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When to visit Utah

by SmarterTravel Staff

Utah has a diverse landscape—from red rock deserts in the south to alpine country in the north—that offers different experiences throughout the year. During the winter, many visitors come to the northern mountain regions for skiing and snowboarding. Summers are an ideal time throughout the state for warmer weather activities such as camping, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and hiking. Utah's many national parks, monuments, and recreation areas are slightly less crowded from November through February, and the ski resorts see slightly fewer visitors in the spring and fall. Travelers can often find the best rates during early spring and late fall.

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  • high season: April to September
  • low season: November to February
  • shoulder season: March, October

November, January, and March experience a high season for skiing and winter activities. President's Day weekend in February is also very busy at the resorts.

Weather Information

Utah's northern region experiences four full seasons that include winters with heavy snowfall and cold temperatures and summers with hot, dry weather. Spring brings sporadic showers, melting snow, and cool temperatures. The fall is mild, with occasional rainstorms and colorful foliage.

The southern region experiences summers with temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees and mild winters with sporadic thunderstorms.

Crowd Information

The Sundance Film Festival attracts many visitors to Park City in January. Many other festivals also draw crowds, including the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City that runs from late June through early September, the year-round Festival of the American West in Wellsville, and Western Legends Roundup in Kanab at the end of August. Holiday weekends can also be a busy time. Weekdays can be a good time to visit for fewer crowds because most locals are back at work.

Closure Information

Many hotels, restaurants, and attractions remain open throughout the year; however certain theme parks, including Lagoon, an amusement park in northern Utah, shut down in the winter. Some golf courses in the north will also close during this time due to snow, but many courses in southern Utah remain open year-round. The ski season runs from Thanksgiving to April, but many resorts stay open throughout the year with festivals and outdoor activities. Many outdoor recreational activities are seasonal and will either close or reduce their business hours during the off-season.

When to Save

Prices in Utah remain competitive year-round, but are often the lowest in spring or late fall. Weekdays are usually less expensive than weekends.

When to Book

The best time to book depends on the activity or event. For example, book well in advance for visits during the Sundance Film Festival in January, as hotels tend to fill up quickly.

Information provided by the Utah Office of Tourism.

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