With the turn of a calendar page, suddenly it’s spring—and it makes a lush arrival in Zion. Snowmelt creates a rush of spring runoff and waterfalls begin to flow with dramatic power. Soon Zion’s newborn wildlife will make an appearance into this blissful wonderland, as cottony-soft tufts appear on Zion’s cottonwood trees and wildflowers bloom in vivid bursts of color. Add in blue skies, lush greenery, and perfect hiking weather and spring has sprung in Zion. Here are six reasons why April is an incredible time to visit Zion.
As snow begins to melt and spring showers fall, Zion National Park becomes home to spectacular waterfalls. While all waterfalls aren’t constantly flowing in Zion, a spring rain can amp up the flow, and there are a few that are more consistent. Look for the trio of waterfalls at Lower Emerald Pools, a 300-foot fall at Upper Emerald Pools, and another tall waterfall at the Temple of Sinewava.
Reminder: Spring runoff can cause fast flow of the Virgin River and spring rain can cause flash flooding. Avoid The Narrows during these conditions. And always check here for closures or current conditions prior to heading out on any trails that may be impacted by weather.
2. Flowers & foliage
As spring rains down on Zion Canyon, wildflowers bloom abundantly beginning in April. Given the typically dry climate, Zion’s wildflowers are nothing short of one of nature’s miracles. Look for deep red Indian paintbrush, pink and yellow western Columbine, and desert marigold adding splashes of color to Zion’s red rock backdrop. Zion’s lush hanging gardens adorn Weeping Rock, and microhabitats along Emerald Pools and Riverside Walk trails showcase golden columbine, scarlet lobelia, and other wildflowers that require a more verdant environment.
Spring weather is nothing short of ideal in Zion. Sure, April showers may fall, but rainfall usually peaks in March, so warm, sunny weather is more typical. Mornings and evenings can be cool, so dressing in layers is smart.
4. Baby Animals
April means emerging new wildlife in and around Zion. Look for little wild turkey chicks, deer fawns, and baby bighorn sheep dotting frolicking on Zion’s newly lush landscape. As always, keep a safe distance, and never handle wildlife, especially young.
Comfortable temperatures make April a great time of year to attempt hikes that are exposed to full sunlight and might otherwise be too hot to hike in summer. While slot canyon hikes are often off limits due to danger of flash flooding, there are great alternatives to hiking The Narrows. Two- to four-hour hikes such as Angels Landing, Observation Point, Hidden Canyon and Emerald Pools offer a variety of skill levels, easy access from the park shuttle stops, and the reward of breathtaking views along the way. Zion Ponderosa now offers guided hikes in Zion National Park.
Biking along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive offers a relaxed way to tour Zion National Park. While this road and the Pa’rus Trail are the only allowable cycling roads inside Zion, there are countless trails outside the park. Mountain bikers will find trails ranging from desert slickrock to alpine single- and double-track trails surrounding the park and at Zion Ponderosa. Bring your own bike, or rent one of ours. Then hit the trails for an unforgettable spring bike ride in Zion.