As winter descends, Utah’s majestic mountains, serene forests, and captivating red rock landscapes take on a magical charm. Embracing the season is an enchanting experience that provides endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
Learn to love winter by taking up a new winter sport like skiing or snowshoeing. The thrill of gliding down snow-covered slopes, the camaraderie in cozy lodges, and the beauty of powdery trails will delight you.
Utah’s voluminous powder snow is legendary, a reason why many winter sports enthusiasts dream of the state. The snowy mountain thrills are unsurpassed, and the state’s ski areas have a reputation for convenience, accessibility, and variety.
Park City has something for everyone, including the newest learning area in High Meadow Park and expert terrain at Iron Mountain. Next door, Alta has a softer side and a rustic charm that makes it especially appealing to families.
Although there are some basic ski buses in Park City, the best way to enjoy the state’s resorts is with a car rental. Plan ahead and book your rental in advance. It’s worth it.
Winter in Utah is all about balancing adventure and comfort. Dressing in layers is key to staying warm while enjoying outdoor activities.
Unlike many of its northern neighbors, Kanab rarely receives feet of snow. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of snowy adventures to be had in the southern part of the state.
Take a hike to one of the most unique waterfalls in the state on Donut Falls Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This popular hiking trail is packed down well, so you may not need snowshoes. Then, finish the day with a sweet treat at Mint Tapas and Sushi. Their precise knifework on delicate fans of fruit add even more pops of color to your dessert.
Bundle up and hit the ice for a day of skating and laughter. Skate where the Olympians train, and enjoy public skating, learn-to-skate classes and more at Steiner Ice Center.
Get your adrenaline pumping with a ride down the 2002 Olympic bobsled track. Indulge your inner racer and zoom around curves at speeds that’ll bring tears to your eyes.
Embrace Utah’s winter season in a way you’ll never forget. Whether hiking in a national park or visiting a cozy restaurant, this is one adventure you don’t want to miss.
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride
Snowy winters can be a magical experience with the right balance of adventure and comfort. Dressing warmly, prioritizing safety and choosing activities suited to your physical capabilities all contribute to Utah?s enduring winter appeal.
A visit to Dreamy Lone Mountain Ranch offers an authentic western dinner experience where Clydesdales clop through snowy mountain trails, delivering guests to cozy oil-lantern-lit cabins for prime rib and a live local musician. Be sure to bring a hat, gloves, and winter snow boots.
From Heber to Holladay, many Utah restaurants are making the final course of a meal a culinary adventure. Forget about New Year?s diet resolutions and indulge in a mouth-watering dessert.
Snowmobiling offers an adrenaline rush and is a fun and exciting way to explore Utah’s backcountry. Explore sweeping bowls of powder and pristine mountain meadows while traveling far beyond the crowds of other adventurers.
After a day of skiing and snowshoeing you can reward yourself with a soothing spa treatment. Utah’s resort towns and canyons offer an array of luxurious hotels to choose from.
If you’re in Park City during January, check out the independent film festival Sundance. If you want to stay close to the mountains, The Chateaux Deer Valley is a great choice. The resort offers a variety of winter activities, including a tubing park, for the family.
Festivals & Events
Utah’s winter festivals bring the state to life with a range of vibrant experiences. From snowy rodeos to a magical Christmas Eve parade, visitors can immerse themselves in the season’s festivities.
For the ultimate Utah winter experience, head to the small town of Helper, which is transformed into the perfect holiday village. Take a one-mile walk past programmable luminaries and check out the stunning 120-foot-tall Christmas tree.
For an artsy addition to your trip, attend this annual festival, which showcases more than 150 visual artists exhibiting in 2D/3D mixed media, ceramics, digital, drawing and pastels, jewellery and more. The festival also includes theatre and music performances as well as workshops and a maker’s fair.
Utah is famous for its desert landscapes, filled with sandstone cliffs and unique rock formations. But the state also has sizable forests, with national parks and wildlife refuges offering great opportunities to see wild animals.
Watch for elk, deer and bald eagles on guided tours that take you to areas where these animals thrive in the winter. Witnessing their natural habitat against a backdrop of snow-covered landscapes is an experience that will be long remembered.
The forests of Utah are a birder’s paradise. Keep an ear open for wrens, songbirds, warblers and other migratory species. Also look for chukars, prairie dogs and Merriam’s turkey. In the higher elevations, look for mountain goats, bighorn sheep and moose.
Utah’s icy elegance creates a landscape that is a photographer’s dream. With the right lens and a little patience, anyone can capture some of the state’s most stunning natural features.
In winter, national parks like Bryce Canyon and Zion are free of crowds, making it easier to enjoy their raw beauty. The chilly temperatures and light snow also offer a new perspective of their iconic red rock formations.
In winter, Utah’s semi-arid climate produces what locals call “dry cold.” So when temps drop to below freezing, it feels much more bearable compared to other parts of the country with high humidity. This makes the perfect backdrop for a rejuvenating soak in one of the state’s natural hot springs.