If you’re planning a trip to Utah for Christmas, be sure to layer up because it will be cold. The high temperatures will be in the 30s and lows in the teens. The Utah weather at Christmas could be snowy or blue skies an sunny!
If you’re looking for places to visit in Utah in the winter, it’s important to know the expected weather and temperatures you may encounter! At the end of December the weather will be cold and could be snowy all around the state.
We’ve lived in Utah over 20 years and have traveled all over the state during all four seasons. We recommend you pack layers: fleece jacket, winter jacket, winter gloves, and winter hat plus waterproof or insulated boots if you plan to enjoy the outdoors.
Be sure to check the winter weather forecast ahead of time for the location in Utah you plan to visit so you’re prepared for any changes, especially if you’ll be doing outdoor activities.
Use our Utah Packing Lists so you have the right clothing and gear for visiting at Christmas! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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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!
Tips For Visiting Utah at Christmas
Utah is divided into two regions: Northern Utah and Southern Utah. The temperatures and weather conditions at Christmas can be drastically different due to elevation and location in the state.
Northern Utah: This is where you’ll find the three large cities in the state: Salt Lake City, Park City, and Provo. For snow skiing or snowboarding enthusiasts, resorts should be fully operational at Christmas, depending on the snow totals.
Southern Utah: Located in Central and Southern Utah, visiting all five Utah National Parks in the winter you can enjoy more moderate temperatures and usually snow-free conditions in this part of the state. The higher elevations will be cold and snowy, like Bryce Canyon.
Check to see where the Utah winter vacation spots are located around the state because a drive from Salt Lake City to any of the National Parks in the south can take 4 to 5 hours.
Pack your winter road trip supplies because Utah roads will be impacted by snow or ice after storms. Driving between the northern and southern parts of the state you’ll be passing through rural areas with small towns, limited services, and spotty cell service.
Is Christmas a Good Time to Visit Utah?
Christmas 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 the higher elevation mountains around the state.
There are holiday events and things to do in Utah in December to enjoy on your Christmas vacation!
Utah Weather at Christmas
Here’s a summary of the Utah weather in the winter in December at Christmas
Northern Utah Average temperatures at Christmas:
- Salt Lake City: highs 39 / lows 25 degrees F
- Provo: highs 41 / lows 24
- Ogden: highs 50 / lows 29
- Park City: highs 39 / lows 22
- Alta: highs 30 / lows 15
Northern Utah Average Snowfall at Christmas:
- Salt Lake City – 7 days / 12.1 inches
- Logan – 8.5 days / 15.8 inches
- Provo – 5.7 days / 11.2 inches
- Alta – 14 days / 79.8 inches
- Park City – 9.3 days / 31.1 inches
Southern Utah Average temperatures at Christmas:
- St. George: highs 53 / lows 28 degrees F
- Moab: highs 44 / lows 22
- Escalante: highs 43 / lows 19
- Cedar City: highs 41 / lows 21
- Brian Head: highs 28 / lows 10
Southern Utah Average Snowfall at Christmas:
- Moab (Arches/Canyonlands) – 2 days / 3.5 inches
- Bryce Canyon – 5.7 days / 15.3 inches
- Capitol Reef – 1.8 days / 2.2 inches
- Cedar City – 5.5 days / 13.2 inches
- Zion – 0.6 days / 1.7 inches
- St. George – 0.1 days / 0 inches
Utah National Parks Weather at Christmas
Visiting Utah National Parks in December is the off season so you can enjoy your vacation without the crowds you find in the summer. BUT the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day will be more crowded due to the holidays.
All of the Utah National Parks are open every single day in December. But at Christmas, visitor centers and amenities might not be open so be sure to check each park’s website for the services available for the time you’ll be visiting.
Here’s the weather you can expect at each of the 5 National Parks in Utah in December at Christmas.
Arches National Park Weather at Christmas
The weather at Arches at Christmas is pretty cold with temperatures between the 30s and 50s throughout the day, with lows around 20 degrees F.
Around Christmas the park will be a bit more busy, but you still get to really enjoy the park without the crowds of spring, summer, and fall.
This especially comes in handy when trying to take pictures of the iconic rock formations within the park. You won’t need to wait for people to move when photographing the popular areas like Delicate Arch or the Windows.
You’re in for a treat when it snows to capture Arches National Park winter photos with the white contrast against the red rock landscape!
Bryce Canyon National Park Weather at Christmas
The Christmas weather at Bryce Canyon is the coldest park of all 5 in Utah due to its elevation. You can expect temperatures to range from the highs around 36 degrees Fahrenheit to lows into the teens.
Depending on the year, at Christmas you may see a little bit of snow on the ground or a few feet. Although the weather will be cold, it is worth it to take in the views!
Some of the Bryce Canyon winter activities you’ll want to do at Christmas include snowshoeing, scenic drives, and photography.
You can’t beat the amazing Bryce Canyon winter photos you can get. We recommend using winter clothing and winter gear for you and your camera like photographer gloves, rechargeable hand warmers, and a lens warmer.
Canyonlands National Park Weather at Christmas
The weather at Canyonlands at Christmas will be cold and it could snow. Expect highs to be around 43 degrees and the lows to be around 18 degrees F.
Typically you will not see large snowfalls at Canyonlands, but even small snow flurries can make the hiking trails much more difficult or even closed for a short time.
Visiting Canyonlands National Park in December requires a little more work on your behalf. This is because several of the amenities are closed throughout the park during the week.
The two popular districts of this park differ quite a bit so know what to expect at Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles!
Capitol Reef National Park Weather at Christmas
The weather at Capitol Reef at Christmas will be cold and snow can fall any time. Temperatures in December average highs around 39 degrees and lows around 19 degrees F. Although the temperatures will be cold it is worth visiting at Christmas.
In the winter we recommend exploring the Fruita area and the Capitol Reef scenic drive. If conditions allow it, and you have the right vehicle, you can also explore two more nearby scenic drives:
Zion National Park Weather at Christmas
At Christmas, the weather at Zion will be cold with highs to be around 48 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows will dip down all the way to 24 degrees F. Typically you will not see a lot snow at Zion in the lower elevations, but be prepared any storms that may roll through.
Keep in mind that you will need to use the Zion National Park shuttle the week between Christmas and New Years. Plan to get out early to hit the most popular sites and hiking trails.
Usually there will be snow on the tops of the canyon walls which create amazing Zion National Park winter photos! We recommend exploring all three scenic drives: Zion Canyon, Highway 9, and Kolob Terrace Road to capture a variety of landscapes found at Zion.
What to Wear in Utah at Christmas
Christmas time 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 usually have snow at Christmas with ski resorts open!
We recommend layers and winter accessories for visiting Utah at Christmas:
- Fleece jacket
- Winter hat
- Winter gloves
- Insulated jacket
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Waterproof hiking shoes
Places to Stay in Utah at Christmas
- 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 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 packet by clicking the graphic below!