Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks

Utah is one of the nation’s iconic outdoor states. Its beauty goes beyond what you see in postcards and curated photographs.

If you’re planning a Utah National Parks vacation, timing is one of the first things you need to decide.

Determining the best time to visit Utah National Parks depends on what you want to see and do.

We’ve got everything you need to know to help you decide WHEN to visit the amazing national parks in Utah.

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National Park Packing List

When you are visiting any national park it is important to be prepared. This includes wearing the proper clothes and shoes to be comfortable for the climate and the terrain.

→ CHECK OUT: National park packing list for summer and winter

For most national parks you will want to bring:

→ Hiking shoes – we like Merrell Moab and Oboz hiking shoes

→ Hiking socks – we always wear Darn Tough socks to keep our feet happy!

→ Lots of Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack

→ Food – healthy food that portable and filling!

→ Lip Balm – get lip balm with UV protection

→ Sunscreen – sun protection is important in the summer and winter!

→ Hand sanitizer – travel hand sanitizer is good for those times when you can’t wash your hands thoroughly!

→ Flashlight or headlamp – a headlamp is perfect for those morning or evening hikes

→ Maps of the park – national park maps are essential if you’ll do any hiking

→ Guide book for the park – national park guide books are a wonderful resource to keep with you!

→ Sunglasses – UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter

→ First aid kit – carry a first aid kit in your car and in your backpack when hiking

Insect repellent – bug bites are no fun!

Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!

Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks

UTAH NATIONAL PARKS IN THE SPRING 

Springtime is the most popular time for tourists to flock to Utah National Parks. The time between April to May is the busiest due to spring break in Utah and the mild temperatures.

If you want a more peaceful trip, then visiting Utah National Parks in the spring is not for you.

Everything you need to know about a spring vacation to Utah National Parks!

Delicate Arch Utah National Park in the spring

Spring Weather

Spring weather in Southern Utah means warmer days with cool nighttime temperatures, Be prepared for an occasional rainstorm, but the rain can produce some pop-up waterfalls which is a cool thing to see! 

Due to the high elevation for Bryce Canyon, the temperatures will be much cooler than the other parks so be prepared with layers!

Arches

  • March highs 64 / lows 35
  • April highs 71 / lows 42
  • May highs 82 / lows 51

Bryce Canyon

  • March highs 45 / lows 23
  • April highs 54 / lows 29
  • May highs 64 / lows 37

Capitol Reef

  • March highs 58 / lows 34
  • April highs 65 / lows 39
  • May highs 74 / lows 48

Canyonlands

  • March highs 64 / lows 35
  • April highs 71 / lows 42
  • May highs 82 / lows 51

Zion

  • March highs 66 / lows 39
  • April highs 75 / lows 45
  • May highs 86 / lows 54

UTAH NATIONAL PARKS IN THE SUMMER

Utah’s harsh and scorching summer weather means temperatures can rise over 100 degrees. If you want to visit Utah National Parks in the summer, here are a few tips.

Enter the park EARLY to enjoy the cooler morning air. Then during the heat of the day, go back to your hotel to swim or simply relax in the air conditioned room. Head back to the park late afternoon before sunset when the air begins to cool. And we always recommend you take an evening to look up and enjoy the night sky full of stars!!

Everything you need to know about a summer vacation to Utah National Parks!

Mesa Arch sunrise Island in the Sky

Summer Weather

There’s no other way to say it… summer is sunny and hot! You’ll need to be prepared with sun protection, water and electrolytes!

Arches

  • June highs 93 / lows 60
  • July highs 100 / lows 67
  • August highs 97 / lows 66

Bryce Canyon

  • June highs 75 / lows 45
  • July highs 80 / lows 53
  • August highs 77 / lows 50

Capitol Reef

  • June highs 87 / lows 58
  • July highs 91 / lows 65
  • August highs 88 / lows 63

Canyonlands

  • June highs 93 / lows 60
  • July highs 100 / lows 67
  • August highs 97 / lows 66

Zion

  • June highs 95 / lows 63
  • July highs 100 / lows 63
  • August highs 99 / lows 68

UTAH NATIONAL PARKS IN THE FALL

Fall is the next best season to visit Utah National Parks. The temperatures aren’t as hot as summer and you can enjoy some fall color on the leaves!

Because the weather is good for outdoor activities at the parks, expect crowds. Starting your day off early before the parks get crowded is always our number one tip!

Everything you need to know about Utah National Parks in the fall!

Fall Weather

The temperatures are starting to cool off in the fall months which makes is perfect for outdoor activities!

Arches

  • September highs 88 / lows 55
  • October highs 74 / lows 42
  • November highs 56 / lows 30

Bryce Canyon

  • September highs 70 / lows 42
  • October highs 58 / lows 32
  • November highs 45 / lows 23

Capitol Reef

  • September highs 80 / lows 55
  • October highs 66 / lows 43
  • November highs 51 / lows 31

Canyonlands

  • September highs 88 / lows 55
  • October highs 74 / lows 42
  • November highs 56 / lows 30

Zion

  • September highs 91 / lows 61
  • October highs 79 / lows 48
  • November highs 64 / lows 37

UTAH NATIONAL PARKS IN THE WINTER

Visiting Utah National Parks in the winter is our favorite time to go! It’s the off season so the prices for lodging are cheap compared to the spring, summer and fall.

We’ve found December to be the perfect time to go before the temperatures get really cold and the weather is bad with rain and snow.

Yes, winter may mean limited services and ranger programs, but if you want to enjoy hiking and taking pictures without the crowds then this is a great time to go!

Everything you need to know about a winter vacation to Utah National Parks!

Winter Weather

Be prepared with winter clothing: waterproof layers and shoes.

Before heading out to explore the park, check with the visitor center for updated conditions. During the winter hiking trails may close, or may require traction devices due to ice.

Arches

  • December highs 45 / lows 23
  • January highs 44 / lows 22
  • February highs 52 / lows 28

Bryce Canyon

  • December highs 36 / lows 15
  • January highs 37 / lows 15
  • February highs 38 / lows 17

Capitol Reef

  • December highs 40 / lows 21
  • January highs 41 / lows 20
  • February highs 47 / lows 26

Canyonland

  • December highs 45 / lows 23
  • January highs 44 / lows 22
  • February highs 52 / lows 28

Zion

  • December highs 54 / lows 30
  • January highs 54 / lows 30
  • February high 59 / lows 34
national park packing lists

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