What is the best time to visit Zion National Park ? Well this really depends on what you are looking for. Zion is always spectacular, but each season or season brings its pros and cons.
Spring is less crowded and temperatures are very good, but the remaining snow from winter plus snowmelt can keep parts of the park closed, including “The Narrows.”
Summer is hot and crowded in the Zion Canyon. This is a great time to visit the higher, cooler, and less congested areas of the park: East Zion, Kolob Terrace, and Kolob Canyons.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons in Zion. The temperatures are great, there are fewer people, and the color change of the trees brightens up the park.
Knowing what to expect will help you plan an amazing trip, no matter when you visit Zion.
Spring in Zion: March, April and May
Long days, pleasant weather, and fewer people make spring a perfect time to visit Zion.
Early spring (late March, April) can still be cold, but melting snow almost always forms beautiful waterfalls in Zion Canyon. The more snow there is in the winter, the bigger the falls. Unfortunately, snowy winters can limit high mountain hiking and keep “The Narrows” closed until June due to heavy snowmelt flows.
May is one of my favorite months, filled with warm temperatures and beautiful wildflowers.
The weekend of “Memorial Day” (the most crowded weekend of the year) heralds the arrival of large numbers of people and high temperatures for the following months.
Summer in Zion: June, July, August
Summer in Zion Canyon is hot and busy, with long lines at bus stops and temperatures reaching 100˚F. Reserve hotels and camping spaces well in advance.
To escape the sweltering heat and the hordes of tourists in Zion Canyon, you can head to lesser-known and higher areas like “Kolob Terrace” and “Kolob Canyons :, which are beautiful in the summer.
Be aware of the monsoon season, which is accompanied by regular storms in the afternoons. This season starts in June and can go until September.
Autumn in Zion: September, October, November
Autumn is best time to visit zion national park. Fall is one of my favorite times to visit Zion thanks to its pleasant temperatures, low crowds, and — best of all — a change in the color of the vegetation.
After Labor Day, the number of visitors and the temperatures decrease, which makes September a wonderful month to visit Zion.
At the end of September / beginning of October the temperatures during the day are almost always great.
The change of color in the vegetation begins at the beginning of October in the upper parts of the park, and then progressively descends during the following weeks to the bottom of the Canyon. The peak in the color change in Zion Canyon occurs in late October / early November.
Winter in Zion: December, January, February
Cold temperatures keep many visitors away from Zion during this season, but they can’t imagine how beautiful the park looks after a snowfall.
If you don’t mind the cold, this is a great time to visit Zion. Almost the entire park is open except for Lava Point, which is almost always inaccessible due to snow.
The biggest downside to visiting Zion in the winter: outdoor adventures are limited as are the programs offered by rangers. The biggest advantage of visiting Zion in the winter: private vehicles can travel through Zion Canyon without restriction when the visitor bus route is not operating.