I visited in late December, and it was great. The snow adds to the beauty of the canyon.
There is only one trail that is open to the public - White House ruins. It's a nice trail.
If you want to explore the canyon trails further, you have to hire an Indian guide. Back 2 years ago, it was $90 for 3 hours (which is the minimum). Make a reservation ahead of time.
Explore Lake Powell on a boat!
We rented the cheapest boat (26' decker) for 1/2 a day. The boat can easily fit 6 people. Suggested half day route is down the Navajo canyon. The paperwork takes an hour, so get there early.
It's surprisingly easy to get lost once you leave the marina. The free map that you are given is not accurate.
Link to prices: http://www.lakepowellhouseboating.com/small-watercraft-rental-and-rates.
1.5 mile round-trip hike to a stunning view of the Glen Canyon and Colorado River, 1,000 feet below.
No guardrails at the cliff edge, so be careful.
Large parking lot.
Easy 1.5 mile round-trip hike to a series of balanced rocks.
A small parking lot is right past milepost 19. If you are going east on 89, it's less than 2 miles from the Paria contact station.
This is an amazing place.
A permit is require to visit this area. BLM issues only allows 20 people/day to visit the area. You can either apply for an online lottery or try your luck in person the day before at the Kanab visitor center (get there before 9am). The chances of winning are small.
At 10am there is a less known lottery for South Buttes. It's a terrific place to explore. If you lose the the lottery at 9am, try the 10am lottery. If you lose again, you can visit the White Pocket area - it requires no permit.
Depending on the weather, you may need a high clearance 4WD to get to the North Buttes.
You DEFINITELY need a 4WD to get to the South Buttes and the White pocket. The roads are badly marked, so be sure to take a map/gps with you.
Surreal moon-like landscape. Amazing views.
There are no trails, and it's easy to get lost. Use a GPS/compass/take pictures of landmarks in order to find your way back. There is no cell phone coverage.
You'll need a 4WD with high clearance to get to the trailhead. Roads inside the Vermillion Cliffs are badly marked, and the maps are not accurate. Download the google maps route ahead of time, and buy a map (National Geographic publishes the "Paria Canyon, Kanab" map). Be sure to take extra water and food.
Stop by the Kanab visitor center to get more information. Some of the roads may be flooded, so it's good to check in with rangers. The rangers also have a list of the companies that organize tours to the area, and the rental places where you can get a 4WD. And if you are there by 9am, try participating in the lottery for the North Buttes (i.e. the Wave), and then for the South Buttes at 10am.
Unlike North and South buttes, you do NOT need a permit to visit the White Pocket.
I visited on December 31st, and the park looked beautiful. We parked on the side of the road, and I'm not sure if the park was officially open.