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
March, April and October are generally mild-weathered shoulder seasons. Winter months (November-February) see 14% of Arches’ annual visitation. From April 3 to October 3, 2022, daytime visitors to Arches National Park will need a timed entry ticket so be sure to make your reservation in advance.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon experiences significantly less traffic in the spring and fall months. This park is a stand-out winter destination known for snow-dusted red rock and winter activities, plus winter months (November-February) see only 9% of annual visitation.
Canyonlands National Park
Due to extreme heat and the prevalence of long hikes and backpacking trips, even the busiest unit of this park (Island in the Sky) sees significantly less traffic in the summer months. Summer travelers need to be prepared for extreme weather conditions, including flash floods. Winter months (November-February) see 12% of annual visitation.
Capitol Reef National Park
Despite having more moderate temperatures in the summer months, this park sees significantly less traffic than other national parks in the summer months. Winter months (November-February) see 10% of annual visitation.
Zion National Park
Even when it's less busy, Zion can be as busy as other national parks at their peak season. This park manages congestion by utilizing a shuttle system and permits for certain hikes. Winter months (November-February) see 17% of annual visitation.
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.
- Arches National Park
- Colorado River Rafting Trips
- Delicate Arch
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Manti-La Sal National Forest
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!
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12
- Guided Hikes in Bryce Canyon
- Stargazing Bryce Canyon
- Hoodoo Filled Red Rock Desert
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.
- Canyonlands National Park
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Bears Ears National Monument
- Natural Bridges National Monument
- Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
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!
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Stargazing Capitol Reef
- Explore the town of Torrey, Utah
- Fremont Indian State Park
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.
- The Watchman Trail
- Grafton Ghost Town
- St. George and Snow Canyon State Park
- Brian Head to Dixie National Forest
- Slot Canyon Adventures Near Kanab
Forever Mighty Travel Tips
How to Backcountry Camp Responsibly
Four tips on how to camp more thoughtfully and responsibly in Utah's backcountry.
How to Camp on Utah’s BLM Lands
Read these insights and tips gathered from a novice’s first-ever camping trip on BLM and public lands to gain the confidence you need to recreate happily and respectfully on Utah’s public lands.
How to Poop in the Outdoors
Before heading off on that multi-day backpack, river or rock climbing trip, set aside your squeamishness and think about a responsible plan for when nature inevitably calls.