Visiting Zion National Park in April

Located in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park is a stunning landscape of red-rock canyons, deep gorges, and towering cliffs. This article details everything you need to know about visiting Zion National Park in April.

Visiting Zion in the spring is a terrific time to go, but it’s important to know the services available, weather, and things to do for the time you’ll be there. April begins the busy season so check the latest shuttle dates and times as that will be the only way to access Zion Canyon.

visiting Zion National Park in April

When planning your trip, use this Zion National Park travel guide: what to pack, where to stay, and things to do at Zion in April. We are lucky to only live a few hours away from Zion National Park so we’ve been able to visit many times during all seasons! The tips we share for planning an April vacation to Zion are based on our experiences visiting the area throughout the years!

Tip number is to pack the clothing and gear you’ll need for the weather and temperatures for the time you’ll be visiting. Use our Zion National Park Packing List to make sure you have the right stuff for April! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

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A Photo Tour of Zion National Park

Take a visual tour through Zion National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Zion National Park in April

Zion National Park is a popular destination for spring break in Utah so expect crowds. We recommend you plan to enter the park early in the morning, or later in the afternoon to avoid the most crowded times of day.

Due to melting snowpack in the area in the spring, some Zion National Park hikes could be closed due to falling rocks, rockslides or fast-moving water. The Narrows trail will close whenever the river is moving too fast. And Angel’s Landing will close if the trail is wet and slippery.

Zion National Park sign
Zion National Park sign

Does the Zion Shuttle Run in April?

In April the shuttle runs every day and that’s the only way to access Zion Canyon. **Be sure to check the Zion shuttle schedule for exact dates for the month of April. You can access the other three scenic drives without using the shuttle.

There might be limited parking at Zion National Park in the town of Springdale so plan to start your day early to get a parking spot in town and a spot on the shuttle.

Weather at Zion in April

April Zion National Park weather is picture-perfect. The days and nights are just right this time of year at Zion with highs in the mid-70s and the lows are in the mid-40s. The mornings and evening will be cool so you’ll want layers for all-day activities. 

It’s important to stay hydrated and if you’re not used to a dry environment you’ll find in Utah, keep lip balm and lotion with you!!

spring hiking gear

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.

Is April a Good Time to Visit Zion?

A trip to Zion in April is awesome as long as you’re prepared for crowds. The weather and temperatures are perfect this time of year!

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

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

If you want to camp in Zion National Park, keep in mind that in April the campgrounds are usually full every night so plan ahead.

Check out our guide for finding the best time to visit Zion National Park. Each season and month of the year will have different activities and services available.

What Zion Permits or Reservations Are Needed in April?

We highly recommend you check the Zion NPS website for the most updated information regarding the US National Parks Reservations required for the time you’ll be visiting. You will need permits to hike one of three trails in the park: Angels Landing, the Subway, and from the Narrows top-down. We’ll detail this more later in the article about hiking at Zion.

Things to Do at Zion National Park in April

Here’s a list of Zion National Park spring activities to explore this amazing park!

There are fun way to get the family excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:

All ages will enjoy collecting stamps in their National Park Passport book! Passport booklets and stamp sets are “usually” available at the park visitor centers, but we recommend you get the passport book before the trip, just in case!! We’ve seen sad kiddos when a visitor center is out of passport books. Rangers can stamp a piece of paper, but it’s not just the same experience!

Zion Visitor Center and Ranger Programs in April

We recommend stopping at the Visitor Center to get the latest updates on shuttles, permits, and hiking trail conditions. They are open every day in April. Check the Zion website for the updated hours of operation.

Zion Ranger Programs: The only ranger-led program available in April is the Zion Canyon Visitor Center Ranger Talk that highlights information about the landscapes, plants, animals, and history that make the park special.

If you’ll be visiting Zion National Park with kids, definitely check out the Junior Ranger Program. Activity booklets are available at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and the Human History Museum.

Zion National Park scenic drive
Zion National Park scenic drive

Zion Scenic Drives in April

There are four Zion National Park scenic drives in the park. Each drive showcases a different part of the park, so we highly recommend exploring as many as you can!

Zion Canyon: In April, this 6.5 mile road can only be accessed via the shuttle. Most of the hiking trails are found in this area.

Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway: This scenic drive and the Zion 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!

Kolob Terrace: This scenic road is accessed west of Springdale in the town of Virgin. You’ll see a different side of Zion there, AND you can escape the crowds!

Kolob Canyons: 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.

We recommend the Zion & Bryce Canyon GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

hoodoo along Kolob Terrace scenic drive
Hoodoo City

Zion Hiking Trails in April

Exploring the Zion National Park spring hikes 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!

In April 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 during the spring.

Here’s a handy list of Zion hikes without the shuttle if you want to avoid the crowds. We always recommend hitting the park and trails first thing in the morning, especially Canyon Overlook!

We often get asked for a list of easy Zion National Park hikes that range from 0.4 miles to 3.5 miles with no more than 100 feet elevation gain. There are even some that are wheelchair accessible!

There are year-round hiking permits required at Zion:

  • Angels Landing hiking permit for the chains section – you can hike to Scouts Landing and back without a permit.
  • Left Fork North Creek Subway
  • Full 16-mile Narrows hike
The Narrows hike
The Narrows hike

Zion National Park Canyoneering in April

The Subway and The Narrows are two famous trails for canyoneering at Zion. Canyoneering trails involve route finding, rappelling, hiking, and swimming!

Some of these technical hikes require a permit, and all overnight trips in these areas also require a permit. If you want to give it a try, check out these Zion canyoneering tours!

BUT in April, high water levels could close the canyoneering trails so be sure to check with the Visitor Center to get the most updated information!

two mountain bikes at Canyonlands
Mountain biking at Zion

Zion National Park Biking in April

One of the FUN ways to access Zion Canyon is by bike, especially in April when the weather is perfect! 

Bicycling at Zion is a fun way to get around the park. You can rent bicycles in Springdale. Be aware of the rules for riding your bike at Zion:

  • Bicycling is permitted on the park roadways and the Pa’rus Trail. The areas closed to bikes: all other park trails, off-trail routes, and the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. 
  • Bikes must be ridden single file on the right side of the park roads and Pa’rus Trail. Due to the narrow park roads, there is a limit of 6 bicycles or less for every cycling group.
  • Wear your helmet.
Canyon Overlook at Zion at sunrise
Canyon Overlook at Zion at sunrise

Zion National Park Photography in April

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.

The best photo spots for sunrise at Zion National Park are behind the museum and the view at the end of the Canyon Overlook trail. Here you’ll capture the sunrise glow on the Zion canyon mountains.

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

Here are some more Zion National Park photo spots:

  • Three Patriarchs (shuttle stop): early morning
  • Riverside Walk (shuttle stop): early morning
  • Highway 9 landscape and bighorn sheep: early morning and evening
  • Checkerboard Mesa: early morning and evening
  • Kolob Terrace: sunset

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

Milky way at Zion National Park
Milky way at Zion National Park

Zion National Park Stargazing in April

Definitely take one evening to stay after the sun sets and LOOK UP! Zion is a popular destination for astrophotographers so you won’t be alone in the park at night. Don’t forget to use your headlamp with a red light so you don’t interfere with the other photographers using a bright white light.

In April you can see the milky way from 1:00 to 5:00 am. Yes, this is a bit early for most, but rewarding for those who want to make the effort!

We also like to photograph light trails at night at Zion. It’s important at night to never stop or stand in the roadway. Always use pullouts and parking lots. This is a good safety tip in daylight or at night!

Guided Zion Tours in April

You’ll find a variety of Zion National Park tours available in April to fit your needs: guided hikes, canyoneering, photography, and off-road experiences!

glamping tent at night
Glamping near Zion

Zion National Park Camping in April

Camping in Zion National Park offers amazing landscape views you can’t find anywhere else! There are two campgrounds open in April: the Watchman Campground, the South Campground. Due to the high elevation at Lava Point Campground, it doesn’t open until May.

The two campsites in Zion Canyon (Watchman and South):

  • Drive-up sites and allow a maximum of two vehicles.
  • Only one RV or trailer is allowed.
  • Any RV including motorhomes, cabover campers and camper vans, or any trailer including 5th wheels, pop-up campers, and cargo or boat trailers are vehicles and count toward the limit.
  • Each campsite allows a maximum of six people and two tents; plan accordingly.
  • Hammocks are allowed but are limited to the footprint of the campsite.

Zion National Park Lodging in April

If you can’t find a camping spot in Zion, or if camping isn’t your thing, there is a lodge and cabins where you can stay inside. There are even more lodging options near the park:


Zion national park guides and maps

Things To Do Near Zion in April

You’ll find a ton of other places to visit in Utah that are near Zion National Park to add to your April vacation:

Zion National Park Itineraries

Check out these Zion itineraries to help you plan your vacation for the number of days you’ll be in the park:

Get your FREE Zion National Park Travel Bundle that includes 3-day printable itineraries by clicking the graphic below.

Zion Travel Bundle optin
Things to do at Zion National Park in April

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