National Parks Tips

Best time to visit Zion National Park to avoid crowds

cars driving on a road

Zion National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the world. In 2019, it ranked 4th out of 10 on the most visited national parks, drawing even more visitors than Yosemite National Park.

The best time to visit Zion National Park to avoid crowds is starting in November all the way through February. These months see nearly 350,000 less park visitors per month in comparison to the busy summer months. The reasons to visit the park during the colder months is that you will see less people on the trails, have lower rates for lodging, more parking spots at trailheads, and cooler temperatures during your adventures. The only downside of visiting during these months is that the water temperature is likely too cold to hike in the narrows or do the subway. However for all the other hikes and canyon adventures, these are the ideal months to visit.

Is Zion National park crowded?

stop sign by the road

Zion National Park can be very crowded depending on what time of year you visit. During the summer months of June, July, and August, the park is at its peak in terms of visitors. These three months host almost 40% of the park’s annual visitors. When temperatures begin to cool down in October, so do the number of visitors. Between the months of November to February, the number of visitors dramatically decreases in comparison to the summer months. The average number of visitors in the busy season is around 511,105 visitors per month compared to the colder months with just 145,235 visitors per month over the last four years. Visiting the park during the busy seasons results in higher pricing in lodging, busy shuttle systems, less parking, way more people on the trails, and hotter temperatures.

What is the busiest time for Zion National Park?

people sitting on a bus

The busy season for Zion National Park starts in April and ends in September. That’s right the busy season is six months out of the year. During this time nearly 70% of the park’s annual visitors arrive during these months. The absolute busiest months are June, July, and August. These three months alone generally account for over 38% of the park’s visitors on average. These are also the three hottest months to visit the park with temperatures ranging on average between 93 in June, 100 in July, and 97 in August. If you are visiting Zion National Park for solitude and to get away from the hustle and busyness of the city, avoid Zion National Park between June through August.

What is the least busy time for Zion National Park?

zion national park mountains covered in snow

The least busy time for Zion National Park is during the colder months after the summer. Between November to February temperatures drop significantly and there is slight snowfall, however you will get the park to yourself with a dramatic decrease in number of visitors. There are on average 350,000 less visitors per month during this timeframe. Visiting the park in the winter compared to the summer is like visiting a whole new national park as the park becomes a winter wonderland with the red and orange rocks topped off with the white snow.

What is the best month to visit Zion National Park?

The best month to visit Zion National Park is in January when the park has the least amount of visitors. During this time there will likely be light snow on the trails and at higher elevations which makes a wonderful sight to see snow capped red rock mountains. The temperatures are much cooler and hikes become much more enjoyable. There are significantly less people on the trails and more time for solitude and reflection.

If you want to visit the park and hike in the Narrows or hike The Subway, then January is likely way too cold to hike in the frigid water. For that the next best month to visit Zion National Park is in October as that is after busy season and temperatures are still mild.

Is Zion National Park crowded in October?

Surprisingly Zion National Park is still relatively crowded in October. The average number of visitors between 2017-2020 was around 410,681 visitors in October. That is only 100,000 less people compared to the entire busy season. If you are looking for less crowds then the best month to go is January where around 100,000 people come to visit the park.


Nestled in Southwest Utah, Zion National Park is home to magnificent red rock canyons, gorgeous slot canyons, hair-raising hikes, and unforgettable memories. These natural attractions result in an incredible amount of visitors each year. Every year the number of visitors increases, so its best to plan ahead to have the best time for you and your family. Despite the record number of visitors in the summer months, Zion National Park is an absolute must visit whenever you can make it!