30 Zion National Park Winter Photos + Travel Tips

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.

30 Zion National Park Winter Photos

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:

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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.

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

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.

Towers of the Virgin at sunrise
Towers of the Virgin

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!

Three patriarchs bridge and river at Zion National Park
Three Patriarchs
Three Patriarchs reflection in the River at Zion
Virgin River near Three Patriarchs

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.

Big Bend Great White Throne Zion Canyon
Big Bend

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.

Great White Throne at Zion National Park
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.

Great White Throne Zion Canyon
Great White Throne and the Virgin River

At the end of the Riverside Walk trail is the start of the popular Zion National Park hike called The Narrows.

Riverside Walk Zion National Park Photography
Riverside Walk

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.

river and waterfalls along the Virgin River at Zion
Virgin River along the Riverside Walk

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:

hiking at Zion National Park in the winter
Wear warm winter clothing when hiking!

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!

sunrise near Mount Carmel Tunnel at Zion
Sunrise along the switchbacks

The pullouts along this stretch of road provide wonderful sunrise photography views to capture the light on the tops of the cliffs.

View from Zion National Park switchbacks
View from Zion National Park switchbacks

The switchbacks and turns along this road make it a great spot to capture light trail photos!

head light along road in Zion National Park
Light trails along the Zion Mount Carmel Byway

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!

Canyon Overlook at sunrise at Zion
View from Canyon Overlook – Zion National Park Hike

*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!

Canyon Overlook sunrise zion national park
Sunrise at Canyon Overlook

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!

Zion National Park along Highway 9
Highway 9 Scenic Drive

Take your time, stop at pull-outs along the scenic drive, and photograph anything that catches your eye!

Zion National Park in the winter Highway 9
Zion Highway 9 in the winter
frozen water at Zion in the winter
Frozen water at Zion in the winter

Zion National Park in the winter is so beautiful with the contrast of white snow against the colorful landscape!

Scenic drive in the winter at Zion
Scenic drive in the winter at Zion
Zion NP red landscape with snow
Red landscape with snow

Checkerboard Mesa has a designated parking area that makes it easy to stop right near the East Entrance.

Checkerboard Mesa in the snow at Zion
Checkerboard Mesa with snow
hoodoos along Highway 9 at Zion
Hoodoos along Highway 9
big horn sheep in the winter at Zion
Big horn sheep in the snow at Zion

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.

Pa'rus Trail at sunset at zion national park
Sunset along the Pa’rus Trail

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!

Pa'rus Trail and The Watchman at sunset at Zion
Virgin River at sunset
Virgin River along the Pa'rus trail in the winter
Virgin River along the Pa’rus trail

The trail follows the river and there are many spots with river access that provide a variety of views of The Watchman.

sunset along the Pa'rus trail at Zion
Pa’rus Trail bridge over the Virgin River

You’ll see deer along the trail in the evening so be prepared to photograph wildlife too!

deer along pa'rus trail at Zion
Deer along Pa’rus Trail

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!

Kolob Terrace at sunset
Kolob Terrace Road view at sunset
Zion kolob terrace at sunset
Zion Kolob Terrace at sunset
Zion Kolob Terrace in the winter
Zion Kolob Terrace in the winter


Zion national park guides and maps

Plan Your Vacation To Zion National Park

Where to Stay Near Zion National Park

You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion.

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