Best Time to Visit Zion National Park (Detailed Monthly Overview) (2022)

Zion National Park is home to high mountain peaks and deep canyons. Utah is well known throughout the world as having some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the planet, and you’ll find them all on full display in the park.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced mountain climber looking for an adventure or an average family wanting to get away from it all for the weekend: Zion National Park has something for everyone.

Depending on how you like to travel, you’ll want to visit Zion National Park during a different time of year. But how can you know the right time to visit?

No need to worry; this complete guide will help you decide the best time to visit Zion National Park. Each month is slightly different from the next, so keep your eyes open for what time is right for you.

Get ready to pack your bags; your adventure to Zion starts here.

Don’t leave home without your own: Lonely Planet USA’s National Parks (Travel Guide)

Table of Contents

Spring Weather in Zion

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The months of March and April are a big transition period in Zion National Park. At times, it will seem as if the weather is starting to warm up, ushering in the summer months.

But all of a sudden, you’ll be hit with an unexpected cold front. Although better than traveling during the winter, spring is an unpredictable time of year in Zion.

The biggest thing to worry about when traveling to Zion National Park during spring is the water levels. With melting snow, the Virgin River, which flows through the popular Narrows, will become high and prone to flooding.

Insider Tip: One of the best ways to plan ahead is to read the currentZion National park newspaperor information sheet.

March in Zion

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(Video) This was the BEST TIME to Visit Zion National Park | HIKING ANGELS LANDING & Winter Camping

If you’re looking to avoid crowds and have most of Zion National Park to yourself with decent weather, then you should look at visiting during March. With the mountains and high passes sprinkled with snow and many of the trails open, you’ll have free reign of the park.

The biggest drawback of traveling to Zion National Park during March is the unpredictable weather and rainfall. On the other hand, travelers can enjoy temperatures with highs of 63 and lows of 34. The shuttle bus also starts running in March.

Insider Tip: Zion is always busy, just be prepared that it will be more crowded than you thought it would be. Some great short and easy hikes during this time of the year are theRiverside Walk, Weeping Rock,Kayenta Trail/Emerald Pools,Pa’rus Trailand Canyon Overlook.

April in Zion

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As far as spring goes, April is the best month to visit Zion National Park. Although in the mornings you’ll need to wear a jacket, during the day, you’ll be enjoying perfect weather to go out and hike the trails in.

With a bit of snow still blanketing the mountains, the scenery is nothing short of picturesque.

With flowers blooming and mountain water being fed into the streams, April is a magical month to visit Zion. The temperatures only go as high as 73 and drop down to 43, making April one of the best months to travel to Zion.

Insider Tip: April is the best time of the year to hike to the Emerald Pools and the waterfall at the Temple of Sinewava.

Summer Weather in Zion NP

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The summer is quite long in Zion National Park, lasting from May all the way to September. During these months, you’ll have a range of temperatures, ranging from cool hiking weather to sweltering hot days up in the 100s.

During the summer months, you’ll have warm temperatures all day long, but you’ll also have to deal with the crowds that come with it. With school on vacation and families looking to take advantage of the good weather, you may have to deal with crowds while hiking the trails.

Insider Tip: One of the most important tips for visiting Zion National Park is to book your hotel or campsite well in advance. It saves you money and most of the popular places are booked out years in advance. See where we stayed or browse for the best deals here.

May in Zion

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Carrying over from spring, May is included with the summer months mostly because this is when crowds start to swarm to Zion National Park – and for a good reason. May is one of the best months of the year to go hiking due to mild temperatures all day long.

Although you’ll have to be elbow to elbow with tourists on some of the more popular hikes in Zion, you can’t beat May when it comes to temperatures. During this month, hikers will enjoy highs of 83 and lows dropping to only 52.

Insider Tip: Get to the park early: the earlier you get to Zion National Park, the more likely you are to get a parking spot; and the more of the park you have to yourself before the crowds arrive in the mid-morning.

(Video) Zion National Park: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

June in Zion

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Utah is well known for its deserts, and in June, things start to heat up. With school out, the crowds will only get heavier during this month, so be sure to start your hike early or look for some more off the beaten path trails.

Parking and long lines for the shuttle busses will be a nightmare, so plan accordingly. On the other hand, you’ll be able to enjoy blue skies and flowering flora on your hikes. The temperature in June climbs to 93 and drops to 60.

Insider Tip: Pack a lunch and plenty of snacks because once you are in the park you want to stay in the park.

July in Zion

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Make sure you bring plenty of water if you travel to Zion National Park in July; this is when things start to get hot and sticky.

Despite the high temperatures, this is still a popular time to visit Zion, especially for those looking to explore the shady canyons. July is a perfect month to start some more adventurous hikes.

Much like the rest of summer, you’ll have to deal with long lines and scorching temperatures during July. The heat soars to over 100 degrees at times, so be sure to bring a hat and plenty of water. The lows only drop to about 68.

Insider Tip: The biggest drawback of visiting Zion in July is the crowds. To avoid the stress of navigating the busy National Park by yourself, we recommend booking a trip with aguiding company.

August in Zion

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August is typically the last month of high season in Zion National Park, with families squeezing in that last-minute vacation.

You’ll still have to deal with some crowds along the more popular trails in the park. The upside of traveling during August is that you’ll have great weather to explore those deep canyons.

During August, you’ll still have to deal with hot temperatures, especially if you’re on a more exposed hike such as Angels Landing. With the heat rising to 97 and only dropping to 66, you’ll definitely work up a sweat on any hike.

Insider Tip: Photographers, August is the best time to visit Zion National Park for sunrise and sunset photo opportunities. Do you have the right camera gear for your national park trip?

September in Zion

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Being the last month of the summer season, this is the last gasp for large crowds and families trying to fit in one last memory before school gets back into full swing. If you avoid the weekends and the major holidays, you should be able to enjoy the park without battling with massive tour groups.

(Video) Best Time to Visit Zion National Park [4K]

Although elsewhere in the country, things are starting to cool off in September, summer still has its claws dug deep here. Zion will get as hot as 91 degrees and drop to only 60 degrees.

Insider Tip: There are so many amazing things outside of Zion’s main attractions besides hiking the Narrows or Angels Landing. Don’t be scared to venture outside the park to avoid those large crowds and see some other spectacular sights, that don’t get as much hype. (But should!)

Fall Weather in Zion NP

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With the high season officially over and cooler weather coming in, autumn provides some of the best months to travel to Zion National Park. Although the days will start to get shorter, you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy all the beauty and changing colors of Zion.

What makes autumn the best time of year to travel to Zion is the fact that you’ll be able to experience all the best hikes in the park without having to worry about crowds. With all of the park services available until the end of November, make sure to book your trip to Zion during the fall.

October in Zion

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If you’re looking for the best month to visit Zion National Park, you’ve found it! October is prime time to hike all the trails and explore the stunning canyons. With the crowds starting to thin out, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in nature without all the tour groups.

The only downside to traveling during October is that the days will begin to get shorter. But as long as you plan your trip well, you’ll still be able to see all the sights. The temperature is also perfect, with highs only at 78 and lows around 49 degrees.

Insider Tip: For those looking for Fall Colors in Zion National Park: Peak foliage starts in early October at the park’s highest elevations, then shifts to progressively lower elevations over the weeks afterward. Foliage in Zion Canyon peaks in late October to early November.

November in Zion

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November is the first month that will have you bringing a heavy coat along with you on your trip to Zion National Park. Although not unbearable, you’ll still want to bundle up if you find yourself in one of the chilly caves or exposed up on the side of a mountain.

With fewer crowds and mild temperatures, you can still enjoy all the colors of the park in November: it only gets as warm as 63 degrees and drops down to 37.

Insider Tip: If you see a cold snap coming in, this is a good time to venture to Zion National Park because the cold will keep people away.

Winter Weather in Zion NP

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There is no wrong time to visit Zion National Park. Although you’ll have to deal with colder temperatures, winter is the perfect time for adventurous and independent travelers to explore all the sights and hiking trails.

During the winter season, many park services are not available. Shuttle buses only run during certain weekends, and the museums are closed. On the upside, visitors can take their own car along the scenic drive, which is impossible during high season.

(Video) What is the best month to visit Zion National Park, Utah? | Nice Weather for Camping (Valentus)

December in Zion

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We hope you brought along your winter hats and heavy jackets! December is one of the coldest months of the year in Zion National Park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. With a fresh layer of snow on top of the orange canyons, this is a once in a lifetime experience.

The only thing about traveling to Zion during the winter is the chill. The temperature is far too cold to hike a trail such as The Narrows. The temperature only gets as warm as 53 and plummets to 30 degrees.

Insider Tip: Be aware that many of the shops and restaurants in Springdale, the town closest to Zion National Park, close down in the winter due to fewer people.

January in Zion

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Much like December, January sees the same frigid temperatures that keep many of the crowds away. With snow still on the ground and the trails free of tourists, you’ll have the freedom to explore the park as you like.

During January, you may have to deal with some icy conditions, as you would during the rest of winter, but as long as you drive safely, you’ll be able to travel wherever you desire. The temperature stays cold, rising to only 52 degrees and dropping to 29 degrees.

Insider Tip: Looking for a good winter jacket? No worries, we have you covered with how to Choose the Best Packable Down Jacket for Travel.

February in Zion

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Although the weather is gradually lightening up, winter is still in full swing during February. With snow sprinkled across the high mountain passes and tops of the canyons, you’ll be able to have a one of a kind experience in Zion National Park.

The temperature may start to warm up slightly, but you’ll still need to bring along your coat. With highs topping out at only 57 degrees and lows of 31, it is still quite chilly in Zion.

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FAQs

What is the best month to visit Zion National Park? ›

The best time to visit Zion National Park is between the months of April and November when the park's free shuttles are running and the weather is comfortable.

How much time should you plan to spend in Zion National Park? ›

We suggest you plan at least 5-7 days for your trip to Zion National Park. If you're an avid hiker, take your time visiting popular (and strenuous) day hikes such as Angels Landing, Zion Narrows Day Hike, and Observation Point Trail. To avoid hunger and dehydration, pack plenty of water and snacks before you set out.

What is the best time of day to go to Zion National Park? ›

Best Time to Avoid the Crowds

When you start your hike or exploration right after sunrise, you'll have the park almost for yourself. Most visitors don't start before 10 a.m. There is also a better chance of spotting wildlife and the best light for photos in the morning.

What is the rainiest month in Zion National Park? ›

The month with the most rain in Zion National Park is February, with an average rainfall of 1.2 inches. The rainless period of the year lasts for 2.5 months, from April 25 to July 8. The month with the least rain in Zion National Park is June, with an average rainfall of 0.3 inches.

When should you not go to Zion National Park? ›

The Worst Time to Visit Zion National Park

If you want to avoid the crowds, skip a trip in June or July, which both see over 500,000 monthly visitors. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find solitude during the winter months but might also experience below-freezing nights, snow, and limited park access.

Is Zion better in summer or winter? ›

Many Zion fans will tell you that Fall is the best time to visit the park. But the end of monsoon season and early winter weather can cause problems for hikers. And the first few weekends of the Fall, any particularly nice weather, and school holidays like Thanksgiving can bring crowds back into the park.

How many days in Zion is enough? ›

Ideally, you need at least two to three days to visit Zion National Park. This gives you enough time to hike the longer, more popular trails, such as Angels Landing and the Narrows, and you can also add in a few of the shorter, easier trails, such as the Riverside Walk and Canyon Overlook.

Should I spend more time in Zion or Bryce? ›

Zion definitely needs more time than Bryce Canyon. It is a larger park with more ground to cover, but it's also more heavily visited and harder to navigate than Bryce. Zion also has some longer day hikes that shouldn't be missed, so you'll want to budget in more time to knock those trails off your bucket list!

Which is better Zion or Bryce? ›

For canyoneering and rappelling, Zion beats Bryce. You'll find world-class hiking in either Park, but in Zion you can find yourself hiking through streams or on sandstone ledges, like Angels Landing – one of the scariest hikes in the world!

Is Zion busy in April? ›

The crowds, especially during spring break, is a big drawback for an April trip to Zion. Due to the moderate spring temperatures, most of the Zion National Park hikes will be busy. We suggest you try some of the Zion hikes without the shuttle to try to escape the busy Zion Canyon.

Is Zion crowded in May? ›

Drawbacks of Visiting in May

Spring, summer and fall are the busiest seasons in Zion National Park, and you will definitely notice the crowds in May. This means long lines for the shuttle buses, and limited parking inside the park.

How busy is Zion in March? ›

The biggest benefit of visiting Zion in March is the lack of crowds. With so many less people in the park, you are able to experience the magnitude of the walls without the hustle and bustle of summer crowds.

What airport do you fly into for Zion National Park? ›

ST. GEORGE REGIONAL AIRPORT: The closest airport to Zion with limited commercial flights. One-hour drive to the park. SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Major airport with direct flights from many foreign and domestic destinations.

Do you need reservation for Zion National Park? ›

You do not need a permit or reservation to visit most areas in Zion Canyon. You do not need a permit or reservation to ride a park shuttle. You do not need a permit or reservation to enter the park. You do need to pay the park fee.

What months can you drive through Zion National Park? ›

Can I drive my private vehicle into Zion Canyon? A. From March through late November, access to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is by shuttle bus only. Private vehicles are allowed to access the Scenic Drive only when the Shuttle System is not in operation.

What is the best month to visit Utah? ›

Low season in September to November is best for budget travelers. All things considered, this is the best time to visit Utah – when prices, crowds, and extreme weather are all at their lowest. You won't get the beautiful runoff as in spring, and temperatures will likely be too cold to enjoy the water.

What time does Zion parking lot fill up? ›

All parking lots in Zion Canyon are usually full by 9:00AM. Get an early start or plan on parking in the Town of Springdale and using the town shuttle to reach the park. If parking is full, do not wait for spots to open; park in Springdale and use the town shuttle to reach the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

Where should I stay when visiting Zion National Park? ›

If you want to stay inside the park, then Zion National Park Lodge is your best option. It has the best location. However, Springdale hotels are just nearby, are more affordable, and often offer better facilities including better Wi-Fi connection and also swimming pools.

Is there snow in Zion in March? ›

In Zion National Park, Utah, in March, snow falls for 0.4 days, with typically accumulated 0.7" (17.8mm) of snow.

What is Zion like in February? ›

Weather in February

The average temperature for Zion Canyon is a high of 57, and a low of 31 degrees Fahrenheit (14/0 degrees Celsius). In Kolob Canyons, the average temperature is a high of 51, and a low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit (10/-2 degrees Celsius). On average, it rains or snows 7 days in February.

Can I do Zion and Bryce in one day? ›

Normally, people visit Bryce and Zion National Parks together since they are only 62 miles apart. Although it is recommended to spend a day in Bryce and at least one day in Zion, you can visit Bryce and Zion in one day, hiking one trail in each of the parks.

Which is better Zion or Grand Canyon? ›

Zion is just as beautiful, more accessible and less crowded much of the year than the Grand Canyon, where the rim walking paths and the main trails into the canyon can be packed with people during peak travel seasons. You won't need your car much, either.

Is a trip to Zion National Park worth it? ›

In fact, visiting it is one of the best things to do in Utah. If you like all kind of hiking trails with supernatural views, you cannot miss a visit to Zion National Park.

Can you do Zion and Bryce in 2 days? ›

Yes, it is possible to see both Zion and Bryce Canyon in one day, but it will be one VERY FULL day. A lot depends on where you start and end your trip, of course.

How long does it take to drive through Zion National Park? ›

Explore this 12.6-mile out-and-back trail near Springdale, Utah. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 4 h 56 min to complete. This is a popular trail for road biking and scenic driving, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.

Which is better Bryce Canyon or Arches? ›

While Arches is very similar to Bryce Canyon in outdoor activities, Arches will be a better destination for most mountain bikers and four wheel-drive enthusiasts. Arches is a little dryer climate and does not have near the water (lake, ponds, reservoirs) it does have the Colorado river just a stone throw away.

How far is Zion from Grand Canyon? ›

Zion National Park is found just two hours north of the Grand Canyon North Rim and is accessible year-round. The park is 30 miles in length and fifteen miles across at its widest point, and consists of multiple layers of sandstone that have been stained by the oxidization of iron within the rock.

Which is better Zion or Yosemite? ›

Visit Yosemite and other national parks for free Saturday

In 2018, Zion ranked fourth among America's most visited national parks, ahead of Yellowstone (fifth) and Yosemite (sixth). Only Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain parks were more popular.

What is so special about Zion National Park? ›

The highlight of Zion National Park is an expansive canyon. Averaging 2,000 feet deep, Zion Canyon offers hiking opportunities along its floor in the 20 to 30 foot wide area known as The Narrows and the challenging area known as The Subway. Swimming is also permitted in this area of the Virgin River.

Does Zion get snow in April? ›

April is the last month it regularly snows in Zion National Park. During 0.1 snowfall days, in April, Zion National Park aggregates 0.1" (2.5mm) of snow. In Zion National Park, during the entire year, snow falls for 2.5 days, and aggregates up to 4.2" (106.7mm) of snow.

How do people dress in Zion in April? ›

Shorts and a t-shirt are perfect for an April afternoon in Zion N.P. During the day the temperatures are perfect for shorts and t-shirts but the mornings can be cool. A light jacket or sweater may be all you need for these times but treat it like any other outdoor outing and be prepared.

How do you avoid crowds in Zion National Park? ›

The first way to beat the crowds is to visit the park after the summer season. The best time to visit Zion is during the week right before and after Thanksgiving! The holiday season and cool weather cuts down on the crowds. The hikes are nearly all to yourself and free from the sweltering summer heat.

Can I drive through Zion in May? ›

Zion National Park is open all year long, and it's open every day in May. In May you can't drive your car through Zion Canyon. The shuttles run a full schedule every day. You can drive your can on the other three Zion National Park scenic drives: Highway 9, Kolob Terrace Road and Kolob Canyon.

How long does it take to do Angels Landing? ›

How Long is the Angels Landing Trail? The Angels Landing Trail is a total of 5 miles round-trip, from the trailhead to the summit and back. The hike takes about 4 or 5 hours.

What is better Zion or Bryce? ›

For canyoneering and rappelling, Zion beats Bryce. You'll find world-class hiking in either Park, but in Zion you can find yourself hiking through streams or on sandstone ledges, like Angels Landing – one of the scariest hikes in the world!

When should I go to Zion and Bryce? ›

From April to October, the weather is warm, perfect for hiking. But crowds flock to these parks in the summer. To avoid crowds, it's best to visit in either spring or fall. The best months in Zion and Bryce Canyon are April, May, September, and October.

What is the best time of year to visit Utah National Parks? ›

Overall, the perfect time to visit Utah's national parks and other attractions are April through May and September through October. That is when you can enjoy its main attractions with moderate crowds and the most moderate temperatures.

What is Zion like in May? ›

Weather in May

The average temperature for Zion Canyon in May is a high of 83, and a low of 52 degrees Fahrenheit (28/11 degrees Celsius). In Kolob Canyons, the average temperature is a high of 71, and a low of 44 degrees Fahrenheit (21/6 degrees Celsius). On average, it rains 5 days during the month of May.

Videos

1. Visiting ZION National Park the Ultimate Travel Planning Guide
(Alice Ford)
2. Roadtrip to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Grand Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend in Winter (February)
(Ab's Home Videos)
3. BE PREPARED WHEN VISITING ZION NATIONAL PARK | Scenic Drive SHUTTLE Tickets | Virgin River
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4. Zion Canyon and Zion National Park: How to Visit, What to See
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5. WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HIKE ANGELS LANDING WITH A PERMIT | Zion National Park, Utah
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6. Zion National Park - Utah | 🇺🇸🚙🏜️ 7 Month USA Road Trip (Episode 36)
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