Planning your next visit to The Dwellings and Southern Utah? You might be wondering which season is the best choice.
The answer is that there is no bad time of year to visit the region! However, if you have your sights set on some sunny hiking or want to experience the changing fall colors, your plans during your trip may determine when you should visit.
To help you choose the right season to plan your next trip, let’s take a closer look at Southern Utah’s four seasons.
Early spring in Southern Utah is often still chilly. If you didn’t get the chance to hit the slopes during the winter months, you still have some time; the ski resorts in the region usually keep operating until mid-April when the snow begins to recede. If you’re planning to do some hiking, plan to wear layers to stay warm.
Don’t want to bundle up? Wait until later in the season. By late April, spring showers and blooms have begun, and the temperatures have started to rise.
In terms of weather, May is one of the most pleasant months of the entire year. With warm temperatures during the day and plenty of sunshine, this is a great time to enjoy some hikes that will be hot — and more dangerous — in just a few week’s time. The summer crowds haven’t yet arrived in the region’s most popular destinations, like Zion National Park.
Summer brings the warmest, driest weather to Southern Utah. And thanks to school vacations and families looking to get outdoors, it also brings the crowds.
If you’re hoping to enjoy some of Zion’s most popular trails and overlooks without having to wait in line for the shuttle, you’ll want to avoid the summer season. But if this is the only time of year that your family can take a vacation, don’t fret; there are plenty of other places to explore this time of year that won’t have lines and crowds.
For instance, Southern Utah is home to many beautiful state parks. These parks offer similar landscapes to nearby Zion, as well as some unique features. Enjoy off-roading at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Or, take in the towering monoliths of Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Still want to visit Zion? Head to the park during the week, rather than on a weekend, and get there early to beat the crowds to the shuttles. You can also visit Zion’s Kolob Canyons, a lesser-known section of the park that offers equally stunning views and awesome hikes.
Sunlight lasts longer during the summer, so you’ll have more time to enjoy outdoor activities than you will during the other seasons.
Warm summer weather usually lasts into September. So if you’re hoping for cooler temps, wait to visit the region in late September or throughout October.
This time of year, the summer crowds have begun to wane. Days are getting shorter, but still offer plenty of daylight for hiking, off-roading, and other outdoor activities.
While it may be a desert, the region still comes alive in a brilliant display of color during the fall. The leaves usually begin to change in the middle of October. The bright yellow and orange leaves look even more vibrant when they’re set against a backdrop of red rock cliffs. Take a hike in Zion in mid-October to experience a whole new view than what you’ve seen during your summer visits.
In November, temperatures cool even more, and by the end of the month, snow has set in in the higher elevations, and the ski resorts, like nearby Brian Head, begin to open for their season.
While weekends in the fall see far fewer crowds than the summer months, the week around Thanksgiving usually sees an uptick in visitors.
With cold weather, snow, and shorter days, winter sees fewer crowds than any other season. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying a unique and incredible visit to Southern Utah.
While you might opt to skip long, chilly hikes, winter is a great time for sightseeing. Zion Canyon becomes a winter wonderland when it’s covered in snow. For part of the season, you can drive your car into the park, as the shuttles cease operating. You can still enjoy outdoor activities like ATV tours and hiking, as much of the region that’s at a lower elevation doesn’t see much annual snowfall.
Planning Your Next Visit to Southern Utah
Spring, summer, fall, winter — there really isn’t a bad season to visit Southern Utah. Instead, each one offers a unique way to experience the region.
Ready to plan your next visit? Book your stay at The Dwellings any time of year to enjoy the perfect base camp for your outdoor adventure.