What It’s Like at Zion National Park in September
Planning a vacation to Zion National Park in September? Be prepared for hot days, crowds and to use the shuttle to access Zion Canyon.
We’ve put together this Zion National Park travel guide with all the information you need to know about visiting the park in September.
Check out all the information below about visiting Zion in September: 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!
- Hiking shoes – waterproof hiking shoes for winter
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket – insulated coat in the winter
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing – base layers in the winter
- Lip balm with UV protection – summer and winter
- Sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- Hand lotion
- UV sunglasses – summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
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 September
When visiting Zion National Park in the fall, be prepared for crowds since it’s considered a peak season for this most-visited Utah National Park.
Be sure to hit the shuttle, trails and Highway 9 scenic drive first thing in the morning!
Does the Zion Shuttle Run in September?
Yes. The Zion National Park shuttle is running every day in September so 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 September
The average temperatures at Zion in September are highs in the 90s and lows in the 60s degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s important to stay hydrated so carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack. There are places to refill marked on the park map.
Monsoon season in Zion National Park usually ends mid September. When it rains, you might see pop-up waterfalls at Zion!
With rain comes the potential for flash floods! When hiking in any of Zion’s streams, washes or canyons – it’s extremely important that you plan around the weather. We recommend you check with Rangers for any threat of flash floods before you hit the trail.
Can You Drive Through Zion National Park in September?
Zion Canyon is closed to all personal vehicles in September so plan 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.
What Services Are Available in September?
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 September so plan ahead!
Is September a Good Time to Visit Zion?
A September 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.
Zion & Bryce Canyon AUDIO TOUR
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the park and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you.”
Things to Do at Zion in September
Check out all the fun things to do at Zion National Park in the month of September!
Fall Colors at Zion National Park in September
In early September you will only see a little bit of color at the higher elevations. By mid-September about 30 to 50 percent of the trees at the higher elevation have changed color.
As late September comes around you will usually be able to see fall colors all over Zion National Park: Zion Canyon, Highway 9, Kolob Terrace and Kolob Canyon.
Zion National Park Hikes in September
September is a nice time to enjoy the Zion National Park hikes, especially in the mornings and late afternoons when it’s not so hot. We recommend you check with the Visitor Center for updated 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.
You’ll find all types of hiking trails from easy Zion National Park hikes to strenuous canyoneering route. Check out the Zion hikes without the shuttle if you want to get away from the crowds!
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.
While hiking in Zion, remember that due to the elevation you can expect big changes in temperature. The mornings and evenings are cool then it warms up during the day.
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Camera for Hiking
Canyoneering in September at Zion
The Subway and The Narrows are two famous trails for canyoneering at Zion. These trails involves 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!
Zion National Park Scenic Drives in September
Zion Canyon is only accessible by using the Zion National Park shuttle in September. The other three Zion National Park scenic drives are open to vehicles, and we highly recommend them all!
Highway 9 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!
We highly recommend the Kolob Terrace road west of Springdale near the town of Virgin. It’s not well known so you can get away from the crowds. Then there’s Kolob Canyons, about 40 miles north of Zion Canyon. It’s a bit out of the way, but provides a whole different view of Zion.
Zion National Park Photography in September
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!
Stargazing at Zion in September
If you want a unique experience, be sure to do some 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!
Bicycling in September at Zion
Did you know you can access Zion Canyon by bike? 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.
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.
Zion Horseback Riding in September
Horseback riding tours aren’t well known and are often overlooked as a Zion National Park activity. 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:
- Backpacking at Zion
- Birding at Zion
- Camping in Zion National Park
- Climbing at Zion
- Ranger-Led Activities at Zion
- River Trips at Zion
BUY ZION GUIDES & MAPS AT AMAZON
Plan Your Vacation To Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Travel Guide
- Zion National Park Packing List
- Best Time to Visit Zion National Park
- Things to do at Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
- Places to Stay at Zion National Park (lodges, campgrounds and more!)
- Camping in Zion National Park
- RV parks near Zion National Park
If you’re not staying in Zion, you definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to the park. 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.
Thank you for the great info! My husband and I want to go there, but also lots of other places around there, it’s overwhelming!
We love to hike.