Zion National Park is an awe-inspiring destination located in southwestern Utah, featuring magnificent red-rock canyons!
The best month to visit Zion National Park depends on the things you want to do and what kind of experience you want to have.
Use this Zion National Park travel guide to determine the month that’s best for you to visit for the things you want to see, do, and photograph.
Visiting Zion National Park in the spring, summer, and fall is vastly different from the winter. To help you plan your Zion vacation, we’ve listed activities, things to pack, travel tips, and weather information for each month at the park.
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A Photo Tour of Zion National Park
Take a visual tour through Zion National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
Best Month to Visit Zion National Park
Visiting Zion National Park is an unforgettable experience. The park is a stunning landscape of red rock formations, which have been sculpted over millions of years by the elements.
Most of the year you’ll enjoy fun outdoor Zion National Park activities like scenic drives, hiking, biking, and photography. During the winter, the activities may be a bit more limited due to cold or snowy conditions!
It’s important to be up-to-date with the current Zion National Park weather and road conditions, especially in the winter.
It’s also important to note that in the spring, summer and fall the Zion National Park shuttle is running. The only way to access Zion Canyon is via the shuttle when it’s in operation.
Spring Months at Zion National Park
When visiting Zion in the spring you’ll find the weather is “just right” to enjoy the outdoors. Check out the fun things you can do during the spring months of March, April, and May:
But Zion WILL BE crowded during the peak spring season. The first part of March is your best bet to avoid the crowds when it’s spring break in Utah.
Now for the breakdown of what to expect at Zion each month in the spring.
When visiting Zion National Park in March, the highs are in the mid-60s and the lows are near 40 degrees F. The weather can be unpredictable if a storm rolls through with rain, and even snow.
April Vacation to Zion
Zion National Park in April is an ideal time to visit as temperatures are mild to enjoy all the fun outdoor activities. Average highs are in the mid-70s and the lows in the mid-40s.
Due to melting snowpack in the area in the spring, some Zion National Park hikes could be closed due to falling rocks, rockslides or fast-moving water. The Narrows trail will close whenever the river is moving too fast. And Angel’s Landing will close if the trail is wet and slippery.
If you’re looking for a way to escape the crowds, check out this list of Zion hikes without the Shuttle!
May Vacation to Zion
You can expect highs near 86 and lows near 54 degrees F at Zion National Park in May.
There are four Zion National Park scenic drives in the park.
- Zion Canyon: must use the shuttle or ride a bike!
- Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway: This scenic road includes driving through the 1.1 mile long tunnel! The scenery along Highway 9 from Zion Canyon to the east entrance is breathtaking! Use the pullouts to stop and take photos, take a hike, and look for big horn sheep!
- Kolob Terrace: We recommend this lesser-known Zion scenic drive found west of Springdale near the town of Virgin. You’ll see a different side of Zion there, AND you can escape the crowds!
- Kolob Canyons: This scenic drive is 40 miles north of Zion Canyon. It’s a bit out of the way, but provides a whole different view of Zion.
We recommend the Zion GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.
Summer Months at Zion National Park
If you’re planning to visit Zion in the summer, there are things you need to know before going since it’s a HOT time of year there! Check out the fun things you can do during the summer months of June, July, and August:
The summer months are not our favorite time because it will be hot and crowded. Be sure to stay hydrated by carrying refillable water bottles, wear UV wicking clothing, apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, and you’ll want lip balm and lotion since Zion is in a dry desert environment!
Now for the breakdown of what to expect at Zion National Park each month in the summer.
June Vacation to Zion
The temperatures at Zion National Park in June are hot with highs around 95 and lows around 63 degrees F.
You can’t beat the canyoneering in Zion that involves route finding, rappelling, hiking, and swimming so it’s much more than just hiking!
The Subway and The Narrows are two famous trails at Zion that require technical canyoneering skill are from the top-down. Both hikes require a permit, and all overnight trips in these areas also require a permit.
If you’re new to this outdoor activity, try a Zion National Park canyoneering tour!
July Vacation to Zion
Expect highs in the 100s and lows near 6 degrees F at Zion National Park in July! You won’t find many shady spots in the park so we suggest you plan your outdoor activities like hiking in the cooler mornings and evenings.
You can enjoy the scenic drives in your car with the AC running, or the hotel swimming pool during the heat of the day.
A fun place to visit near Zion is the Grafton Ghost Town!
August Vacation to Zion
It’s still hot at Zion National Park in August with highs near 100 and lows around 68 degrees F. August is monsoon season and it rains an average of 15 days during the month so be prepared and know the precautions to avoid flash floods at Zion!
You can’t beat stargazing at Zion! The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” invites you to take one evening to enjoy a star-filled sky! In August you can see the milky way from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am.
Zion is a popular destination for astrophotographers so you won’t be alone in the park at night. Be sure to use a headlamp with a red light!
Fall Months at Zion National Park
Zion in the fall is a very busy season so be prepared for crowds. Check out the fun things you can do during the fall months of September, October, and November:
- Easy Zion National Park Hikes
- Things to Do in Zion National Park Besides Hiking
- Things to Do Near Zion National Park
With the cooler temperatures at night and the early mornings, especially late fall, be sure to dress in layers and carry a fleece jacket, winter hat, and winter gloves.
Early fall is a terrific time for camping in Zion National Park when it’s not too hot, too cold, or rainy!
Now for the breakdown of what to expect at Zion each month in the fall.
September Vacation to Zion
The fall season begins at Zion National Park in September. Expect highs in the 90s and lows in the 60s.
If you are going to Zion to see the fall colors, then you will want to go starting in mid-September. Usually, you will only see a little bit of color at the higher elevations in the early part of September.
As mid-September hits, about 30 to 50 percent of the trees at the higher elevation have changed making for a gorgeous sight. As late September comes around you will usually be able to see fall colors all over Zion National Park.
October Vacation to Zion
The temperatures at Zion National Park in October start getting cooler with highs around 79 and lows around 48 degrees F.
If you’re a landscape photographer, check out our guide all about Zion National Park photography. Keep in mind that sunrise and sunset at Zion you’re looking for the reflected light on the rock structures, and not the sun rising or setting.
Our favorite photo spots for sunrise at Zion National Park are behind the Zion Museum and at the end of the Canyon Overlook Trail.
For sunset at Zion National Park, we walk along the Pa’rus Trail to capture the reflected glow of light on the Watchman in the Virgin River. The views along the Kolob Terrace Road are also amazing, especially at sunset!
We’ve experienced major rainstorms in October, and weren’t prepared with rain gear for us or our camera gear so we were confined to driving in our car while it rained. It’s fun to see the pop-up waterfalls!
November Vacation to Zion
When visiting Zion National Park in November, you’ll find the days are moderate and the mornings and evenings are cold. The highs are usually around 64 degrees and the lows around 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
Did you know you can access Zion Canyon by bike? Bicycling at Zion is a fun way to get around the park. You can rent bicycles in Springdale. Be aware of the rules for riding your bike at Zion:
- Bicycling is permitted on the park roadways and the Pa’rus Trail. The areas closed to bikes: all other park trails, off-trail routes, and the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel.
- Bikes must be ridden single file on the right side of the park roads and Pa’rus Trail. Due to the narrow park roads, there is a limit of 6 bicycles or less for every cycling group.
- Wear your helmet.
Winter Months at Zion National Park
Check out the fun things you can do during the winter months of December, January, and February:
- Zion National Park Winter Activities
- Winter Hiking in Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Winter Photos
You’ll LOVE visiting Zion National Park in the winter when it’s the off-season. The park is definitely not as crowded as it is during the summer.
With winter being less crowded one of the benefits is that you can drive your car through Zion Canyon (except for the holidays at Christmas/New Year’s and President’s weekend in February).
All four Zion National Park scenic drives are open in the winter, but when a storm rolls through, they may close if conditions are bad so always check the park service website for updated road conditions.
The upper part of the Kolob Terrace Road, including Lava Point, closes in the winter. Kolob Canyons regularly closes during inclement weather. Driving conditions can be very poor during a storm, but roads are usually plowed quickly after.
Now for the breakdown of what to expect at Zion each month in the winter.
December Vacation to Zion
A trip to Zion National Park in December is awesome if you want to avoid the crowds! But the weather will be cold and it may snow which could limit some of the outdoor activities. The average highs are around 54 degrees with the lows around 30 degrees F.
In the first part of December, you can drive your car through Zion Canyon and not worry about riding the shuttle, except during the holiday week between Christmas and New Years.
Pack winter hiking gear and dress in layers when visiting in the winter. The hiking trails remain open year-round, but you may encounter snow and ice which may require traction devices and trekking poles.
January Vacation to Zion
The weather at Zion National Park in January is cold and can be unpredictable. The average highs are near 54 degrees with the lows near 30 degrees F.
In January you can drive your car through Zion Canyon and not worry about riding the shuttle, except around New Years and during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend!
The only option for winter Camping in Zion National Park is at Watchman Campground, but it has reduced availability during the winter season.
February Vacation to Zion
The average highs at Zion National Park in February are near 60 degrees with the lows near 34 degrees F.
In the FIRST PART of February you have full access to drive into Zion Canyon and not worry about riding the shuttle!
After a snow storm, the park road might be closed for plowing for a few hours. Keep in mind that the roads, parking lots, and pullouts in the park can still be icy, especially in shaded areas. You can see current weather conditions on the NPS website.
Some trails may close due to bad conditions like the popular Angel’s Landing. If you want to hike The Narrows, the water will be COLD and you’ll need full-body drysuits that you can rent from local outfitters.
Zion National Park Packing List
Use our Zion National Park Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting any time of the year! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!