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Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks

| Updated May 31, 2023

The best time to visit Utah National Parks is mid Spring and early Fall.

Are you planning a Utah road trip soon?

Taking your RV on the open road is the best way to see the numerous national parks and other attractions that Utah has to offer!

Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks

Utah has some of the coolest rock formations in the United States. Whether you're going to visit a Utah national park or just driving through, the formations are usually just an easy hike away.

When to Visit

You can visit many parts of Utah year-round. However, some areas require chains or snow tires in the winter months. And others lots of water or air conditioning during the summer months.

Overall, the perfect time to visit Utah's national parks and other attractions are April through May and September through October. That is when you can enjoy its main attractions with moderate crowds and the most moderate temperatures.

A good idea when planning your national park road trip is to map out the parks and the best things to do in the area. Combine that with the best time of year to visit and you'll have the best experience possible.

To make that easy for you, we've created a 7-Day Southern Utah Adventure. It'll guide you through the best Utah national parks in the area and more! Including all of the parks below and more…

Best Utah National Parks to Visit

More and more people are taking to their RVs on a Utah National Parks road trip. It is a great way to see everything Utah has to offer.

Check out my list of the top places you won't want to miss!

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is a geological wonderland and offers some of the best hikes in Utah. With massive sandstone cliffs colored in creams, reds, and pinks, you will be in awe. I've even referred to it as “Indeed a Holy Place” in our blog article about our visit.

You can see a wide variety of plant and animal life before checking out a narrow slot canyon that is worth the hike!

Another spot you will not want to miss is the Zion Canyon Kolob Canyons. It features 2,000-foot peaks of red Navajo sandstone set along lolling streams. There's an amazing 5-mile scenic drive with gorgeous scenic viewpoints and cascading waterfalls.

Another popular adventure is the hike to the observation point at Angel's Landing. Be warned, though, as it is not for the faint of heart! Also, be aware that they are implementing a lottery system for that hike soon.

Bryce Canyon National Park

One of the best things to check out at Bryce Canyon are the red rock hoodoos. Think of them as an otherworldly tree sculpture!

These rock formations were formed as a result of millions of years of a freeze and thaw cycle that carved their unique shape.

The best time to visit Utah National Parks for us was sunset

Jennifer and I were mesmerized by the changing colors during sunset on our trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.

At 8,000 to 9,000, Bryce Canyons is considered one of the higher elevations in which to spend time. Be sure to give yourself time to acclimate to the elevation!

If wildlife is what you are after, you will not be disappointed. See mule deer, as well as dozens of other species of birds and mammals.

Although there are many popular hikes to do in the park, there is also adventure to be had during the winter months, like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing!

Be sure to also visit the nearby Navajo Loop Trail. This 1.5-mile loop is one of the most popular trails in Utah, and for good reason.

Arches National Park

Yet another Utah red rocks wonderland!

Arches National Park has over 2,000 natural stone arches. You can also view hundreds of rock fins, balanced rocks, and pinnacles soaring high above you, You will be amazed by the rock formations and enjoy its numerous hikes.

One of the park's main attractions is Delicate Arch. You can take a level, short hike (about 100 yards) to view the arch from one mile away. Or, take a 3-mile roundtrip hike to see it up close and personal.

The best time of year to visit Arches is outside of the peak heat and cold. The summer heat has the potential to be very high and brutal, and the winter cold can pose frozen, icy conditions.

Late spring and fall through early November are excellent times to plan a trip.

You can stay at one of these 4 Arches National Park Campgrounds.

All 4 of these campgrounds are on our NEW RV Lifestyle Map!

Join our Group Travel Map!

Think of this as a group travel journal! We've been adding our favorite places all across the country and now you can, too! Every day more and more gets added by RVers just like you!

To add your own locations, you need to get the free app for your smartphone so you can add spots and share them with others as you travel! Click the link in the lower-right corner of the map and start adding YOUR favorite places. Already we've found many new places to explore during our RV adventures and you will too!

Together, we can make this a huge resource for the RV community!

Now back to the Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is a Utah hidden gem featuring canyons, domes, cliffs, and bridges in something called the Waterpocket Fold.

This is a geologic fold, which is basically a wrinkle on Earth's surface, that extends for almost 100 miles! We've outlined 7 Things to Do at Capitol Reef National Park.

Canyonlands National Park

This national park is divided into four main districts, characterized by the massive canyons formed by the Colorado and Green rivers. The districts are named: The Needles, Island in the Sky, The Maze, and then the rivers themselves.

Check out breathtaking buttes and countless canyons!

Other Places to Add to Your List

The national parks in Utah are amazing, which is why so many people love to visit as many as they can. But if you are in the area, there are other places worth a mention.

Grand Canyon

While the Grand Canyon is not technically in Utah, it is near enough to visit if you have never been. Or if you want to visit again!

The Grand Canyon is located in the northwest corner of Arizona. It is very close to the borders of both Nevada and Utah. The breathtaking and grandiose canyon is the result of millions of years of being carved out by the Colorado River.

There is a reason this is one of the most visited national parks in all of America. Its unmatched views and breathtaking hikes are like no other on Earth. You can check out its one-mile and 18-mile gap (at its largest opening) from the rim, or hike down to the bottom.

It is open year-round, 24 hours a day. There are more visitors that come during the spring, summer, and fall.

Slot Canyons

Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks 5
Zebra Canyon

If slot canyons are what you are seeking, there is no better place to see them than in Utah. The most popular locations to check out these cool canyons are:

  • Bucksin Gulch (Wire Pass Trailhead)
  • Little Wild Horse
  • Spooky and Peekaboo
  • Furniture Draw
  • Zion Narrows
  • Box Canyon Hiking Trail in Maple Canyon
  • Zebra Canyon
  • Willis Creek Slot Canyon
  • The Subway (Top-Down Route)
  • Burro Wash

Mike and Jennifer's Southern Utah RV Adventure Guide

Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks 6

Utah, Utah, Utah.  What more is there to be said? In very few places across the United States is there such a tremendous area with breathtaking vistas and diversity of terrain.

This ebook is a seven-day guided exploration of the State and National Parks in Southern Utah. We provide a suggested route and itinerary, links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking spots, and the best spots to see along the way. Don’t plan your trip to Southern Utah without it!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-09-02

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

2 Responses to “Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks”

February 09, 2023at8:04 am, Richard Moccia said:

Hi Mike and Jen. I am thinking about doing you southern Utah trip but we have a dog. Can we do the trip with a dog? Are they allowed on the hikes you outline? I know you have Beau. Could you take him on this trip?
Thank you. Love the work you do.

February 10, 2023at10:16 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Hi Richard – Mike and Jen bring their dog Bo with them everywhere, so he was with them on this trip, too. Thanks for the kind words – we will pass it on to them! Team RV lifestyle

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