Content Produced in Partnership with Visit St. George
Most people make the trek out to Utah in the spring/summer/fall months. I don’t blame them; mountain biking, camping, backpacking and river rafting are much more comfortable in warm weather. But not all of Utah turns into an arctic tundra in the winter.
Sure, places like Alta, Park City, and Moab are almost certainly going to be blanketed in snow and hovering around 20-degrees F if you make the journey in December, January, or February. Just to the south, though, in one of the most renowned national parks in America, the climate is much milder, and stays bearable temperatures almost year-round.
Zion. A place of mystery and splendor. There is never a shortage of things to do even in the colder months. With relatively warm, predictable winter temperatures, Zion National Park is accessible for tourists no matter the season.
Hiking trails stay open, as there is rarely snow on the canyon floors, so avid explorers can still get out and into the wilderness by foot. Rock climbing is best during the winter months because skin stays drier in the cooler weather, making it easier to grip the rock. There is significantly less of a chance of being stuck out in a rainstorm or severe weather high up on a cliff face as the winter climate is very predictable.
Biking along the roads within Zion is always allowed, and makes traveling around the park that much more of an adventure. But, for those who want to see the natural beauty of Zion from the warmth of their heated car seats, winter is the only season in which visitors are allowed to drive through the park since there are much less tourists. The rest of the time? You're at the mercy of the shuttle schedule.
Which leads me to the next major bonus of visiting Zion in the winter time: much thinner crowds. I don’t know about you, but it kind of ruins the vibe of a hike, when you're surrounded by babbling families and people pausing every few steps to snap a photo. The experience is totally different when you are encircled by the silence of nature. If you want to see the real Zion, winter is by far the best time to do it.