Visiting Zion in June
Learn all about what to expect visiting Zion National Park in June
June is a great time of year to visit Zion National Park. The valley of Zion Canyon is lush with flora, the Virgin River is rushing quick and clean, 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 for you to visit Zion National Park.
Benefits of Visiting Zion in JUNE
The biggest 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 are available for visitors. The weather is very warm in June, but provides beautiful blue skies and amazing chances for sunrise and sunset photography. Of course, the scenery itself is spectacular in June as the park moves into the summer and both plants and animals are enjoying 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 as well as some of the larger animals being willing to spend more energy on play instead of conserving it for warmth. Keep your eye out 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 amazing 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 trails being closed due to the ice and snow that 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 does require permits, however, and they can be very competitive to get, so make sure you plan ahead and do your research or book a trip with a guiding company to do this day hike where permits are included. The Narrows will also most likely be open in June after the higher water levels of spring have subsided, and the hot temperatures during the day will make the water feel refreshing. In addition, later in the summer in July, August, and September, the monsoon season comes to Utah which brings frequent afternoon rains. These can not only cause wet and muddy conditions, but also increase risk for 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 that will allow you to be in the park from very early until very 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 lines for the shuttle buses, and limited parking inside the park. Higher crowd densities also mean that accommodations, both 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 advance. 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 them annoying to navigate. While overall the shuttle buses are probably beneficial for getting places faster in the park, they do limit the amount of flexibility that you have in your schedule and the amount of stuff you can bring with you. Suffice it to say that the shuttle buses plus the crowds are one of the biggest 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 overall better 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 in order to not 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 going to be that everyone else knows it’s a great time to visit the park. Summer is easier to arrange vacation time and easier to get the kids out of school, so it’s just going to be busier. To avoid the stress of navigating the busy National Park, and for help getting off the beaten path, we recommend booking a trip with a guiding company. 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 the majority of their time there. Kolob Canyons, on the other hand, are in a more isolated area of the park, provide incredible and unique views, and are much less travelled.
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 wonderful 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 absolutely ideal in June. With trails ranging from easy to strenuous, there is something for everyone in Zion National Park, giving you the chance to experience the best of Zion from amazing vantage points. You can read our list of best trails in Zion for recommendations. Emerald Pools or Watchman Overlook Trail are both great for shorter options. Emerald Pools is rather 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, of course, 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 make sure to plan ahead 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 make sure to check Zion’s backpack regulations regarding group size and human impact as they are different than other national parks.
Bicycling through Zion Canyon is fantastic in June, letting you avoid the crowds of the shuttle bus and feeling 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 also 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 of the crowds as this northwestern corner of the park that is much less frequented than the more famous Zion Canyon. But we’re sure you’ll find this part at the park just as stunning as the more famous areas. There are also other national parks within short driving distance that 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 make sure to hit all the parks if you’ve traveled a long way. Zion has great wildlife viewing and birdwatching for those who are interested in the slower activities. Even a ride on the shuttle bus can allow you to see some wildlife such as bighorn sheep ambling along steep cliffs or mule deer grazing in the meadows. California condors, Mexican spotted owls, American dippers, and wild turkeys are only a few of the birds that 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 and 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 give you the opportunity to see some amazing 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 by no means 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 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 yourself, you can take the Riverwalk trail that leads you right up to where the trail disappears into the river. It still gives you some of that slot canyon feeling without the cold water on your feet.
Kolob Canyons: Perhaps the best place in the park to escape the crowds is Kolob canyons, in the north western corner of the park. This much less visited but no less spectacular area of Zion boasts wonderful slot canyons, ancient lava flows, and an abundance of trail heads to choose from. You’ll be able to drive your private car through this part of the park even in the summer. About an hour drive from Zion Canyon, it is well worth the trek.
Angels Landing: Lots and lots of people want to hike Angels Landing for the fantastic views and bragging rights. But if its extreme heights exposure isn’t your thing or you couldn’t get permits to do the hike, you should still make time to see this spectacularly huge rock formation that provides such amazing views from the top. Big band shuttle stop provides great views from below and scout look out and the west rim trail also have fantastic views of this iconic rock.
Zion Human History Museum: If the summer heat is beginning to wear on you, take a trip to the Zion Human History Museum that has spectacular exhibits and air conditioning. The museum focuses mostly 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, all the way to its establishment as a national park. Water is the other major theme and it is showcased both as a creator and a destroyer of this wonderful landscape.
Hiking in JUNE
Hiking is simply wonderful in June. Trails to high elevation give you amazing and panoramic views of the canyon below, alive with flora and fauna. There are also wonderful trails along the valley floor, that 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 are able to enjoy hiking in Zion. Make sure you read the current conditions for up-to-date information. As we talked about briefly in other sections, there are a plethora of trails to chose from. Pa’rus Trail is accessible to hikers, bikers, walkers, and those in wheelchairs and takes you through some of the most scenic areas of the park. The Riverwalk trail is a great option for those who don’t want to plunge into the Narrows but still want some of that slot canyon feeling. The relatively flat trail will take you along the Virgin River until the trail disappears into it at the trail head of the Narrows. Make sure to remember to look up as the cliff walls will get narrower and narrower the farther you hike. Of course, 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 in case you fall in or encounter an area where you have to 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. The 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 extreme 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 will provide permits for you along with 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 any of the stress that comes with 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 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 back country 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 important 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 back country are pre-designated and dispersed camping is only allowed in a few areas. This includes the Narrows which is a possibility for a backpacking trip as there a 12 designated sites along the river. Kolob Arch via La Verkin Creek Trail is another great option to escape some of the crowds. A Trans-Zion trek is also popular and a great way to see much of the park. Because many of these routes are so popular, it’s important to have back up plans for alternate campsites and trails if you can’t get the permits you want. In order to reduce human impact, Zion has a very strict pack-it-in, pack-it-out policy that includes all trash and food, as well as human waste. While going into the back country 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 backpacking trip.
Backpacking only intensifies the dangers of day hiking so make sure to read the section above if you’re interested in this activity. Perhaps your biggest threat in the back country are 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 with them 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 found at the visitor centers. If flash floods are possible or expected, it’s not advised to hike in those areas. You can also 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 keep watch for changes in water color or clarity, floating debris, or an increased sound of roaring water upstream. If you encounter any of 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 time of writing, another major threat to those in the back country 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 back country, 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 toxin.
Weather in JUNE
Zion is a large park with various elevations that make weather patterns vary. June is typically all around 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 3 days during the month of 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 thunder showers that will 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 are riding the shuttle bus. If you are planning to do any hiking, you should bring more water with you or be prepared to refill before going on your hike. 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. Be sure you are drinking enough water and eating enough snacks while on the trail to maintain your sodium blood level. It’s also important to know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke 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 very 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 water that you’re drinking. Because of the heat, many guests are encouraged to take a dip or swim in one of Zions rivers or creeks. At time of writing, visitors should be warned about a recent bloom of toxic cyanobacteria in the Virgin River and many of Zions other waterways. Guests should not put their head under water while in a stream as the toxin can be contracted through ingesting the water or through an opening in the skin such as eyes, nose, or ears. No commercial filtration system is known to effectively remove the toxin, so if you have to filter water to drink in the back country, do it directly from a spring. Keep all dogs and children away from the water, as these are more likely to contract the toxin from careless contact. Even though it is hot, it’s not advisable to swim in the rivers while this bacteria bloom is in effect. Check the national park website for current updates on cyanobacteria toxin. Visitors to Zion should also be aware of the park’s elevation and dryness. If you are from near or just above sea level, you will probably find yourself more quickly out of breath and tired in the park then you would be doing the same activity at home. If you’re in the park for more than a couple days, you will probably acclimate to the elevation, but make sure to factor it into your plans as your hike might take longer than it would have elsewhere. The air is also very dry and Zion, so if you’re used to humid climate it’s best to bring some lotion and prepare for dry and possibly cracked skin.
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. Probably the most commonly seen animal in the park besides squirrels is the mule deer. In June, they will be finishing their fawning season, so keep an eye out for the adorable spotted fawns. Fawns should not be disturbed if you notice one lying quietly in the grass as mom is nearby and it is simply waiting for her to return. Bighorn sheep are also fun to see in the park, mostly on the east side. Zion has a very stable and large population of bighorn sheep that can often be seen on the steep cliffs. These agile climbers are perfectly suited to life literally on the edge and it can be mesmerizing to watch them bounding around on sheer precipices. Because of the heat, all of the park’s reptiles will be about and out. Watch for small lizards earlier in the morning that are taking advantages of the early sun rays. Remember, the smaller the lizard, the less time and sunlight it takes to warm it up so that it can move quickly. Larger lizards don’t come out until the sun rays are stronger so that they can avoid becoming prey when they’re slow and sluggish. The desert short horned lizard (see left) is one of the smaller lizards that 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 some thing out of a dinosaur movie, these lizards are really neat to see. The park also has a number of snakes, the great basin rattlesnake being the only venomous one of the bunch. If you’re really lucky, you might be able to see a desert tortoise, one of Zion’s rarest reptiles. The park also plays host to 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 tend to stay away from the populated parts of the park in general. Zion has incredible biodiversity due to its unique geography and topography that allows many species to live here. If you are interested in seeing a specific animal, talk to a ranger about where the best place might be 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 have to 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 all of the headache of planning your own 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 all the logistics so that you can just sit back and enjoy your vacation. Whether you want to camp with us, stay at a lodge on an inn based tour, or just spend a single day with one of our expert guides showing you around, 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 not sure 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 get to experience the best of Angels Landing with the best local guides in the business. Enjoy tasty trail snacks and a picnic lunch to eat at the top of the world, local transportation, and included permits that you don’t have to worry about getting.
Zion Basecamp Tour: Camping in Zion is absolutely 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 mini Zion in Snow Canyon, hike the Narrows, and experience amazing 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’re looking to see it all on a trip around Utah’s spectacular national parks, then this is the tour for you. With 6 days of exploration in Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Staircase Escalante and 5 nights of stays at comfortable lodges with delicious cuisine, this trip is truly unforgettable. Desert spires, lush oases, huge 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 most epic and amazing hiking vacations in the world. 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 certain tours); meals; equipment; safety systems and professional hiking/wilderness guides; all of which allows 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.