Tips for Visiting Zion National Park in April

Are you wondering what it’s like to visit Zion National Park in April?

When planning your trip, use our Zion National Park travel guide and the information below to know what to expect during the month of April.

We share what to pack, where to stay and all the fun things to see, do and photograph at Zion in April.

Zion national park in April
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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK TRIP IN THE SPRING

Packing for a trip in the spring means being prepared for any type of weather!

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE spring packing list for National Parks

TOP REASON TO VISIT ZION NATIONAL PARK IN APRIL

Weather!! The weather at Zion in April is amazing for outdoor hiking and exploring. But that also means lots of other people in the park so it’s very busy.

And due to melting snowpack in the area, the rivers and waterfalls in Zion in April are full. If you enjoy photographing waterfalls and rivers, then you’ll love visiting Zion National Park in the spring.

BIGGEST DRAWBACK

The crowds, especially during spring break, is a big drawback for an April trip to Zion.

Due to the moderate spring temperatures, most of the Zion National Park hikes will be busy. We suggest you try some of the Zion hikes without the shuttle to try to escape the busy Zion Canyon.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GOING

Does the Shuttle Run in April?

Zion is the most-visited Utah National Park and it gets crowded during the peak seasons of late spring, summer and fall.

In April the shuttle runs every day and that’s the only way to access Zion Canyon. **Be sure to check the shuttle schedule for exact dates for the month of April.

Weather at Zion in April

April weather at Zion National Park is picture-perfect. Be prepared with rain gear in case a storm rolls through so you can still enjoy the outdoor activities at the park. Always check the weather forecast so you have the right clothing for the conditions.

The days and nights are just right this time of year at Zion. In April the highs are usually in the mid 70s and the lows are in the mid 40s. The mornings and evening will be cool so you’ll want a fleece jacket. Layers are best for all-day activities. 

Can you drive through Zion National Park in April?

In April you won’t be able to drive your car through Zion Canyon. The shuttles run a full schedule every day. You can always access the other Zion National Park scenic drives: Highway 9, Kolob Terrace Road and Kolob Canyon.

What Services Are Available in April?

Zion National Park is open all year long. It is open every day of the year. Check the website for the most current facilities hours:

  • Zion Canyon Visitor Center
  • Park Store
  • Zion Canyon Wilderness Desk
  • Zion Human History Museum
  • Zion Nature Center
  • Kolob Canyons Visitor Center

The Zion campgrounds are usually full every night in April so plan ahead.

THINGS TO DO AT ZION IN APRIL

Scenic Drives

There are four Zion National Park scenic drives in the park. In April, Zion Canyon can only be accessed via the shuttle. The other three road you can drive your vehicle, and we highly recommend them all!

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and Tunnel is a must-drive! The tunnel is 1.1 miles long and the elevation gain is 800 feet. Driving along Highway 9 from Zion Canyon to the east entrance is breathtaking! Take advantage of the pullouts to stop and take photos, or even take a hike, and look for big horn sheep!

We enjoy driving the Kolob Terrace road that’s accessed west of Springdale in the town of Virgin. You’ll see a different side of Zion there, AND you can escape the crowds!

About 40 miles north of Zion Canyon, you can drive the Kolob Canyons section of the park. It’s a nice half-day drive to a different section of Zion.

Hiking

Exploring the Zion National Park hikes in April is one of the best times when it’s good weather and the sun is out. It’s quite different from summer when you’re sweating and worrying about heat exhaustion.

Remember it’s still important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen even if it’s not a hot day!

If a storm rolls through, you may encounter falling rocks, rockslides and closed trails due to unsafe conditions. The Narrows trail will close when the water is running at a certain rate. You’ll want to check with the visitor’s center for the most current trail conditions before setting out on any hike in April.

Here’s a list of Zion hikes without the shuttle if you don’t want to fight the crowds!

Angels Landing permit: hikers going to Angels Landing will need a permit. The National Park Service (NPS) will issue permits using online lotteries at Recreation.gov.

Canyon Overlook Zion Hike without shuttle

Photography

The best times to photograph the park are sunrise and sunset. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the red rocks that cannot be missed.

Our two favorite places to capture the sunrise glow on the Zion canyon mountains are behind the museum and the view at the end of the Canyon Overlook trail.

We like to photograph the reflected glow of sunset you see on the Watchman along the Pa’rus Trail.

Check out our Zion National Park Photography Guide with a list of best photo spots and tips for taking pictures at this stunning park!

take jaw-dropping photos at Zion National Park

Wildlife

April is a great time to see wildlife in the park like deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.

Deer like to hang out in the area near the Pa’rus trail in the big open area between the visitor center and the bridge.

We’ve always had good success seeing the bighorn sheep when driving Highway 9, so keep your eyes open as you take that scenic drive!

What is the Best Time to Visit Zion?

ALWAYS remember to check the forecast and road conditions because things change from day to day.

From our experience, Zion in April is the best weather for hiking, but it’s crowded. Avoid spring break and weekends if you can.

Zion does get HOT during the summer, so the best times to visit would be spring, fall and winter.

Check out our list of the best times to visit Zion National Park with information about visiting in each season and month of the year.

BUY AT AMAZON: Zion National Park Guides and Maps

Zion national park guides and maps

Plan Your Vacation to 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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