Winter often gets the nickname of Zion’s Secret Season. That’s because the season sees the fewest number of guests to the park, despite being a favorite time of year among locals. Locals know that cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and the chance to experience the park as it becomes a sparkling wonderland after fresh snow makes winter one of the best times of year to visit the park.
But while many visitors to Zion don’t realize just how great it can be this time of year, Utah in general is a popular spot to travel this time of year, thanks to its many ski resorts. While many of the resorts are located near Park City and Salt Lake City, Southern Utah is home to its very own ski resort; Brian Head Resort.
If you’re looking for a unique day trip to enjoy during a winter stay at Cliffrose Lodge, Brian Head is a great choice. Keep reading to learn how to plan a day on the slopes during your Southern Utah vacation.
Getting to Brian Head
You don’t have to travel hours away to Park City to hit the slopes during your stay in our Zion resort. That’s because Brian Head Resort is located in Brian Head, Utah, adjacent to Cedar City. This means that it’s just an hour and a half drive from Cliffrose Lodge.
If you want to mix some skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities into a Secret Season visit to Zion, having this resort nearby makes it easy. You can easily hit the slopes for the day and make it back to the resort that same evening to soak in the hot tub or sleep in your plush bed before a day of hiking in the park.
Brian Head Resort
Brian Head Resort is a 650-acre Utah ski resort that is stretched across two mountains in Dixie National Forest. At 9,600 feet above sea level, the resort has the highest base elevation of any ski resort in Utah. This results in an average of more than 200 inches of natural powder every year, earning the resort the nickname of “The Greatest Snow on Earth.”
The resort has eight chair lifts that connect to 71 runs, ranging from easy runs to challenging Double Diamonds. It’s open to both skiing and snowboarding, and you can rent gear for either activity at the resort, so you won’t have to pack your own. If you need to brush up on your skills or are just learning to ski or snowboard, you can also join a group class or book a private lesson during your visit.
If you’re looking for a different way to enjoy the snow, you can also join a snowmobiling tour, go snow tubing, or go cross-country skiing during your visit.
Other Winter Activities to Enjoy in Southern Utah
If you’re planning a visit to Cliffrose Lodge during Zion’s Secret Season, skiing and snowboarding in Brian Head are far from the only activities you can enjoy during your stay.
While the mountains of Dixie National Forest might see hundreds of inches of snow each year, nearby St. George sees much less. In fact, the temperatures stay relatively mild in the area all winter long. It’s not unusual for daily temperatures in January and February to be in the mid-50 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you could hit the slopes one day, and hit the greens the next with a round of golf at courses like Sand Hollow Resort Golf Club.
Closer to our Zion resort, winter is a great time to enjoy some of Zion National Park’s more challenging hiking trails. Unless there’s been a snowstorm, hiking these trails in cooler weather makes them a little easier, and you get the chance to enjoy the incredible views with far fewer crowds than you could during the summer months.
With the Zion Canyon Shuttles ceasing operations during the winter months, this is also a rare opportunity to drive your personal vehicle into the Lower Canyon to take in the views and park directly at the trailheads that you want to hike.
Planning a Secret Season Visit to Cliffrose Lodge
A day trip to Brian Head Resort is just one of the activities you can enjoy during a Secret Season stay at Cliffrose Lodge. From hiking and golfing to scenic drives and museums in nearby St. George, there’s plenty of fun waiting for you this winter in Southern Utah.
Ready to see for yourself what makes Zion’s Secret Season so special? Book your stay at our Zion resort today!