A Vacation for Every Season in Southern Utah

Janine Brandt | 01.02.20

There’s never a bad time for a Southern Utah vacation. From stunning fields of wildflowers in spring to a blanket of snow in winter, each season brings its own unique charm to the area – and to your trip. Because our seasons are so distinct, it’s smart to prepare for each one differently. Here’s what you need to know to make a vacation for every season in Southern Utah.

*Don’t forget to download our FREE Southern Utah Vacation Guide! It’s got even more tips and tricks for every season – and day – of the year!

Spring Season

Spring weather in Southern Utah is as dramatic as its landscape – but it’s actually what makes this time of year so special. Cold, snowy mornings turn into comfortable and sunny afternoons, making it possible to ski and golf in the same day! With temperatures ranging from low 30’s to high 60’s in a matter of hours, it’s smart to bring a coat and some sunscreen. And be sure to bring lots of layers so you can add or shed items as needed.

What to Do During Spring

Spring means blooming wildflowers and active wildlife, so you’ll want to spend plenty of time seeking both. Zion National Park boasts colorful blooms in early-mid April and you’ll share the trails with hundreds of species of local wildlife that are soaking up the warm weather.

Mid-late May is the perfect time to reel in a big catch on Panguitch Lake because the water temperature is cool, keeping fish close to the surface. It’s also the slow season for fishing, so you’ll have the run of the lake (and your choice of the fishing spots). If you’re angling for fish, be sure to book one of our great cabins right on Panguitch Lake!

Of course, the mountains boast their fair share of snow during the spring so you can still enjoy your favorite winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing. The warmer air makes the snow slicker, making your runs faster and your toes warmer. Brian Head Resort even celebrates this last taste of winter in their Spring Carnival! A day of food, music, and fun games like the annual bikini slalom and the cardboard box race make this spring festival a can’t-miss event.

Summer Season

What better time for an outdoor adventure than summer? Like most places, summer is warm and dry in Southern Utah. It’s a great time to be outdoors, but high temperatures and overhead sun make it important to prepare properly. Pack light clothing and use that suitcase space for hats, sunscreen, and water canteens.

What to Do During Summer

Trails that are inaccessible during the winter are now wide-open, making it the perfect time to hike, bike, or ride through the wilderness. Scale to the top of Brian Head Peak for a spectacular view across three states or stroll along fields of wildfires and towering trees on the Utah Alpine Pond Trail. Midday temperatures can exceed 100, so try to trek in the morning or late afternoons.

Of course, summer days call for cool water action. Head over to Bristlecone Pond during those hot afternoons to fish, swim, kayak, or paddleboard through the waves. There are also BBQ grills, shaded pavilions, and a playground, so plan to snack, rest, and play away.

Brian Head Resort does summer big. Their scenic lift ride gives you a sweeping aerial view of the mountain and is a great way to rest your feet while enjoying the scenery. Or take the kids down the Family Adventure Trail for a clue-to-clue treasure hunt, gold mining adventure, and fossil-finding expedition.

When the sun goes down, look skyward for some prime summer stargazing; our vast horizons and high elevation make the sky look bigger than ever. In June, head to the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival for an out-of-this-world experience. This three-day star spectacular gives you a glimpse into the heavens as you learn about astronomy, stargazing, and faraway galaxies from professionals in the field. For even more Bryce Canyon fun, book one of our private homes right near the park!

Fall Season

Fall is the most popular time of year for visitors. Temperatures are mild and afternoon storms keep the heat at bay while washing away that red clay dust; it’s perfect for a sweat-free hike through the canyons. Stunning fall foliage paints the landscape in hues of orange, yellow, purple, and gold. Packing for fall is relatively easy – a light jacket and comfortable shoes are perfect for your daily wardrobe. Just don’t forget your camera.

What to Do During Fall

There’s nothing quite like Southern Utah in the fall, and you can’t miss the chance to see the area awash in stunning fall color. The national parks and monuments nearby each offer a unique view of autumn splendor, and you can’t go wrong with a visit to any (or all) of them. We have plenty of private homes right near the parks for easy access.

For a bit of hand-made beauty, check out the Escalante Canyons Art Festival in September. This 10-day art show features exhibitions, demonstrations, and lectures by some of the region’s top artists.

But we haven’t forgotten you, adrenaline junkies! There are plenty of ways to chase a thrill while still experiencing the fall season. The Mystic River Zipline offers a thrilling way to take in the scenery as you sail high over treetops and streams. A Bryce Canyon Jeep Tour is a great way to do some rugged off-roading to a secluded peak and a once-in-a-lifetime sunset. Or watch the autumn sun bounce off the canyon walls as you make a daring climb down a cliff face in a canyoneering tour. As long as your spending time outdoors, you’re doing fall in true Southern Utah style.

Winter Season

Blankets of snow, steaming cups of cocoa, frosted windowpanes – Southern Utah is the portrait of a winter wonderland. Daytime temperatures average in the low 20’s and get much colder at night, so you’re going to want to pack heavy for a winter trip. That means boots, gloves, coats, hats, and some warm PJs for nighttime. If you’re renting a car, be sure it’s a 4-wheel drive and has proper snow chains. And grab a map before you go – some roads become impassable during the winter.

What to Do During Winter

There’s no question – winter in Southern Utah means snow sports. We’re talking skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snowshoeing – if you can do it in the snow, we’ve got you covered.

For prime skiing and snowboarding opportunities, visit Brian Head Resort. It has 71 distinct runs in various difficulties from expert to beginner. For an easier slide down the slopes, try snow tubing! It’s all the fun with half the effort and is perfect for kids and families. Our Ski In-Ski Out rentals are in the perfect spot to enjoy all of the thrilling winter action.

Cedar Breaks National Monument is also a great place to visit during the winter. The terrain is perfect for snowshoeing, and you can explore with a guide or solo. They also have nighttime “star parties” where you can gaze into the heavens as you learn about the wonders of the universe from an expert astronomer.

For a well-rounded winter treat, check out the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival in February. From skiing competitions to ice skating to sleigh rides and more, you’ll have the opportunity to experience winter in true Utah fashion at this 3-day seasonal event.

We’ve got rentals for every season, too! Whether you’re warming up in front of a winter fire or watching the fall leaves drop from your private deck, we’ve got the perfect place for every day of the year. Be sure to book your Family Times Vacation Rental to make your trip perfect year-round!

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