The obvious draw for a Utah vacation in January is the skiing, and we’re not gonna lie, that’s the No. 1 reason to go. But Utah is a big state, and even if the slopes aren’t calling you, January is the best time to check it out. The big, red desert parks (Moab, Arches, Bryce Canyon) in the southern part of the state aren’t nearly as packed as during the summer and are sometimes covered in a soft blanket of white snow. Further north, there’s Salt Lake City, one of the more underrated cheap vacation spots in America, and just a short day trip to all the big-name ski resorts. And hotels can be a fraction of the cost. Then there’s the Sundance Film Festival in Park City from January 24 through February 3, where Hollywood descends on the beehive state for the most sinful weekend Utah sees all year.
For a hidden gem of winter sports, check out Ogden, about 40 minutes from Salt Lake. It’s home to Powder Mountain, an 8,000-acre resort that’s largely overlooked by tourists leaving lift lines short and slopes easy to navigate. The city is also home to the Shooting Star, the oldest continually operating saloon in Utah, and the New World Distillery if you need something to warm you up on the slopes.