The snow-capped red rocks around Moab in the winter are an amazing sight to see, and there are plenty of fun activities to be had in the cooler weather. Consider Moab for your winter vacation!

By Redtail Air Adventures

When you think about vacationing in Moab, images of sunny summer days, cool rivers, and crowds of tourists may come to mind. While spring and summer are more popular seasons for tourism, winter is somewhat of a best-kept secret around these parts! The desert in the winter can be an incredible and magical place, offering visitors an array of exciting activities and beautiful vistas. When you visit outside of the peak seasons, you can also enjoy many perks, such as fewer people and lower prices.

Moab offers a huge variety of recreational opportunities year round! In the winter months, you can enjoy skiing, winter airplane tours, mountain biking, hiking, and much more. If you come during the holidays, you can visit local craft fairs, take in the festive lights, and enjoy live music events.

Enjoy Moab in All Seasons

ski the la sal mountains moab

Backcountry Skiing

Located just over an hour outside of Moab, the La Sal Mountains offer many opportunities for ski touring or cross-country skiing. Looking down at red rock desert canyons while standing atop a snowy peak presents skiers with a truly unique experience.

Backcountry skiing is a great option for experienced skiers that are equipped with the proper safety gear and avalanche awareness. When ski touring, it is important to carry a beacon, probe, and shovel at all times for your own safety as well as the safety of others. Always go with an experienced partner, and make sure they are carrying the proper equipment and knowledge as well. Don’t forget to make sure that avalanche conditions are favorable for skiing, create a safety plan, and perform a beacon check before heading into the backcountry!

cross country ski la sal mountains

Winter Airplane Tours

Nothing quite beats seeing the incredible desert features around Moab when they are covered with a dusting of snow, and what better way to take it all in than on a scenic air tour? The gorgeous red rocks become even more striking with the stark contrast of bright white powder. Flying over the wondrous canyons, arches, and rivers in the winter is beautiful beyond words, and it can offer completely different views than you’d get in the summer. Take a flight through Monument Valley and Canyonlands, which are simply majestic in the winter.

Redtail Air operates year round, providing guests with the opportunity to see Moab’s natural beauty in all seasons. Even in colder temperatures, you can fly over the iconic sites while staying comfortable in one of our enclosed airplanes.

airplane tour over bryce canyon in winter

Winter Mountain Biking

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced mountain biker, Moab has some great rides for you. As one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the world, you can often ride during any season of the year in the Moab area. When conditions are dry, even biking in December and January can be a blast! Be sure to check the weather and trail conditions before planning a biking trip, as it is always a possibility that there may be too much snow accumulation to bike on the trails. If you need to rent equipment or grab some gear, Poison Spider will have what you need. Pack your suitcase appropriately with lots of layers for varying temperatures. While it can be hard to remember to stay hydrated in the winter months when it’s colder outside, be sure to bring lots of water when heading out for a bike ride in Moab. However, even if you find that there is too much snow to bike during your trip, there are plenty of other options for fun around town.

mountain bike moab in the winter
desert snow moab

Winter Hikes Near Moab

One perk of winter hiking in Moab is that the colder months often provide more pleasant hiking weather than those in the summer. The temperatures are much cooler, so you can hike more comfortably than in the intense heat. Taking in the beautiful snow-capped red rocks up close is an amazing experience like no other. Hiking in Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park during the winter months can give you a whole different perspective on the unique geology. When hiking on trails in the winter, be sure to dress appropriately and consider using trekking poles or microspikes if conditions are icy.

moab winter hiking trails

Enjoy the Cozy Indoors

After a long day of exploring the outdoors around Moab in the winter, you will probably be tired and ready to settle down for the evening. There are many wonderful, cozy dining options in downtown Moab, with warming atmospheres and delicious entrees. Zax restaurant and The Spoke are just a couple of our favorites. Many of the local hotels also have fireplaces that you can cozy up next to with a good book and a hot drink!

zax restaurant moab

Perks of Visiting Moab in Winter

Visiting Moab in the wintertime rather than in the peak season offers plenty of benefits! There are fewer tourists, so it can feel much more relaxing and easier to enjoy a slower pace around town. While Arches National Park typically has stop-and-go traffic each day in the summertime, you likely won’t have to sit in any lines at all around Moab in the winter. You can have the trails to yourself, get into restaurants without long waitlists, and take advantage of great deals for a more affordable travel experience over all.

canyonlands and arches winter tours

Preparing for Your Winter Vacation in Moab

When planning your winter trip to Moab, there are a few things that you may want to consider. Check out the weather report before leaving to help you pack the appropriate clothing. Being cold and wet might take some of the fun out of an otherwise gorgeous hike. Being prepared is key to ensuring you are comfortable during your stay. Layered clothing options mean you can be ready for whatever nature decides to throw your way. It can also be smart to book your accommodations in advance. While winter is slower in Moab, planning ahead is always a good way to help ensure a smooth trip and ample time for all the fun activities you’re looking forward to. 

No matter what time of year you visit Moab, you are in for an absolute treat. With all of the year-round opportunities for recreation and family-friendly fun, you can’t go wrong with a trip to this beautiful area! Even if you’ve been many times and think that you’ve seen and done everything Moab has to offer, visiting in the winter will offer you a whole new perspective.

desert winter vacation

Canyonlands & Arches Tour

Make the most of your valuable time here by visiting both parks on this special Redtail Air National Park airplane tour, seeing their great attractions in a way that very few have.


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