Visiting Zion in September

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Visiting Zion in September

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

September is a great time of year to visit Zion National Park. The valley of Zion Canyon is booming with life, and the cool Virgin River is an oasis in the hot desert. There are many benefits to visiting Zion in September, as well as some drawbacks. Below we have categorized the most common “when-to-go” questions to help you determine if September is the best month for you to visit Zion National Park.

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Benefits of Visiting Zion in September

The biggest benefit of visiting Zion in September is the wide array of activities you can enjoy. Anything from hiking to backpacking, rock climbing to canyoneering, and bicycling to off-roading is available for visitors. The weather is very warm in September, although as the month progresses, the weather gets crisper and more fall-like. September weather is accompanied by beautiful and clear blue skies, and provides amazing opportunities for sunrise and sunset photography.

Drawbacks of Visiting in September

The biggest drawback of visiting Zion in September is the crowds. Summer is the busiest season in Zion National Park, with spring and fall visitation following closely behind. This could mean long lines for the shuttle buses, limited parking inside the park, and long waits on trails. To avoid the stress of navigating the busy National Park by yourself, we recommend booking a trip with a Zion tour company.

If summer or early fall is the only time of year that you can make it to Zion, here are some tips to lessen the impact of the crowds, and enjoy the park:

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. Whereas, Kolob Canyons are in a more isolated area of the park, provide incredible and unique views, and is 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 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 September

September 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 weather is hot, so pack plenty of water and salty snacks; and the trails can be crowded—take an introspective look on how well you tolerate crowds, and plan on getting to the park early so you can beat the heat and crowds.

Bicycling through Zion Canyon is phenomenal in September, letting you avoid the crowds of the shuttle bus, while feeling the crisp fall air whoosh past you as you cruise down the road without cars. Shuttle buses have bike racks in front if you wish to take your bicycle on them. Be sure to check out our best tours page for more details about the activities offered in Zion in September.


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Hiking in September

Hiking is a great activity to do in Zion in September—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 and cool Virgin River, through the thriving cattails and 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.

September 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 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 September

September is typically still very warm in Zion National Park. 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. Many of the shuttle stops have potable water, so you can fill up before heading out on a hike. The average temperature for Zion Canyon in September is a high of 91, and a low of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (33/15 degrees Celsius). In Kolob Canyons, the average temperature is a high of 80, and a low of 51 degrees Fahrenheit (26/10 degrees Celsius). On average, it rains 4 days during the month of September. Zion experiences a monsoon season mid-July to mid-September, always check the weather before starting on a trail, and know the risks of a flashflood.

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.