Zion National Park in November

The park in November is Zion local’s best-kept secret, and there are a few things you should know before frequenting the park just before its off-season.

You may wonder what to expect from the weather, how to dress for the most popular hikes, and how busy the park will be during your trip. We provide you with first-hand information about:

  • The weather in November
  • What you need to pack and wear
  • Possible crowds in November
  • Hiking the Narrows (is it possible? do you need a wetsuit)
  • Parking options and the shuttle service

Is November a Good Time to Visit?

The fall colors are gorgeous and typically last until mid-November in the Zion Canyon

November is a very good time to visit Zion National Park. The late fall in Zion is stunning with its vibrant leaf colors until the middle of the month. Plus, the temperature is mild, making hiking much easier. The park also draws fewer crowds since it’s near off-season and lodging is cheaper.

Weather

Zion national park is stunning during November, making it one of the ideal times to visit. However, as Southern Utah reaches late Fall, the temperature changes; with this change, there are a few essential things to keep in mind when hiking Zion in November.

The weather in Zion National Park in November is cooler but still pleasant during the day. Generally, the daily temperature ranges from 54-67°F (12-19°C) and 33-43°F (0.5-6°C) during the night. In November, the park typically experiences five rainy days on average and very little snow.

Average high temps:

  • Early November: 67°F (20°C)
  • Mid-November: 60°F (16°C)
  • Late November: 54°F (12°C)

💡 Temperatures within the park are likely to vary up to 30°F. This variation in temperature within Zion Canyon is due to the different levels of elevation throughout the park, the time of day you’re hiking, and how much sunlight the location you’re exploring receives throughout the day.

For example, the temperature will likely vary when hiking Zion’s most popular hike, Angels Landing. The breathtaking hike sits at about 5,790 ft (1765 m) which puts it far above most other hiking options in the canyon. The switchbacks, known as Walters Wiggles, also sit in the shade for most of the day, making the hike chilly.

Otherwise, the average temperatures will be as follows:

  • Mornings during November start brisk at about 38°F (3°C) around 7:30 AM. It’s important to note that Zion National Park is a large canyon and therefore takes more time to warm up since the sun must be directly overhead to reach most of the canyon walls.
  • Midday in the park is typically chilly and ideal for hiking due to the cool temperatures of around 55°F (13°C). These cooler daytime temperatures are perfect for exploring some of Zion’s more strenuous hikes like Angels Landing, Hidden Canyon, and Observation Point.
  • Evenings in the park cool off quickly and tend to sit at about 39-55°F (4-13°C). Since Zion National Park is technically considered a desert, temperatures can quickly plummet once the sun goes down. Evenings are best for you to enjoy time spent huddled around a campfire, exploring the town of Springdale, or enjoying the comfort of a cozy hotel room.

November is a transitional month where the park slowly switches from Fall to Winter. So another essential factor to consider when planning a trip to Zion in late fall is how the weather will change throughout the month.

Early November

Due to the moderate daily temperatures, early November is a great time to visit the park. Typically Zion will reach about 67°F (20°C) during the daytime and as low as 41°F (5°C) during the night. Therefore, poor weather like rain or snow is seldom a problem when visiting the park during the beginning of November.

Mid-November

In mid-November, the weather remains relatively consistent, but the daily temperatures begin to drop. Temperatures generally fall around 60°F (16°C) during the daylight hours and as low as 38°F (3°C) during the night.

Late November

When frequenting Zion National Park in late November, you can expect daily temperatures of around 55°F (13°C) during the day and colder conditions during the evenings. Nightly temperatures tend to dip around 35°F (2°C), making it essential to pack warm, especially if you plan to camp in the park.

Does It Snow in November?

It snows in November in Zion National Park occasionally. Zion sees about 0.3 days of snow during November. Snow in southern Utah is sparse, even in the winter months. However, you are more likely to encounter snow on high elevation trails or along the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel side of the park.

How Busy Is Zion in November?

It’s no secret that the summer months in Zion are busy and crowded, which is why many prefer to frequent the canyon in the Fall or Winter. But just how busy will Zion National Park be during November?

Zion in November is less busy than most months, except for December and January. As the off-season in Zion draws near, crowds in the park tend to dissipate, making it an excellent time to plan a trip. On average, the park sees about 224,489 visitors during November.

As for the week of Thanksgiving, the park generally sees slightly larger crowds as many locals and travelers enjoy visiting the park with their families for the holidays. However, the Thanksgiving crowds are still mild compared to those of the summer months.

If you are visiting Zion during the week of Thanksgiving, many local restaurants offer buffet-style Thanksgiving meals, provided you make your reservation a month in advance. We love visiting Majestic View Lodge on Thanksgiving for their incredible holiday meal spread.

Tip: You might want to know about other great months in the park and the best times to visit Zion.

Recommended Tours for November

UTV Ride & Hike: This is a thrilling adventure with an off-road UTV ride and a guided hike with amazing guides. TIP: This tour is perfect if you plan to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon. It starts from East Zion/Orderville, which is right between both parks (Orderville, Utah – Google Maps Location). Check the best hotels here (via Expedia):  Hotel Deals Orderville (East Zion)

If you have always wanted to hike the iconic Narrows and are worried about gear or safety, we can offer you a truly unique experience with amazing guides (starts in Springdale, the town right outside the Zion entrance).

Where to Stay and How Many Days



Booking.com

You should spend at least 2 full days (better 3 days) in Zion to do the most popular hikes (Angel’s Landing, The Narrows) and a scenic drive.

Tip: To avoid the high rates for the Zion Lodge inside the park, stay in Springdale (closest town – hotel deals via booking.com) and take the very first town shuttle in the morning to Zion NP. It stops at 9 locations in Springdale to pick you up. Springdale is extremely convenient, as it is located right outside the Zion park entrance. 

What To Wear in November

Understanding what clothes to pack on a trip is always important, but it’s especially crucial when visiting Zion in the late fall. The temperature of the canyon can fluctuate significantly throughout each day, making it essential to prepare for different possible temperatures.

You should wear layers when visiting Zion in November. The park’s nights and early mornings are frigid, and you will need a warm jacket, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, t-shirts, and a hat to keep warm. Thick socks and waterproof hiking boots are also essential for Zions water hikes.

Layering allows you to regulate your body temperature better as the canyon’s temperatures change throughout the day. Depending on what part of the canyon you are exploring, the amount of sunshine you get will be minimal, leaving you pretty cold. Higher elevation hikes like Angels Landing and Hidden Canyon will also be colder, so it’s essential to hike prepared.

Here’s what you should pack to wear for your visit to Zion National Park:

  • A warm jacket: Parkas are ideal since they are well insulated, waterproof, and protect the wearer from cold wind. Most Parkas have a hood which can help keep your ears and head warm when it’s frigid in the canyon.
  • Long pants: Ideally, you should pack pants made of synthetic fibers since they tend to wear out more slowly and absorb more moisture, leading to less chafing as you hike.
  • A beanie: Due to the freezing temperatures in the early and late hours of the day, it’s best to pack a hat that can be pulled down over your ears or taken off when you get too warm.
  • Gloves: Packing protective finger coverings are essential to combat the cold mornings and shady canyons. A basic cloth glove would suffice. However, a heavier-duty glove would work best if your hands get cold easily.
  • Long sleeve hiking shirts: Your long-sleeve shirts should be loose and allow airflow to prevent possible chafing. Again, synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester are best because they are fast drying and don’t retain your sweat.
  • Loose short sleeve shirts: You should also pack a few short-sleeved t-shirts for when you get warm while exerting yourself on hikes. These shirts should also fit loosely and comfortably, worn under layers.
  • Insulated socks: If possible, you should plan on packing socks made of polyester, nylon, or wool. Heavier socks will help keep your feet warm and provide a buffer between your feet and shoes. Good socks also help prevent unwanted blisters while hiking.
  • Hiking boots: Though you’re unlikely to encounter rain or snow, waterproof boots are still best. Many of Zion’s best hikes feature water crossings, and shoes that don’t readily absorb water are ideal. You should also ensure your boots offer ankle support, as many rocks on the canyon trails are perfect for twisting an ankle.

November temperatures vary throughout the month. Early November weather is warmer and gradually becomes cooler as the canyon prepares to welcome the colder Winter months. Because of the ever-changing temperatures, it’s vital to wear layers when exploring Zion during the late fall.

The later you visit in November, the warmer layers you should plan on packing. Also, if you are planning on traversing some of Zion’s higher elevation hikes, you should remember that the temperature in those locations can vary.

Additionally, if you are planning one of Zions permit required hikes like Keyhole Canyon, you will need drastically different items for your stay. For this hike, you will need to repel down into a slot canyon from the backside of the park. Though this hike isn’t as strenuous as The Subway, It’s still an excellent addition to any trip.

What you should pack to hike Keyhole Canyon:

  • Helmet
  • Repelling gear
  • A wetsuit
  • Waterproof socks
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Layers
  • Waterproof pack
  • Walking stick.

Surprisingly, this hike only takes 1-2 hours to complete, but its unique views are worth it. However, remember to be watchful for flash flood warnings as Keyhole is a slot canyon, and there have been casualties over the years when hikers went in despite the weather warning.

The Narrows is one of Zion’s most popular hikes due to its easy accessibility and stunning canyon walls. However, when hiking The Narrows in the fall, you need specific gear to ensure your hike is pleasant and comfortable.

Tip: Read below in our ‘Narrows’ section what you need to wear when hiking the Narrows.

Hiking in November

Hiking Zion in November is one of the best times to do so. This Fall month draws fewer crowds, and the temperatures have become milder. However, warm layers are essential for hiking the park in November as the weather is quite cool most days. A wind-resistant jacket is also beneficial.

Warm, water-resistant boots and socks are also ideal since there is a slight chance of rain or snow during your visit.

The Narrows in November

The water level is low but it’s also very cold water. Dry pants are required in November

The Narrows remains one of Zion’s most frequented hiking trails throughout the year. However, as the temperature of the canyon begins to drop, fewer hikers venture as far up the watery trail. Instead, many opt to stop once the paved portion of the trail ends.

The Narrows in November draws fewer crowds and tends to have lower water levels. Less water means more visibility as you hike, resulting in fewer injuries caused by slipping on unseen rocks beneath the water’s surface. The water usually stays around 40°F (4°C) during November.

What you should wear when hiking The Narrows in November:

  • A wetsuit
  • Waterproof socks
  • Waterproof ankle-high hiking boots.

When hiking The Narrows in November, you should expect to be chilly, though the water levels are pretty low at this time. The hike is shaded most of the day because of the slim canyon walls and the icy river running through it. However, with the proper gear, the hike can be fun and more picturesque since fewer other hikers will be on the trail.

Renting gear: You can rent the Narrows dry pants package, the special shoes, and other gear at Zion Adventures in Springdale. Just give them a call: 435-772-1001.

The first part of The Narrows starts on a paved trail known as The River Walk. However, as you hike further in, the trial ends. So you must be prepared to hike straight up the river in ice-cold water. It’s also important to note that The Narrows receives minimal sun throughout the day, making it much colder than the surrounding area.

Good to know: You don’t have to hike the complete 6 hours. Especially if you get cold or for other reasons, you can turn back in the Narrows at any time.

Road Openings and Closures in November

During November, there are no scheduled road closures. However, occasional rock slides occur and will hinder travel through the park. Generally, you are not permitted to drive your vehicle through Zion unless you’re just passing Highway 9. Instead, you’re required to utilize the Zion National Parks shuttle system.

Parking

Springdale (top photo) and designated parking area in Zion near the Visitor Center

Knowing where you can park in Zion National Park is essential. Basically, there are two options:

  1. Parking inside Zion near the Visitor Center: There are designated parking areas close to the visitor center: Google Maps – Zion National Park Visitor Park. However, the parking space is limited, and it’s usually full by 8 or 9 AM. Even in November, it often fills up early on weekends and on Thanksgiving.
  2. Parking in Springdale (Google Maps Location): This town is right at the entrance of Zion N.P. We recommend parking in the town and then using the Springdale shuttle (see below), which takes you to the park within a few minutes.

If you stay at least one or two nights, which we recommend, then parking in Springdale at your hotel is the best and most comfortable option, as you can easily enter the park via the Springdale shuttle.

Parking anywhere in Springdale: If you don’t stay at a hotel, please keep in mind that there is a charge for street parking within the town. However, the pay stub for parking there can not be used as a park entrance ticket.

Shuttle Services | Operating Times

Both Zion shuttles: Springdale line and the Zion Canyon line. Credit: NPS – National Park Service

Due to limited parking availability, Zion’s free shuttle system is the most popular method of transportation both in the park and around the town of Springdale. There are two types of shuttles:

  • Springdale Shuttle: This shuttle takes you to the entrance of Zion National Park. It runs throughout Springdale and stops at 9 locations in the town. Very comfortable to use if you stay in Springdale and/or park there (see above). After getting into the park via this shuttle, you can then continue with the …
  • Canyon Shuttle, which runs through the entire park, stopping at each hike.

Both shuttle services are free.

The shuttles inside the park typically run every day in November from 6 AM – 8:15 PM, while the Springdale town shuttle operates from 7 AM – 9 PM. It’s important to note that if you miss the last shuttle out of the park, another will not return until morning. Always check the official site for updates and current schedules: Zion NPS Shuttle Service

Also, should the shuttles be non-operational during your stay, the park will allow visitors to drive through the canyon and park. However, parking at each hike is limited.