Visiting 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’s “Mighty 5” — Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands — are simply breath-taking during the fall season.

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

We live hours away from all the parks, and have visited them during all four seasons. For us, October is one of the best times to visit the Utah National Parks because the weather is amazing! The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting the 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!

Use our Packing list for Utah National Parks to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in October! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

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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.

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

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.

Be sure you know the expected weather and temperatures for the parks you’ll visit in October:

In a recent trip to Zion National Park in October, we experienced rain storms… and popup waterfalls! Be sure to have the right gear for the weather so you can still enjoy the outdoor activities!

What to Wear at Utah National Parks in October

In October the daytime temperatures will be moderate. The mornings and evenings will be cold so you might also need some winter layers, especially at Bryce Canyon!

As we mentioned, October can be a rainy month so be prepared with rain gear for you and your camera!

Here’s a list of what we wear and pack when visiting the Utah National Park sin October:

If you’re not used to a dry environment, you may also need to use lotion and lip balm!

fall hiking gear

Turret Arch at Arches National Park

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 need an Arches Timed Entry Ticket to enter the park during the busy daytime hours in October. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a timed entry ticket. Just plan to enter the park before 6 a.m. or after 5 p.m.

One benefit to getting in the park early is you can see and photograph the sunrise at Arches National Park!

Arches National Park October Activities

Where to Stay at Arches in October

Mesa Arch at Canyonlands
Mesa Arch at Canyonlands

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 differ quite a bit so know what to expect at Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles!

Canyonlands National Park Activities in October

Where to Stay Near Canyonlands in October

Hoodoos at 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 winter clothing 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. You’ll want photographer gloves and rechargeable hand warmers for the cold temperatures at sunrise!

Bryce Canyon National Park October Activities

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon in October

Temples of the Sun and Moon Cathedral Valley
Temples of the Sun and Moon in Cathedral Valley

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.

Spend time in the Fruita area of Capitol Reef. At the Gifford Homestead you’ll find unique handmade items in the shop. In October you’ll enjoy locally baked fruit pies and homemade ice cream!

Picking fruit from the orchards is a popular activity at Capitol Reef! In October you’ll be able to pick apples, yum!

Capitol Reef National Park October Activities

Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef in October

Zion in the fall

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!

You’ll need an Angel’s Landing permit if you plan to hike past Scouts Lookout through the chains section.

Zion National Park October Activities

Where to Stay Near Zion in October

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Plan a Utah National Parks Vacation in October

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