Be Prepared As you visit, do your part to keep Utah Forever Mighty. Learn more
Escalante River   |  Ryan Salm

Planning For Southern Utah's Busy Season

Southern Utah's celebrated parks draw millions of visitors seeking red rock trails, canyons and arches. These destinations are worth it, but when they're overly busy, it's good to have additional options in mind. In fact, these less-visited areas provide a well-rounded trip and solitude that's essential to getting the most out of your Utah trip. Instead of rushing through a weekend itinerary, slow down, try somewhere new and see where the adventure takes you.

Keep Utah Forever Mighty

How to Avoid Crowds

The Mighty 5® national parks draw millions of visitors to Southern Utah annually, but just outside their boundaries state parks, national monuments, wilderness areas and national forests promise comparable views and recreation. Visiting Southern Utah is a regional experience, and the best experience will flow inside and outside of national parks. 

If you are planning to visit one of the busier parks, be aware that holidays are popular visitation times. Between May and September you might consider visiting a less-populated destination or trail during the peak hours of the day. Visiting early in the morning or even after sunset for stargazing is a great option. All parks and monuments are accessible 24/7. 

Crowds are common in Utah’s popular natural destinations. Remember that anytime you are in a crowd, you are the crowd. A little patience and understanding will go a long way! And don't forget, Southern Utah is just as beautiful in the winter when solitude abounds.

Best Time to Visit

Arches National Park is a red rock paradise — and also a very popular destination. Early morning and late afternoon typically offer fewer crowds, shorter lines, easier parking, cooler temperatures and “golden light” for photographers.

The most popular trails in Zion, including The Narrows, are located in Zion Canyon. But there are several less crowded hiking options located in Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner of the park. Well-prepared travelers can also enjoy The Narrows in winter.

Photo: Hage Photo

How to Visit More Remote Areas

Outside of Utah's national parks, you'll find fewer crowds and plentiful wide-open spaces, but you may also find more limited services and remote wilderness. Before you hit the road to any unknown area, make sure to plan ahead and be aware of potential hazards. Or, go with a guide. Being prepared can help you, help others. 

Tips for Prepared Travel Go With a Guide

Beyond National Parks

See All Itineraries

01

4 Days

The Complete Arches Trip

Discover a new side of Arches National Park with this four day itinerary. Start exploring the hidden gems in the Arches region today.

Hiking, Scenic Drives/Road Trips

Highlights

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02

4 Days

The Complete Bryce Canyon Trip

Planning a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park? Explore these local-favorite destinations in the Bryce Canyon region to make the most of your trip!

Hiking, Scenic Drives/Road Trips

Highlights

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03

5 Days

The Complete Canyonlands Trip

The Canyonlands Region of Utah combines the best of the Moab area's easy proximity to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park's most accessible district with some of the United State's most remote and culturally significant landscapes.

Hiking, Scenic Drives/Road Trips

Highlights

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04

5 Days

The Complete Capitol Reef Trip

Planning a trip to Capitol Reef National Park? Explore these local-favorite destinations in the Capitol Reef region to make the most of your trip!

Hiking, Scenic Drives/Road Trips

Highlights

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05

6 Days

The Complete Zion Trip

Tucked into the southwest corner of Utah, Zion National Park is the centerpiece for a 6-day red-rock vacation that includes a little bit of everything that makes the state such a marvel to experience.

Ghost Towns, Hiking, Scenic Drives/Road Trips

Highlights

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