Arguably the best time to visit Zion is in fall, when temperatures hover in the 70s and 80s, the summer monsoons have dried up, and the weather is sunny and crisp—perfect for canyoneering and hiking. In fall, the cottonwoods turn gold and maples turn red, electrifying the riverbanks and hills.
Winters can be chilly, with daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s and nighttime lows well below freezing. They can also be wet—almost half of Zion’s annual precipitation falls between December and March. One perk is that the weather scares many visitors away, and the trails and roads are uncrowded.
Spring brings snowmelt, which bloats the rivers and makes some hikes, such as the Zion Narrows, difficult, dangerous, or even impossible. But spring also brings abundant wildflowers that dot the rocks between April and June. By midsummer, the flowers have faded, the temperatures regularly reach 100 degrees, and there are large numbers of visitors. Thunderstorms and lightening often roll through the desert between July and mid-September, increasing the threat of flash floods—but also cooling the air down. No matter the time of year, temperatures fluctuate wildly between day and night—by as much as 30 degrees—as well as by elevation, so come armed with water, sunscreen, and plenty of layers.