Planning a trip to Zion National Park? Everyone’s preference is different depending on the weather, crowds, season, activities, etc. I’ll let you in on the best time to visit Zion National Park.
When to visit Zion National Park
Our favorite time to visit is in the Spring (February – May) and in the Fall (August – November). The most popular time to visit Zion National Park however, is in the Summer (May – August). This means that Zion sees a huge influx of visitors during the Summer. In fact, we’re starting to see Disneyland-like lines in the Park. That’s CRAZY!! Zion is certainly beautiful in the Summer, but similar to Disneyland, crowds aren’t going there for the season so much as that’s when they get work off or when they get out of school – let’s face it, Summer is the vacation season.
Spring is a fantastic season to visit Zion National Park. Being a local, who has also lived back east as well as out of the country – I can say that the Southern Utah dry heat is definitely something worth paying attention to. Growing up in St. George, UT, my friends and I knew that you didn’t go outside in the Summer, unless you were planning on:
- a. staying in the shade with popsicles at your disposal
- b. going to the lake (usually Gunlock or Ivins Res)
- c. going to the river
This is part of what makes Spring such a terrific time to come to Zion. Spring temperatures average around 70 degrees fahrenheit (21 celsius). Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, snow is melting into fresh waterfalls.. I’m not kidding, Spring is a magical time to visit Zion. It’s also not as crowded as Summer, which means lower rates, more availability and everything that goes with smaller crowds.
Zion National Park is incredible in the Fall. You won’t see leaves changing like you might in the Great Smoky Mountains, Zion is in a desert after all. But, you will get lower temperatures and smaller crowds (similar to Spring). Now, it’s not always cool for locals to giveaway the best kept secrets around Zion, but if you’re reading this, you want the Zion experience, not just the touristy, heavily crowded Zion. So, I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s called the Kolob Terrace Road. It is one of THE MOST scenic drives in America. You begin in the desert landscape of Zion and gradually climb to alpine landscapes. As the road winds through picturesque meadows and sandstone formations you’ll experience beautiful Fall colors in the aspen leaves and probably some pure white snow on the pine bows. Driving the Kolob Terrace Road is the perfect Fall experience in Zion.
When to go to Zion
Again, it ultimately depends on your preferences, but we’d say the best time to go to Zion is in the Spring and Fall. In short – Zion National Park is less crowded in Spring and Fall months and the weather is also most favorable in those months. The Park is open 24 hrs a day, every day of the year however, certain facilities do close in the evening and reopen in the morning. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Zion Shuttle service is done operating at 7 P.M. and begins everyday at 7 A.M. Check out the 2019 Zion Shuttle service schedule for more information.
As always, be safe and enjoy all that Zion has to offer!