Top Tips on How to Visit Zion Like a Local

Interest rates skyrocking blog

Whether you’re planning your first visit or you’re a seasoned visitor to Southern Utah, there are plenty of common mistakes you’ll want to avoid. Zion has a reputation for seeing high crowd numbers during the busiest times of year, like the middle of summer and around the holidays. But with a little smart planning and a few tips—and e-bike rentals from Greater Zion E-bikes—it’s easy to learn how to visit Zion like a local and make the most of your next visit.

Ready to get planning? Keep reading to learn the top tips for how to visit Zion like a local.

Visit Outside of the Summer Season

It likely comes as no surprise that the majority of Zion’s annual visitors make their way to the park during the summer months. After all, this is when most people choose to take their vacations, and kids are often off of school. Unfortunately, this means that this season can get very busy. Particularly during June and July and around the weekends, you can expect crowds to descend on Zion. This can result in lines to ride the shuttle buses and crowding on popular trails.

July alone sees an average of nearly 560,000 visitors to the park, or around 13 percent of Zion’s annual visitors. June also sees another 13 percent, with around 530,000 visitors making their way through the park’s gates.

If this is the only time that you can squeeze in a getaway, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy an incredible visit to the park. However, if you do have some flexibility in when you can travel, consider booking a visit during the off-season.

Ask any local, and they’ll no doubt tell you that late fall to early spring is some of the best times to visit the park. You’ll find fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, and no less fun. While days may be shorter, you’ll get more done when you aren’t facing crowded trails. Many hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals offer discounted rates and deals this time of year as well. While some business hours may be shortened, most tour companies still offer daily excursions and adventures. Of course, you can still rent your favorite Zion e-bikes all year long!

Don’t Let Cool Temps or a Little Rain Scare You Away

Another tip on how to visit Zion like a local is to never let a little rain or a cooler day scare you away from visiting the park!

Winters in Zion are fairly mild. The coldest month of the year is January, with average daily highs in the 40s and daily average lows in the 20s. Southern Utah doesn’t see a lot of annual precipitation. February sees the most rain and snow, averaging just over an inch throughout the month.

But if you happen to find yourself facing a particularly cool or wet day in Zion, don’t assume this means that you’ll be stuck in your hotel room. If you don’t mind getting a little wet and have the right gear, you can still enjoy an amazing visit to the park. The locals know that the less-than-ideal days in the park are also the least crowded. If you bundle up against the cold or throw on a rain jacket, you might just have some of the park’s most popular trails or overlooks all to yourself!

Skip the Shuttles Buses

The Zion shuttle buses are important for protecting and preserving the park. They help to alleviate parking issues and traffic in the Lower Canyon, while still allowing guests to get around. However, they can also make exploring the park a bit more difficult and time-consuming.

If you really want to learn how to visit Zion like a local, the most important thing you’ll want to do is ditch the shuttle buses. One option is to visit during the short window in the winter when the buses aren’t in operation. Or, you can use an e-bike rental to zip through the park without buses or lines any time of year!

Arrive at the Park Early and Stay Late

Because most guests are tied to the Zion Canyon Shuttle schedule, you’ll see more visitors in the park during the middle of the day.

No matter what time of year you plan to visit Zion, getting to the park as early as possible and leaving late can help you beat out some crowds on popular trails and overlooks. Even if you simply plan to enjoy an e-bike ride through the park, aiming to do so early in the morning or in the late evening before the sun goes down is a great way to enjoy better views and less traffic.

Get Off the Beaten Path

Don’t take this tip literally—it’s important to never wander off of designated trails and walkways. What this means, instead, is that locals know that while Zion’s most popular trails are special, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Many of these overlooked trails offer equally stunning views but with far fewer crowds.

Learning How to Visit Zion Like a Local

If you want to make the most of your next visit, learning how to visit Zion like a local is a great start. From beating the crowds to using an e-bike rental from Greater Zion E-Bikes, these tips can help you avoid some of the common mistakes first-time visitors tend to make.

Ready to start planning your next Zion adventure? Click to learn what you need to know about biking in Zion National Park.