Zion National Park’s southern Utah landscape is some of the most scenic in the U.S. It’s no wonder everyone wants to visit! Late fall is one of the best times to visit, thanks to a colorful autumn season that extends well into November, bustling wildlife, and lighter crowds. With more and more visitors flocking to Zion National Park each summer, park goers are eager to learn some of best crowd-free ways to enjoy Zion. These tips and recommendations will help late fall visitors make the most of their Zion adventure.
Visit in November
Late fall is an ideal time to visit Zion, especially for visitors looking to beat the heat and the crowds. The southern Utah days are clear, nights are mild, and fall colors in the canyon are often still at their peak at lower elevations. Zion’s elevation ranges from 3,700 to 8,726 feet, so there’s plenty of mild weather to enjoy down in Zion Canyon.
Avoiding the crowds
Get an early start. Early morning park explorers may have a better chance of seeing wildlife. Plus, the park is even less crowded, as most Zion visitors start flocking to the canyon around mid-morning. Avoid the weekends if you’re able, and visit Zion National Park on weekdays during late fall. Please note that the Zion shuttle system runs through mid-November and on weekends in November, including Thursday-Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Click here for the current shuttle schedule.
FALL COLORS ALONG THE RIVERSIDE WALK, ZION NATIONAL PARK. (PHOTO BY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE)
Autumn hikers in Zion can enjoy mild temperatures and lower water levels, which is especially important for hikers eager to explore The Narrows. Some even say fall and late fall is the best time of year for serious hikers to hit the trails. It’s a good idea to head out early, but take your time without having to worry about summer’s mid-day blazing heat. Exceedingly popular hikes such as Angel’s Landing see much lighter crowds during late fall.
Head off the beaten path
Many Zion National Park visitors never see anything but the major scenic highlights. Kolob Canyon, in the northwest section of the park, receives very few visitors in comparison to Zion Canyon. While tourists are flocking to Angel’s Landing, consider less frequented hikes, such as Hop Valley and Observation Point trails. (Tip: Hike to Observation Point across Zion Ponderosa property, and avoid the steep incline from the bottom of the canyon!)
Check Current Conditions
Zion National Park is open year round, but it’s important to stay updated during your visit. Visitors can get information about weather, trail and Virgin River conditions; the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive shuttle; and the latest news at http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.
Zion Ponderosa vacation homes are an economical choice when the cost is shared amongst families and friends traveling together. Even better, during late fall 2016, book a two-night stay in a vacation home and receive the third night free!
Zion Ponderosa’s recreation adds excitement to your Zion adventure. Click here to book ATV rentals, horseback riding, zip lining, and most other on-property adventures. Purchase 10 in advance, and get two free!