Zion’s Secret Season might fall in the winter. But while there are plenty of reasons to plan a visit to Zion from December to February, there’s another special season in the park that everyone should experience at least once.
Fall in Zion National Park is a magical time. The heat of the summer is finally fading away. Fewer crowds mean more space on trails and at overlooks. While it might be mostly red rock desert, many trees across Southern Utah lose their leaves each fall, but not before they turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. These hues are even brighter when they’re backdropped by the red rock cliffs of Zion.
One of the best ways to experience the fall colors during your stay in our Springdale Utah lodging is with a hike. Most hiking trails in the park offer great views. But a few in particular are not to be missed during this time of year. Keep reading to learn some of the best fall hikes for a stay at The Bungalows.
Zion National Park is home to some challenging hiking trails—one even made our list! But there are also plenty of easy trails that are perfect for families of all ages and hikers of all experience levels. Many of these easy trails are also great for taking in the fall colors during your stay in vacation rentals near Zion National Park.
The Riverside Walk is a gentle, flat trail that is paved from start to finish. You’ll enjoy a leisurely stroll along the winding Virgin River. Lined with trees, this trail is even more beautiful during the Fall.
Riverside Walk is 2.2 miles roundtrip, but you can always hike out and back a shorter distance. This makes it easy for anyone to take in the changing colors and crisp air, even if they aren’t able to walk the entire trail. To get to the Riverside Walk, ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle to the last stop.
If you know anything about hiking in Zion National Park, you know that two trails, Angels Landing and The Narrows, are often cited as the park’s most popular and unique. Once the air begins to cool off, though, The Narrows becomes a bit of a challenge. That’s because you’ll spend most of the hike wading in the cold waters of the Virgin River. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to hike, but you’ll want to bring the right gear or rent waders in town to stay warm, comfortable, and safe.
While The Narrows might not be the perfect fall hike for anyone, Angels Landing is a different story. If you’re ready and able to take on the steep, lengthy, and sometimes scary climb to the top, you’ll be rewarded with the best fall view in the entire park. Rising more than 1,500 feet from the floor of the canyon, Angels Landing offers 360-degree views of the park. This includes all of the colors of the trees and other plant life that come alive this time of year.
At 5.4 miles in length, and climbing over a thousand feet in elevation, this hike isn’t for just anyone. However, if you decide to train for this hike ahead of your visit, you certainly won’t be sorry.
Thanks to Angels Landing’s popularity, the National Park Service implemented a permit system. Now, hikers hoping to take on this challenging trail will need to enter one or both of the two lottery systems. The first is the Seasonal Lottery. As the name suggests, this lottery opens once per season, and awards permits for the following season. The second option is the Day-Before Lottery, which opens daily and awards permits for the following day.
Angels Landing may be one of the most popular hikes in the park, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the most difficult. Observation Point is a whopping 8 miles in length and climbs more than 2,300 feet in elevation during those miles. To hike it from start to finish, most hikers take between 4 and 6 hours. However, if you stop to take pictures and enjoy the view, it may take you even longer.
From the top of Observation Point, you’ll enjoy a view of many of the park’s most famous landmarks. This even includes Angels Landing. From this elevation, you can see out across miles of Zion Canyon, full of reds, yellows, and oranges, set against the already vibrant cliff faces and bright blue sky.
Canyon Overlook Trail
If you want to experience the incredible views of Observation Point or Angels Landing during your stay in hotels near Zion National Park but aren’t up for a challenging hike, this is a great alternative.
Canyon Overlook Trail is located in Zion’s Upper Canyon. While this means that you can’t hop on the Zion Canyon Shuttle to ride to the trailhead, it’s just a short drive from our Springdale Utah lodging.
At just 1 mile in length, this moderate trail is a great way to get an incredible panoramic view of the park without a lengthy or treacherous trek.
Planning a Fall Stay in Our Springdale Utah Lodging
Hiking is one of the best ways to experience the fall season during your stay in our Springdale Utah lodging. It’s a great way to see the fall colors and enjoy the cooler temperatures and thinning crowds.
Located at the gateway to Zion, The Bungalows is the perfect basecamp for your fall adventure. You can utilize the Springdale Shuttle and the Zion Canyon Shuttle to get to and from the park from our vacation rentals near Zion National Park. At the end of a long day, return to our Springdale Utah lodging to relax and unwind before another day of fun and adventure.
If you’re ready to experience the fall season at our vacation rentals near Zion, book your next stay at The Bungalows today!