Why Everyone Should Visit Zion During the Winter

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There’s no bad time of year to visit Zion. But there is one season that is too often overlooked.

Winter is perhaps the least popular time of year to visit Southern Utah. Compared to summer, when between 400,000 and 600,000 visitors make their way to Zion each month, winter sees just a fraction of that number. The cooler temperatures, shorter days, and the fact that more people tend to take their vacations during the summer months are likely all factors. But if you’ve ever had a chance to visit Zion during the winter months, you know just how special it can be.

Much of Southern Utah enjoys mild winter weather. Occasional snowfalls turn the region into a beautiful winter wonderland. You can still enjoy many of the same activities you do during the summer, like hiking, taking a scenic drive, and renting an e-bike from Greater Zion E-Bikes.

If you want to experience Zion in a way that few visitors ever get to see, keep reading. We’re breaking down a few reasons why everyone should visit Zion this time of year, and what you need to know to plan your visit.

Winter Weather in Zion

Winters in Zion are milder than you might expect. The average daily temperature in December and January hovers in the high 30s (Fahrenheit), and rises to the mid-40s (Fahrenheit) in February. But it’s also not unusual for the daily highs to reach into the low to mid-50s (Fahrenheit) during the winter months as well.

Unlike some of Utah’s higher elevations, Zion and much of the rest of Southern Utah sees little annual snowfall. On average, Zion sees just two days of snow, and fewer than five inches total of snowfall each year.

Things to Do During Your Winter Visit

Wondering what you’ll be able to do when you visit Zion during the winter? The answer is pretty much anything you would do during a summer visit—and then some!

If you don’t mind bundling up in some warm layers, winter can actually be even better for hiking. Those mid-30 (Fahrenheit) temperatures make for a far more enjoyable hike than a summer trek in triple-digit temps. While you’ll want to skip steep trails like Angels Landing on days when snow or ice can make them slick and dangerous, there are plenty of other trails to enjoy on these days. This time of year, even the park’s most popular trails are rarely crowded.

Many first-time visitors to Zion don’t realize that you can also go skiing and snowboarding nearby this time of year. You don’t need to go all the way to Park City; Southern Utah has its own winter destination. Brian Head Resort is located just an hour and a half from Zion. The resort has eight chair lifts and 71 runs for both snowboarding and skiing. You can also go tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. This makes for a great day trip during your winter visit to Zion.

E-Biking in Zion During the Winter

Another great activity to enjoy any time of year is a Zion e-bike rental. While you’ll want to add an extra layer this time of year, you’ll find that zipping through the park on your e-bike rental is a great way to get around during the winter. Just as with hiking, you’ll enjoy less traffic this time of year.

You’ll want to follow many of the same tips for how to dress during your e-bike adventure. Opt for wicking base layers to keep yourself dry and warm during your ride. Over your warmer mid-layers, wear a wind-blocking, waterproof outer layer to block the breeze while you ride. Choose a pair of lightweight hiking boots or gym shoes to keep your feet warm while still leaving them free to pedal. Sunglasses are still a must on bright winter days!

Planning to Visit Zion During the Winter Season

There are plenty of reasons to visit Zion during the winter months. From the mild weather to the lack of crowds, everyone should experience a winter visit to Southern Utah at least once. But we think once you try it, you’ll want to return during the winter season year after year! In fact, this secret season is a favorite among locals, who know that if you want to truly enjoy Zion, it’s best to do it outside of the busy tourist season.

While we always recommend an e-bike rental from Greater Zion E-Bikes to help you skip the shuttle buses, they are still a great choice when the shuttles aren’t in operation. Cruising the park on an e-bike is the best way to see the sights and get around any time of year!

Ready to visit Zion in the winter, and see for yourself what makes this season so special? Reserve your e-bike rental today!