Like many destinations in the U.S., the months of May through August are the busiest times of year in Zion National Park. This is when the weather is warmest across the nation. Most schools have long breaks from classes this time of year, making it a natural choice for families or anyone who works in school districts and universities.
While it’s true that summer is a popular time to book a stay in Zion National Park accommodations, this doesn’t mean that the rest of the year isn’t worth a visit to the park. In fact, with cooler temps and fewer crowds, not to mention some incredible changing colors, fall is one of the best times of year to visit Zion.
If you’re thinking about planning a fall visit to Zion Wildflower Resort, keep reading. We’re bringing you the details to know to visit this time of year.
Visitor Center Hours Change in the Fall
A stop at one of Zion’s two visitor centers is a must during your stay in Zion National Park accommodations. The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is located just inside of the South Entrance. Stop here on your way into the park to grab a park map, purchase souvenirs, and talk to a ranger about trail recommendations, closures, and conditions.
During the summer months, when days are longer and visitor numbers are up, the visitor centers in the Lower Canyon and in Kolob Canyons stay open later. But in the fall, they shorten their hours slightly.
Starting September 18 and lasting through the end of the winter season, the Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons visitor centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Zion Human History Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from September 18 through November 26.
If you need a Wilderness Permit for hikes such as The Narrows, you can stop by the wilderness permit desk in Zion Canyon from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 18 through November 26. In Kolob Canyons, the wilderness permit desk is open from 8:30 a.m. to noon daily.
Fall Schedule for the Zion Canyon Shuttle System
While the park’s shuttle system does cease operating during the winter months, it’s still running throughout the fall season. So if you’re planning a stay in Zion National Park accommodations, you’ll still need to ride the shuttle to explore the Lower Canyon. The Zion Canyon Shuttle system and the Springdale Shuttle system also alter their hours at the start of the fall season.
Starting September 18, the first shuttle will leave the Zion Canyon Visitor Center at 7 a.m., and the last shuttle will leave the Visitor Center at 5 p.m. The final shuttle out of the Lower Canyon, departing from Stop 9, at the Temple of Sinawava, will depart at 7:15 p.m.
In Springdale, the first shuttle will leave Stop 9, located at the Majestic View Lodge, at 8 a.m., and the last shuttle will leave Stop 1, at the Zion Canyon Village, at 7 p.m.
These hours will change again on November 5. At this time, the first shuttles of the day will still depart at the same time on both the ZIon Canyon line and the Springdale line. But the final shuttles of the day will depart one hour earlier. After this time, daily shuttle service will cease for the winter season, with the exception of a week around the holidays, from December 22 to December 31, when the shuttles will once again operate and personal vehicles will not be permitted in the Lower Canyon.
Temperatures May Vary Throughout the Day
One big thing to note if you’re planning a stay in hotels near Virgin, Utah in the fall is that the weather can be a little unpredictable. Summer-like weather often lasts well into the fall months, with day time temperatures still nice and warm. However, one thing that sets this season apart is that night temperatures begin to fall.
If you know that you’ll be hiking and enjoying the park come sunset, it’s a good idea to pack a jacket and perhaps even pants to change into. That way you’re still comfortable as temperatures begin to fall.
Booking a Fall Stay in Zion National Park Accommodations
There’s no wrong time of year to plan a stay in Zion National Park accommodations. Zion Wildflower Resort is open year round, which means that you have a chance to experience all four seasons in Southern Utah. Whether you plan a canvas tent glamping adventure during your childrens’ summer break from school or have a chance to experience an incredible fall weekend, there’s no bad time to plan a visit.
Ready to see for yourself what makes fall in Zion so special? There’s still time to book hotels near Virgin, Utah for your fall getaway? Book your stay at Zion Wildflower Resort today!