If you’re looking for fun activities to do this winter, here’s a list of things to do in Utah in January. This time of year you’ll experience a unique blend of breathtaking snowy landscapes, exciting outdoor activities, and enriching cultural experiences.
There are a variety of places to visit and activities to do in Utah in the winter. It’s a destination that offers something for everyone – from the adrenaline junkie looking to conquer the ski slopes, to the history enthusiast keen to delve into Utah’s rich past.
We have lived in Utah for over 20 years and get to explore the state often. If you love snow activities, then January is the month visit! It’s the offseason at all 5 Utah National Parks in January so you can explore the parks without the crowds and heat of summer.
We’re excited to share our list of things to do in January based on our travels throughout the state during the month! Plus we’ve got tips on how to stay warm so you can make the most of your winter vacation!
January temperatures in Northern Utah expect highs 39 / lows 24 and Southern Utah expect highs 54 / lows 28 degrees F.
Use our Utah Packing Lists to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in the winter (insulating jackets, hats and gloves)! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks
Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
What to Expect in Utah in January
One thing many people don’t know is the state of Utah is usually divided into two regions: northern and southern. It’s important to note where the various Utah vacation spots are located around the state. A drive from Salt Lake City in the north to any of the National Parks in the south can take 4 to 5 hours.
You’ll find most of Utah’s biggest cities (like Salt Lake City and Park City) in the North. As you leave the north and head toward the south, you pass by small towns with limited services. You’ll find all 5 Utah National Parks in Southern Utah.
Utah January Weather
Utah is divided into two regions: Northern Utah and Southern Utah. The temperatures and Utah weather in January can be drastically different due to elevation and location in the state.
January Northern Utah temperatures are highs 39 / lows 24 degrees F. In Southern Utah temperatures are highs 54 / lows 28 degrees F.
If you’re planning a trip to Utah in January, be prepared for cold temperatures and snowy conditions at any time throughout the state.
Is January a Good Time to Visit Utah?
The month of January is a fun time to visit Utah to enjoy a variety of activities. In the Southern part of the state, you can do outdoor activities like hiking, off-roading, scenic drives, and stargazing at the National Parks, State Parks, and National Monuments.
Enjoy snow activities like skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and more in Northern Utah and the higher elevation mountains around the state.
Things To Do Utah in January
Check out this list of amazing things to do when visiting Utah in January: winter events and festivals, outdoor activities at National and State Parks, snow sports, and more!
This list is organized by cities in Utah, with fun ideas for things to do in January in each area.
Things to Do Near Salt Lake City in January
Ski Resorts Near Salt Lake City: January is an amazing time to experience The Greatest Snow on Earth!! You’ll find 11 ski resorts along the Wasatch Mountain Range that are only 30 to 45 minutes from Salt Lake City!
January Events at Solitude Ski Resort: The torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show at Solitude includes a concert, children’s magic show, and watching the staff members ride down the mountain as a synchronized torch-lit team.
Utah Jazz Basketball Games: Watching an NBA basketball game at the Delta Center in downtown Salt Lake City is a fun family event in January! Nothing beats the feeling of being in the crowd, everyone wearing the team colors, shouting words of encouragement, clapping, and cheering!
Utah Grizzlies Hockey Games: The Utah Grizzlies are a professional ice hockey team in the ECHL. They play their home games at Maverik Center in West Valley City, about 15 minutes from Salt Lake.
Frigid 5K & Penguin Plunge: Starting at the Provo Boat Harbor where you will enjoy the short 5k course. Finish the event by doing the Penguin Plunge by braving the frigid cold and jumping into Utah Lake. If freezing cold water isn’t your thing, have fun watching the faces of those who are crazy enough to take the dive!
Things to Do Near Park City in January
Sundance Film Festival: This is THE number one event that happens every January in Park City to give indie filmmakers a place to showcase their work and get some well-deserved attention. It has now become a major event that draws in celebrities, industry professionals and film enthusiasts alike. It’s not just about showcasing indie films anymore, but also about networking, deal-making and celebrating the art of filmmaking.
Utah Olympic Park: The Winter Bobsled Experience is a must-do activity if you’ll be in Park City! The Track was home to bobsled, skeleton and luge events during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games. Join a professional pilot on a thrilling ride down the the 2002 Olympic track.
Dog Sledding in Park City: Enjoy a ride behind teams of beautiful huskies and other arctic breeds, some rescue dogs, all chomping at the bit to drag a winter sled guided by professional racers from all over the world.
Snow Biking in Park City: Also called Fat Tire Biking, it’s essentially mountain biking on snow! Park City has become a hot spot for this winter activity with over 400 miles of maintained trails.
Park City Sleigh Rides: For those don’t want to ski, snowboard, snow bike, or sled, try a horse-drawn sleigh ride! After a 25-minute ride enjoy a six-course dinner at the Viking Yurt.
Things to Do Near Heber in January
Midway Ice Castles: Walk through a winter wonderland made of ice that includes slides, caverns, archways, and tunnels! The mission of Ice Castles is to create happiness, laughter, and unforgettable winter memories.
Soldier Hollow Winter Tubing: Enjoy family fun tubing on the longest lanes in Utah! Slide down the 1,200-foot lanes alone or with a group! With multiple lanes to choose from and varying levels of difficulty, there’s something for everyone. Tubing sessions are 2 hours.
Ice Fishing at Strawberry Reservoir: If you’re looking for a cool way to chill out (quite literally!), then ice fishing at Strawberry Reservoir might just be your thing. Don’t let the cold scare you, because the serenity and the prospect of catching rainbow trout, cutthroat, or even kokanee salmon make it all worth it!
Paddleboard Yoga in a Crater: Imagine balancing on a paddleboard, striking a yoga pose, all while you’re floating on a warm, geothermal spring inside a massive, beehive-shaped limestone rock. It’s a unique combo of SUP (stand-up paddleboard) and yoga, in a destination that’s totally out-of-this-world!
Winter Zipline Canopy Tour: Ziplining in the winter is still a lot fun if you are prepared for it. Always dress for the weather – wear skiing attire if it is a colder day. Two Guides will take you up through Bear Canyon on a Humvee to the start of the first zipline. You will go platform to platform zig-zagging down the canyon side. The 5 zipline tour will take between 1.5-2 hours.
Things To Do Near Logan in January
Hardware Ranch Sleigh Rides and Elk Viewing: Ride in a sleigh through the middle of hundreds of wild elk at the Hardware Wildlife Management Area 16 miles east of Hyrum, Utah. Each ride lasts about 40 minutes.
Snowmobiling at Beaver Creek: Winter in Beaver Creek is truly a magical experience. Hop on a snowmobile and cruise through the stunning alpine landscapes this spot offers. The cool mountain air in your face, the roar of the snowmobile beneath you—it’s more than just a ride, it’s an adventure.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge: The 12 mile self-guided auto tour loop allows visitors to drive at their own leisure to see a variety of waterfowl. Small pockets of open water on the canals offer the winter bird watcher opportunities to view and photograph several species. Winter does cause the gravel road to sometimes be a bit rough with potholes and even snow and ice. Occasionally, the road will be closed due to ice, snow, or unsafe conditions, so it is always advised to check with the refuge headquarters to get up to date conditions and status of the auto tour route.
Bear Lake Monster Winterfest: The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest offers three days of fun-filled activities such as a Fishing Tournament, 5K Run/Walk, Chili Cook-off, Cardboard Boat Regatta, Village market, Monster Plunge, and much much more. There are even more fun winter activities to do all around the Bear Lake area!
Sledding and Tubing at “The Sinks”: Located in Logan Canyon about ten minutes west of Bear Lake, The Sinks is a natural limestone sinkhole and famous for being the coldest spot in Utah! It is the best place in the Cache Valley for sledding, tubing, and winter snow play.
Things To Do Near Moab in January
Arches National Park in January: Most of the trails at Arches are fully exposed to the sun, which is perfect for winter outdoor activities. Keep in mind you may encounter ice, snow and mud in shady areas of the trails because January is the coldest month of the year at the park and the wet areas don’t dry. You may need traction devices on some trails. Check with the visitor’s center for the most current trail conditions.
Canyonlands National Park in January: Winter is a quiet time at this Utah National Park. You’ll enjoy the park with fewer people and avoid the heat of summer. But visitor services are reduced in the winter. You’ll need to be more self-reliant when visiting either Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky or Needles Canyonlands in January.
Moab Winter Hiking: There are amazing Moab winter hikes to explore during the offseason. The Moab area includes hiking trails in two National Parks, one State Park, and on BLM land.
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway: Winter is a nice time of year to see the white snow against the red rocks along this scenic drive. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Colorado River, ancient rock petroglyphs, and even dinosaur tracks along this scenic byway. This drive is 34 miles roundtrip starting and ending in Moab. Plan about 2 hours to complete the trip.
Bluff Balloon Festival: Enjoy the sights of magnificent hot air balloons soaring over the red rocks of Bluff and nearby Valley of the Gods. Perfect for families, friends, or solo adventurers, this festival offers more than just balloons. From delicious local food to art showcases, it’s a celebration of all things local and air-filled. It’s easy to make a day trip to see Monument Valley while you’re there!
Things To Do Near St. George & Kanab in January
Zion National Park in January: You can drive your car through Zion Canyon and not worry about riding the Zion National Park shuttle in January, except around New Years and during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend!
Coral Pink Sand Dunes: January is a terrific time to hike or sandboard on the dunes without the crowds or heat! If you’re a photographer, you can’t beat the golden hour light at sunset!
Winter 4×4 Jamboree: Enjoy a non-competitive trail run event for high clearance 4×4 vehicles in Hurricane/St. George in January. There are 35 trails that offer views of Zion National Park, Pine Valley Mountain, Sand Hollow Reservoir, and more!
Snow Canyon State Park: Located near St. George, this park is a geological wonder that features red and white Navajo sandstone cliffs and canyons. Snow Canyon is a hiker’s paradise! There are a variety of trails through sand dunes, petrified dunes, lava tubes, and up to panoramic views of red and white rocks. It doesn’t usually snow here, but when it does, it’s a fun treat to see the contrast of the colorful rocks with the white snow!
Kanab: If there’s snow in January it creates a great accent for landscape photography. But it does limit the places you can explore because the dirt roads will be impassable. About 11 miles east of Kanab along Highway 89 you can access the paved Johnson Canyon Road. As you drive north stop at pullouts to photograph the colorful cliffs found in this region of Grand Staircase.
What To Wear In Utah In January
January is cold and usually snow-free in Southern Utah and at all 5 of the National Parks. In Northern Utah the valleys can experience sunny blue skies or snow storms. The higher elevation mountains are a winter wonderland with a variety of snow activities available!
We recommend layers and winter accessories for visiting Utah in January:
- Fleece jacket
- Winter hat
- Winter gloves
- Photographer gloves
- Insulated jacket
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Waterproof hiking shoes
- Insulated boots
- Rechargeable hand warmers
Places to Stay in Utah in January
- Coolest Hotels in Utah
- Arches National Park Lodging
- Arches National Park Winter Camping
- Bryce Canyon Winter Lodging
- Canyonlands National Park Lodging
- Canyonlands Winter Camping
- Capitol Reef National Park Lodging
- Capitol Reef National Park Winter Camping
- Zion National Park Lodging
- Zion National Park Winter Camping
Utah Bucket List
Check out even more fun Utah Bucket List ideas for your winter vacation. Be sure to download the free printable that includes ideas for things to see, do and taste all around the state! Click the image below!