The obvious draw for a Utah vacation in January is the skiing, and we’re not gonna lie, that really is the No. 1 reason to go -- the snow in Utah's Wasatch mountains is among the best and most consistent in the world, and so far this winter the snowfall is looking like a repeat of last year's epic powder.
But Utah is a big state, and even if the slopes aren’t calling you, January is a great time to explore the big, red desert national parks (Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands) in the southern part of the state. With summers seeing more and more visitors every year, the local secret is to go in winter, when they are magnificently empty. Plus, they’re often covered in a soft dusting of snow.
Farther north, there’s Salt Lake City, an outdoor dream and one of the more underrated vacation spots in America, and just a short day trip to all the big-name ski resorts. Then there’s the Sundance Film Festival in Park City from January 23 through February 2, when Hollywood descends on the beehive state.
For a hidden gem of winter sports, check out Ogden, about 40 minutes north of Salt Lake. It’s home to Powder Mountain, an uncrowded 8,000-acre paradise of powder, and Snowbasin, another huge mountain with top notch lodges and Olympic credentials. Oh, and as of late 2019 3.2% beer has finally kicked the bucket in Utah, and you can finally enjoy a beer with a more regular ABV.
MORE: The best stargazing this winter is in Utah