Why You Should Visit Utah National Parks in October

If you’re planning a trip to visit the Utah National Parks in October, here’s a list of things to see, do, and photograph!

Utah National Parks are some of the best places to visit in Utah, and October is one of the best months because of the moderate temperatures and fewer crowds!

Utah National Parks in October

Use this travel guide to plan your October vacation to the Utah National Parks: what to pack, weather, things to do and places to stay for all five parks!

Check out our handy Utah National Park Road trip itinerary to plan your trip visiting all five parks!

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National Park Packing List

When you are visiting US National Parks 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 lists for spring, summer, fall and winter!

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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 in October

If you’re planning a vacation to visit National Parks in October, it’s amazing time of year, especially for the parks in Utah.

Some of the National Parks in Utah now have permits to enter or do certain activities, so be sure to check about reservations required in October when determining the best time to visit Utah National Parks.

All of the Utah National Parks are open every single day in October.

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Arches National Park in October

The high for most days is about 71 degrees with the lows falling into the low 40s when you visit Arches National Park in October.

You’ll enjoy all the Arches National Park hiking trails during the amazing weather in the fall! September is also an awesome time of year to enjoy the night sky at Arches!

Arches will be doing a TIMED ENTRY pilot program April through October, 2022.

Timed entry tickets will be required to enter the park from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour specified window of availability. After entering, visitors may stay in the park as long as they wish for the remainder of the day. Reservation holders may exit and re-enter the park on the same day with a correctly validated ticket.

Visitors can book reservations first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov. The park will release reservations three months in advance in monthly blocks.

More things to do at Arches:

Where to Stay Near Arches:

Arches National Park camping can only be done at the one small campground. There are no hotels in Arches so most people stay in the nearby town of Moab. There are all types of lodging in and near Moab from budget-friendly hotels to higher-prices resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks

READ OUR FULL GUIDE: Where to Stay Near Arches National Park

  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
  • Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel. 
  • Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Vacation Rentals – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!

Canyonlands in October

The temperatures at Canyonlands National Park in October are highs near 70 degrees with the lows around 40. Keep in mind the weather can be unpredictable if a storm rolls through with rain.

The two popular districts of this park are: Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky, 30 miles from Moab, and Needles Canyonlands, 75 miles from Moab.

Activities to do at Canyonlands:

Where to Stay Near Canyonlands Island in the Sky

There are no lodging facilities in the park, only camping.

  •  Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Canyonlands.
  •  Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel. 
  •  Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Townhomes south of town – we really like the townhomes in Spanish Valley with kitchen, washer and dryer in the unit and a swimming pool/hot tub (just a 5 minute drive south of Moab).

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sunrise at sunset point Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon in October

At Bryce Canyon in October the temperatures begin to get more chilly with the highs hovering around 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and dipping down into the high 20s at night. We recommend layers with a fleece jacket for those colder mornings and evenings.

Bryce Canyon sunrise photography is spectacular! It’s worth getting up early to see the glow on the hoodoos at sunrise.

Here’s a list of Bryce Canyon activities to help you plan your vacation itinerary while visiting:

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon:

formations along the road at Capitol Reef National Park

Capital Reef in October

The temperatures at Capitol Reef National Park in October range from highs near 65 degrees and lows around 40 degrees. The October weather at Capitol Reef is perfect during the day for outdoor activities.

It’s important to dress in layers. We recommend a fleece jacketwarm hat and gloves if you’ll be outside in the early morning and evening.

You may encounter a rain storm in October, but it usually doesn’t snow.

Be sure to explore some of the Capitol Reef hikes like Hickman Bridge and Grand Wash. The Capitol Reef scenic drive is a must-do activity. And be sure to stop at the Gifford House to get homemade treats like pie and ice cream!

Here’s a list of fun things to do in Capitol Reef National Park:

Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef

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Zion in October

When you visit Zion National Park in October the highs are usually around 79 degrees and the lows hover around 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Be prepared with a fleece jacket so you can get out early to enjoy the outdoor activities at the park to beat the crowds.  

You’ll also need to know how to use the Zion National Park shuttle since it’s the only way to access Zion Canyon in September. You can still explore the other three Zion National Park scenic drives without the shuttle!

There are so many activities and fun things to do at Zion National Park:

Where to Stay Near Zion National Park

You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion.

  • 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:

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