Are you wondering what it’s like to visit Zion National Park in February?
Zion in the winter is one of our favorite times to go.
Many people have a trip to Zion National Park on their bucket list, but did you know that February might be the best time to go?!
Use this guide to help you decide if a February vacation to Zion is the right time for you to enjoy outdoor winter adventures at this park.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK TRIP IN THE WINTER
1. US National Parks Pass
2. Hiking Gear
- Waterproof hiking boots or shoes – Merrell Moab are our FAVORITE!
- Insulated boots
- Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpack
- FOOD – healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
Where to Stay Near Zion
You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion. Here are a few of our favorite places to stay close 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.
- VRBO 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.
TOP REASON TO VISIT ZION IN FEBRUARY
In the FIRST PART of February you have full access to drive into Zion Canyon and not worry about riding the shuttle! Be sure to check the shuttle schedule for exact dates when the shuttle resumes for the year.
Taking advantage of this short window of ‘down time’ for Zion National Park will be well worth it!
There aren’t many drawbacks to visiting Zion in February, but weather could play a factor.
All of the hiking trails at Zion National Park remain open year-round.
But if a storm rolls through, whether rain or snow, some trails may close due to bad conditions like the popular Angel’s Landing. If you want to hike The Narrows, the water will be COLD and you’ll need full-body drysuits that you can rent from local outfitters.
If you’re ok with the possibility of missing out on these two famous hikes, then you should definitely visit Zion in February!
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GOING
Does the Shuttle Run in February?
The park shuttle buses resume in mid-February – check the NPS website for the most current shuttle dates and information.
Weather at Zion in February
The days and nights are definitely cooler this time of year at Zion. In February the highs are usually around 50 degrees and the lows hover around 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be prepared with some winter clothing in case a storm rolls through so you can still enjoy the outdoor activities at the park.
Does it Snow at Zion?
Yes, you may see snow at Zion. The park is located in Southern Utah, and this area usually doesn’t see a lot of snow, about 5 inches a year in the park.
When a storm does hit in February, it could bring rain and/or snow so be prepared for any type of weather.
Does Zion National Park Close in February?
Zion National Park is open all year long. It is open every day of the year.
Can you drive through Zion National Park in February?
The first part of February you’ll be able to drive your car through Zion Canyon. The shuttles resume for the season in mid-February.
You can always access the other Zion scenic drives. Keep in mind the upper Kolob Terrace Road, including Lava Point, closes in the winter due to its high elevation. And access to Kolob Canyons may close due to inclement weather.
SCENIC DRIVES IN FEBRUARY
The Zion Canyon road is only open to cars until mid-February. On the 6.5 mile drive, you will see the most incredible rock formations.
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, especially if there’s snow! Take advantage of the pullouts to stop and take photos, or even take a hike.
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. Check road conditions in February because the road does access higher elevations.
HIKING IN FEBRUARY
Hiking at Zion in February is very enjoyable when 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 in the winter!
If a storm rolls through, you may encounter ice, snow and mud, especially in shady areas of the trails.
Some trails may close due to bad conditions so always check with the visitor’s center for the most current trail conditions.
PHOTOGRAPHY IN FEBRUARY
We often wish for rain or snow when we take our February trip to Zion. The landscape of colorful rocks with white snow is so pretty!
And if you can be in Zion when it rains, the pop-up waterfalls the flow down the rocks are amazing to see and photograph!
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.
VIEW WILDLIFE IN FEBRUARY
February is a great time to see wildlife in the park like deer, elk, and Bighorn sheep.
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 February is still cold. Wearing layers is key so you’ll enjoy your time outdoors exploring the park!
Plan a Trip to Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Travel Guide
- Zion Hiking Trails
- Zion Hikes Without the Shuttle
- Zion National Park in the Spring
- Zion National Park in the Summer
- Zion National Park in the Fall
- Zion National Park in the Winter
Winter Vacation Ideas
- List of Winter Vacation Ideas
- List of US National Parks in the Winter
- Visiting US National Parks in December
- Visiting US National Parks in January
- Visiting US National Parks in February
- National Park Packing Lists for Winter
- Winter Clothing Guide for Outdoor Travel