5 Reasons to Visit St. George in the Winter

5 Reasons to Visit St. George in the Winter

By Chad Taylor & Jake Wilhelmsen
August 09, 2017

It’s always sunny in St. George.

If southern Utah seceded, St. George would be its capital. It's the biggest city down south, buffered from the north by a statewide swath of treacherous(ly beautiful) red rock, and it would likely find some allies in its desert climates — Las Vegas and Arizona.

But let's hope that never happens, because Utah's a whole lot more interesting with St. George in it. It's more perfect as a union, you could say. Northerners whose feet are always cold like to take their winters down there, where temperatures are a full 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in the Wasatch Mountains. Quite a few get so distracted golfing they forget to go home.

A dozen courses paint green patches smack dab in the middle of black lava rock, blue mountains and Zionic red sandstone. Then there's, you know, Zion itself, Utah's most popular national park. Oh, and lakes, and Tuacahn, and great estate sales, and ...

This is a land that knows no offseason. January's in the mid-50s, so bring a jacket and start hiking, biking, basking, golfing and smelling the juniper.

1. Golf

There are 14 courses within a 45(ish)-minute radius … that you can play all year long. Think of it as the world’s longest cart path. One of our favorites is Sunbrook. Something about shooting through black lava rock and red-sand bunkers is so pretty, you don’t mind breaking out the sand wedge.

See all the courses

2. Mountain Biking

Moab might be the incumbent king of Utah mountain biking, but St. George is the new cool kid on the block. From beginner to expert, dirt to rock, berms to jumps, there’s a trail for everyone. We’ll recommend a beginner trail to reduce liability: JEM Trail. Because by day, you do something boring, but on weekends you like to wail on some easy-but-exciting desert singletrack. Also, you have a rock band. Wait, that's Jem and the Holograms ... Whatever! Same difference!

See all the trails

3. Snow Canyon

One of the best winter recreational spots in the Western U.S. A little late-season chill keeps the crowds small, even though it's still practically warm. Stunning views, excellent facilities and a wide variety of trails. If you go, make sure you check out Petrified Dunes –– a hike where you can veer off the trail and mess around on the dunes … that are petrified.

Explore Snow Canyon

4. Museums

Okay, we know that staying indoors in St. George is like going to Deer Valley and sledding in the parking lot. But, St. George has some super cool museums. Here are three to check out:

  • St. George Children’s Museum: A great way to reward your kids for following you around to all the boring scenery — hands-on activities and an innovative music room.
  • Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum: Showcases 300 species in an indoor setting, designed to simulate the creatures' natural habitat. Stage your photos right, and you'll blow your friends' minds.
  • Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm: Shows off one of the world's best ancient trackways. (Maybe aliens will study humans' freeways in 65 million years.) A fun spot for families with other dino exhibits and activities.

See more family-friendly activities

5. Shopping

Great shopping at Red Cliffs Mall and 30 premium shops and restaurants at The Shoppes at Zion. The chains have all moved in if you need a little ubiquity, but the quaint homegrown shops will set you up with everything from outdoor equipment to handmade jewelry, and you'll feel good keeping your money in town.

More shopping info