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Why you should head to Zion National Park this winter

I have a thing for Zion. I could write an epic love poem celebrating Zion’s intricate red rock architecture as its stones jet and plummet in all the right ways…but never fear, I’ll spare you from my prose and get down to the nitty gritty. 

You want to know why Zion is a kick-ass winter destination, right? Read on. 

Fewer Crowds 

Look, I’m not the only guy having a love affair with Zion. Peak season sees over half a million visitors every month and some 1,200 hikers flood Angels Landing each day. So yeah, it can be a popular place. My advice, skip the shuttle bus and bathroom lines by warming up to a winter trek, instead. You’ll also get a leg up on obtaining a coveted wilderness permit when you apply off-season.


Fewer people means cheaper accommodations, and whether you’re just looking to snag a hot shower on your way out of town or you plan to post up by a fireplace between outdoor activities, you’ll have an easier time doing so in the off-season. Hotels, house rentals and cabins alike are simply more abundant and affordable this time of year. Adventurers on a budget, rejoice! 

Less Extreme Weather

Did you know that every summer, 7 out of 10 Instagram influencers are tragically swept away in flash floods while posing for a selfie? Devastating.

Ok, I obviously made that up, but it is alarming how few Zion visitors are aware of Utah’s monsoon season which spans July through September. Severe and frequent thunderstorms are no joke and the threat of flash floods in the park are a very real danger. Now, I won’t deny that these storms can produce stunning waterfalls, but when you’re in the mood for a  chill (pun-intended) escape through the narrows, winter wins.

Moderate Temps

Maybe you read that last piece and got a bit too excited by the chance of storms. Maybe ‘danger’ is your middle name. Even so, I’m here to tell you that you’ll still find Zion’s winter weather to be superior. 

With its low elevation and southwestern locale, Zion’s canyon floor makes for predictably mild winter temperatures. A typical January day will hover around 50 degrees; perfectly brisk for long day hikes or climbs. Speaking of which, climbers will delight in the fact that the rock is comfortably cool this time of year. In contrast, mid-summer temps in Zion can exceed 100 degrees (ouch!), limiting you to early-morning and late-afternoon activities. 

So, dear reader, there you have it: 4 reasons winter is a totally rad season to traverse the sweeping red landscape of Zion National Park.

Perhaps I have you convinced, OR perhaps you are under the impression that I only wrote this post to drive you and your crew away from my beloved Zion in the summer months.

*cue maniacal laugh* 

Either way, I wish you happy trails.