Visiting Zion in June
Learn all about what to expect visiting Zion National Park in June
June is an excellent time of year to visit Zion National Park. The valley of Zion Canyon is lush with flora, the Virgin River is rushing quickly and cleanly, and wildlife is frolicking in the warm sun. There are many benefits to visiting Zion in June, as well as some drawbacks. Below we have categorized the most common “when-to-go” questions to help you determine if June is the best month to visit Zion National Park.
Benefits of Visiting Zion in JUNE
The most significant benefit of visiting Zion in June is the plethora of activities you can enjoy. Anything from hiking and backpacking to rock climbing and canyoneering to bicycling and off-roading is available for visitors. The weather is very warm in June but provides beautiful blue skies and amazing sunrise and sunset photography opportunities. Of course, the scenery is spectacular in June as the park moves into the summer, and plants and animals enjoy the warm temperatures. Wildlife is out and about this time of year, with the mule deer growing new antlers and the big horn sheep lambs running with the herd. Reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals will be out and more active, and some of the larger animals will be willing to spend more energy on play instead of conserving it for warmth. Watch for these animals running across the road or sunbathing on a trail. You won’t want to miss getting some pictures of the park’s unique wildlife.
Another benefit to June is the accessibility of hiking and backpacking. While June can be very hot during midday, the heat is better than the closed trails due to the ice and snow you would find earlier in the year. Even trails at very high elevations are open in June, including famous options like Angels Landing via Scout Lookout. This hike requires permits, which can be very competitive, so make sure you plan, research, or book a trip with a guiding company to do this day hike where permits are included. The Narrows will be open in June after the higher spring water levels have subsided, and the hot temperatures during the day will make the water feel refreshing.
In July, August, and September, the monsoon season comes to Utah, which brings frequent afternoon rains. These can cause wet and muddy conditions and increase the risk of flash floods. You might find more rain in late June, but earlier in the month, it is relatively dry, and the temperatures are warm enough to make you want to get in the river. June also has the longest days of any month, allowing you to be in the park from very early until late at night if you would like. June is truly a spectacular month to visit Zion. Even with the hotter weather during the day, the park’s natural wonders make this month a great time to explore.
Drawbacks of Visiting in JUNE
The biggest drawback of visiting Zion in June is the crowds. Spring, summer, and fall are the busiest seasons in Zion National Park. This means long shuttle bus lines and limited parking inside the park. Higher crowd densities also mean that accommodations inside and outside the park have less availability and higher prices. Anyone who has tried to plan a last-minute trip to Zion in the summer knows how difficult it can be to find a place to stay, and if you do find available accommodations, be prepared to shell out peak season rates. This leaves many guests with the single option of planning their trip months. In addition, there are no private cars allowed in Zion national park past Canyon Junction from April through November. This means that the only way to get around is by shuttle bus, besides bicycle. While in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, the shuttle buses can be relaxing as you don’t have to worry about driving, and they come frequently, in summer, there can be long lines and standing room only. The buses are nice and air-conditioned, but the crowds make navigating them annoying. Overall, the shuttle buses are probably beneficial for getting places faster in the park, but they limit the flexibility you have in your schedule and the amount of stuff you can bring with you. Suffice it to say that the shuttle buses and the crowds are among the most significant drawbacks to Zion in June.
Zion is also very hot in June, with temperatures during the day reaching up into the 90s. While hot temperatures are probably better overall than trails being closed due to snow, you may have to sit out and take a break from your hike during the middle of the day not to become overheated. This will force guests to carry more water and be more careful about what activities they take part in. Overall, however, June is simply a great time to visit the park; your biggest drawback is that everyone else knows it’s a great time to visit the park. Summer is easier to arrange vacation time and get the kids out of school so it will be busier. We recommend booking a trip with a guiding company to avoid the stress of navigating the busy National Park and for help getting off the beaten path. If spring or summer is the only time of year that you can make it to Zion, here are some tips to avoid the crowds:
1. Get to the park early: The earlier you get to Zion, the more likely you are to get a parking spot and the more of the park you have to yourself before the crowds arrive.
2. Visit Kolob Canyons: The Zion Canyon is small and crowded—since most visitors spend most of their time there. On the other hand, Kolob Canyons are in a more isolated area of the park, provide incredible and unique views, and are much less traveled.
3. Go on a picnic: Avoid the eateries at busy eating times, and choose to go on a picnic instead. You can stop at the grocery in Springdale before heading into the park. There are beautiful places along the river and in the shadows of the cliffs above you for a picnic meal.
4. Read our list of trails less traveled: These trails will give you a better chance for incredible views with less of a crowd.
Things To Do In JUNE
Hiking is ideal in June. With trails ranging from easy to strenuous, there is something for everyone in Zion National Park, allowing you to experience the best of Zion from fantastic vantage points. You can read our list of best trails in Zion for recommendations.
Emerald Pools or Watchman Overlook Trail are both fantastic for shorter options. Emerald Pools is relatively flat and is wheelchair accessible to the lower pools with assistance. Watchmen Overlook Trail is a more moderate out-and-back trail that can be accessed from behind the visitor center. It leads you up to one of the most spectacular overlooks in the park and should not be missed for a short hike.
The Narrows is one of the most famous hikes in the park and a very popular option. The warmer temperatures will make this hike more enjoyable as the water will still be cold. Angels Landing is also a famous and fantastic option, but plan to get permits or go with the guiding company that will provide permits for you.
Backpacking is also a popular option in Zion this time of year, but check Zion’s backpack regulations regarding group size and human impact, as they are different from other national parks.
Bicycling through Zion Canyon is fantastic in June, letting you avoid the crowds of the shuttle bus and feel the warm summer air whoosh past you as you cruise down the road without cars. Shuttle buses have bike racks on the front if you wish to take your bicycle on them. Canyoneering and rock climbing are popular activities in the park, and June is a great time to do them. Be sure to check out our best tours page for more details.
Visiting Kolob Canyons is a great way to escape some crowds, as this northwestern corner of the park is much less frequented than the more famous Zion Canyon. But we’re sure you’ll find this part of the park just as stunning as the more famous areas. Other national parks within short driving distance make great day trips from Zion. Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase Escalante are two options for day trips. Even the Grand Canyon isn’t too far, so hit all the parks if you’ve traveled a long way.
Zion has excellent wildlife viewing and birdwatching for those interested in slower activities. Even a ride on the shuttle bus can allow you to see some wildlife, such as bighorn sheep ambling along cliffs or mule deer grazing in the meadows. California condors, Mexican spotted owls, American dippers, and wild turkeys are only a few birds you might see in the park. If the heat becomes too much in the middle of the day, the Zion Human History Museum is a great indoor activity. It provides exhibits on both geological and cultural history.
Things to see in jUne
Sightseeing is simply spectacular in June in Zion and is one of the most popular activities in the park. If you’re not into the more active side of national park vacationing like hiking or backpacking, then sightseeing is the perfect activity. Some sites will require a short hike, but even a window seat on the shuttle bus will allow you to see some fantastic views. There are nearly as many things to see in Zion in June as there are to do, so we’ve compiled a short list of some of the must-sees sights. Make sure to do your own research, though, as the list is not exhaustive.
The Narrows: One of the most famous hikes in the park, the Narrows is not to be missed on any trip to Zion. While the hike can be strenuous as you are hiking with the Virgin River as your trail on large stones is often covered with moss, the slot canyon feeling is well worth it, and the water will feel better as the temperatures are warmer. If you don’t feel like plunging into the river, you can take the Riverwalk trail that leads you right up to where the trail disappears. It still gives you some of that slot canyon feeling without the cold water on your feet.
Kolob Canyons: In the northwestern corner, the best place in the park to escape the crowds is Kolob Canyon. This much less visited but no less spectacular area of Zion boasts fantastic slot canyons, ancient lava flows, and an abundance of trailheads. You can drive your private car through this part of the park even in the summer. It is well worth the trek, about an hour’s drive from Zion Canyon.
Angels Landing: Many people want to hike Angels Landing for the fantastic views and bragging rights. But if its extreme height exposure isn’t your thing or you couldn’t get permits for the hike, you should still make time to see this spectacularly colossal rock formation that provides such incredible views from the top. The big band shuttle stop provides excellent views from below, and Scout looks out the west rim trail and fantastic views of this iconic rock.
Zion Human History Museum: If the summer heat is beginning to wear on you, visit the Zion Human History Museum, which has spectacular exhibits and air conditioning. The museum focuses mainly on the two elements that have had the most impact on this land: humans and water. The exhibits trace human activity in the park, from Native Americans to early pioneers and settlers, to its establishment as a national park. Water is the other central theme showcased as this beautiful landscape’s creator and destroyer.
Hiking in JUNE
Hiking is simply excellent in June. Trails to high elevations give you unique and panoramic views of the canyon below, alive with flora and fauna. Beautiful trails along the valley floor also take you next to the rushing Virgin River through the cattails and lush cottonwoods. With trails that range from easy to moderate to strenuous, all ages and levels of ability can enjoy hiking in Zion. Make sure you read the current conditions for up-to-date information.
There are a plethora of trails to choose from. Pa’rus Trail is accessible to hikers, bikers, walkers, and those in wheelchairs and takes you through some of the park’s most scenic areas. The Riverwalk trail is an excellent option for those who don’t want to plunge into the Narrows but still want some of that slot canyon feel. The relatively flat trail will take you along the Virgin River until the trail disappears into it at the trailhead of the Narrows. Remember to look up as the cliff walls will get narrower and narrower the farther you hike.
The Narrows itself is a fantastic hike this time of year. With the warmer temperatures, the water isn’t so bitingly cold, and you won’t need any extra gear to hike this trail. It is still best to bring a dry bag to keep your valuables in case you fall in or encounter an area where you must swim. Many have described this hike as trying to walk on slippery bowling balls, as many of the rocks on the river bed are covered in moss. Be prepared to get wet and wear sturdy shoes with lots of traction for this adventurous hike.
Other extremely famous hike in Zion is Angels Landing via Scout Lookout. This strenuous hike takes you up a giant rock formation and has some places that have extremely high exposure. But for those who are willing to brave the trail, the view from the top is unmatched. If you want to do this hike but aren’t sure if you want to do it on your own or if you’ll be able to get permits, you can book a trip with Wildland Trekking. We’ll provide permits for you and an expert guide who has done the trek before and knows all the safety information.
Camping tours are a wonderful option for seeing much of Zion and nearby Snow Canyon. The company takes care of all the planning, accommodations, and meals, and provides appropriate gear, so you can enjoy your trip without the stress of planning a National Park vacation. Plus, camping in Zion in June is lovely as you can be outside in the warm weather all day and enjoy the coolness at night in your tent. Day hiking tours are also great for those who want to maximize their limited time in the park while gaining knowledge from a local and experienced guide. Because of the density of national parks in this area, many people only leave one day for a visit to Zion, but with a guided day hike, you’ll be able to experience much of the park in a single day.
backpacking in june
Backpacking in June in Zion is just about ideal. Backpacking is a great way to escape some of the crowds in June, and Zion’s backcountry is some of the most beautiful you have ever seen. However, Zion has different and stricter regulations about human impact on the wilderness, group size, and campsites compared to other national parks, so it’s essential to know the backpacking regulations and to abide by them for your safety and the health of the park. Most of the campsites in the backcountry are pre-designated, and dispersed camping is only allowed in a few areas. This includes the Narrows, which is possible for a backpacking trip as there are 12 designated sites along the river. Because many of these routes are so popular, it’s essential to have backup plans for alternate campsites and trails if you can’t get the permits you want.
To reduce human impact, Zion has a very strict pack-it-in, pack-it-out policy that includes all trash, food, and human waste. While going into the backcountry is great to escape the crowded shuttle buses and eateries, you won’t have it entirely to yourself. June is one of the most popular months for backpacking as it is before the monsoon season of late summer hits, and you have to deal with rain most afternoons. Of course, the permit system limits how many people can be in the backcountry, but don’t expect it to be empty. You can read our page about backpacking permits for more information on planning a trip.
Backpacking only intensifies the dangers of day hiking, so read the section above if you’re interested in this activity. Perhaps your most significant threat in the backcountry is flash floods. Although the monsoon season has not yet begun in Utah, flash floods are not impossible and can happen as a result of rain storms miles away. Those hiking in slot canyons or other flash flood-prone washes should be aware of the dangers of these floods. Walls of water 12 feet or higher can come barreling down slot canyons, bringing boulders, tree trunks, and other debris. You cannot outrun or outswim a flash flood, so your best chance to avoid injury or death due to one is to avoid them. Flash flood warnings and advisories can be seen on the weather forecast and at visitor centers. If flash floods are possible or expected, hiking in those areas is not advised.
Do your best to avoid a flash flood by knowing the warning signs before the actual flood occurs. Keep your eye on any deterioration in the weather or sounds of rain and thunder even miles away. Also, watch for changes in water color or clarity, floating debris, or an increased sound of roaring water upstream. If you encounter these signs, seek higher ground immediately; even a few feet can save your life. Remain on high ground until the water subsides, which it usually will within 24 hours.
At the time of writing, another major threat to those in the backcountry and day hikers is a bloom of toxic cyanobacteria in the Virgin River and other waterways in Zion. This toxin can be contracted through ingesting the water or through an opening in the skin. Do not put your head under the water if you are swimming or recreating, and if you must filter drinking water in the backcountry, only do it directly from the spring and not from the river. No known commercial filtration system effectively removes this toxin from water. This makes backpacking more difficult as you will need to make sure to camp near springs where you can filter drinking water. Check the national park website for current updates on cyanobacteria toxins.
Weather in JUNE
Zion is a large park with various elevations that make weather patterns vary. June is typically hot in Zion National Park as the desert summer begins to kick in. The average temperature for Zion Canyon in June is a high of 92 and a low of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (33/15 degrees Celsius). In Kolob Canyons, the average temperature is a high of 84 and a low of 51 degrees Fahrenheit (28/10 degrees Celsius). On average, it rains three days during June. Visitors should be advised that these numbers are only averages and that the park might receive much warmer or colder temperatures than these. While June is very hot, it is one of the better months of summer to visit the park as the monsoon season has not yet arrived. July, August, and September all receive large amounts of rain that often come in the form of afternoon thundershowers that impede your ability to see the park and make flash flooding more likely.
Be sure to take at least 3 liters of water with you, especially because you may not have access to your car if you ride the shuttle bus. If you plan to do any hiking, you should bring more water with you or be prepared to refill before hiking. Most shuttle stops in the park have water refilling stations. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are two of your main threats while exploring Zion in the summer. Ensure you drink enough water and eat enough snacks while on the trail to maintain your sodium blood level.
Knowing the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke is essential, as the latter is a life-threatening emergency while the former is less immediately dangerous. Bring sunscreen and wear sunglasses and hats to protect your face and skin from the hot sun. You may not feel like you are sweating because of the extreme dryness in the air and how fast it evaporates, but you are indeed, so make sure you’re replenishing that lost water with the water you’re drinking.
Wildlife in june
June is a great time to view wildlife in Zion as all the animals are out, and you will have ample opportunity to see them. The mule deer is the most commonly seen animal in the park, besides squirrels. They will be finishing their fawning season in June, so watch for the adorable spotted fawns.
Bighorn sheep are also fun to see in the park, mainly on the east side. Zion has a very stable and large bighorn sheep population that can often be seen on steep cliffs. These agile climbers are ideally suited to life on the edge, and it can be mesmerizing to watch them bounding around on sheer precipices.
Because of the heat, the park’s reptiles will be about and out. Watch for small lizards that take advantage of the early sun rays earlier in the morning. Remember, the smaller the lizard, the less time and sunlight it takes to warm it up so it can move quickly. More giant lizards don’t come out until the sun’s rays are more robust to avoid becoming prey when they’re slow and sluggish. The desert short-horned lizard (see left) is one of the smaller lizards you often see in the park. Its horns or spines on the back of its head make it unappetizing to most predators, except the road runner that orients the lizards away from its vital organs for safe digestion. The short-horned lizard can also squirt blood out of its eyes as a defense mechanism. Looking like something out of a dinosaur movie, these lizards are neat to see. The park also has several snakes, the great basin rattlesnake being the only venomous one. If you’re lucky, you might see a desert tortoise, one of Zion’s rarest reptiles.
The park hosts many other animals and predators, such as gray foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. The canine members of the predator group can be seen fairly often, usually at night, but the big cats generally stay away from the populated parts of the park. Zion has incredible biodiversity due to its unique geography and topography, allowing many species to live here. If you are interested in seeing a specific animal, talk to a ranger about the best place to see one or what has been caught lately on remote camera traps.
RECOMMENDED wildland trips in june
Planning a trip to Zion in June on your own can be rewarding, but it can also be intimidating as you must keep up with current conditions, weather, reservations, bus schedules, and where you want to go. While some people enjoy the nitty-gritty planning stage, others simply do not have time to plan out every last detail of their vacation. But you can bypass the headache of planning your trip by booking a trip with Wildland Trekking and letting one of our expert guides take care of all the details, itinerary, meal prep, and logistics so that you can sit back and enjoy your vacation. Whether you want to camp with us, stay at a lodge on an inn-based tour, or spend a day with one of our expert guides, we have something for you. Feel free to check out all the trips we offer in Zion, but here are a few we especially recommend for June.
Angels Landing Private Day Hike: If you want to do the Angels Landing hike, but are unsure if you want to go on your own or don’t want to go through the hassle of getting permits, then this is the hike for you. On this fantastic day hike, you’ll experience the best of Angels Landing with the best local guides in the business. Enjoy tasty trail snacks, a picnic lunch to eat at the top of the world, local transportation, and included permits you don’t have to worry about getting.
Zion Basecamp Tour: Camping in Zion is spectacular in June, as you can enjoy the cool nights in your tent and spend the warmer days out and about in the park. On this three-day base camp tour, you’ll visit a mini Zion in Snow Canyon, hike the Narrows, and experience unique cultural and geographical history. All-inclusive with local transportation, meals, much of your camping gear, and an expert local guide included, you won’t want to miss out on this lovely and comfortable camping experience.
Best of Utah Inn Based: If you want to see it all on a trip around Utah’s spectacular national parks, this is the tour for you. This trip is truly unforgettable, with six days of exploration in Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Staircase Escalante and five nights of stays at comfortable lodges with delicious cuisine. Desert spires, lush oases, colossal rock formations, and narrow slot canyons will all be on the itinerary for this all-inclusive inn-based adventure.
Join a Guided Hiking Adventure
Zion National Park is home to some of the world’s most epic and fantastic hiking vacations. Wildland Trekking offers trips with the best of Zion: canyons, views, wildlife, solitude, adventure, and fascinating natural and cultural interpretation.
Guided Zion treks are all-inclusive, which covers permits; local transportation (excluded on specific tours); meals; equipment; safety systems, and professional hiking/wilderness guides, allowing visitors to maximize their time in Zion and focus entirely on enjoying the Park.
ZION ADVENTURE TOURS
- INN-BASED HIKING PACKAGES: these tours are all-inclusive packages with lodging, amazing daily hikes, expert guides, meals, transportation and more!
- ZION CAMPING TOURS: camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of Zion on wonderful outdoor vacations.
- ZION DAY HIKE TOURS: maximize your day in Zion on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour on one of the Park’s best trails.
- ALL UTAH HIKING TOURS: check out a full list of Utah offerings, which include Bryce Canyon, the North Rim, Arches, Canyonlands and more.
- UTAH BACKPACKING TRIPS: explore options for discovering Utah on an all-inclusive backpacking trip with expert guides and mind-blowing scenery.