Winter Zion National Park Utah

5 Reasons You Need a Winter Getaway to Zion National Park in Utah

There are great reasons to visit Zion National Park any time of year, but Zion in winter can be magical. You’ll find fewer crowds, quieter trails, cooler temperatures—and if you’re lucky enough to visit after a rare snowfall, you’ll be dazzled by the beautiful contrast of fluffy white snow blanketing the red rock cliffs and canyons. Here are five reasons you need a winter getaway to Zion National Park. 

#1 Beat the Crowds, Beat the Heat

Zion National Park east zion snowy landscape

Cooler temperatures in winter (averaging around 50 degrees with the occasional snowfall) equates to better hiking weather. Most trails in Zion Canyon remain open during winter. Be cautious on shady trails that may be icy in spots, such as Riverside Walk and Angels Landing. Which brings us to the question of whether you can hike Angels Landing in winter. Short answer—yes, with a permit. Apply for one on the NPS website or book a guided Angels Landing hike with East Zion Adventures.

A winter getaway to Zion National Park is also a great time to enjoy a scenic drive through Zion Canyon, without the requirement of riding the shuttle. The 6.5-mile scenic drive runs along the Virgin River and features stunning views of the canyon and famous Zion rock formations, with designated stops along the way for taking short hikes and gorgeous photos. We recommend taking doing some hikes or guided adventures on Zion Ponderosa as well, for that extra dose of serenity. 

#2 Amazing East Zion Adventures

Zion Ponderosa winter Jeep tour

Guests are often surprised that East Zion Adventures offers guided excursions year-round, but we do as long as weather permits! 

  • Jeep tours. Our winter jeep tours include heated seats, cozy blankets, and views for days! Book a jeep tour
  • Horseback excursions. Slow rides across our snowy forested plateau or exploring the cliffs and slot canyons from nearby Orderville. Weather-dependent but always enjoyable! Book a horseback ride
  • UTV tours. Drive a UTV to a remote slot canyon, or let us drive you!  Learn more
  • Canyoneering. Whether you want 100-foot rappels or a walk-in slot canyon excursion, we have adventures for all group sizes and skill levels. Find the perfect canyoneering adventure.
  • Hiking. We offer a few guided hikes inside Zion National Park (including Angels Landing, with or without your own permit). We also have some pretty amazing hikes on Zion Ponderosa property—Cable Mountain and Observation Point to name just two!

Whether you’re exploring inside Zion National Park or with East Zion Adventures, we remind you to check the weather and be aware of any current trail closures or required permits for your desired hikes. Come prepared with a light pack filled with everything you’ll need to enjoy your adventures, including snacks and water, comfy hiking shoes, a fully charged cell phone or camera, and layers to  keep you warm.

Click here for five more things to do during a winter getaway to Zion National Park. 

#3 Photographer’s Dream

Winter Zion National Park Utah

We’re not kidding when we say Zion is a photographer’s dream, especially when the upper elevations on Zion’s eastern plateau are blanketed in snow. Zion Canyon rarely sees snow (when it does—wow!)—but you will love the misty waterfalls, snow-capped peaks in contrast with the red rock, and the flowing Virgin River. Cell phone or pro camera, you’re sure to capture some gorgeous, memorable photos of your Zion winter getaway. 

#4 Lowest Lodging Rates of the Year

SnowShoe-ZionPonderosa-VacationHome

Camping in summer is fun, but having a cozy cabin suite or vacation home to return to each evening is the icing on the cake to an adventure-filled winter day in Zion National Park. Zion Ponderosa’s winter rates are the lowest lodging rates of the year—plus we usually have some pretty great combo deals with East Zion Adventures.

A warmly dressed woman walks toward a glamping tent in the snow at Zion Ponderosa Ranch

Photo: @catyfry on Instagram

Check out our seasonal specials and vacation packages

#5 Stay and Play

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort sign covered in snow in winter

Photo by Wayne Cragg

Our location at Zion Ponderosa  is not only a gateway to all things Zion National Park but a gateway to adventure! Zion will blow you away but be sure to make time for fun adventures and excursions with East Zion Adventures! We recommend a five-day/four-night stay to fit in a variety of fun, relaxation and adventures. Click here and here for  itineraries to help you plan your winter getaway to Zion National Park!

Learn more:

Zion Ponderosa

East Zion Adventures

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