Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful places to explore in winter. With its unique landscapes and breathtaking views, it is a great place to take Zion National Park winter photos.
Use this picture gallery and Zion National Park travel guide to know all the best things to see, do, and photograph at the park in the winter.
A trip to Zion National Park in the winter is the best because the crowds are gone. At times we feel like we have the park all to ourselves!
This guide provides all you need to know to plan a winter vacation: services available, weather, and more!
Use these done-for-you Zion Itineraries to plan your trip:
Grab the FREE Zion Travel Bundle Printable below!
This site contains affiliate links which means WE may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. We only provide links to products we actually use and/or wholeheartedly recommend! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full Disclosure Policy.
Visiting Zion in the Winter
You’ll LOVE visiting Zion National Park in the winter when it’s the off-season. The park is definitely not as crowded as it is during the summer.
Zion National Park and the Visitor Center are open all year long, every day of the year. Check the website for the most current Zion facilities hours.
Winter camping in Zion National Park is limited to the Watchman Campground.
Zion Shuttle in the Winter
The Zion Canyon scenic drive is closed to private vehicles during the shuttle season. Typically, Zion National Park shuttles are running March through November, weekends in February, and the week between major holidays in December.
With winter being less crowded one of the benefits is that you can drive your car through Zion Canyon (except for the holidays at Christmas/New Year’s and President’s weekend in February).
All four Zion National Park scenic drives are open in the winter, but when a storm rolls through, they may close if conditions are bad so always check the park service website for updated road conditions.
The upper part of the Kolob Terrace Road, including Lava Point, closes in the winter. Kolob Canyons regularly closes during inclement weather. Driving conditions can be very poor during a storm, but roads are usually plowed quickly after.
Zion National Park Winter Weather
Located in Southern Utah, Zion National Park weather in the winter means cooler days and cold nights. Normally the park only receives up to 5 inches of snow a year.
- Zion National Park in December: high 48 | low 24 degrees F
- Zion National Park in January: high 50 | low 25 degrees F
- Zion National Park in February: high 49 | low 25 degrees F
With the right winter clothing, you will still be able to enjoy yourself even with the cooler weather.
Things to Do at Zion in the Winter
- Things to do at Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Hikes
- Zion National Park Scenic Drives
- Zion National Park Photography
30 Zion National Park Winter Photos
Here’s a gallery of our favorite 30 Zion winter pictures and some tips for visiting when it’s cold!
We’ve organized these Zion photo spots by location: Zion Canyon, Mt. Carmel Scenic Byway, and Kolob Terrace.
Zion Canyon Winter Photos
Photograph the Towers of the Virgin on the patio behind the Zion Human History Museum. There’s a small patio that’s popular at sunrise.
The Three Patriarchs area is a terrific location for morning or late afternoon photography. There are quite a few ways to photograph this area so don’t think this will be a quick stop!
Big Bend is a great location to walk along the river and photograph the colorful canyon walls you see here! There can be a drastic contrast of light on the walls here. We like this area at dawn or dusk.
There’s a pullout just before (if going up Zion Canyon) or just after (if going down Zion Canyon) Big Bend that provides a good view of the Great White Throne.
If you have time, hike down the path to the meadow and walk along the river to find different ways to photograph canyon walls and river.
At the end of the Riverside Walk trail is the start of the popular Zion National Park hike called The Narrows.
To avoid the crowds we recommend hitting this trail in the morning. It’s also a good time when the contrast of the light isn’t too harsh to photograph the canyon walls, river and waterfalls.
Wear warm winter clothing when taking photos at Zion in the winter. It’s shady most of the day in Zion Canyon due to the high canyon walls.
We especially recommend:
Mt Carmel Scenic Byway Photos
The stretch of road from Zion Canyon to the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel is full of switchbacks. Be sure to stop along the pull-outs to photograph this part of the park! Give yourself plenty of time to make your way along this Zion National Park scenic drive!
The pullouts along this stretch of road provide wonderful sunrise photography views to capture the light on the tops of the cliffs.
The switchbacks and turns along this road make it a great spot to capture light trail photos!
The Canyon Overlook Trail is one of the best sunrise spots at Zion. It does require you hike a short, easy trail, but the reward is a stunning view of the main canyon with first light hitting the East Temple just above!
*The parking for this hike is VERY limited so early morning is the best time! It’s one of the Zion hikes without the shuttle you can do!
Highway 9 from Zion Canyon toward the East Entrance is a fun drive with amazing landscapes that are so different from what you see in Zion Canyon!
Take your time, stop at pull-outs along the scenic drive, and photograph anything that catches your eye!
Zion National Park in the winter is so beautiful with the contrast of white snow against the colorful landscape!
Checkerboard Mesa has a designated parking area that makes it easy to stop right near the East Entrance.
Pa’rus Trail Photos
The Pa’rus Trail runs along the Virgin River and provides that iconic sunset view of The Watchman. Access the trail near the Visitor Center – watch for the signs.
In the late afternoon and around sunset there’s golden light on the Watchman. Capture the golden reflection in the Virgin River for a stunning shot!
The trail follows the river and there are many spots with river access that provide a variety of views of The Watchman.
You’ll see deer along the trail in the evening so be prepared to photograph wildlife too!
Kolob Terrace Scenic Drive Photos
Kolob Terrace Road is amazing in the late afternoon and around sunset. Access this road near the town of Virgin, just west of Springdale.
Park at the Left Fork trail and walk a short distance to see this amazing view! The reflected sun on the landscape is just stunning!
Plan Your Vacation To Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Itinerary
- Zion National Park Packing List
- Best Time to Visit Zion National Park
- Things to do at Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion.
- Places to Stay at Zion National Park
- Camping in Zion National Park
- RV Parks near Zion National Park
- Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
- Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
- Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
- Vacation Rentals in Springdale – you’ll want to stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants.