Want to know what to pack for Zion National park? This Zion Packing list tells you EXACTLY what to pack and what to wear in Zion National Park no matter whether you are traveling in Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall.
Zion National Park is a relatively difficult park to pack for as it has quite extreme seasons. In fact there are definitely easier and more pleasant times to visit than others.
Most visitors to Zion National Park tend to visit between the months of April and November. While during the Winter (classified as December, January and February), you may find the weather too cold to enjoy the park especially in places sich as the Narrows. In this guide we will tell you what to wear and what to pack for Zion during the peak and off peak season including:
But with our Zion packing list we aim to take the stress out of visiting Zion National Park ihatever time of year you are visiting. In this guide we will tell you
- What the weather is like in Zion month by month
- What to wear in Zion for hiking, water activities and more and
- other travel essentials to pack for Zion National Park.
Note: this Zion packing list is not intended as a Zion camping packing list, instead for those spending their days in the park. If you plan to camp in the national park check out this post.
Weather in Zion National Park by Season
But before we get into what to wear and travel essentials for Zion National Park it is important to know what the weather is going to be like.
Summer in Zion is when you will see the crowds and the temperatures soar in Zion. Summer is classified as June, July and August with July and August being the hottest months.
During Summer you can expect temperatures to range from average lows of 50F to highs of 100F. But out in the desert with little to no shade trust me it can feel even hotter. With thse temperatures it is therefore important to have light layers made of natural fabrics which are breathable in the heat.
It is also worth pointing out from Mid July through to September is monsoon season in Zion. Therefore during this period it is importnat to have some waterproof wear with you and it is important to be aware of flooding and any advisories.
The shoulder seasons of Fall and Spring are classified as September, October and November, and March, April and May respectively. In most of these months the average high are in the 70s and 80s with May and September by being the hottest and March and November considerably lower with average highs of 60s and 70sF.
Zion in Winter (considered as DEcember, January and February) however experiences average highs only in the 50s F.
What to wear in Zion National Park (year round)
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So now you know about the weather, we will tell you what to wear in Zion no matter the time of year you are travel before we look at Winter specifically.
It is also worth noting that while we traditionally create packing lists separated out by gender to allow for dress codes and fashion, however practicality is key to any Zion packing list so this list is universal.
But for Zion we recommend packing:
Layers are your best friend in Zion. As although the temperatures get very high in the afternoon, if can feel very chilly when you are out early in the morning. For this reason we recommend always having an outfit for Zion that contains lots of light layers.
I also always travel to all National parks with a fleeve as a top layer. These pack away into day packs easily but also are quick drying should you get wet while out on a hike.
T shirts are my favorite base layer for Zion no matter what time of year you are visiting. However for summer be sure that they are made of natural fabric to help reduce sweating.
For all national parks I recommend wearing convertible walking trousers. These can be worn as full length trousers during early mornings. However by the time the sun comes up you will want to have shorts.
We also recommend having some other shorts with you such as quick dry shorts which are good for hikes that involve water.
Although it is hot in summer it is still worth having a pack away jacket with you. As you won’t need this all the time in Zion be sure to pick a jacket that can be packed away really easily.
The sun can be strong in Zion so we recommend having a hat with a wide brim or a baseball cap to protect your eyes.
Even though the temperatures are high, we prefer hiking boots over sandals in Zion especially if you plan to hike the Narrows. And if you are wearing hiking boots you will also want good quality hiking socks with you which can help prevent blisters.
However if you just plan on wearking sneakers then sneaker socks may be more appropriate.
Best Shoes to wear in Zion National Park
So now you know what to wear, we turn our attention to footwear.
Now not every national park visit will need hiking boots, however Zion is definitely a park I recommend packing hiking boots for. However just be sure to pack a light weigh pair that are breathable and are good for hot weather.
On top of hiking boots I also recommend packing sneakers. I like to wear these in towns around Zion and in the Visitor Center.
I personally like boots over sandals as they offer more protection for your feet. However if you aren’t concerned for this and want to keep your feet cool then walking sandals are a great pick. My favorite brand of walking sandals are Teva.
What to wear in Zion National Park in Winter
My what to wear in Zion National Park in Winter actually has a lot of overlaps with the items we put on our packing list for any other time of year.
The main difference is in the thickness and amount of items. For instance I still recommend bringing a jacket, however as the temperatures peak in the 50s F you will want a thicker and warmer jacket with you than just a pack away one.
I also recommend buying fleece lined pants instead of convertible walking trousers for extra protection against the cold. And if you don’t have these or don’t want to buy new ones, I recommend wearing leggings under your walking trousers.
On top of these layers we also recommend having a hat, scarf and gloves with you for cold days in the park.
What to pack for Zion National Park packing list
Any day we spend in a national park we take and pack a day pack. My favorite backpack brand is Columbia but this is a purely personal choice. If you are traveling to Zion in Winter or during the Monsoon season then we also recommend packing a waterproof rain cover for your backpack too to ensure your stuff stays dry if you get caught in a downpout.
Days are long in Zion and cell phone reception is sporadic at best. This combined with using your phone for photos, maps and searching for signal mean your battery will drain quickly. For this reason we recommend having a fully charged power bank with you to recharge your phone during the day.
The sun can be strong in Zion. For this reason we recommend packing a good quality sun screen with you even if you are hiking in Winter.
It is important to protect your eyes from the Sun even in Winter, so no matter when you are visiting Zion be sure to add sunglasses to your packing list.
Reusable Water Bottle and Extra Water
We recommend always having a reuable water bottle for national parks however this is especially important if you are visiting Zion in Summer.
Coffee Thermos and Mug
Your days start early in Zion National Park to beat the crowds and the heat. To make the early start easier we recommend packing a coffee thermos and mug so you can get your caffeine hit in the park.
Refreshment stops are limited in Zion so we recommend taking plenty of snacks into the park with you and potentially a packed lunch also.
First Aid Kit
Although no one wants to use a first aid kit on vacation, it is a good idea to pack a first aid kit with you on any national park vacation just in case especially if you plan on going on more remote hikes..
Whether this is a downloaded map on your phone or a physical one it is worth having a map with you that shows the trailheads you plan on taking.
Zion is absolutely breathtaking so trust me when I say that you will want a camerawith you.
Toilet Paper, Hand Sanitizer and a She wee
The toilets in any national park outside of the main visitor center tend to be pretty primitive. For this reason we recommend packing toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a she wee with you.
What not to pack for Zion National Park
So now you know what to pack for Joshua Tree, we will turn our attention to what not to pack.
Synthetic fabrics are not your friend in Zion National Park, especially if you are visiting in summer or the shoulder seasons. Synthetic fabrics make you sweat more and this is something you definitely do not want in summer.
Drones are classified as unmanned aircrafts and are as such prohibited from being flown in the park boundaries.
Complete Zion Packing Checklist
- T Shirts
- Hiking Boots
- Shoes – either sneakers or hiking sandals
- sun protection
- coffee thermos and mug
- resuable water bottle
- first aid kit
FAQs about what to pack for Zion National Park
So now you have your general Zion National Park we will answer your frequently asked questions:
What to wear for hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park?
The Narrows is a hike in Zion that is on many people’s bucket list. If you are hiking the Narrows then you should wear:
- Closed Toe Shoes such as hiking boots – much of this hike is through a river with a rocky river bed so you want closed toe shoes to protect your feet. Alternatively you can rent water hiking shoes from one of the rentals in Zion / Springdale.
- Neoprene Socks – as your feet may get wet neoprone socks can help keep your feet dry and comfortable.
- Quick Dry Clothes – you will get wet on this walk so having quick drying clothes is an absolute must.
- Hat and sunglasses – it is important to protect your skin and eyes from the sun no matter what time of year you visit the park.
On top of these you may want to also pack
- Walking Sticks
- Backpack with Waterproof Bag
- Plenty of Sun Protection
- Adequate Water and Snacks ( DO NOT drink water from the river it is not safe).
What to wear in Springdale?
Springdale is the nearest town to Zion and is a popular choice for accomodation if you decide not to stay in the park. However the good news is Springdale isn’t a particularly formal place therefore you can wear trousers and nice tops easily when going out for dinner in the town.
Further National Park Reading
And if you plan on visiting other national parks be sure to check out our other national park guides:
- What to wear in Arches National Park
- Joshua Tree Packing List
- What to wear to Yellowstone National Park in Summer
- What to wear in Yosemite National Park in Summer
What else would you add to this list? And if you have any questions leave them in the comments below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.