If you want to have a unique get-a-way, try going down to Southern Utah this winter. Since the tourist season pretty much ends in October, you’ll have the whole place to yourself. Southern Utah usually gets enough snow in the mountains for plenty of snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. But at lower elevations, places like Zion National Park, can stay snow-free all winter – so you can still play in the sun.
This is the Lodge at Red River Ranch’s Winter Funtime List. It’s everything we do in winter in Southern Utah:
Exploring the National Parks – since this is our favorite item on the list, we’ll lead with it. Visiting any of Utah’s five national parks is always a good idea, and since they’re open all year long, anytime is the perfect time to check them out. And in the winter, you will see a whole different side to the familiar sites. Bryce Canyon especially undergoes a beautiful transformation. We highly recommend going to Mossy Cave in Bryce Canyon during wintertime. Of course, if you are craving more sunshine go to Arches, Capitol Reef or, obviously, Zion National Parks. These parks don’t usually get too much snow. Try taking a winter tour of the surrounding areas with UTVs.
Snowshoeing and Cross-country Skiing – if you want to experience the cold clarity of Dixie and Fishlake National Forests, try out a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis. The snowfall allows you to explore many places that are unaccessible during the warmer months. And with literally thousands of places that are perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, you’ll never run out of snowday fun. In addition to the national forests, we also recommend going to places like Bryce Canyon or Cedar Breaks.
Ice Fishing – why stop fishing just because it’s snowing? If you’re a die-hard angler, or if you simply want to play around on a frozen lake, Southern Utah is a great spot to ice-fish. Set up a tent, drill a hole or two and catch some fun. With the right gear, and a good lakeside location, you can get ‘em all year long. We recommend places like Fishlake, Johnson Reservoir, and the many lakes on Boulder Mountain.
Downhill skiing – it’s not often that people associate downhill skiing with Southern Utah, and it’s true that the Salt Lake Valley has most of the ski industry in it’s back pocket. However, there are two excellent ski resorts located just outside of Cedar City in Southern Utah – Brian Head and Eagle Point. These resorts are great places to squeeze in few runs. Admittedly, they aren’t as large as some of the resorts up north, but that also means they’re not as crowded. Besides, you can spend the day in Zion National Park and then go night skiing on the same day.
Snowmobiling – find a place that rents snowmobiles and tear it up. Snowmobiles are the perfect way to add high-octane fun to a winter vacation. And, who know, it could become your new favorite pastime. Snowmobiles let you cover plenty of ground and see lots of beautiful areas (in addition to lots of powder spray). Designated motor vehicle locations, national forests, or BML lands make the best riding ground for snowmobiles. Start by checking out this link. It should point you in the right direction.
Like we said, there’s plenty of fun to be had in Southern Utah during winter. We hope you’ll give yourself a break this season and go play outside.