A Guide on What to Pack for Zion National Park in 2024

by ilive4travel

Published on Mar 27, 2024

It can be hard to know What to pack for Zion National Park and how to dress for zion national park as the weather is different all year.  Visiting Zion National Park in September was a great time to visit and previously I had been travelling all around the US before I picked up a car in Las Vegas to head to Zion National Park.

Zion for me was one of my favourite parks to visit in the US.  It is 1 of 5 national parks in Utah, it’s also very easy to get around with the Zion national park shuttle dropping you off at trailheads and not having the headache of trying to park.  I spent 2 days in Zion National Park and loved the time I spent there.

In September in Zion it was warm during the day, but a little cool in the mornings and evenings and if you were in the shade it could be a cool too.  It was hard to know what to wear zion national park but its best to make sure you take layers with you so if it does start getting a little cool then you can easily put something on to keep warm.

If you are planning a trip to Zion National Park, then read below what to bring to zion national park for a hike and what to wear to the park.  This is based on what you will need for the day after having left your accommodation or campsite and what to wear hiking in summer.  If you are planning on visiting Utah and Zion National Park in winter, then you will need more layers and be dressed for the cold as it is much cooler and can be very cold on an evening.

a view of zion canyon as you walk along the riverside walk, you can see the trees in front and the burnt red cliffs of the canyon on either side

The first thing you need to do before doing any hiking or exploring the park is stop in at the visitors centre and check the weather for the day, especially if you want to hike The Narrows as you do not want to be caught in a flash flood.  It can be beautiful weather in the park but upstream there could of been rain.  I actually witnessed a flash flood the day I was there and just as I was leaving the park and it has made me very wary of being anywhere near rivers, especially if rain is forecast anywhere near.

At the visitors centre too, you can get a map and plan which hikes you have time for, depending on your length of stay at the park.

 

Tips for surviving Zion National Park

  • Check with the visitors centre for the weather that day and that no flash floods are expected
  • Make sure you take enough layers, it can be cold in the mornings and at dusk especially during Spring, Autumn and Winter
  • Make sure you have good sturdy walking boots that you have already worn in, the paths in places can be quite slippery so a good pair of boots is essential
  • Make sure you are wearing good hiking socks, this can save you from a lot of pain with blisters
  • If you plan to hike the narrows, make sure you have water shoes.  In places you can be walking up to your chest in the river and standard boots can be slippy underwater and will take a long time to dry if they get wet.
  • Make sure you take plenty of water with you and that you restock at the water filling stations around the park, it is easy to get dehydrated when you are hiking and not just in the hot weather in summer
  • Make sure you are carrying a torch with you, just in case you find yourself in the park after dark and need to find your way back to the road
  • Make sure to have your Angels Landing permit, if you want to hike Angels Landing

What to wear Hiking in Zion National Park – Zion Clothing and Footwear

This Zion National Park packing list is based on what I took with me and what I saw other people wearing and wish I had with me.  We learn through our experiences and others!!  Here is your zion national park hiking gear list for what to bring on a hike.

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  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Thick Jacket – If you are visiting in Spring/Fall then the weather can be a little cooler so a thicker jacket may be needed.
  • Fleece – It’s best to use layers so that you can keep warm in different temperatures.
  • Quick Drying hiking Pants
  • Leggings – For women that prefer leggings for hiking
  • Shorts for hiking Narrows or if its a hot day, though the weather can change quickly and in the shade it can be cooler
  • Hiking headband
  • Sunhat or Cap – This is an essential in your zion national park clothing as the sun can beat down and especially in summer it is very easy to get burnt quickly.
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking Boots
  • Hiking Socks –  Good hiking socks are needed when hiking zion national park
  • Water shoes – These are the best shoes for hiking the narrows zion national park as you cannot do in flip flops.
  • Neoprene Socks – These are an alternative for zion narrow shoes to the ones above for hiking the zion narrows neoprene socks.
Zion canyon with steep cliffs a brown and white colour with trees at the bottom of the canyon

What to wear to Zion National Park – Zion Gear List

Packing List for Zion National Park – Toiletries Packing Lists

Things to bring to Zion National Park – Snacks and Water

Make sure you pack enough food, snacks and water for the day. You never know if you might get stuck somewhere or a hike may take longer than you expect so always be prepared.  Plenty of protein bars, apples and cookies to keep the energy levels up.

If you are planning on doing some of the strenuous hikes then you need a minimum of 2 litres of water.  At the final shuttle stop before the hike to The Narrows Utah there is drinking water, also at The Grotto and Zion Lodge, so make sure to top up your water when you are at these stops.  If you are doing hikes near the river then it’s a good idea to have the best filtered water bottle for travel as then you can use the river water to drink if you run out.

If you want to eat inside the park the only place with food is Zion Lodge Zion national park.  It is best to make sure you bring with you enough food and snacks for the day.

Remember to ALWAYS take out of the park any rubbish/trash.

Summary of things to pack for Zion National Park

  • Food – lunch
  • Snacks – Protein bars, bananas, cookies
  • Water – minimum 2 litres

National Park Pass

If you are planning to visit a few of the National Parks in Utah then it is worth investing in a National Park pass. Entry to Zion & Bryce are $35 each and you can buy an annual pass for entry to all National Parks for $80, meaning that just by visiting 3 parks in a year you will have saved money!!

Passes are available to buy either at the entrance to the park or are available to buy online, in advance of your trip.  You cannot skip the queue with the pass, but you don’t need to worry about taking the time to pay and if everyone had a pass, entry into parks would be much quicker.

Permit to hike Angels Landing

Since 1st April 2022 Zion has decided to implement the Angels Landing permit system to hike Angel’s Landing due to the overcrowding on the trail.  A permit is required from Scout’s lookout for the 0.5 mile hike across the chained section to the final viewpoint of Angel’s Landing.

On the day you will need to make sure that you have your permit downloaded or printed and identification with you as you will need to show a ranger at either The Grotto or Scout’s lookout.  You need to make sure that you are at the Grotto at the time printed on your permit to start the hike.

You can apply at the seasonal lottery or the day before lottery, though in the busy periods it is not guaranteed you will be able to go.  Apply online and click on the correct dates you want the permit and then on the next page click Register for Lottery and apply there.  There is a $6 fee for applying and if you are successful you will be charged $3 per person.

What to wear in Zion National Park in September

If you are visiting Zion National Park in September and wondering what to wear to zion national park in September then you need to know the temperature Zion park is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) during the day and it will drop down to around 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 Celsius) during the night.  This means that it will be cooler on a morning and before sunset, so make sure you take layers and a warm fleece to ensure you do not get cold.

zion canyon with the cliffs in the distance and lots of trees on the canyon bottom

What to wear in Zion National Park in October

If you plan to visit Zion National Park in October then you need to plan for the Zion National Park weather in October which has now dropped cool.  During the day it will be around 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 Celsius) and around 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 celsius) on a night.  What to pack for Zion in October?  You will need to make sure that you have plenty of layers, a thick fleece and warm jacket especially around sunset and early morning especially if you are planning to hike angels landing zion.

What to wear to Zion in November

Wanting to know what to wear hiking in Zion National Park in November?  Well by then the Zion weather temperatures have reduced considerably.  Its around 56 degrees (13 Celsius) during the day and 31 degrees (-1 Celsius) at night.  You need to make sure you have a warm jacket, hat, gloves and plenty of layers.  If it’s a sunny day then you make get warm hiking and want to reduce the number of layers you are wearing.  Make sure you have a backpack to store the clothes and have plenty of snacks and water to keep you going.

What to wear to Zion National Park in July

If you planning on visiting Zion National Park in July then you need to know that the weather in zion utah in July is the hottest month of the year with average temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius).  If you are planning on hiking in zion in july then know that on some of the trails in the sun temperatures can reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius).  You will need to make sure that you cover up wearing as much as you can and ensure that you are wearing a sunhat, have applied sunscreen and have plenty of water to last the hike you are doing until you can refill your water bottle.  Ideally it would be best to have a camelback backpack as this way you can carry more water.

What to pack for Zion National Park in Summer

If you are travelling to Zion National Park in Summer then it is best to take light layers, in July, August, September the temperatures can be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit on some of the exposed trails and as it is the desert you can be exposed to the sun a lot of the time.  Make sure that you have plenty of water with you or a water filter bottle that you could use to fill up in the river if necessary and cover your head with a hat and your skin with long layers but also make sure you have a high factor of sunscreen as sun stroke is a real possibility in these temperatures.

What to pack for Zion National Park in Winter

Winter is a nice time of year to enjoy Zion, though you can experience snow, making some of the trails like Angel’s landing more dangerous to attempt to do as it can be difficult to see the path.  Also in winter the temperature in The Narrows in the water is going to be a lot cooler.  Make sure you wear fully waterproof trousers and shoes to keep warm during this time.  It is possible to rent this equipment in Springdale if you don’t have and don’t want to buy.

Make sure you are wearing lots of layers and have fleeces and a warm waterproof jacket, in the early mornings and late afternoons it will be cooler, though during the day with the sun out, it will feel quite warm and you will want to reduce the amount of layers that you are using.

Can you bring food into Zion National Park?

Yes you can bring food into Zion National Park, the only place within Zion to buy food is at Zion Lodge and this may not be a place that you plan to stop during your trip, so I would definitely stop at one of the many shops outside the park in Springdale and pick something up to bring with you into the park.  It’s important to make sure you are carrying enough food and snacks for the time that you plan to be in the park.

The Narrows Clothing – What to wear hiking The Narrows

If you are hiking The Zion Narrows day hike then you will need to make sure you are wearing shorts or short trousers and make sure you bring a change of clothes in case you need to get up to your waist or higher in the water.

It is also a good idea not to wear hiking shoes for the narrows but to get either some water shoes to hike the narrows or some neoprene socks for hiking the narrows.  The river is rocky and so you will need some shoes or socks for hiking the narrows that are made for hiking in water. Water shoes and neoprene socks are made for this purpose and you will be able to walk in safety and comfort.

Where to stay near Zion National Park

It is possible to visit Zion National Park from Las Vegas as a day trip and stay in Las Vegas, but it is about a 2 hour 45 minutes drive, meaning that you would need to leave early to see as much of the park as possible while you have day light.  It would be better to do this during summer when we have more day light hours.

There is only one hotel within Zion National Park and that is Zion Lodge, you can choose to stay in a room in the main lodge or to rent one of the cabins on site, there is a restaurant and cafe for you to eat at, so you don’t need to leave the park at all during your trip.

Springdale is the city closest to Zion National Park and is located just outside the park, with a shuttle bus operating through the town and to the park.  It is quick and easy to get to the park, with other towns being at least 40-50 minutes drive away.  This is the best option for places to stay near Zion National Park and the town itself is quite small with lots of restaurants, coffee shops, diner and boutique stores.

Suggested Travel Reading:

If you want to read more about what to do in Zion the check out Lonely Planet Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon National Parks or if you plan on visiting more National Park’s then the Moon USA’s 63 National Parks.

Still planning your trip to Zion, then don’t forget to check out our Zion National Park Travel Guides below:

I hope you find this guide useful on Zion National Park clothing and gear you need.  If there is anything you think I need to add to the list then drop me a note below.

 

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A pin created for what to pack for Zion National Park, showing a picture of a girl looking at a view of Zion Canyon with steep cliffs in white and orange, with some parts green where trees and bushes have grown

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girl sat on some wooden stairs wearing a black jumper

Clare from Ilive4travel

Hi my name is Clare and welcome to ilive4travel.  I am originally from the UK but spend most of my time in Peru, the country that caught my heart.

I have visited 73 countries and love to share with you everything I have learnt about these countries in my guides.

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1 Comment

  1. Linda

    This is a good list to prepare people for Zion. We found that the temperatures varied greatly through the day. The darker canyons were quite cold. And walking in the water was a real additional consideration. Especially if there was no sun and things did not dry well.

    Reply

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