Winter is in full swing in Zion National Park—or, for locals and experienced visitors, Zion’s Secret Season! With mild weather and few crowds, this might just be the best time of year to enjoy some incredible hiking in Zion National Park during your villa Utah stay!
Watchman Villas is the perfect base camp for your winter visit to Zion. You can drive your vehicle the short distance to the entrance to the park, and drive directly to your choice of trailheads. At the end of a long day of hiking, warm up in your oversized tub, or make a hot, tasty drink in your fully-equipped kitchen.
Ready to start planning a winter villa Utah stay? Keep reading to learn a few winter hiking tips you’ll need during your visit.
Never Hike Alone
This can be a great tip to follow any time of year but is especially important during the winter months. While enjoying a scenic hike on your own might sound peaceful, if you find yourself in trouble, you’ll quickly wish that you had brought a buddy.
Having a hiking buddy or two along during your winter hiking adventure means that you won’t be alone if the weather turns or you get into trouble. You’ll have another set of eyes to watch for ice, or to help you with some first aid if you suffer a minor injury on the trail.
And, hiking is just more fun with a friend! If you do choose to hike on your own, make sure to let someone know your plans before you hit the trail. Set a timeline for when you’ll check in with them. That way, if something does happen, someone will know where you are and can send help if something goes wrong.
Of course, Zion has plenty of short, easy trails that are safe and fun to hike on your own for a spur-of-the-moment afternoon trek.
Stop By the Visitor Center
Before you hit the trails for a day of hiking, stop by one of the Zion Visitor Centers. Here, you can chat with a park ranger, or check for trail closures or warnings. While the weather in the Lower Canyon might seem warm and clear, recent storms or chilly temperatures can still cause icy conditions on higher-elevation trails like Angels Landing.
Checking with park rangers or any posted warnings at the Visitor Center will let you know about any trail conditions you should be aware of so that you can better plan your hiking for that day.
Get the Right Gear
During the warm summer months, you might be able to hit some of Zion’s trails wearing tennis shoes, shorts, and t-shirts, carrying only your water bottle and some sunscreen. But during Zion’s Secret Season, there are a few pieces of gear you’ll definitely want to have along.
First is a pair of warm hiking boots with good tread. These will help you keep your balance on slick trails, while also keeping your feet warm. If winter weather is in the forecast during your villa Utah stay, consider opting for a pair of waterproof boots to keep your feet dry. You might also wear attachable ice cleats, especially if you plan to hike a rocky trail that might be icy.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
When hiking on a hot summer day, it’s easy to remember to keep drinking water. But on a chilly winter day, you might not notice how thirsty you’re getting.
With the colder temperatures, your body works harder when hiking during the winter. Coupled with the fact that you might not feel thirsty, it’s easier to get dehydrated when hiking in the winter. Make sure to hydrate before you hit the trails, and drink frequently while hiking.
Don’t Forget Your Angels Landing Permit
Winter has long been a popular time to hike Angels Landing. This time of year, the trail sees fewer hikers, making it a great opportunity to experience this iconic trail without the crowds. While ice can sometimes make the trail treacherous, by checking trail conditions ahead of time and making sure that you have the right gear and plenty of water, you can still enjoy an amazing bucket-list hike on this trail this time of year.
But while there might be fewer people hiking Angels Landing this season, you will still need to get a permit to hike past Scouts Landing! The Seasonal Lottery for hikes this season has already passed. But you can still use the Day-Before Lottery to try to get a permit during your visit.
Planning Your Winter Villa Utah Stay
Winter is perhaps the best season to plan a visit to Zion National Park. Zion’s Secret Season is known for its low crowd levels, mild weather, and stunning winter scenes.
But if you do plan to hit the trails during your Watchman Villas stay, make sure you put these tips to work to stay safe.
Ready to start planning your own winter villa Utah stay! There’s another big bonus to planning a visit this time of year; the chance to save big on your vacation rental! Right now, when you book a stay of two or more nights before March 15, you’ll enjoy a 40 percent discount on your entire booking! Book today to take advantage of this amazing deal!