Southern Utah is like a layered cake, where a red rock wonderland gives way to forested mountains. Snow is very much the icing on this delicious winter destination. From skiing to snowmobiling, spend time in Cedar City, Utah and explore the wild scenery and thrilling outdoor activities.
This article was created in partnership with the Cedar City – Brian Head Tourism Bureau, Utah. All photos courtesy of Cedar City – Brian Head Tourism Bureau.
Travel Hub: Cedar City, Utah
Easy in, easy out. Cedar City, Utah is a sub-hour drive from the airport in St. George, and within a couple hours of Las Vegas, Nevada. A variety of state parks, two national parks, a national monument, and a major expanse of national forest surround Cedar City, making it a perfect hub for exploration. Furthermore, the restaurants, hotels, shops and services ensure an easy experience for traveling to Cedar City.
Skiing: Downhill and Cross-Country
In the forested stretches above Cedar City, Brian Head Ski Resort dishes out powder days to those seeking turns. From the vantage of the mountain, red rock formations in the distance gleam under fresh snow. This is truly a unique experience from a ski lift! Fortunately, the ski resort is fully outfitted to host travelers overnight with plenty of lodging and food options, plus they can take care of gear rentals.
Photo by Jay Dash
For a closer look at the red rock, journey into Cedar Breaks National Monument on cross country skis or snowshoes. Views along the rim rival those at nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, except Cedar Breaks hosts a fraction of the crowds.
Photo by Alex Santiago
Winter is a magical time to hike and explore southern Utah and all of its red rock majesty. Of course, proper clothing layers will ensure that you stay warm enough, and if needed you can stock up at Cedar Sports in downtown Cedar City.
Photo by Jay Dash
Kanarra Falls is a unique hike, especially in the wintertime. The trail winds up a canyon along a river, so it’s important to be prepared with thick, warm socks and sturdy boots (ideally fully waterproof boots). Only 1.5 miles up the canyon, you’ll reach the first set of falls, and the ice formations there are spectacular! Reserve your tickets for this distinct hike in advance.
Technically within Zion National Park, the Kolob Canyon trails are only a 20 minute drive from Cedar City, Utah. The impressive peaks of Navajo sandstone tower above the trail. Also, the lack of crowds combined with a layer of snow on the red rock makes winter hiking in Kolob Canyons a very special experience. Note: Kolob Canyons Road may be closed during winter months due to snow or ice. Visit Zion National Park’s website for updated information.
Dashing through the powdery forests on a snowmobile is such an exciting way to explore southern Utah. The guides at Thunder Mountain Motorsports will whisk you away through impressive views of Cedar Breaks National Monument, in addition to Brian Head backcountry and through Dixie National Forest. Snowmobiling is an amusing way to experience the beauty of winter in southern Utah… with a tad less effort.
Photo by Jay Dash
Scenic Drives from Cedar City, Utah
For even more rest and relaxation, explore southern Utah from the comfort of your vehicle. The relentlessly beautiful scenery surrounds most roads leading to and from Cedar City. In the winter months, Zion National Park does not operate its shuttle system, meaning private vehicles can drive the scenic drive. Additionally, the drive between Cedar City and out to Bryce Canyon National Park is stunning, especially passing through Red Canyon. Need more reasons to fall in love with winter in Cedar City? Find out why else we love it there!