Visiting Zion in October

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Visiting Zion in October

Learn all about what to expect visiting Zion National Park in October

October is a phenomenal time of year to visit Zion National Park. Autumn colors provide a sight that is sure to amaze you—the cottonwoods turn a dazzling yellow, and there are pockets of maples that become an enchanting red. There are many benefits to visiting Zion in October, as well as some drawbacks. Below we have categorized the most common “when-to-go” questions to help you determine if October is the best month for you to visit Zion National Park.

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Benefits of Visiting Zion in October

The biggest benefit of visiting Zion in October is the summer crowds begin to disappear, and there is a lot more breathing room in the park. The weather is still warm during the day, and gets chilly in the evening, so there are still plenty of activities you can enjoy. Anything from hiking to backpacking, rock climbing to canyoneering, and bicycling to off-roading is available for visitors.

Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the United States, then add in the beautiful autumn colors, and Zion is mind-blowing. October weather provides brilliant blue skies, and awe-inspiring red, orange and yellow cottonwoods next to the Virgin River—giving you amazing opportunities for sunrise and sunset photography. There’s nothing quite like autumn-colored leaves contrasted against the red and white sandstone cliffs.

Drawbacks of Visiting in October

The only drawback to visiting Zion in October is less daylight to enjoy the park and complete your hike. The sun rises roughly between 7:15 am and 8:00 am as the month progresses, and sets between 6:30 pm and 7:15 pm. To best utilize your time in the park, we recommend going on a guided Zion day hike, where a local Zion expert will provide fascinating geological and cultural interpretation.

Things To Do In October

October is a wonderful time of the year to go on a hike in Zion National Park — 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. The cottonwood and maple’s leaves are vividly turning red, orange and yellow, giving amazing contrast against the flowing Virgin River and the red and coral sandstone, and provide excellent opportunities for sightseeing and photography.

Autumn is also a great season to bike through Zion Canyon. Bicycles are available for rental in Springdale, and nothing beats riding through the canyon, with the crisp fall air rushing past you. Shuttle buses have bike racks on the front, so you can start or finish your ride wherever you like.


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Hiking in October

Hiking is a ideal in October— the crowds have thinned immensely, and trails to high elevation give you amazing and panoramic views of the canyon’s colors. There are also wonderful trails along the valley floor, that take you next to the rushing and cool Virgin River, and through the colorful cottonwoods. With trails that range from easy to strenuous, all ages and levels of ability are able to enjoy hiking in Zion. You can read our list of best trails in Zion for recommendations. Make sure you read the current conditions for information on trail closures.

October is a great time of the year for backpacking— since most visitors are doing day hikes, the backcountry provides the opportunity for solitude and peace while experiencing tremendous red rock cliffs and out-of-this-world rock formations. Read our page about backpacking permits for information on planning a backpacking trip.

Camping-based 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.

Day hiking tours are great for those who want to maximize their limited time in park, while gaining knowledge from a local and experienced guide.

Weather in October

Weather in Zion during the month of January is typically cold and wet. The average temperature for Zion Canyon is a high of 52, and a low of 29 degrees Fahrenheit (11/-1 degrees Celsius). In Kolob Canyons, the average temperature is a high of 52, and a low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit (11/-2 degrees Celsius). On average, it rains or snows 7 days in January.

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.


  • 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.