Planning Guide for a Trip to Zion National Park in August

When you visit Zion National Park in August it will be HOT! And it’s monsoon season so expect afternoon thunderstorms to occur often.

Use our Zion National Park travel guide and the tips below to know what to expect when planning your vacation in August.

things to do at zion national park in august

The shuttle will be running in August so you’ll need to plan your daily itineraries with that in mind.

Visiting Zion in August means you’ll need to be prepared for heat, rain, potential flash floods and crowds. Below we share what to expect in August: weather, what to pack, where to stay and all the things to see, do and photograph.

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What to Pack for Zion National Park

DOWNLOAD: Zion National Park packing list for summer and winter!

VISITING ZION IN AUGUST

There are important things to know when planning you August vacation to Zion. Zion National Park in the summer is considered peak season and it’s the most-visited Utah National Park so expect crowds.

Does the Shuttle Run in August?

Yes. The Zion National Park shuttle runs every day in August – check the shuttle schedule for the most updated information.

There will be limited parking at Zion National Park and 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 August

The average temperatures at Zion in August: highs near 100 and lows near 68 degrees Fahrenheit. During the heat of summer you need to stay hydrated! Carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack. There are places to refill marked on the park map. Take measures to avoid heat illness! 

August is monsoon season and it rains an average of 15 days during the month so be prepared. Zion is known for flash floods at Zion: sudden increase in the depth and speed of water in rivers, streams, or washes due to heavy rain from thunderstorms. These flood waters carry large debris like tree trunks and boulders.

  • Flash floods are unpredictable.
  • Flash floods can be deadly and death most often occurs from blunt force trauma.
  • Slot canyons are particularly dangerous.
  • You can’t outrun a flash flood.
  • Flash floods can happen with sunny skies overhead.

Can you drive through Zion National Park in August?

No. Zion Canyon is closed to all personal vehicles in August. You’ll need to use the Zion National Park shuttle that runs a full schedule every day.

The other three Zion National Park scenic drives are open for you to drive your own car: Highway 9, Kolob Terrace Road and Kolob Canyon.

It’s important to know the rules for parking at Zion National Park and in the town of Springdale so you don’t get a ticket or get your car towed!

What Services Are Available in August?

Zion National Park is open all year long, 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

Reservations are required for camping in Zion National Park in August so plan ahead!

Shuttle at Zion National Park

What is the Best Time to Visit Zion?

An August trip to Zion will be hot and crowded. Be sure to hit the shuttle, trails and Highway 9 scenic drive first thing in the morning!

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.

THINGS TO DO AT ZION NATIONAL PARK IN AUGUST

Here’s a list of things to do at Zion National Park in August, with tips to avoid the heat and crowds!

Scenic Drives at Zion National Park

Zion Canyon is only accessible by using the Zion National Park shuttle in August.

The other three Zion National Park scenic drives are open to vehicles, and we highly recommend them all!

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway from Zion Canyon to the East Entrance runs through the park so you’ll need to pay the fee for this one, but it’s worth it! It will get very busy and has limited parking so we recommend getting up early to enjoy this drive. Use the pullouts to stop and take photos, take a hike, and look for big horn sheep!

A great way to avoid the crowds is to drive the lesser-known Kolob Terrace road west of Springdale near the town of Virgin. And about 40 miles north of Zion Canyon is the Kolob Canyons area of the park. It’s a bit out of the way, but provides a whole different view of Zion.

Zion National Park Hikes

August is summer monsoon season which may affect some Zion National Park hikes, especially The Narrows and The Subway since they are considered slot canyons. We recommend you check with the Visitor Center for updated flash flood warnings.

And get current trail conditions before setting out on any hike because the Zion landscape is always changing which means trails may close due to falling rocks, rockslides and other unsafe conditions.

Angels Landing pilot program begins April 1, 2022. On and after April 1, 2022, hikers going to Angels Landing will need a permit. The National Park Service (NPS) will issue permits using online lotteries at Recreation.gov.

Zion photograph of The Subway hike

Canyoneering

The Subway and The Narrows are two famous canyoneering trails at Zion National Park. These hikes 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 canyoneering tours!

Photographing Zion

If you’re a landscape photographer, check out our guide all about Zion National Park photography. Keep in mind that sunrise and sunset at Zion you’re looking for the reflected light on the rock structures, and not the sun rising or setting.

Our favorite Zion National Park photo spots for sunrise are behind the Zion Museum and at the end of the Canyon Overlook Trail. For sunset, we walk along the Pa’rus Trail to capture the reflected glow of light on the Watchman in the Virgin River.

Highway 9 has many places to photograph the Zion landscape. Stop at pullouts as you drive along. The views along the Kolob Terrace Road are also amazing, especially at sunset!

take jaw-dropping photos at Zion National Park

Stargazing at Zion

If you’re looking for a WOW experience, then take one night for stargazing at Zion National Park. The sky is full of stars, and if you’re lucky to be there when there’s no moon in the sky, you might even see the Milky Way!

Carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp with a red light to navigate. If you’ll be out in the park at night, don’t stop or stand in the roadway. Always use pullouts and parking lots. This is a good safety tip in daylight or at night!

head light along road in Zion National Park

Biking at Zion

Bicycling at Zion is a fun way to access Zion Canyon. 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.

There are bike racks located at major shuttle stops and trailheads. You may also take your bicycle on the shuttle bus as long as you can get the bikes on and off the front racks by yourself.

Horseback Riding

One of the fun and unique Zion National Park activities that gets overlooked is a horseback guided tour! Riding a horse through Zion gives you a different view of the iconic red canyons and cliffs of this park. For those who have their own stock animals, read more about the guidelines for riding your own horse into the park.

More Activities To Do in Zion National Park:

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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