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)
Best Time to Visit Zion National Park
Spring Weather in Zion
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 current Zion National park newspaper or information sheet.
March in Zion
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 the Riverside Walk, Weeping Rock, Kayenta Trail/Emerald Pools, Pa’rus Trail and Canyon Overlook.
April in Zion
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
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
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.
June in Zion
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
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 a guiding company.
August in Zion
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
December in Zion
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
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
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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