East Zion view in winter

There’s Snow Place Like Zion in Winter

Hello, winter! It’s time for snowy hikes, cozy nights in front of the fireplace, and epic Zion adventures. Haven’t been to Zion National Park in winter? No worries! With planning and the right gear, you can experience your favorite place in new and beautiful ways.  There’s truly snow place like Zion in winter. 

Zion Ponderosa is located on 4,000 acres of beautiful land bordering Zion National Park’s east boundary for five linear miles. The ranch resort sits at an elevation of 6,500 feet, about 2,500 feet higher than Springdale and the south entrance to Zion National Park. Thanks to this elevation difference, Zion Ponderosa often has snow in the winter even when the main canyon doesn’t. 

East Zion Adventures

Our on-property guiding company East Zion Adventures offers many activities that other guide companies can’t. From our White Mountain guided horseback ride r]through East Zion’s private access canyons to sunset Jeep tours that leave you feeling on Top of the World, we have access to locations and adventures no other guide company has. We’re actually as close as you can get to Zion National Park without being in Zion NP. For the record, guided adventures like Jeep tours and horseback riding aren’t allowed within the park boundaries. However, Zion Ponderosa guests will be happy to know that the best slot canyons (and views) are on the east side of the park where East Zion Adventures guided tours actually take place! 

Jeep on snow in east zion

Photo by Wayne Cragg

Winter Recreation on Zion Ponderosa

Zion Ponderosa typically gets enough snow for on-property winter sports such as cross country skiing and snowshoeing or snowmobiling along the east rim. Winter guests often hike, snowshoe or ski across the forested plateau to Observation Point or Cable Mountain—right out the front door of a Zion Ponderosa vacation home. Good snow boots, a beanie cap and layers are ideal for a sunny winter day hike along the eastern edge of Zion.

Winter in Zion National Park

Winter weather is typically mild at Zion Canyon’s 4,000-foot elevation, and crowds tend to thin out compared to peak season. While a cold front or winter storm may occasionally roll in and create trail or road closures, temperatures are often in the 40 to 50-degree range. When shuttle buses aren’t running, visitors can enjoy the 6.5-mile scenic drive alongside the Virgin River through Zion Canyon. Designated stops along the way lead to hikes and photo opps. 

Zion Hikes in Winter

Most trails in Zion Canyon remain open during winter but snow and ice may accumulate on trails that see little sun, such as Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, Riverside Walk and Angels Landing. Traction aides are recommended for icy and backcountry trails. East Zion Adventures guides may lead technical hikes and canyoneering adventures depending on weather. When it’s open, the East Rim Trail to Observation Point can be icy, so hiking, cross country skiing or snowshoeing across Zion Ponderosa is a better idea if you’re hoping to reach one of the most beautiful views in all of Utah. This view should definitely be on your list of things to do at Zion in winter.  

People watching the winter sun set over Zion National Park

Photo by Wayne Cragg

Snow Place Like Zion

Typically one of the busiest national parks in the U.S., winter makes Zion National Park a more peaceful place to visit, perfect for quiet walks or hikes among the massive sandstone towers of the main canyon. Winter is a great opportunity for wildlife sightings such as Bald or Golden eagles, wild turkeys and bighorn sheep. Up at Zion Ponderosa, you’ll often see mule deer and wild turkeys. 

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort sign covered in snow in winter

Photo by Wayne Cragg

Vacation homes 

Zion Ponderosa’s serenity begins from the moment you drive through the gates of beautiful Zion Ridge Estates to your home away from home. Bring your own groceries to cook in the fully equipped kitchen and enjoy quiet meals with family. There’s no better way to end your perfect park day than getting cozy in one of Zion Ponderosa’s beautiful vacation homes or cabin suites, the perfect home base for the entirety of your winter stay. These housing options are available all winter long so contact Zion Ponderosa to start planning your trip today!

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or simply want a winter getaway during a less-crowded time of year, a trip to Zion National Park can make that happen. Escape to the east side of Zion where time just seems to slow down. Book your winter getaway now


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