They call them Snowbirds: people who flock to warm Saint George Utah when other, colder areas start to freeze and become unbearable. They come from all over the state mostly, since the majority of Utah gets pretty chilly in the winter, but also from all over the United States. Some of them own homes here, others just take vacations during this prime time of year. No matter where you are from, or what weather you are accustomed to, Southwest Utah is at a low enough elevation that the winters are extremely mild and are actually perfect temperatures for the avid nature lover.
Many have this idea stuck in their head that snowbirds are mostly retirees who don’t want to live in cold areas, but this is not the case at all. They come in all ages, for all types of outdoor activities. There are active families from New York who take vacations here in their condos to enjoy the nearby slopes of Brian Head Resort just an hour and a half away. There is even a movement of climbers who proudly call themselves “dirt bags” who save money just to camp and climb here through the winter. And yes, there is definitely a population of retirees who come just for the mild winter and to enjoy whatever their sport may be, from our myriad of hikes, to our many pickle ball courts, or any one of our thirteen golf courses. Whatever your activity is, the average winter months here are mild enough to enjoy it outside. Historically, December and January temperatures average 25-54° F and has very little precipitation. On average, December only receives less than an inch of rainfall and less than an inch of snowfall, while January receives just over an inch of rainfall and about the same amount of snowfall. So ignore the Utah license plates of the skier and focus on the Arches/Red rock plates. All year around, people are seen jogging on the sidewalk, and climbing on the cliffs in t-shirts and shorts.
Though this sounds ideal, and it is, Paragon Adventures‘ guide services actually slow down drastically during this season. Most of our guests come to us while traveling here from other areas. This means that most of St. George’s visitors come here when it is warmer, and even in the hottest months of summer. It would seem that the word has not gotten out yet that our part of Utah has perfect, mild winter temp.’s. Other tourist areas of southern Utah, like Moab, are at a higher elevation than St. George, and actually are much colder in the winter. Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks are all around 4,000 feet elevation or higher. Though Zion is above 5,000 feet, St. George does not have this problem. We can actually run nearly all of the same programs in the winter that we do in the summer, including the famous Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park and all of our most popular adventures. So we welcome you all to come and enjoy Southwest Utah’s amazing winter weather. Paragon is a small company with a small staff and we often have to say “no” to people’s requests, especially in our busy season. This time of year we get to say “yes” much more often and we would love to take you out on our programs that take advantage of this great season.