SEASONS/AVOIDING THE CROWDS: Zion is one of the most-used national parks in the country. It’s open year-round (though visitor centers are closed Christmas Day), 24 hours a day, although weather con-ditions may limit some activities at certain times. Avoid long hikes in midsummer, when the park bakes under temperatures that can exceed 110[dg]F (43[dg]C), or during and immediately after winter storms, when ice and snow at higher elevations can make trails dangerous.

Try to avoid the peak months of June, July, and August, when Zion re-ceives almost half of its annual visitors. The quietest months are Decem-ber, January, and February, but, of course, it’s cold then; you may have to contend with some snow and ice. Spring and fall are best.

To avoid crowds, simply walk away from them. Choose longer and more strenuous hiking trails or hike into the backcountry. Most visitors don’t bother to venture far from the road, and their loss can be your gain. If you’re willing to expend a little energy, you can enjoy a wonderful solitary experience. You can also avoid hordes of tourists by spending time in spectacular Kolob Canyons, in the far northwest section of the park; it receives surprisingly little use, at least compared to Zion Canyon.

advertisement

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.