Zion NP in the winter

Dustin Rand

Dec 31, 2016
Hello all

My brother and I are in the early stages of planning a 3-4 day backpacking trip. Most likely in Zion NP but we're not tied to it.

We're thinking mid to late February. I just recently ordered the trails map and so far I'm struggling to pull anything together that makes sense from a logistics standpoint. I really want to do The Narrows and I also want to do Angels Landing, however, it doesn't sound like these would be wise choices in the winter.

We've also thought about doing the Zion Traverse all the way across the park but i feel that if we stick with that route, we'll be missing out on quite a few other highlights of the park.

Any suggestions? I did a quick search on google and through this site and I'm only seeing reports on day trips and very few on multi day trips. Could use a little help.

PS. as mentioned above, we're not tied to Zion but we do want to do something in Jan/Feb, preferably in the desert. I've already done Canyonlands NP. I absolutely loved it and I'll be back at some point but not for this trip.
I should also mention that in an ideal scenario we...

1. Do not need to pack in water or pack in much water
2. We do a loop hike or hike into a basecamp near a bunch of trailheads.
I can't help you specifically but in general, Zion conditions. The upper reaches of the Zion Traverse will probably be snow covered for sure. Road access to the northern end via the Kolob Terrace will be non existent. I'm not sure when they plan to reopen the Kolob area road access. If you had dry suits to ward off the frigid cold, the Narrows could be interesting.
Thanks for your reply.

What are we talking here, 2” or 2’?

Any ideas for a loop hike within the park? Or a basecamp near trailheads? Looking to do 3-4 nights
Dustin, If you are thinking of visiting the park in February, a place to go at this time of year is Coalpits Wash out in the lower desert regions of the park. One can hike back on a trail to the back parts of Coalpits Wash where there are some campsites with flowing water in the wash from a spring nearby. Then one can dayhike all over in the Upper Coalpits Wash Area. Should be nice back in there at this time of year. Since this is lower desert, this area quickly becomes too hot in the warmer months of the year when one would want to be in the higher elevations. Also probably at this time there will not be the mobs of people in Zion that are seen there at other times of the year. Wishing You the Best!
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Thanks for your reply.

What are we talking here, 2” or 2’?

Any ideas for a loop hike within the park? Or a basecamp near trailheads? Looking to do 3-4 nights
Might be up to foot. Or there could be nothing. I like @Kmatjhwy Coalpits Wash suggestion. Being at a lower elevation the snow should be less of a concern. You can explore up Coalpits QUITE A ways and also up Scoggins Wash.
Hard to say exactly how much snow we'll get, but Feb is one of the wetter months. This is from the Observation Point trail in late Jan 2017 (thigh deep snow on the mesas), but it was also big snow year. It's supposed to be warmer and drier this season.

It's unclear when the Kolob Canyons entrance will reopen. They estimated "fall 2018", but there are still construction vehicles up there.
Also worth considering that even if snow isn’t present, ice very well could be. That’s especially true in shaded aspects.