Visiting Utah National Parks in February

If you’re wondering the best month to visit Utah National Parks, don’t count out February! It’s a wonderful time for photography, snowshoeing, and scenic drives!

Yes, it will be cold and snowy visiting Utah National Parks in February, but you can’t beat the tranquil and serene atmosphere this time of year! The guide will detail the services available, weather, what to pack, where to stay and things to do in February.

Utah National Parks in February

The best thing about winter at Utah National Parks is the solitude and serenity you’ll experience. There will be more visitors around the President’s Day weekend, but it’s still nothing like peak visitation times!

We live hours away from all the parks, and have visited them during all four seasons. February is a fun time to visit the Utah National Parks because it’s the offseason so there are fewer crowds! The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting the parks in February.

Tip number is it be prepared for the temperatures and weather for the time you’ll be visiting. February is a cold and snowy time of year. Use our packing list for Utah National Parks to make sure you have the right clothing and gear! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

Utah National Parks packing lists
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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 Wear at Utah National Parks in February

The National Parks in Utah are located in the southern part of the state in a high desert climate. It’s important to stay hydrated, eat salty snacks, and use sun protection all year. If you’re not used to a dry environment, you may also need to use lotion and lip balm!

Pack and wear warm winter clothing and dress in layers so you’ll actually want to get out of the car to see the sights and enjoy the hikes! 

winter hiking gear

Utah National Parks in February

We always recommend visiting US National Parks in February when it’s the off-season for many destinations.

All of the Utah National Parks are open every single day. With that being said, not all the visitor centers and amenities are open throughout the whole park during the winter.

Some of the National Parks in Utah require you to be a little more self-reliant. You will want to check each individual park for closures and services before visiting. 

When determining the best time to visit Utah National Parks, time of year and weather play a big part in making that decision:

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park
Balanced Rock at Arches National Park

Arches in February

Winter is our favorite time to visit Arches National Park. The average highs are near 50 degrees with the lows in the mid 20s. Remember that Arches National Park is located at 5,653 feet above sea level so it does get cold in the winter, even if the sun is out.

Our favorite thing about Arches National Park in February is that the crowds are pretty much gone. We then get to really enjoy the park at our own pace. 

Many of the Arches National Park hiking trails remain open throughout February giving you lots of options to see explore the park. Take warm winter clothing and dress in layers so you’ll actually want to get out of the car when you get to the trailhead. Hiking boots should be warm and waterproof. No one wants soggy feet!

Arches National Park February Activities

Places to Stay at Arches in February

Mesa Arch at Canyonlands in the winter with snow
Mesa Arch at Canyonlands

Canyonlands in February

Visiting Canyonlands National Park in February requires a little more work due to its remote location. And several of the services are closed throughout the park during the week. 

In February you can enjoy Canyonlands hikes, off-road trails, and views to photograph at both regions:

The average highs in February are around 52 degrees with the lows around 28 degrees. Remember that Island in the Sky is located at 6,100 feet above sea level, and Canyonlands Needles is 5,920 so it does get cold in the winter, even if the sun is out.

After a snow storm, the park road might be closed for plowing for a few hours. Keep in mind that the roads, parking lots, and pullouts in the park can still be icy, especially in shaded areas.

Canyonlands Activities in February

Places to Stay Near Canyonlands in February

Bryce Canyon in the winter
Bryce Canyon in the winter

Bryce Canyon in February

Bryce Canyon will be the coldest park of all 5 in Utah due to its elevation. The temperatures at Bryce Canyon National Park in February average between 38 degrees Fahrenheit and 13 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cold! With the right winter clothing, you can enjoy all the winter activities at the park! 

In February the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival takes places around the President’s Day weekend. Activities include winter sports tours, crafts for kids, photography clinics, and so much more!

You’ll need snowshoes or traction devices to explore most of the day hikes at Bryce Canyon National Park. You’ll also find Ranger Programs like the Hoodoo Geology Talk and Snowshoe Hikes in February. The park does provide snowshoes at the visitor center if you don’t bring your own.

Some of the Bryce Canyon must see viewpoints past the Amphitheater could be closed any time during the winter for snow removal.

Bryce Canyon sunrise photography is spectacular! It’s worth getting up early to see the glow on the hoodoos at sunrise. Rechargeable hand warmers and photographer gloves are so nice when it’s COLD outside!

Bryce Canyon Activities in February

Places to Stay Near Bryce Canyon in February

Capitol Reef National Park in the snow
Capitol Reef National Park in the snow

Capital Reef in February

The temperatures at Capitol Reef National Park in February are cold with highs around 45 and lows around 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Be prepared for the cold and possible snow with the right winter clothing.

Capitol Reef hikes are a big attraction at this park. Our favorites are Hickman Bridge and Cassidy Arch. In the winter we recommend exploring the Capitol Reef scenic drive as well!

Capitol Reef National Park photography is spectacular so of course you want to take pictures! Here’s a list of our favorite photo spots:

  • Capitol Reef Sunrise Photo Spots: Panorama Point and Sunset Point.
  • Capitol Reef Sunset Photo Spots: Panorama Point, Sunset Point and along the scenic drive to capture the reflected light on the canyon walls.

Capitol Reef National Park February Activities

Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef in February

Zion National Park with snow

Zion National Park in February

We’ve enjoyed every trip to Zion National Park in February, especially when it snows! In February at Zion the highs are around 50 degrees and the lows around 25 degrees Fahrenheit. 

All four Zion National Park scenic drives are open to cars until mid-February. Be sure to check the Zion National Park shuttle for exact dates when the shuttle resumes for the year. The Zion Canyon road is a 6.5-mile drive that you can take to see breathtaking views and rock formations at your own pace.

Definitely explore a few Zion National Park hikes. With so many options you will be sure to find a hike that fits your ability and your mood. You’ll need an Angel’s Landing permit if you plan to hike past Scouts Lookout through the chains section.

Zion National Park February Activities

Places to Stay Near Zion in February

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

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