Located in southern Utah, Zion National Park in the spring is a fantastic time to visit because the temperatures are “just right” for outdoor activities.
This Zion National Park travel guide will help you plan your spring vacation: things to do, what to pack, where to stay, and expected weather in the spring.
Zion National Park should be at the top of your list of Utah spring break ideas if you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, scenic drives, photography, and more!
Download our Zion National Park packing list so you know what clothing and gear to pack for your spring trip.
Use these done-for-you Zion Itineraries to plan your spring break vacation:
Grab the FREE Zion Travel Bundle Printable 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 the Spring
It’s a busy time of year for a Zion National Park spring break vacation. Here are the important things you need to know about visiting Zion in the spring.
Zion shuttle in the spring: In the spring, Zion Canyon is only accessible by using the Zion National Park shuttle.
Zion parking in the spring: If you’re not staying in Springdale, be sure to arrive early to find parking at Zion National Park!
Zion weather in the spring: Most of the time, you’ll have perfect weather for outdoor activities during the day with cooler mornings and nights.
- Zion National Park in March – highs 66° | lows 39° F – these temperatures during the day make it possible to explore just about everywhere without getting too hot.
- Zion National Park in April – highs 75° | lows 45° F – dress in layers so that you can easily adjust to the rising temperatures throughout the day.
- Zion National Park in May – highs 86° | lows 55° F – pack plenty of water, especially on your hikes, wear sunscreen and think about starting some of your bigger hikes earlier in the morning to avoid the heat.
Things to Do at Zion National Park in the Spring
There are so many Zion National Park spring activities to choose from to explore this amazing park. You’ll find something for everyone this time of year.
Zion Ranger-led Programs in the Spring
Free ranger-led programs are offered at Zion National Park between mid-April and mid-October. Programs are designed to help visitors understand and appreciate the park more, and cover a range of topics like geology, botany, wildlife, and human history.
Ranger-led Activities at Zion include programs for adult, youth and families with children. There are a variety of ranger-led activities like 2-mile hikes, 30 minute talks at the Zion Human History Museum, evening lectures, ride with a ranger shuttle tours, 45-minute youth programs at the nature center, and nature center drop-in programs.
Zion National Park Hikes in the Spring
Spring is one of the best times to explore the various Zion National Park hikes. You’ll find some of the most unique hiking trails in the world like Angel’s Landing and The Narrows. Angels Landing permits are required year-round. The National Park Service (NPS) will issue permits using online lotteries at Recreation.gov.
Check current trail conditions at Zion in the spring for any closures that may be in effect. Zion National Park trails can close due to storm damage, high water levels, falling rocks, or any other unsafe condition. One fun thing you may see at Zion in the spring while hiking are pop-up waterfalls when it rains!
There are a variety of easy Zion National Park hikes for all age levels and abilities!
If you’ll be visiting during the busy season, check out all the Zion hikes without the shuttle to avoid the crowds.
Zion Photography in the Spring
Zion National Park photography is incredible during the spring months. The Zion landscape is filled with amazing things to photograph: towering rock walls, the majestic Virgin River, intricate canyons, and views from above after a hike.
We have found the best photo spots for sunrise at Zion National Park are:
- History Museum back patio: sunrise
- Canyon Overlook: sunrise
- Three Patriarchs (shuttle stop): early morning
- Riverside Walk (shuttle stop): early morning
And here’s a list of Zion National Park photo spots at other times of the day:
- Highway 9 landscape and bighorn sheep: early morning and evening
- Checkerboard Mesa: early morning and evening
- Pa’rus Trail: sunset
- Kolob Terrace: sunset
Zion National Park Stargazing in the Spring
One of the highlights of Zion is the stargazing so you definitely want to stay after the sunset to be able to see this truly incredible sight. Be sure you don’t stop or stand on the road. It’s also good to have a headlamp for each person.
If you are lucky you might just get to see the Milky Way if you visit during a new moon (no moon in the sky). The Milky Way is visible in the spring during these times:
- March: 3:00 am to 5:45 am
- April: 1:00 am to 4:45 am
- May: 11:00 pm to 4:00 am
Zion National Park Biking in the Spring
A great way to explore the park and avoid the shuttle is bicycling at Zion. Riding a bike is a great alternative to riding the shuttle 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.
Pay attention to the unexpected turns, frequent wildlife, and blind corners along the Pa’rus Trail. Cyclists must warn pedestrians before passing. All traffic rules and regulations must also be obeyed and observed.
Zion makes it easy for cyclist with 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 Scenic Drives in the Spring
There are four Zion National Park scenic drives to see and photograph the landscape in the park. The views you’ll see along each scenic drive is breathtaking!
Zion Canyon: When you’re planning your Zion National Park vacation, you’ll find that the Zion Canyon is the hub of the park. But most of the year, you’ll need to use the shuttle to access Zion Canyon.
Mt. Carmel Scenic Byway: This section of road through Zion National Park never closes, and you can drive your personal vehicle. There’s no shuttle bus along this route.
Along the scenic drive from Springdale to the East Entrance, you’ll encounter two tunnels, switchbacks, slickrock and fantastic views. There are numerous spots where you can pull off the road to take pictures or enjoy a short hike.
Kolob Terrace Scenic Drive: This road starts near the town of Virgin. Because it’s a bit away from Zion Canyon and Mt. Carmel, it’s not as crowded. Kolob Terrace is a high plateau area towering above an open desert with amazing views of the colorful rocks famous at Zion.
The road is open all year, but early spring be prepared for unpredictable weather in this area. Access to the upper part of the Kolob Terrace Road, including Lava Point, could close due to a snow storm.
Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive: This section of the park is located 40 miles north of Zion Canyon at Exit 40 on I-15, about 17 miles south of Cedar City. The Kolob Canyon road is a five-mile drive that accesses the northwest corner of the park.
We recommend the Zion & Bryce Canyon GyPSy Guide App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.
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.”
Zion Canyoneering in the Spring
There are world-famous Zion canyoneering trails that involve route finding, rappelling, hiking, and swimming.
The two famous trails that require technical canyoneering skill are The Subway and The Narrows from the top-down. Both hikes require a permit, and all overnight trips in these areas also require a permit.
Spring snowmelt may raise the water level of the river which will close The Narrows hike. Check with the Rangers for the most current trail conditions.
The spring runoff also means cold water so you’ll need to rent special water suits and boots in Springdale for hiking The Narrows.
You can also find plenty of unique canyons to explore in Zion to accommodate all levels of canyoneering skill. If you’re new to this outdoor activity, try a Zion National Park canyoneering tour!
Zion Horseback Riding in the Spring
You can enjoy horseback riding at Zion and Bryce Canyon – the only two Utah National Parks to offer this experience.
This fun activity will give you a view of Zion many don’t see as you ride through the iconic red canyons and cliffs of this park.
Zion Camping in the Spring
There are three campgrounds for camping in Zion National Park in the spring:
- South Campground – Zion Canyon
- Watchman Campground – Zion Canyon
- Lava Point Campground – Kolob Terrace Road
These campgrounds are busy from March to November so be sure to plan ahead and make reservations!
All campsites are drive-up and allow a maximum of two vehicles. Only one RV or trailer is allowed. Each campsite allows a maximum of six people and two tents. Hammocks are allowed but are limited to the footprint of the campsite.
There are flush toilets, cold running drinkable water, and trash containers, but no showers or electrical outlets. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit with attached grill.
If you can’t find a place to camp in the park, there are many RV parks near Zion National Park.
Things to Do Near Zion in the Spring
- Things to Do Near Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon Spring Activities
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
- Guide to Kanab Photography
- Utah National Parks in the Spring
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion.
- Places to Stay at Zion National Park
- Glamping Near Zion National Park
- Hotels near Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park
- 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.