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 this Zion National Park travel guide to learn more about what it’s like to visit during various seasons and months of the year to help you plan your vacation.
Below 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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What to Pack for Zion National Park
DOWNLOAD: Zion National Park packing list for summer and winter!
- Hiking shoes – waterproof hiking shoes for winter
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket – insulated coat in the winter
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing – base layers in the winter
- Lip balm with UV protection – summer and winter
- Sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- Hand lotion
- UV sunglasses – summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
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 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. You’ll find the Zion National Park weather varies from season to season so know what to expect and plan for the time you’ll be visiting the park.
Use these resources to find the best time to Visit Zion National Park with specific tips for each season and month!
- Zion National Park in the Spring
- Zion National Park in the Summer
- Zion National Park in the Fall
- Zion National Park in the Winter
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. Check out the Zion hikes without the shuttle!
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 at Zion. 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 Zion National Park shuttle is required to access the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and most of the hikes in Zion Canyon. All available parking at Zion National Park 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.
We recommend avoiding holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day!
- Zion National Park in May
- Zion National Park in June
- Zion National Park in July
- Zion National Park in August
- Zion National Park in September
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.
Zion National Park Hours
Zion National Park is open to visitors twenty-four hours day, every day of the year. You will want to know the most current and updated Zion basic information when planning your trip. There are times of the year when Zion services and facilities close or reduce hours.
BUY AT AMAZON: Zion National Park Guides and Maps
Plan Your Vacation To Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Travel Guide
- Zion National Park Packing List
- Best Time to Visit Zion National Park
- Things to do at Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion.
- Places to Stay at to Zion National Park
- Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon and Zion
- Hotels near Bryce Canyon and 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.
Resources for camping near Zion: