Visiting Utah National Parks in the Fall

As the temperatures begin to drop and leaves start to change colors, visiting Utah National Parks in the fall is one of the best times of the year to go! Enjoy the fall weather that is “just right” for outdoor activities camping, fishing, biking or simply enjoying nature walks.

As you’re looking for places to visit in Utah, visiting the national parks is a must, but keep in mind fall is the busy season!

visiting utah national parks in the fall

From hiking through Zion National Park’s lush canyon walls to exploring Bryce Canyon National Park’s surreal hoodoos, there are plenty of activities for all ages.

With its magnificent landscapes, fresh air and breathtaking views, Utah’s national parks offer an unforgettable adventure that should not be missed this season!

Keep reading for our list of things to do, what to pack and where to stay when you take a fall vacation to the National Parks in Utah!

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

Fall Weather at Utah National Parks

“Perfect” is the best way to describe the Utah National Parks fall weather and temperatures!

Fall weather in Southern Utah is perfect for exploring the National Parks. While visiting you will see days starting to cool down from the intense summer heat. Expect warm days, but nighttime temperatures will start to cool down as the months progress. For us fall is one of the best times to visit Utah National Parks!

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

You’ll want to have a fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves handy for early mornings and late evenings, especially toward late fall! If you’re not used to dry heat, you’ll also want lotion and lip balm handy!

Tips for Visiting Utah National Parks in the Fall

Remember that fall is still a busy season for the Utah National Parks. During September and October the roads, hiking trails and parking lots typically fill to capacity. Typically by November, things start to wind down and crowds begin to thin.

Be sure to check each park’s website for the current seasonal changes for timed entry tickets, hiking permits, Visitor Center hours, Ranger-led programs, and campground reservations.

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.

Fall is a great time for hiking, biking, scenic drives, and stargazing!

Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch

Arches National Park in the Fall

visiting Arches National Park in the fall is a terrific time of year to enjoy the red rock formations, dramatic sandstone canyons, and towering spires! It’s the best time for outdoor activities because the temperatures will be “just right”! Whether you spend just one day or stay for longer, there are plenty of ways to experience Arches National Park in the fall.

You will need an Arches Timed Entry Ticket to visit the park in September and October. Timed entry tickets are required in addition to your park pass OR entrance feeYou may enter the park before 7 am or after 4 pm without a timed entry ticket.

Green River Overlook at Canyonlands
Green River Overlook

Canyonlands National Park in the Fall

There is a reason that Canyonlands National Park in the fall is one of the most popular times of the year to visit. The temperatures are “just right” for enjoying outdoor activities at the park. 

With the park broken up into sections, you will want to plan your trip out accordingly to ensure that you see everything and do everything you would like on your trip.

Here’s a list of things to do at Canyonlands National Park in the fall:

Bryce Canyon in the fall
Bryce Canyon in the fall

Bryce Canyon National Park in the Fall

Take note that when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in the fall you will want to be prepared for colder temperatures due to the high elevation. Attractions like ATVing, horseback riding, and rock climbing are beginning to wrap up during the fall months.   

Be sure to pack your camera to take some of the most mesmerizing photos of the Bryce Canyon views seen along the scenic drive and the hiking trails!

Fruita at Capitol Reef in the fall
Capitol Reef in the Fall

Capital Reef National Park in the Fall

Capital Reef is a landscape filled with cliffs, canyons, and domes. There are so many things to do at Capitol Reef National Park in the fall!

The best thing about fall is picking fruit in the orchards!! Check the website for the Capitol Reef harvesting times for each type of fruit. Typically you’ll be able to pick peaches and pears from August to September and apples from September to October

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in the Fall

It will still be crowded at Zion National Park in the fall, but at least the temperatures will be more bearable than summer!

NOTE: You will need to use the Zion National Park shuttle to access the popular Zion Canyon in the fall. Here’s a list of Zion hikes without the shuttle if you’re looking to escape the crowds a bit.

You’ll need an Angel’s Landing permit if you plan to hike beyond Scout Lookout (the chains section).

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps
utah national parks in the fall

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