Zion National Park Spring Activities

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find a variety of Zion National Park spring activities to help you explore this amazing park in southern Utah: hiking, biking, scenic drives, photography, and more!

When you visit Zion National Park in the spring, the weather in March, April, and May is just right to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Be prepared with waterproof gear for rain (and maybe even snow) in early spring.

Zion spring activities

Living only a few hours away from Zion National Park, we’ve had the opportunity to visit many times during all seasons! Use this Zion National Park travel guide to plan an amazing itinerary full of fun spring activities! We also share tips for things to pack, where to stay and more!

Our biggest tip is to be prepared for the temperatures and weather so you’re able to enjoy the outdoor activities you want to do! Use our Zion National Park Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in during the spring months! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

get the free Zion National Park packing lists
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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!

Zion National Park in the Spring

Zion is the most-visited Utah National Park located in the southwest corner of the state. It’s a popular destination for spring break in Utah so be prepared for crowds! We recommend getting into the park EARLY or even later in the afternoon.

During the spring months, Zion Canyon is only accessible by using the Zion National Park Shuttle so keep that in mind when planning the activities you wan to do!

If you’re not staying in Springdale, be sure to arrive early to find parking at Zion National Park and a spot on the shuttle.

Spring Weather at Zion National Park

The moderate Zion National Park weather during the spring makes it one of the best time to visit the park:

  • 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° – 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° – pack plenty of water, wear sunscreen and hike earlier in the morning to avoid the heat. 

The mornings and evening will be cool so you’ll want layers for all-day activities. It’s important to stay hydrated and if you’re not used to a dry environment you’ll find in Utah, keep lip balm and lotion with you!!

spring hiking gear

Zion National Park Spring Activities

Check out this list of fun Zion National Park activities you can do in the spring. Before the trip, get the family excited with these National Park activities:

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.

If you’ll be visiting Zion National Park with kids, definitely check out the Junior Ranger Program. Activity booklets are available at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and the Human History Museum.

Zion National Park Kolob Terrace
Zion National Park Kolob Terrace Scenic Drive

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 REALLY like the Zion GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you!

Zion National Park Highway 9 slot canyons
Highway 9 slot canyon at Zion

Zion Hiking in the Spring

Spring hiking at Zion National Park is terrific when the weather is mild. But trails may close due to falling rocks, rockslides or other unsafe conditions. Also, Between mid-March and late May, The Narrows and The Subway trails close when the water levels are too high due to the spring runoff. Check current trail conditions at Zion in the spring for any closures that may be in effect.

You’ll find some fun Zion hikes without the shuttle to avoid the crowds in Zion Canyon. There are un-marked hiking trails that let you explore the area along the Highway 9. Simply stop at a pullout and see what trails you find. Most of the trails are easy, but you’ll find areas where you can access the river bed and explore mini slot canyon type terrain. And there are places you can scramble over the slickrock to hoodoos.

Zion is one of eight US National Parks that require reservations. You will need a hiking permit to hike the Angels Landing chains section. You can hike to Scouts Landing and back without a permit.

You will also need a permit to hike the Left Fork North Creek Subway and the full 16-mile Narrows hike.

biking near Zion National Park
Biking near Zion National Park

Zion 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.

The Narrows hike at Zion in the winter
The Narrows hike at Zion

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 canyoneering tour!

Photographer at Zion at sunrise
Sunrise photography at Zion in early spring

Zion Photography in the Spring

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.

The best times for Zion National Park photography are sunrise and sunset. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the red rocks that cannot be missed. You won’t actually see the sun rising or setting due to the high stone walls in the park. You’ll be photographing the reflected glow onto the red rocks.

There are many Zion National Park photo spots where you’ll catch the reflected light on the canyon walls:

  • Towers of the Virgin at sunrise on the Museum patio in the back
  • Canyon Overlook trail at sunrise
  • Zion-Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway
  • The Three Patriarchs
  • Riverwalk along the Virgin River
  • Views from Angel’s Landing and Observation Point
  • Pa’rus Trail at sunset (great time for wildlife as well)
  • The Watchman with the Virgin River near sunset
  • Kolob Terrace
  • Kolob Canyons

You might want to use photographer gloves and keep rechargeable hand warmers in your coat pockets for the colder early spring temperatures in the morning and evening.

Check out our Zion National Park Photography Guide with the best photo spots for sunrise, sunset and night photography!

Milky way at Zion National Park
Milky way at Zion National Park

Zion Stargazing in the Spring

Remember to take time to enjoy the park after dark! The vast and dark sky in Zion National Park is something you have to see to believe!

If you’re there during a new moon (no moon in the sky) you might experience your first encounter with the Milky Way! Here are the times the Milky Way is visible during the spring months:

  • March – 3:00 am to 5:45 am
  • April – 1:00 am to 4:45 am
  • May – 11:00 pm to 4:00 am

When stargazing at Zion, be sure to carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp with a red light. You don’t want to shine a white light into someone’s eyes!

It’s important at night to never stop or stand in the roadway. Always use pullouts and parking lots. This is a good safety tip in daylight or at night!

Zion Tours in the Spring

There are plenty of Zion National Park tours available to fit your needs: guided hikes, canyoneering, photography, and off-road experiences!

One of the most popular experiences is 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.

Since it’s the start of the busy season, be sure to check what tours are available for the time you’ll be visiting Zion:

RV camping at Zion National Park
RV camping at Zion National Park

Zion Camping in the Spring

There are three campgrounds for camping in Zion National Park:

  • South Campground – Zion Canyon
  • Watchman Campground – Zion Canyon
  • Lava Point Campground – Kolob Terrace Road

Lava Point in the Kolob Terrace area isn’t open until May due to it’s high elevation. The other two campgrounds are busy from March to November so be sure to plan ahead and make reservations!

If you can’t find a place to camp in the park, there are many RV parks near Zion National Park.

There are also many options for camping near Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon that are located between the two parks, which helps cut driving time if you plan to visit both parks!

Zion Lodging in the Spring

If you can’t find a camping spot in Zion, or if camping isn’t your thing, there are more places to stay inside and near the park:


Zion national park guides and maps

Things to Do Near Zion in the Spring

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