December 21, 2023

What is the Zion Weather Like Every Season?

Many first-time visitors to Southern Utah assume that they’ll be visiting a hot, dry desert landscape. And if they are visiting during the summer months, they aren’t far off. Utah is the second driest state in the nation, and much of the southern half of the state is covered in red rock desert. 

But while it may be partially a desert, Zion National Park, like most of Southern Utah, actually experiences all four seasons. As you might expect, summers are dry, hot, and offer plenty of beautiful sunshine. Fall brings some slightly cooler temps, at least at first. It also brings some color change to the park, with many of the native trees featuring leaves that change to brilliant shades of orange, yellow, and red. 

Winter is relatively mild in Zion, though the park does see an average of nine inches of snow each season. And come spring, plants bloom, temperatures warm, and rain showers drench the park and raise the river levels.

If you’re thinking about planning a visit to Zion and Cliffrose Lodge in 2024, you might be wondering which season is really the best. Keep reading to learn what to expect of Zion weather all year long.

Summer in Zion

First on our list is the most popular time of year to visit Zion; summer. 

There are a number of reasons why summer is a great time to visit our Zion resort. But some of these reasons could be a reason not to visit this time of year, depending on your personal preferences.

First up is the weather. In the middle of the summer, it’s not unusual for temperatures to reach the triple digits, and sunny days are the norm. This can make hiking challenging trails like Angels Landing dangerous without the right gear and training. But it can also make hiking more comfortable than it would be in the middle of winter.

Next are the long days. With more daylight—and more people visiting—many local businesses and tour companies have more options this time of year. 

However, the increase in visitors during the summer can be a drawback during your stay in our Zion resort. The months of June, July, and August combined see nearly 40 percent of the park’s annual visitors. This might mean more crowding on popular trails, or even lines to hop on the Zion Canyon Shuttle.

Part of the reason this season is so popular is the great weather and long days. But part of it is simply because that’s when many people choose to travel or are able to travel. If you have kids or are otherwise only able to travel during the summer months, take full advantage of the sunshine and beautiful days, and book a luxury Zion resort for your vacation!

Fall in Zion

Another popular season for visiting Zion National Park is fall. Visitor numbers drop off only slightly in September and October each year when guests flock to the park to see the changing leaves. However, more of these guests visit on the weekends, making the weekdays a great opportunity to enjoy the park with fewer crowds before the weather gets too cold. 

Hot days aren’t quite over yet. The average highs in September are in the 90s (Fahrenheit), dropping into the 80s and eventually the 70s in October. Nights are cooler, though, which makes for more comfortable weather outside early and late in the day for those sensitive to the heat. 

With summer heat lingering well into September and even October in the park, fall in Zion is very short. But if you have your heart set on seeing the stunning display of fall leaves in the park, a Zion adventure this season can make for a great visit. In fact, some might argue that this is the best season for visiting Zion and nearby Springdale!

Winter in Zion 

Like many national parks, Zion sees the fewest visitors during the winter months. But don’t let this fool you into thinking that it’s a bad season for visiting Zion. In fact, ask a local, and you might just discover that this is the best time of year to visit the park.

Winter is sometimes referred to as Zion’s “Secret Season.” Winter in Zion is relatively mild. Daily average highs are typically in the 50s and 60s, though they may dip below freezing overnight. The park does experience the occasional winter storm, which may dump snow and ice on the park and make trails and roads treacherous.

However, if you don’t mind bundling up, you’ll be rewarded with an almost empty park.

 Another perk of visiting this time of year is that the shuttle buses are not in operation, which means that guests can drive in and park in the Lower Canyon where personal vehicles are usually prohibited.

Spring in Zion

Zion weather starts turning warmer sometime in March or April. However, it’s not uncommon for daily highs to only be in the 30s this time of year. If Zion’s upper peaks saw a lot of snow and ice, spring will bring melting, which raises the level of the Virgin River and may cause flooding and wash out on trails.

Spring sees similar visitor numbers in the park as fall. Around 8 percent of visitors come to the park in May, 10 percent in June, and 11 percent in May. If you’re planning to visit for spring break, you can expect to share the park with many other travelers who had the same idea! 

The Zion Canyon Shuttle returns to operations in the Spring, and the Human History Museum opens following its winter closure, though it’s only open for limited hours during this season.

While the Zion weather can be a little unpredictable this time of year, if you do plan a visit, you’ll be treated to lower visitor numbers and some beautiful spring blooms as the park comes alive once more.

The Best Zion Weather for Planning a Visit

Despite being mainly desert, the Zion weather varies greatly from one season to the next. This means that you could have a very different experience each time you visit, depending on the season.

So what is the best season to visit Cliffrose Lodge? It turns out that there’s no wrong answer! Every season brings something unique to the park. Instead, the best time to visit depends entirely on what you plan to do, your personal preferences, and when you are able to travel.

Ready to find your perfect season in the park? Book your 2024 stay at our Zion resort today!

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