When to Go
Home to both inhospitable desert and soaring mountain peaks renowned for their powdery snow, Utah is a bipolar state with something to experience year-round. You can golf, bike, fish, and swim year-round in St. George—but you can also ski from as early as November to as late as July 4 at Snowbird Ski Resort just outside Salt Lake City. The national parks are best visited in spring and fall to avoid millions (literally) of other visitors, but they’re located at high elevations, so be prepared for shoulder season rain or snow. Fall color displays can be found in nearly every canyon in the state. Cottonwood trees turning brilliant gold along river bottoms with a backdrop of red rock make particularly good photographs.
Given the glut of tourists in southern Utah parks in the summer, plan ahead to ensure that you have lodging—even the growing number of RV parks and campgrounds fill to capacity in July and August.