Utah is a playground of geological wonders, and December’s quieter crowds and snow-kissed landscapes offer a magical setting for outdoor adventures. With iconic canyons and lesser-known gems alike, the state beckons with activities that are uniquely enchanting in winter’s embrace.
In this guide, discover the best things to do in Utah in December, from peaceful overlooks to exhilarating hikes and unexpected adventures.
1. Little Wild Horse Canyon
In December, Little Wild Horse Canyon becomes a serene wonderland, largely devoid of the crowds you’ll find in warmer months. The cooler weather provides an entirely different hiking experience, with frozen water features adding to the canyon’s otherworldly beauty.
While summer poses the risk of flooding, this monnth offers safer conditions for you to explore this Utah secret. Located near Goblin Valley—an awesome destination in its own right—this slot canyon is perfect for those wanting a quieter winter adventure.
If a Utah road trip is in the cards for you this winter, Little Wild Horse Canyon definitely deserves a spot on your itinerary!
2. Needles Overlook
Imagine taking in sprawling vistas of Canyonlands National Park — but without the constant click of cameras around you. Needles Overlook is your spot. The lower visitor numbers in December mean you can enjoy one of Canyonlands’ most jaw-dropping views, and there’s a chance you’ll have it all to yourself.
The overlook is accessible by car, and the scene becomes even more ethereal with a light dusting of snow, making the red-rock formations pop against the white backdrop.
3. Dead Horse Point State Park
For a Grand Canyon–like experience without the masses, head to Dead Horse Point State Park in December. The crisp winter air enhances the clarity of the sprawling canyons below, offering picture-perfect views that rival any summer visit. Drive straight up to the viewpoint and, if you’re up for it, explore the park’s hiking trails blanketed in a soft layer of snow. The solitude and scenic landscapes make this a must-visit this time of year.
4. Bryce Canyon National Park
There’s no season quite like winter to enjoy Bryce Canyon National Park. The iconic hoodoos look even more surreal with a crown of snow, creating a mesmerizing contrast between the earthy reds and the pure whites.
While many consider this a destination for other seasons, December offers a range of snowy activities. From snowshoeing and snowmobiling to…