Taking the family to Zion National Park in the summer will be an experience they will never forget. It is truly the best place to explore the great outdoors and perfect to do in the summertime.
It is often a bit more crowded during the summer months at Zion National park, but it will not disappoint even with more people visiting.
Start planning your visit to Zion National Park now and create your vacation itinerary so you don’t miss a thing!
Extend your trip by visiting other Utah National Parks.
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How to Dress for Zion National Park in the Summer
Summer at Zion National Park in Utah means high temperatures and low humidity which results in an intense heat.
Dressing just right to beat the summer heat in Zion is a must.
To avoid getting sunburned, be sure you are wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothing that will help block the sun. We recommend wearing long sleeve pants and shirts that provide UV protection and wicking.
Sunscreen is a must to protect your skin from the sun that isn’t covered.
Don’t forget a wide brim hat to help protect your face from the sun and a good pair of sunglasses for your eyes.
What to Pack for a Summer National Park Vacation
DOWNLOAD our US National Park checklists to make it easy to pack what you need for your next trip!
1. US National Parks Pass
You can order passes online or get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.
→ BUY THE PASS AT REI and they will donate 10% of sales to the National Park Foundation.
2. Hiking Gear
- Hiking shoes & boots: → Check out our FAVORITE hiking shoes/boots!
- Hiking socks: → Check out the BEST SOCKS EVER!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- WATER: → We carry water bottles or hydration backpacks
- FOOD: → Check out our favorite healthy snacks
- Flashlight: → Check out the headlamps we like
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Insect repellant
- Hand lotion
- Female urination device
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
Zion National Park Summer Weather
Summer in Zion National Park starts mid-June with temperature highs reaching 90-105 degrees. All areas of the park are usually accessible by summer, but of course, it depends on the amount of snowfall that falls on the high plateau.
All the Zion hiking trails should be open and the weather is perfect for hiking them. To avoid the crowds and heat of the day, we recommend you hike in the morning or evening.
Just remember when visiting Zion, the temperatures in middle of the day with the midday sun can be really hot. So be sure to bring plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is the key to enjoying Zion National Park in the summer to its fullest.
Fantastic Things to Do in Zion Park in the summer
There are so many things to do in Zion Park in the summer. We are sharing our top must-do things that you and your family will love!
Canyon Overlook Trail
Canyon Overlook trail is a must! Only 1 mile long, this trail will be the perfect one to take if you are looking for that cool travel photo to post on your Instagram feed or send to all your friends back home.
Canyon Overlook Trail is considered an easy hike. BUT there are drop-offs on some of the cliffs so keep an eye on your children and remind them to not go too close to the edge.
Another hiking trail in Zion National Park that is perfect for families with small children leads to Weeping Rock.
Weeping Rock is not accessible by wheelchair or strollers but is a stop on the shuttle that runs through Zion Canyon.
Weeping Rock earned its name because it is a sandstone cliff covered in very small streams of water. When looking at the sandstone it looks as if it is crying. A must to see in Zion National Park.
If you want to see an incredible site in Zion then be sure to check out Checkerboard Mesa. It is a huge hunk of rock that you must see for yourself to appreciate the lined patterns.
This is not a stop on the shuttle tour, but can be driven to by car easily along Highway 9. It is near the East entrance of the park.
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
Scenic drives are nice during the summer months because it allows you to see all that Zion has to offer while sitting in a comfy seat on the shuttle!
In the summer, only a few cars are allowed in Zion Canyon due to limited parking, so you’ll need be to up VERY EARLY in order to drive your own car into the canyon.
Use the shuttle to enjoy the scenic drive because it allows you to see this part of the park and cool off after a morning hike!
Explore Kolob Canyon
Kolob Canyon offers much cooler temperatures when visiting Zion National Park in the summer.
You can explore Kolob Canyon in your car by driving the 5 mile scenic drive road. You’ll see the stunning red rocks of Kolob Canyon and the most amazing view of Finger Canyon at the viewpoint at the end of the road.
If you are looking for cooler hikes in the summer you can hike in the Kolob section of Zion. The Timber Creek Overlook Trail and Taylor Creek Trail are both easy to moderate hikes.
Visit the Park Visitor Centers and Museums
Zion National Park has three visitors centers. These are great to do before you start exploring Zion.
At the visitor center you can learn more about what there is to do and see inside the park. And you’ll see the schedule for activities planned for the day.
Check out Zion’s Ranger programs that will lead you on nature strolls, programs and family activities throughout the day. This is perfect if you have younger kids because it will add to their enjoyment of Zion National Park.
The Nature Center also has plenty of activities to keep your kids busy with coloring stations, a reading tent, and even dressing up as a park ranger!
Emerald Pools Trail
One of the most popular family-friendly trails you will find in the park is Emerald Pools Trail. This trail is a great short hike and the first part is even paved, which is a huge bonus.
The last half mile of this trail is steep, but the trees offer great shade!
Once you arrive at Emerald Pools, you will notice that the waters are not an emerald color but they are still gorgeous and well worth the hike to see them.
Kolob Terrace Road
Kolob Terrace is a lesser-traveled section of Zion. It’s accessible via the Kolob Terrace Road that heads north from the town of Virgin.
The drive through the Terrace up to Lava Point is a terrific way to get away from the crowds of the park, and enjoy amazing scenery in your air conditioned car.
You’ll enjoy wondrous views of the valleys and as well as the towering rocks of Zion Canyon in the distance.
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.
- Airbnb 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.
- RENT A TENT near Zion through Airbnb!!