Despite the current lack of snow, Utah winter activities abound

Dec 27, 2023, 3:00 PM

Hikers ascend a snowy chute. This is an example of the winter activities available for outdoor enth...

FILE - Microspikes or crampons are essential for some winter hiking destinations. (David Kenison)

(David Kenison)

SALT LAKE CITY — According to Ski Utah, the Beehive State’s ski resorts are dealing with less snow than is normal for late December. But while Utah is known as a skier’s paradise, hitting the slopes isn’t the only way to get some movement in during the chilly months.

The Beehive State has many more winter activities to offer. 


Often seen as a spring or autumn activity, hiking can also make its way onto your winter activities rotation. 

According to Ski Utah, there are several hiking trails suitable for winter excursions, including Donut Falls and those trails in Wasatch Mountain State Park.

Additionally, current snow conditions mean there are plenty of trails without heavy snowpack. 

If you choose to head out for a hike, be sure to don several warm layers and good winter boots. In some cases, you may need to use snowshoes.

Wear sunscreen and eye protection. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, snow can multiply exposure to UV rays as it reflects the sun. Even if you don’t run into any snow, cloud coverage doesn’t block UV rays. 

Check a trail guide website such as AllTrails for conditions. Additionally, Ski Utah recommended packing ski poles or boot spikes in case you run into slippery conditions, and a headlamp or flashlight in case it gets dark sooner than you expected. 

Ice skating, a classic among Utah winter activities

Ice skating is available at several locations across the state according to Visit Utah, many if not most of which offer skate rental. 

Before you head out to the rink, check the website for public skating hours. Additionally, Visit Utah recommends dressing in warm athletic gear that allows for easy movement as well as long socks and gloves. 

Fat tire biking

Ever heard of fat tire biking? It’s another option for winter recreation in Utah.  

One of the positives in this style of bike riding is that the size of the tire, and its lower air pressure, provide more stability than the narrow tires you may be used to on a bicycle.  

“If you grew up riding a cruiser on the beach or around the neighborhood, it has a similar sticky feel,” Visit Utah says on its website

Indoor climbing

Finally, if you’re not a fan of the cold, indoor climbing is an option to remain active while avoiding the chilly temperatures. 

There are several indoor climbing gyms around the state. According to Visit Utah, “most indoor gyms feature bouldering areas, top ropes, and lead climbs of all levels.” 

Additionally, many climbing gyms offer lessons and equipment rental. 



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Despite the current lack of snow, Utah winter activities abound