If you have the flexibility, planning a trip during the park’s off-peak months of October through March will ensure you have to deal with fewer view-blocking selfie sticks and crowded hiking trails. The park, which sees 557,200 visitors during the July peak, historically only gets around 91,562 people in this quiet winter month.
Due to its unique climate and elevation changes, Zion National Park has a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year. July is the hottest time to visit (daily temperatures can reach a maximum of 100 degrees), while January tends to be the coldest month.
The temperature can fluctuate as the weather shifts toward winter, but the fall colors can be stunning and there’s nothing an extra layer won’t fix. If you want to avoid the crowds, skip a trip to June or July, which both see over 500,000 monthly visitors.
Contour opinionated DetailsJanuary25 °F/ 38 °F 0.9invery bad weather Zion National Park in January February27 °F/ 38 °F 1.1invery bad weather Zion National Park in February March34 °F/ 47 °F 1.2invery bad weather Zion National Park in March April41 °F/ 54 °F 0.8invery bad weather Zion National Park in April May52 °F/ 63 °F 1.1ingood weather Zion National Park in May June65 °F/ 77 °F 0.4inperfect weather Zion National Park in June July68 °F/ 81 °F 3.3ingood weather Zion National Park in July August67 °F/ 79 °F 2.6ingood weather Zion National Park in August September59 °F/ 72 °F 1.4inperfect weather Zion National Park in September October45 °F/ 59 °F 0.6intolerable weather Zion National Park in October November34 °F/ 49 °F 0.9invery bad weather Zion National Park in November December25 °F/ 36 °F 1.1invery bad weather Zion National Park in December From January to march the climate is very bad. The thermometer goes up to 59 °F°C and, in October, 4 days of rain are expected.
In the charts below, you can see the following seasonal norms for the city of Zion National Park: the minimum and maximum outdoor temperature, the risk and amount of monthly rainfall, daily average sunshine, and relative humidity for each month of the year. Zion National Park appears on the map below with a blue icon.
Summer is by far the busiest time of year in Zion, helping to make it the 4th most visited park in the United States. Hopefully with this guide, you will be able to determine which time of year is best for you to visit Zion National Park.
Spring is a wonderful time to see the lush green landscape, as well as the rushing water of the Virgin River, and waterfalls cascading gently over the side of cliffs. Fall is great for cooler temperatures and warm autumn colors of the cottonwoods residing by the Virgin River.
The best time of year to visit Zion and avoid the crowds is in the late fall, winter and early spring. While the weather may be chilly, and fewer facilities are open, the amount of visitors is exponentially less this time of year.
Winters are typically cold and wet; and while it may reach 50-60 °F during the day, it could easily dip below freezing at night. But, don’t let this frigid weather deter you from visiting in the winter, it is truly beautiful, and also your best chance for solitude in Zion.
If summer is the only time of year that you can visit the park, here are some tips to make your trip enjoyable and avoid the crowds: Whereas, Color Canyons are in a more isolated area of the park, provide incredible and unique views, and is much less travelled.
Zion National Park is home to some of the most epic and amazing hiking vacations in the world. Wild land Trekking offers trips with the best of Zion : canyons, views, wildlife, solitude, adventure and fascinating natural and cultural interpretation.
In theory, you could visit Bryce Canyon and Zion in one day, but you’ll be able to barely scratch the surface of these two amazing National Parks! From spring to autumn, shuttle buses are the only way to get around Zion National Park, since access to private vehicles is closed to prevent congestion.
Yep, crowds aren’t really a problem when visiting Zion National Park in winter! In winter, you’ll find far fewer tourists at Zion National Park compared to summer.
It’s one of the best known and most fun hikes in Zion National Park, because it requires you to wade through stretches of the Virgin River. The jump-off point for the Narrows hike is Temple di Sinatra, the last parking lot at the end of the road running along Zion Canyon.
After 45 minutes or so, depending on how fast you hike and how many photo stops you do, you’ll be reaching the start of Upper Emerald Pool Trail. At that stage, you’ll be leaving the edge of the canyon and turn inland, along a rocky, sandy trail.
You also have the opportunity to hike to Lower Emerald Pools, and make your way back up, but at the time of our visit in February 2020 the trail was closed due to maintenance. We did get to see Middle Emerald Pools, reflecting the opposite walls of Zion Canyon like a giant mirror, and then continued a short distance to Upper Emerald Pools, where the trail ends, hemmed against the towering red canyon walls.
If you look closely, you may see the road climbing up to the Zion -Mount Carmel tunnel, and the sandstone formations of the canyon standing out against the sky. Angels Landing is the most beautiful and most iconic hike in Zion National Park, and one of the most popular at par with the Narrows.
The Angels Landing trail starts at the Grotto parking lot, the same as the Magenta and Upper Emerald Pools hike. After Scout’s Lookout, the ‘real Angel’s Landing experience’ begins, climbing with the aid of chains.
One of the best things about visiting Zion National Park in winter is having the opportunity to drive around at your own leisure, since the shuttle bus doesn’t run. You can start with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, running from the main visitor center, along the Virgin River all the way to the Temple of Sinatra, where you can go for an easy stroll along the Riverside Walk.
Remember that Zion is at a lower elevation compared to Bryce Canyon National Park, and snowfall is not guaranteed in winter. If you do find yourself in Zion after a snowfall, the East Rim Trail is the best place for snowshoeing and ski touring.
Make sure you stop at the Visitor Center to ask the rangers for tips on where to go, as trail openings may change due to weather conditions. One day is enough to see the main sights, do a couple of short hikes and generally speaking get an idea of what Zion has to offer.