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what’s the best time of year to visit zion park cabins

What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Zion Park Cabins?

by | Dec 7, 2023

The new year is almost here, which means that it’s time to start thinking about your 2024 visit to the Zion park cabins at Zion Wildflower Resort! Whether your family takes an annual summer vacation or you have a little flexibility in when you travel and want to experience a different season in the park, you might be wondering when exactly is the best time of year to visit.

You’re in luck; we’re breaking down what you need to know about every season in Southern Utah, what to expect, and why one might be a better choice for your glamorous camping or cabin experience. If you’re ready to start planning your 2024 adventure, keep reading.

Winter Weather and No Crowds in Sight

Most of Zion National Park’s more than 5 million annual visitors see the park’s stunning red rock cliffs under brilliant blue skies and spotted with lush green foliage. Some get a chance to see the vibrant orange and yellow leaves of fall. But only a small percentage of guests get a chance to see the park covered in snow.

While winter is often overlooked, and sees the least visitors each year, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit this time of year. In fact, winter is a favorite among locals, and is often referred to as Zion’s “Secret Season.”

For much of the winter season, the shuttle buses are not in operation. This means that winter is the only time of year that you can drive your own vehicle—or ride in one of our comfortable tour vehicles—into the lower canyon. The shuttle buses do run around the holidays, including Christmas, President’s Day Weekend, and New Year’s Day. 

The roads in Zion are plowed, but trails may not be cleared, making them impossible after heavy snow. But for the most part, Southern Utah experiences mild winters in the lower elevations, making it possible to hike and enjoy other outdoor activities all winter long. With fewer visitors in the park, it may be easier to score a permit for Angels Landing this time of year.

While some of the park’s facilities, like the Human History Museum, close this time of year, the visitor center remains open daily. Our Zion park cabins are particularly cozy during the winter months. But you can still enjoy some glamorous camping this time of year, too! Our glamping tents are equipped with heating units or heated blankets to help you stay warm and comfortable even on the coldest nights.

Spring Blooms and Mild Weather

For mild temperatures and fewer crowds, spring is another great time to plan a stay in Zion park cabins. Spring sees more variance in temperature than other times of the year. Days can be as cool as 30 degrees Fahrenheit and then swing closer to summer temperatures, especially late in the season. Spring snow storms aren’t that unusual, so you’ll want to make sure to stay flexible during your trip.

The Zion Canyon Shuttle System returns in spring, making it easy to get around. The Human History Museum and other facilities also re-open this time of year. If you have your heart set on hiking The Narrows during your trip, spring may not be the best choice for your visit — melting snow often causes the water level in the Virgin River to rise, and the trail may close as a result.

Spring is also a great time for a glamorous camping experience. Days are often warm and nights are cool, and perfect for enjoying a campfire or some stargazing.

Summer Crowds and Long Days

Summer is by far the most popular time of year to visit Zion National Park. June, July, and August see nearly 40 percent of the park’s annual guests, with May and September drawing another 22 percent. As a result of the increase in visitor numbers, you can expect longer operating hours for restaurants, stores, and attractions this time of year. 

However, there are some drawbacks to visiting this time of year. To start, the high number of guests can lead to crowds on popular trails, as well as lines to ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle. In addition, triple-digit temperatures are the norm for much of the summer, which can make hiking on unshaded trails more challenging, or even dangerous if you aren’t properly prepared and carrying plenty of water.

Of course, with longer days and more people visiting, there’s more time to enjoy the area’s many attractions and amenities. You can enjoy longer hikes with plenty of daylight. Local companies stay open later, so you can dig into a tasty meal after a long day in the park. And, you can take advantage of all of Zion Wildflower Resort’s amenities, like our beautiful pool!

Fall Colors and Great Weather

If thinking of Zion brings to mind desert landscapes, you’ll want to plan a visit in the fall. First-time visitors may be surprised to learn that Zion National Park experiences changing leaves this time of year. The bright yellows and oranges are even more stunning set against the red rock cliffs of the park. These changing colors start in September at the higher elevations in the park and make it into the lower canyon by the end of October or early November.

Besides the stunning views, there are a few other things that make fall a great time of year to visit our Zion park cabins. Temperatures are starting to cool, which makes hiking much more enjoyable. The crowds of summer drop off sharply by mid-August, though the park may still see higher visitor numbers on weekends and around the holidays. 

If you’re looking to escape the crowds and the heat and enjoy the changing leaves, fall is a great time to visit. While stores and restaurants may shorten their hours as the days get shorter, this is still a popular time to visit, and the park may still see more crowding than it does in the spring or winter.

Planning a Stay in Our Zion Park Cabins

There’s truly no bad time of year to plan a stay in the Zion park cabins at Zion Wildflower Resort, or a glamorous camping experience in our glamping tents! Each season brings something unique to the park, and makes for a very different visit for guests.

Ready to start planning your 2024 adventure at Angels Landing hotels? Book your stay at Zion Wildflower Resort today!

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