Utah Winter Activities + Travel Tips

Visiting Utah in the winter can be a unique and exhilarating experience. The state is world-renowned for its breathtaking winter landscapes and top-notch snow activities.

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!

Utah activities in the winter

We have lived in Utah for more than 20 years, and have enjoyed many winter travel adventures. The tips we share are based on our experiences at various places to visit in Utah in the winter.

Tip number one is to be prepared for the weather when you visit. The winter months are a cold and snowy time of year. Use our Utah Packing Lists to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in the winter! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

Utah packing lists for spring summer fall and winter
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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!

Northern and Southern Utah in the Winter

Northern Utah: Salt Lake City, Park City, and Provo are the three main cities in this part of the state.

Central and Southern Utah: All 5 Utah National Parks are located in this part of the state.

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.

Also, the drive from Northern to Southern Utah means passing through rural areas with small towns with limited services.

Utah Winter Weather

The Utah weather in the winter and temperatures during the months of December, January, and February vary depending on the month and location in the state. Be sure to check the weather and temperatures for the location and specific time you’ll visit. You never know when a snow storm will roll through!

We’ve written detailed guides for the weather and temperatures you can expect each month during the winter in Utah:

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

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

Utah In February: Average temperature in Northern Utah (Salt Lake City): highs 45 / lows 29 degrees F. Average temperature in Southern Utah (St. George): highs 59 / lows 32 degrees F.

man-and-woman-at-Zion-in-January-Photo-Jeepers-1080x775 (1)
Zion National Park in the winter

What to Pack for Utah Winter Weather

Packing for a winter trip to Utah requires some careful planning. Be sure to wear and pack winter clothing essentials and layers!

winter hiking gear

Utah Winter Activities

Utah during the winter months is a great destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Whether you’re swooshing down the slopes on skis, embarking on snow-covered hiking trails, or simply savoring a hot cocoa by a roaring fire, there’s something for everyone.

Here’s a list of the many activities you can do in Utah in the winter!

snowmobile in the winter
Snowmobiling in Utah

Winter Snow Activities in Utah

There are a variety of snow-sports to do around the state of Utah. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Snow Skiing in Utah: Enjoy a truly unique experience that draws enthusiasts from around the globe. Known for its “Greatest Snow on Earth,” Utah boasts numerous world-class ski resorts with an average of 500 inches of dry, powdery snow each year. There are 10 world-class ski resorts within an hour of the Salt Lake City airport!

Snowmobiling in Utah: 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 Winter Tours and Rentals: Check out all the fun winter activities and tours available for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and even dog sledding!

Bryce Canyon in the winter

Winter Activities at Utah National Parks and Monuments

You’ll find fun things to see, do, and photograph at Utah National Parks in the winter. The best thing about winter at Utah National Parks is the solitude and serenity you’ll experience as you explore the parks.

Enjoy the beautiful views and outdoor activities in Utah’s National Parks like hiking, biking, scenic drives, photography, and stargazing!

Winter is a terrific time to visit Utah National Monuments without the crowds. We recommend a visit to these locations any time during the winter months:

Coral Pink Sand Dunes in the winter
Coral Pink Sand Dunes in the winter

Winter Activities at Utah State Parks

There are a total of 43 State Parks in Utah where you can explore the history and beauty of the area.

Check out this list of Utah State Parks that are near the National Parks in Utah that are perfect for a side-trip stop!

Outdoor winter activities at various State Parks in Utah include hiking, biking, scenic drives, off-roading, and photography any time during the winter months.

Here are the parks we recommend you visit that are close to the National Parks. You’ll also find other parks around the state with fun winter activities:

Silver Lake snowshoeing
Snowshoeing at Silver Lake

Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing in Utah

In Northern Utah and higher elevations, winter hiking usually means snowshoeing! There are a variety of places for snowshoeing in Utah like Ogden Canyon, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, Millcreek Canyon, Park City, and Bryce Canyon!

In the lower elevations and all the National Parks in Southern Utah (except Bryce Canyon), you can enjoy winter hiking “usually” without snowy trails. It’s still important during the winter months to stay hydrated, use sun protection, and get the latest weather information before hitting the trails!

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.

Check out these fun Utah winter hiking ideas:

Red Canyon Tunnel in the winter
Red Canyon Tunnel in the winter

Winter Scenic Drives in Utah

You don’t typically think of Utah scenic drives during the winter, but there are quite a few around the state to see amazing scenery!! We recommend focusing on the drives found in the southern part of the state during the winter months:

We highly recommend getting the Utah Mighty 5 GuideAlong Audio Tour: use the suggested itineraries in the app tour plan, or divide the commentary to create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. 

photographing sunrise at Zion in the winter
Photographing sunrise at Zion in the winter

Winter Photography in Utah

Sunrise and sunset photography is a must when visiting Utah. In the winter we recommend winter photography gear and rechargeable hand warmers!

You’ll capture amazing winter photos at the Utah National Parks when it snows. The red rock landscape with the contrast of white snow is stunning!

Of course there are many more photography spots all around Utah:

Winter camping in Moab

Winter Camping in Utah

Camping in Utah is an amazing way to enjoy the majestic mountains, vast canyons, and breathtaking deserts. Camping in the winter means fewer crowds, but you’ll need to be prepared for cold temperatures and possible snowy conditions.

There are a variety of ways to camp around Utah in the winter: RV Parks and Campgrounds, National Park Campgrounds, State Park Campgrounds, and BLM camping.

Here’s a list detailing everything you need to know about winter camping in the southern part of Utah and at Utah’s National Parks:

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Where to Stay in Utah

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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