Best Summer Activities in Utah National Parks

Utah is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse national parks in the United States. From Zion National Park’s iconic red rock formations, to Arches National Park’s stunning sandstone arches, you’ll find a variety of summer activities in Utah National Parks.

Utah’s national parks offer a wealth of outdoor activities for visitors during the summer months like hiking, biking, horseback riding, scenic drives, river rafting, and photography.

Utah National Parks summer activities

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous hike or a relaxing float down a river, there are plenty of fun things to do while exploring the incredible natural wonders at Utah’s National Parks in the summer.

Check out our Utah National Park road trip itinerary that includes travel guides, packing checklists, and tips to help you plan your dream vacation to visit all of these amazing parks!

Be sure to reference our packing list for Utah National Parks so you know what to pack for your summer vacation. Get the free printable by clicking the graphic below!

Utah National Parks packing lists
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A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks

Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Utah National Parks Summer Weather

Some of the busiest months to visit Utah National Parks are June, July, and August when it’s summer vacation time!

Be sure you know the expected Utah National Parks summer weather for the parks you’ll visit. Summer in southern Utah means hot and dry temperatures!

Summer Activities in Utah National Parks

The National Parks are popular summer vacation destinations so be prepared for crowds!

Hiking in Utah National Parks is one of the best ways to see the natural beauty of the landscape in these areas. We’ll detail those trails below.

You’ll definitely want to pack your photography gear for hiking to capture things you see as you hike the trails.

We get asked often about the best photography spots at Utah National Parks. This list of activities will include those photo spots at every park!

Have you heard about the Utah National Parks GuideAlong App? It’s a great way to have your own private guide to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.


Summer Activities at Arches National Park

From April through October you’ll need an Arches National Park Time Entry Ticket. Timed entry tickets will be required from 7 am to 4 pm.

You CAN visit Arches without a ticket as long as you enter the park before or after those times, which are the best times of day for Arches National Park photography anyway!

Check out all the Arches National Park summer activities you can do to explore the natural stone arches, stone pinnacles, rock fins, and large balanced rocks!


Summer Activities at Bryce Canyon National Park

Due to the higher elevation, Bryce Canyon National Park in the summer isn’t as hot as the other Utah National Parks which is a welcome relief!

Hiking is one of the most unique Bryce Canyon National Park summer activities where you walk right along hoodoos, windows, arches, bridges, tunnels, waterfalls and more!

Horseback riding is one of the most popular Bryce Canyon National Park tours! It’s a terrific way to see the hoodoos up close without hiking!

Here’s a list of even more fun activities to do at this stunning park:


Summer Activities at Canyonlands National Park

There is no gas, food, or lodging (only campgrounds) at Canyonlands National Park so pack water, food, and proper clothing so you can be self-reliant.

There are a variety of things to do at Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles Canyonlands, plus the surrounding areas: scenic drives, hiking, camping, and river rafting

Here’s a list of Canyonlands National Park summer activities:


Summer Activities at Capitol Reef National Park

Located in south-central Utah, you’ll see a landscape filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges.

In the summer Capitol Reef has unique things to do like picking fresh fruit in the orchards and enjoying homemade treats at the Gifford House.

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find a variety of Capitol Reef National Park summer activities to explore this diverse park and the surrounding area!


Summer Activities at Zion National Park

Zion National Park is the most visited Utah National Park so be prepared for crowds! Keep in mind that Zion Canyon is only accessible by using the Zion National Park shuttle during the summer months.

Visiting Zion in the summer means HOT temperatures, sometimes exceeding 100 degrees F! Monsoon season in Zion National Park usually arrives at the end of summer, between late July and mid September.

There are a variety of Zion National Park summer activities from hiking and camping to rock climbing and sightseeing:

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Travel Guides for Utah National Parks

Check out our Utah National Park travel guides that detail the best things to see, do and photograph at all 5 parks!

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