Zion in Winter With Kids [5 Easy Hikes, Outfits]

Planning a family trip to Zion National Park this winter? It’s a magical time to visit, but you’ll need some key tips to make the most of it. In this blog post, we’re covering everything you need to know for a winter adventure with your kids.

💡 Save the best accommodation deals (stay in Springdale: More food options for the family, cheaper, only a few minutes drive): Zion National Park Hotel Deals

I’ll share with you 5 Easy Hikes for Kids in Zion National Park in Winter. These hikes are perfect for families, offering stunning winter views and trails that are easy for little legs. Plus, I’ve got outfit tips to keep your family warm and answers to the most asked questions about visiting Zion in winter, including essential weather tips.

Tip: Buy Zion Winter Hiking Clothes for Kids on Amazon

Whether it’s your first visit or you’re a winter park pro, this post is packed with the information you need for an unforgettable trip. So let’s get ready for some winter fun in Zion National Park!

Tip: This article is also super helpful if you are visiting without kids and are just looking for easy hikes in the winter and outfit tips.

5 Easy Hikes in Winter for Everybody

Zion National Park offers several hikes that are perfect for families and enjoyable for all visitors, especially during the serene winter season. Here are five hikes that are easy and accessible, along with detailed descriptions and tips:

1. Weeping Rock Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.4 miles round trip
  • Trailhead Location: The trailhead is located at the Weeping Rock shuttle stop.
  • Why It’s Great for Kids: This short hike is perfect for kids as it leads to a rock alcove with dripping springs, creating a unique natural wonder. The path is well-maintained and short, making it manageable for little legs.
  • Special Notes: While the hike is short, it can be a bit steep in places, so keep a close eye on younger children. In winter, the trail might be a bit slippery due to ice, so traction devices for shoes could be helpful. Be aware of the current conditions and potential closures before planning your visit.

When you hike Weeping Rock Trail in winter, the experience is enchanting. The rock alcove with its dripping springs forms delicate ice formations, creating a captivating sight.

This trail is also a photographer’s delight, offering stunning views of the frosty landscape and the valley below. The tranquility of the winter season adds to its charm, making it a peaceful escape.

2. Pa’rus Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 3.5 miles round trip
  • Trailhead Location: The trail starts at the South Campground near the park’s South Entrance.
  • Why It’s Great for Kids: Pa’rus Trail is a paved path that winds along the Virgin River, making it stroller and wheelchair accessible. The gentle inclines and beautiful scenery, including views of the Watchman Peak, make it ideal for families.
  • Special Notes: This trail is perfect for a leisurely walk with kids, offering plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the peaceful river setting. Since it’s paved, it’s less likely to be slippery in winter, though patches of ice can still form. It’s also open all year round, making it a reliable option for a winter hike.

The Pa’rus Trail is a gentle, paved path that meanders along the Virgin River, providing an easy walk suitable for all ages. In winter, the snow-covered landscape contrasts beautifully with the red rock formations, making it a picturesque journey.

This trail is particularly peaceful in the winter months, offering a quiet, reflective experience away from the crowds. The views of the Watchman Peak are stunning, especially when it’s dusted with snow, offering great photo opportunities. This trail is open all year, making it a reliable choice for a winter hike in Zion.

Each of these hikes offers a unique way to experience the beauty of Zion National Park in winter. Remember to dress warmly, bring water and snacks, and enjoy your family adventure in this stunning natural setting.

3. Riverside Walk (Gateway to the Narrows)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.2 miles round trip
  • Trailhead Location: Starts at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop.
  • Why It’s Great for Kids: A paved trail along the Virgin River, leading to the start of The Narrows, with minimal elevation gain.
  • Special Notes: Accessible and well-maintained, but watch for icy patches in winter.

Hiking the Riverside Walk in winter is like walking through a quiet, frosty wonderland. The path, mostly flat and paved, follows the Virgin River and offers stunning views of the towering canyon walls, often dusted with snow.

The tranquility of the season enhances the natural beauty of the surroundings, making it an ideal walk for those who appreciate serene landscapes. It’s a great trail for photography enthusiasts, with the contrast of the snow against the red rocks creating captivating scenes.

4. Canyon Overlook Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Length: 1 mile round trip
  • Trailhead Location: Located near the east end of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel.
  • Why It’s Great for Kids: Offers an exciting, short hike with stunning views of the Zion Canyon without being too strenuous.
  • Special Notes: Some sections have drop-offs, so close supervision of children is necessary. The trail may be icy in winter, so appropriate footwear is essential.

Hiking the Canyon Overlook Trail in winter is an incredible experience. The trail offers breathtaking views of the snow-covered Zion Canyon and Pine Creek Canyon. Along the hike, you’ll pass through a small cave and view various rock formations, adding to the adventure.

The viewpoint at the end of the trail is a spectacular spot for family photos and to take in the majestic winter scenery of Zion. This trail provides a perfect balance of safety and adventure for families with children, offering an unforgettable experience.

5. Emerald Pools Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Length: Varies – Lower Pool: 1.2 miles; Middle Pool: 2 miles; Upper Pool: 3 miles round trip
  • Trailhead Location: Starts across from the Zion Lodge.
  • Why It’s Great for Kids: Features waterfalls and pools with multiple stopping points, suitable for varying abilities.
  • Special Notes: The trail can be icy in winter, especially near the waterfalls. The upper section may be more challenging for young children.

The Emerald Pools Trail is a magical hike in winter, with the possibility of frozen waterfalls and ice formations adding to its beauty. The hike to the Lower Emerald Pool is easy and offers a great view of the frozen waterfalls. If you venture further to the Middle and Upper Pools, you’ll be rewarded with more secluded and picturesque scenes.

The pools, surrounded by snowy cliffs and icicles, are a winter wonderland. The trail’s versatility makes it great for families, allowing you to choose how far and high you want to go based on your family’s ability and the conditions of the trail.

Each of these hikes provides a unique perspective of Zion National Park’s winter beauty, making them ideal for families looking to explore the park’s natural wonders in a more serene, less crowded season. Remember to dress warmly, check the weather, and enjoy your winter adventure in Zion.

Winter Outfit Tips

SaleBestseller No. 1
Winter Hat Scarf Gloves Slouchy Beanie Snow Knit Skull Cap Touch Screen Mittens...
  • The winter scarf and hat made of soft-spun acrylic and Skin-friendly Fuzzy lining.
Bestseller No. 2
AUTOMET Womens Oversized Sweatshirts Zip Up Fleece Bomber Jackets Hoodies Winter...
  • Material: 100%polyester, Comforts the Body,Giving it a Cozy Feel For any Wear. These Materials are Thick and...
Bestseller No. 3
BALEAF Women's Fleece Lined Pants Hiking Winter Outdoor Thermal Sweatpants...
  • Fleece Lined & Water Resistant: Upgraded fleece lined giving you cozy warmth without looking bulky. perfect for...

In case you are in a hurry, here is our summary:

  • Merino Wool Layer: This material is ideal for the base layer as it keeps you warm even when you sweat.
  • Down Jacket and Vest: These provide excellent insulation and are perfect for colder temperatures.
  • Gloves: Essential for staying warm, especially while handling cold surfaces like the chains on certain trails.
  • Beanie and Scarf: These are crucial for retaining heat, particularly on cooler days or in windy conditions.
  • Insulated Bottle: Carrying a beverage like hot tea can be comforting, especially when resting after a hike where it can be windy and cold.
Understanding Layering

When visiting Zion National Park in the winter, mornings often start cool but can become warmer in the afternoon. Dressing in layers is a smart way to adapt to these changing temperatures.

This strategy involves wearing multiple layers of clothing that you can easily add or remove depending on the weather and your level of activity.

Active Wear in Zion

If you plan on being active, like hiking or climbing, it’s best to wear materials like merino wool or synthetic fabrics. These materials are excellent at wicking away sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable.

While you’re moving, a light jacket or fleece works well, but it’s a good idea to have a winter jacket or down puffy coat ready for when you stop, especially in shaded areas where it can be cooler.

Coat Recommendations

In terms of coats, the temperatures in Zion during winter are similar to autumn in northern states. A good combination is a wicking base layer, followed by a thermal mid-layer, such as fleece. A light jacket, like an Arcteryx Atom, is often sufficient to keep you warm during activities.

Men’s Clothing Tips | Layers
Women’s Clothing Tips | Layers

The formula for Comfort:

  • Start Activities Slightly Cool: This prevents overheating and excessive sweating once you start moving.
  • Wicking Base Layer: Wear this layer against your skin to manage moisture.
  • Insulation Layers: Add fleece or puffy mid-layers as needed based on temperature and activity.
  • Outer Shell: This layer protects against wind and water.
  • Adjustment: Add or remove layers as needed to maintain comfort and dryness.
  • Extras: Don’t forget a beanie hat and gloves to keep your head and hands warm.
Kids’ Clothing
Bestseller No. 1
Jessie Kidden Kids Boys Girls Youth Waterproof Windproof Hiking Ski Snow Pants...
  • Adjustable Elastic waisted pants are more comfortable to wear and provide more free movement. Waist with belt...
Bestseller No. 2
LINEMIN Kids Merino Wool Hiking Socks Toddlers Boys Girls Winter Warm Thick...
  • High Quality : The kids hiking socks is blend of premium merino wool. These socks are soft comfortable,...
Bestseller No. 3
Kids Merino Wool Hiking Socks Boys Girls Toddlers Thermal Winter Warm Boot Thick...
  • PACKAGE INCLUDED - Here are 6 pairs merino wool hiking socks for kids. They are suitable for hiking , running...

For children, layering is equally important. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulated mid-layer (fleece or a lightweight puffy jacket), and finish with a waterproof outer layer. Ensure their extremities are covered with warm socks, gloves, and a beanie.

Wear Waterproof Hiking Boots

In Zion’s cooler and wetter winter conditions, waterproof hiking boots or shoes are essential. These boots provide good traction and extra ankle support, which are beneficial on Zion’s rugged trails.

Sock Selection

Pair your boots with merino wool hiking socks. These socks are great for keeping your feet comfortable and dry by wicking away sweat.

Bring Microspikes

Check the Kahtoola Micro-Spikes for Kids on Amazon

Microspikes or traction devices are crucial for the whole family for safe hiking in Zion National Park during winter. These devices, which strap to the bottom of your boots, provide essential traction on icy surfaces.

Trail Conditions

Many trails, especially those at higher elevations or in shaded areas, are prone to ice accumulation. For hikes that can have icy sections, microspikes or crampons are vital for safety.

Packing List for Zion National Park in Winter


  • Wicking base layers (merino wool or synthetic)
  • Insulated mid-layers (fleece or lightweight puffy jackets)
  • Waterproof outer shell (jacket and pants)
  • Beanie hat and gloves
  • Extra socks and underwear


  • Waterproof hiking boots or shoes
  • Merino wool hiking socks
  • Microspikes or crampons


  • Backpack
  • Water bottle or hydration system
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Map and compass or GPS device
  • First-aid kit

For Kids:

  • Child-size base layers and insulation
  • Waterproof outerwear
  • Warm socks, gloves, and beanie
  • Child-size microspikes (if necessary)

By following these guidelines and packing appropriately, you can ensure a comfortable and safe experience in Zion National Park during the winter months.

FAQ | 12 Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the 12 most commonly asked questions to help you get ready for a memorable experience.

1. Is Zion National Park open in the winter?

Yes, Zion National Park is open for you to visit in winter. Some areas might be closed due to weather, so it’s a good idea for you to check the park’s website for updates. Remember, services and facilities may have reduced hours.

2. What is the weather like in Zion National Park during winter?

During your winter visit, expect cold weather in Zion, with temperatures ranging from 30°F to 50°F. Snow can happen, especially at higher elevations, but heavy snowfall is rare. You should always check the weather forecast before your visit.

3. Are the park’s shuttle buses operating in winter?

In winter, the park’s shuttle buses only from December 22 to 31. It’s best for you to check the park’s website for the most current shuttle information. The upside is that you can use your personal vehicle to drive directly to the trailheads.

4. What kind of winter clothing should I wear?

You should dress in layers to adjust to changing temperatures. I recommend waterproof and insulated outerwear, along with hats and gloves for you. Also, sturdy footwear with good traction is important, especially if you’re planning to hike.

5. Are hiking trails open in the winter?

Most trails in Zion National Park are open for you to explore in winter. However, some trails may be closed due to ice or snow. You should check current trail conditions at the visitor center or on the park’s website.

6. Is it safe to hike The Narrows in winter?

Hiking The Narrows in winter can be a challenge due to cold water and potential ice. You’ll need specialized gear like dry suits and proper footwear. Always check current conditions and weather forecasts before you attempt this hike.

7. Can I camp in Zion National Park during winter?

Yes, you can camp in Zion National Park during winter, but facilities are limited. You should check availability and conditions on the park’s website. Be prepared for cold temperatures and potentially snowy conditions.

8. Do I need special equipment for winter hikes?

For some winter hikes, especially in icy conditions, you might need traction devices for your shoes and trekking poles. It’s important for you to check trail conditions before your hike. Always be prepared for winter weather.

9. Are ranger-led programs available in winter?

Ranger-led programs are usually available in winter, though on a reduced schedule. You can check the park’s visitor center or website for the latest program offerings. These programs are a great way for you to learn more about the park.

10. How can I stay safe while visiting Zion in winter?

To stay safe, dress warmly, check weather and trail conditions, and stay on marked trails. Be prepared for rapid weather changes. It’s important for you to inform someone of your itinerary and expected return time.

11. Can I drive in Zion in winter?

Yes, you can drive in Zion National Park during winter. When the shuttle service is not in operation, personal vehicles are allowed, giving you direct access to trailheads. This offers you more flexibility in planning your hikes and exploring the park.

12. Are wildlife sightings common in Zion during winter?

Winter is an excellent time for you to spot wildlife in Zion National Park. Animals like mule deer, bighorn sheep, and various bird species are often more visible. Remember to view wildlife from a safe distance and not to disturb them.

Winter Weather and Overview

Winter in Zion NP is cold and wet compared to the rest of the year but if you are a visitor from the northern states or Canada will still seem pretty mild in the canyon. Snow falls but tends to melt at the lower elevations leaving the terraces and peaks covered in white which can be quite pretty. Tip: Check out our complete Zion National Park in December guide for additional visiting tips  (including outfit tips).

Make sure you have the cold-weather gear and traction devices if you are planning on hiking to the higher elevations as ice and snow can build up on the trails. Exposed areas like Angel’s Landing can feel quite cold with nothing to block the wind. Always check the weather as rain and snow can make exposed rock trails treacherous.

The Narrows can still be hiked in winter if the water levels aren’t too high but you will need to rent canyoneering boots and dry waders to handle the cold. A good base layer underneath will really add to the comfort level. You definitely don’t want to slip and fall in this time of year.


Averages December January February
Daily High 53°F (12°C) 52°F (11°C) 57°F (14°C)
Daily Low 30°F (-1°C) 29°F (-1°C) 31°F (-0.5°C)
Precipitation 6 7 7
Rainfall 1.5 inches 1.6 inches 1.6 inches
Snowfall 1.0 inches 0.6 inches 1.0 inches

Park Services: In winter, the shuttle only runs from December 22-31. When the shuttle isn’t running, you can drive private vehicles into the park. The Visitor Center remains open daily all winter long.

The two campgrounds are closed for the winter, but backcountry camping is open if you want to enjoy the winter conditions. The Human History Museum remains closed until March. Depending on the amount of snow, some roads close and access to Kolob Canyon may be closed.

Crowds: Winter has the lowest level of visitors with the three months equaling the total of April. The low traffic means you will find offseason pricing for accommodations in Springdale for any that stay open over the winter.


Save the 3 Best Activities