Tall sandstone walls towering over the valley. Healthy vegetation growing against the rusty red sand and rocks. Clear and cool rivers and streams that run through the park, creating iconic waterfalls and emerald pools. These are some of Zion National Park’s famous traits that makes it one of the most beautiful places in the country. Top all that with changing leaves, cooler temperatures, and even a light dusting of snow, and you can experience the magic that is Zion National Park in the Fall and Winter season.
Because of how hot Zion can get in the summertime, fall and winter are actually great times of the year to visit the park. There are many ways to enjoy winter in Zion, like hiking, Zion Jeep Tours, and climbing. A lot of the activities you would do in the summer are actually accessible year round.
Hiking Zion National Park in Winter
Temperatures in Zion in the winter are relatively mild, so the trails that are open during warmer seasons are also open in the fall and winter. Just be careful on colder days, as icy trails can be slippery. If it snows enough, you can also snowshoe in the park, which can add a fun and wintery aspect to sightseeing on foot. Weather conditions may close some of Zion’s more iconic hikes, like Angel’s Landing and The Narrows. Just make sure to check the park website to see if the weather has affected any trail or road closures.
Zion Jeep Tours in Winter
If the temperatures get a little too cold to actually hike, consider fun activities like Zion National Park Jeep Tours. Jeep Tours can get you to places that can’t just be reached in a normal car, but much quicker than walking, so you truly experience the untouched beauty of ZNP. You can experience the changing fall colors or the snowy wonderland of Zion National Park from the comfort of a vehicle, all while getting a rush of adrenaline as the jeep scales rocks and trails.
Winter Photography at Zion National Park
Winter and fall are great times to enjoy photography in Zion National Park. There tends to be less people, and the snow on red rocks or changing fall colors gives Zion a different look than in the spring and summer. And though small mammals are hibernating, you can still see wildlife like bald eagles, big horned sheep, and wild turkeys.
Rock Climbing in Zion National Park
With rock climbing, the friction between your hands and feet against the rock helps you climb effectively. Hot temperatures and sweaty hands make rocks feel greasy, so many rock climbers won’t recommend climbing in Zion in the summertime. Cool temperatures helps keep hands dry, creating better friction for easier climbing. That’s why the fall/winter season is prime time for rock climbing in Zion National Park.
Ice Climbing in Zion
Realistically speaking, it’s not often that Zion gets cold enough to form ice pillars strong enough to be climbed. But in the rare years the temperatures drop below freezing for days at a time, a handful of experienced ice climbers make a trek out to climb a pitch of rare desert ice. Because ice climbing in southwest utah is uncommon and information on ice climbing in Zion is scarce, it can be fun to watch or photograph ice climbers, even if you don’t personally take part in the sport.