Zion National Park is a lovely place to visit during spring. April is many people’s favorite time of the year to hike in the Zions. During Spring, Zion is not very crowded, the trees are bright green and the weather, mild and encouraging. If you are planning on going to Zion National Park this Spring, you need to be prepared and informed to ensure that your adventure will be memorable and fun. Below is a guide to all you need to know before embarking on hiking Zion in April.
April is the wettest season in Zion National Park and the weather fluctuates unpredictably at this time of year. Maximum temperatures average at 90°F while minimum temperatures average at 34°F. However, these might vary due to changes in elevation and time of day. It is therefore advisable for you to dress in layers and carry something heavy for the colder times of the day. In April, There are high chances of rainfall and it is advisable for you to carry a light rain coat and mud boots that are water resistant since it will likely be muddy. It is advisable to avoid the Narrows at this time of the year since they are still very chilly and may not make for a conducive hike unless you are looking to challenge yourself.
If you are planning on spending the night in the park, it is advisable to prepare for chilly nights. It is reported that in some areas of the park, there are still patches of snow that has not yet cleared from winter and therefore you should expect chilly conditions especially at night.
Popular Trails to Consider
When Hiking in Zion National Park in April, the following trails are most advisable
The Zion Narrows
Especially if the flow rate of the water is low, this is the most recommended trail. In April, the water levels are slightly high and may not be recommended for everyone but it is a true adventure to wade in the waters of the narrows with the epic views. Take this trial and you will be among the many people who consider it a bucket-list-worthy trail.
A word of caution: if you take this trail in March or early April, you will be in the water 90% of the time and some sections will have strong flows. You need to have the right gear to avoid getting wet. You can rent dry suits for a few bucks outside the park if you prefer not owning your own wet-suit but if you are planning on taking on a number of hikes on similar trails, you may consider purchasing one for yourself. In addition to this, you would also need to keep your footing in the slippery trails by wearing Neoprene Socks that will help you not to slip when your inner shoe gets wet. As they very likely will in that wreather.
This trail offers a scenic walk with a challenging incline which is eased by switchbacks which allow you to catch your breath. Many say that getting to the top of Angels Landing is their most fulfilling feat ever. Many call the last leg of the climb as a scary one if you are afraid of heights but it it a hike that challenges a person to the core. Since the first part of the hike is the hardest, it is advised that you start early (latest 8am) so as to be done with this first section before the sun shines bright and the walk becomes more grueling and also to avoid crowds.
Make sure you carry a camera with when hiking Zion in April because you will experience the most incredible view over the Zion canyon at the end of the hike with the green foliage of spring garnishing your view. If you make it to the top of Angel’s Landing, You will be offered a view that you will not forget for a very long time.
Make sure to carry lots of water to hydrate along the way. Consider taking a hydration pack with you to help you keep your fluid levels in the right place. Spring temperatures may not be as high as summer but the exertion may leave you dehydrated of you are not careful.
Canyon Overlook Trail
One of the easier trails to hike in Spring at Zion National Park, many describe it as a mild walk that offers a beautiful view of the Canyon. The trail is short and has a number of drop-offs and scary ledges. However, they are well guarded and therefore pose little risk to the hiker.
This is the perfect hike for people of all ages who would like to enjoy scenery without the long trek to get to it. It is recommended when planning a mild Zion hike in April.
However, having said this, I would would advise that you don’t underestimate the trail and try it without the proper equipment especially the right footwear. The reason I say this is because, you will be walking in uneven ground and you better it carry flip flops since you heard that the hike is mild. It may be an easy hike but you definitely need to take caution since this is still the great outdoors.
Zion National Park Hiking Insider Secrets
How to Avoid Crowds when hiking Zion in April
Zion National Park is the most popular hiking destination in Utah so you can be sure that if you are thinking of going hiking, there are many who have the same idea and will be traveling at the same time as you. to avoid encountering crowds, you need to follow the following tips:
- Leave at the Crack of Dawn: When getting out on your hike, leave as early possible. This will give you a lead and you will not have to wait at the bottle necks like the free mandatory shuttle bus that accesses the main Zion canyon.
- Take the Trails less Traveled: Consider taking trails that are less popular and therefore less crowded. The beauty of Hiking in the Zion National Park is that the entire landscape is so beautiful that even if you take a less popular trail, you will still enjoy the beauty of the place. Trails to consider are:
- Watchman trail
- Observation Point
- Emerald Pools
- Travel in Early Spring: The fact that you are considering to travel in spring to the Zions will help you avoid challenges with crowding since its not attractive to everyone at this time due to its Fluctuating weather.
Camping in Zion
There are three camping grounds in Zion National Park.
- South Campground
- Watchman Campground
- Lavapoint Campground
Most of the camping grounds in Zion are full before noon and one needs to make a reservation to ensure that you have a spot. Otherwise, it is wise to come as early as possible so as not to be disappointed. The park also has a park-wide camping limit of 14 nights across all camps from March to November.
In addition to the Park’s Campgrounds, there are several private campgrounds within short distance of the Park so just in case you are stuck without a space to camp, you can check them out.
Easy Day Hike Ideas
Below are trails that you should consider if you are considering an easy trail that you can complete in a day without much strain.
- Emeralds Pools Trail: This is a trail that is easy for a family and can be completed without much strain. It takes about an hour to complete and is about 2 miles long. The Upper Emerald pool gives a picturesque view of a breathtaking waterfall. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can combine this with a more challenging hike like Angel’s Landing that is described above in greater detail.
- Weeping Rock Trail: This trail is also short ( 0.4 mile (0.6 km) round-trip) and also a good hike for a family. Especially if you are unable to make a strenuous hike. This trail is even more spectacular when doing the hike in Winter when the Weeping Rock freeze over or during summer when there are beautiful hanging gardens. However, the views on this hike are nice and the distance short enough for it to be worth it.
- Riverside Walk: This is another easy hike in Zion National Park that is about 2 miles long and that will take about 1.5 hours to complete. This trail is wheelchair accessible since it is paved through the whole distance. The cover along the way will shield you from the hot sun making this a delightful hike.
- Wildcat Canyon Trail: This is a fair stroll with lovely views of the mountains and of the canyon further on. It is 11.5 miles long and is dashed with beautiful wild flowers during spring. The trail heads out into an open meadow with a beautiful view of the sky. Ensure to carry appropriate head covering for this trail since you will be exposed to the sun for most of the hike.
- Observation Point: at 8 miles in length, this hike is one of the more popular short hikes that goes through echo canyon which many describe as a very memorable experience. It is rated by backpacker magazine as one of the 48 best views. It can be a bit challenging for anyone with the fear of heights but it should be quite a memorable experience.