Best Time to Visit Zion National Park

One of the first things you must decide when planning a Zion National Park vacation is when to go!

Deciding the best time to visit Zion National Park depends on the activities you want to do when you’re there..

Use our Zion National Park travel guide and the list below to learn more about what it’s like to visit during various seasons and months of the year to help you plan your vacation.

We share a general travel guide, list of things to do, packing checklist, travel tips and weather information for the different seasons and months at the park.

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Best Time to Visit Zion National Park

While there isn’t a bad time to explore Zion, some seasons make visiting more enjoyable than others since most of your time will be outdoors.

Spring at Zion – March & April

The temperatures in the spring are awesome, highs in the upper 50s and lows in the 30s – wear layers! One drawback when it rains, the runoff can make some Zion National Park hikes impassable.

Keep in mind that Spring Break in canyon country gets VERY crowded!

Depending on the amount of snow received over the winter, higher elevation areas may still be inaccessible without winter gear. Snow begins to melt and raises the level of the river so the Narrows may be closed for an extended period of time.

The park shuttle returns to full time use so plan to use the shuttle bus to access the Zion Canyon. But you can access other Zion National Park scenic drives without the shuttle!

The Human History Museum will usually open in spring, but for limited hours so check current listings. South Campground opens during this time period.

Summer at Zion – May through September

Summer at Zion is a busy!! And it’s hot!! You’ll battle the crowds on the hiking trails and on the shuttle as well as the high temperatures, around 100 degrees… both of which can be unbearable.

Use a refillable water bottle to carry plenty of water with you. There are places to refill marked on the park map. You should take measures to avoid heat illness while you are visiting.

Your safety is your responsibility. When summer Monsoon begins, (July-September) watch out for flash floods. Ask about the risk at the Visitor Center.

The park is fully open, but always check the current conditions page to find out about park closures.

The park shuttle bus is required to access the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and most of the hikes in Zion Canyon. All available parking in Zion is often full by 9:00 am. If you arrive later than that, you should plan on parking in Springdale and use the town shuttle to reach the Visitor Center.

Zion Hikes Without the Shuttle

We recommend avoiding holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day!

Fall at Zion – October & November

Zion in the fall is the best time for moderate temperatures and ideal hiking conditions.

Cooler temperatures, highs in the 70s and lows in the 30s, make hiking more bearable, but layers may be necessary in the mornings and evenings.

Fall colors begin to show at the highest elevations, slowly making their way down to Zion Canyon at the end of October and early November.

Shuttle buses are still required but start running a little less frequently and for less hours each day. The Human History Museum closes at the end of November, after Thanksgiving. Visitation begins to slow down, dropping more dramatically in November.

The fall is a terrific time to visit if you want to avoid the worst crowds, but not deal with winter temperatures.

Winter at Zion – December to February

We enjoy going to Zion in the winter when there are fewer crowds, but there may be adverse conditions when a snow storm rolls through the park.

Winters in the park are cold and sometimes wet. Temperatures range from highs in the 50s to lows below freezing.

Roads are plowed after a snow storm, but some Zion hiking trails (yes, Angels Landing) may close due to icy conditions or even falling ice. The snow typically melts in hours at lower elevations. But at higher elevations snow accumulates.

We recommend traction devices for your boots to reduce the risk of slipping. The Narrows will be cold and you will need insulated boots and a drysuit to hike safely. You can rent this gear at outfitters in Springdale.

Park shuttle buses will be used only during the holidays, like the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day and on Presidents’ Day weekend.

Access to the upper part of the Kolob Terrace Road, including Lava Point closes. Access to Kolob Canyons also may regularly close in inclement weather. Driving conditions can be very poor during a storm, but roads are usually plowed quickly after.

South Campground and part of Watchman Campground closes. The Human History Museum remains closed and the park film can be seen at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, which is open daily all winter.

Park Hours

Zion National Park is open to visitors twenty-four hours day, every day of the year. You will want to check the website because some services and facilities do close or reduce hours during parts of the year.

Plan Your Zion Vacation

Where to Stay Near Zion

You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion. Here are a few of our favorite places to stay at to Zion National Park:

  • Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
  • Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
  • Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
  • Vacation Rentals in Springdale – you’ll want to stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants. 
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!

Where to Stay Near Zion

You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion. Here are a few of our favorite places to stay at to Zion National Park:

  • Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
  • Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
  • Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
  • Vacation Rentals in Springdale – you’ll want to stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants. 
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!
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