmobile in the winter
Snowmobiling in the winter

Snowmobiling in Utah

Exploring the Utah snowmobile trails is another fun winter activity. Snowmobile rentals, guides and tours are available in all areas of Utah. Park City is one of the best places in Utah if you’re looking for a guide, or to rent a snowmobile. Park City Peaks offers guided tours on an open ranch.

Check out the Utah State Park groomed trails report to get the latest information for snowmobiling at these parks.

pathway inside ice castles
Ice Castles

Midway Ice Castles

At the Midway Ice Castle, visitors explore the various castle rooms that contain carved tunnels, sculptures, thrones, slides, fountains and more, lit with LED lights to add to the magic.

The Ice Castles are located at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway. This Utah winter attraction, and many of the individual elements, are weather dependent. 

Once you have finished going around the rooms, gather around the fire pit and sip hot drinks to talk about the awesome adventure.

mom with kids at Utah Crater
Swimming in Utah Crater

Utah Crater and Hot Springs in the Winter

Also located in Midway, you’ll find the Utah Homestead Crater – a natural 65 foot deep hot spring found inside a 55 foot tall mineral dome. The water ranges in the low 90 degrees, and it’s a fantastic place in Utah to visit in the winter. 

Life jackets are required, and besides swimming, the Utah Crater also offers scuba diving, snorkeling and even paddleboard yoga. Changing facilities are available. Be sure to make a reservation. You can also tour the crater for free, but you’ll just wish you could get in the warm water!

Whether you want to relax your sore muscles after a full day of winter activities, or you simply want to feel some warmth, taking a dip in a hot spring is an excellent idea. Luckily, Utah has several hot spring options that are open even during the winter season.

Tubing at Soldier Hollow
Tubing at Soldier Hollow

Winter Tubing at Soldier Hollow

Tubing is a classic thing to do in the winter, and Soldier Hollow is the best place for tubing in Utah in the winter. Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway is a terrific place in Utah to enjoy winter activities. This place has the longest tubing lanes in Utah where you can slide 1,200 feet down the hill!

Pick a sunny day, and line up to drag your tube on the magic carpet up the hill.  Then careen down at top speed! You can group up with friends or your family into a mash of tubes to all head down the hill at once.

There’s a rope for towing people up the hill so you don’t have to do that climb on your own. We really enjoy tubing at night under the lights!

Sundance Film Festival

Every January, the Sundance Film Festival takes over Park City. Tickets for films screening in Park City and Salt Lake City, as well as online, are available per film, or you can purchase packages. Locals, sign up for alerts on specials just for Utah residents to get a deal on tickets to Sundance Film Festival.

Utah Polar Plunge Events in the Winter

In the winter, there are many polar plunge events around Utah.  One is Bear Lake Monster Winterfest. which also offers a 5K, chili cookoff, cardboard boat regatta, market and more. 

You can also find Special Olympics of Utah polar plunge events around the state, or you can sponsor your own event. 

Utah Grizzlies Hockey

A hockey game is a great thing to do for winter fun for the whole family in Utah. The Utah Grizzlies regular hockey season runs October to February, with both weekend games, and weekday afternoon options.

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Utah Bucket List

We’ve compiled this comprehensive list of must-do activities that belong on every Utah Bucket List: things to see, do and taste all around the state! Grab the free printable by clicking the graphic below!

utah bucket list - grab the free packet

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