Winter Wonderland – Hiking in Zion National Park in Winter

In winter, Zion is a wonderland—whether there’s snow or not. Last week Utah was hit with a statewide snowstorm, and Zion was the beneficiary of a lot of beautiful snow. And while snow isn’t a guarantee during a winter visit, you will find lots of peaceful beauty and solitude. Simply put, winter in Zion is spectacular.Taking in the winter Zion view

Plan on hiking or snowshoeing Zion in winter, when crowds are much lighter than during peak season. If you’re lucky enough to visit when there’s snow on the ground, notice how it absorbs the sound beneath your footsteps, making the park seem even more quiet and peaceful. Since snowfall isn’t consistent during any month or season, it’s best to watch the weather forecast or call us for details on snow levels. Keep in mind the elevation distance between the bottom of the canyon in Zion National Park at 4,000 feet, and Zion Ponderosa on the plateau at 6,500 feet, and expect a difference in temperatures and weather conditions.SnowShoe-ZionPonderosa-VacationHome
Up at Zion Ponderosa, hike, snowshoe or cross country ski right out the front door of a luxury mountain vacation home. Even if you don’t have snowshoes or cross country skis, it’s possible to hike across the plateau in good, warm, waterproof boots. Trek Cable Mountain for a view down into the canyon, or to Observation Point and then down into Zion National Park right from Zion Ponderosa property.

Snowshoeing at Checkerboard Mesa ZionThis is also a great time of year to drive down into Zion National Park since there are no shuttle buses running and you can park and hike where you want. At 4,000 feet, the sheltered canyon inside Zion National Park is typically around 40 to 50 degrees during an average, sunny winter day, minus snow, so dress in layers as you’ll likely warm up while hiking. Watch for advisories on certain hiking trails. Bring your own snowshoes and trek around Checkerboard Mesa and all over the east side of Zion.

Wild Turkey Zion
Winter is a great time of year to quietly observe wildlife in Zion. Bald eagles from Canada and Alaska often find their way into Zion National Park, and Golden eagles stay in the park year round. Turkey vultures are commonly sighted circling around prey. This year wild turkeys are more prevalent than we’ve seen in a long time. During our latest snowshoeing adventure, we saw them multiple times in groups of 8-15 at a time. As you drive between Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort and Zion National Park, pheasants are plentiful near North Fork Road. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and deer, too, especially when driving.

Questions about winter activities in Zion? Contact us!

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