It is normal to ask when is the best time to visit Utah before you book your trip. Travel is expensive so you really want to get the most out of your stay with your hard earned cash!
From its towering sandstone spires, hoodoos, and pinnacles, to its high-desert pine forests and steep mountain slopes, Utah is an extravagantly diverse state with a beauty that will strike you speechless, regardless of when you choose to travel to Utah.
Whether you are visiting for a hardcore adventure like rock-climbing 100-foot routes, bombing down backcountry ski terrain, or want to do a National Park tour and simply enjoy the breathtaking views, the state of Utah provides.
All over the state, the landscapes are picturesque, and there are thrills waiting for everybody regardless of what you want to do.
BUT, in saying that, you really need to know the right time to go to make the most of it 😉
As a local of St George Utah, I have traveled extensively around the State in all different seasons so I know when to do what in the Beehive State.
In this extensive guide, I will guide to you through what season and month to go to Utah based on what you want to do.
Quick Answers if you are low on time:
Here are some quick answers for you if you are short on time and you can of course read more of our in depth reasonings and tips below:
- Overall best time to visit Utah = April
- Cheapest Time to Visit Utah = Summer months of June, July, or August
- What is the Worst Time = July
- When is high season in Utah = Winter
- Best time to visit Utah for desert activities = Spring
- When to Visit Utah for Skiing?= January or April
- When to Visit Utah for Families with Kids? = Fall or Spring
- Best time to go to Utah for couples? = Fall, Winter or Spring
- Best Time to Visit Salt Lake City? = Winter or Spring depending if you want to ski
- Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks? = September
- Best Time to Visit Moab? = Spring or early Fall
- Best time to Visit Park City? = Winter
No matter the season, it’s always advisable to plan/book your trip to Utah in advance:
Overall Best Time to Visit Utah (What is the best month to visit Utah?)
Wondering when is the best time to visit Utah? We think the overall best month to travel to Utah is around April.
While the major ski resorts in Utah are still open and the high-elevation sites still have snow in April, the low-elevation locations are sunny and pleasant enough for daytime exploration without a winter coat.
The temperature will vary depending if you are in the north or south of Utah, but on average, you would expect a daily temperature of around 62.6°F (17°C) in April with around 13 hours of sunlight per day.
In April, you can choose to either stay near the mountains to hit the slopes (whether that be to ski or to just adventure in the snow), or stay somewhere where the snow has already melted and the sun is out (like St. George, Utah). Tru by Hilton St George always has great rates and is somewhere we have stayed in the past.
If you want to enjoy both atmospheres in one trip, that’s an option too. By car, it only takes about four hours to drive from Salt Lake City where the snow is, to southern Utah where it is not.
However, if you wish to move between the two climates more quickly, there are options for that too. If you stay somewhere like St. George or Santa Clara, Utah, you can take day trips up to Brian Head Ski Resort or Cedar Breaks National Monument in Cedar City, Utah.
Cheapest Time to Visit Utah?
The cheapest time to visit Utah is in the summer months of June, July, or August. This is because regardless of where you go (north or south), the weather can be brutally hot.
You can find some relief in super high-elevation destinations that have shade, but Utah summers are known for temperatures reaching up to 110 degrees. This means that fewer tourists are coming to town (which generally jacks up prices), and fewer events are happening across the state.
In turn, rental options and hotels are cheaper over the summer, and there’s less happening that could cause you to spend extra cash.
If you want to save your money and travel to Utah in the summer, it’s recommended to stay somewhere with a pool (here are some great hotels in St George with a pool), get up early for adventures, and have a car with an air conditioning system that works well on full blast.
Least Busy Time to Visit Utah (To avoid crowds)?
If you want to avoid the crowds in Utah, the time to visit depends on where you are deciding to travel and what you want to do. In the higher elevation destinations with large ski resorts, like Salt Lake City or Park City, the crowds are peaking in the Winter and they don’t settle down until summer.
So, the ideal time to travel to destinations with big ski resorts without having to elbow your way through the streets is the summertime, but once again the weather can be very hot.
By Fall, more tourists tend to trickle in, but it’s still less busy than the Winter.
However, if you plan to visit Zion National Park, then the best time to go to avoid the crowds but not boil in the heat is the month of September.
In September, the weather is starting to cool off but the Snowbirds who move down to spend the winter in the sun have not quite arrived.
What is the Worst Time?
The best and worst time to visit Utah is in the summer months. This is because Utah summers are hot, hot, hot, but they are also the least crowded and least expensive… so it’s hard to give a definitive answer.
If you absolutely do not like crowds and you are on a strict budget, then the worst time to visit Utah is in the Winter; the ski resorts are packed but so are places like St. George, Utah because the sun is still shining and those who love the sun are flocking there.
But, overall, the worst time to visit Utah is in the month of July because it’s too hot to even go outside most days. We would not recommend visiting in July if you want to do activities like hiking as it is just too hot!
When is high season in Utah?
Wintertime is the high season in Utah. Utah is home to some of the nicest ski resorts in the world but is also home to cities that are warm and sunny all year round, like St. George, Utah.
Needless to say, Utah has become a popular destination in the Wintertime for a lot of people. There are also places in Utah where you can receive the sun rays and the snowflakes within a 45-minute drive of one another!
Bear in mind that even in the warmer places, Utah is the high desert and the temperatures begin to plummet after sunset. Dressing in layers is always essential for visiting Utah.
When is the best time to travel to Utah for Desert Activities?
If you want to see desert tortoises or tarantulas in their natural environments or ride down some sand dunes on a sand board, then the best time to visit Utah for desert activities is in the Springtime. Temperates in spring in Utah range from 49°F to 77°F and rarely fall below 37°F or exceed 89°F.
In the Spring, the weather is so pleasant that you can spend all of your days and nights outside without feeling uncomfortable (either by the extreme heat or the cold in Utah). Some of the best desert activities in Utah in spring include camping, rock climbing, sand boarding, mountain biking, and off-roading with motor vehicles.
Keep in mind that if you visit without any gear for any of the outdoor activities, there are plenty of rental shops and independent guiding companies that will hook you up! Even if you have never rock climbed before, you can get out with a professional tour guide who will show you the ropes (literally).
Also, in the Spring, the birds will be chirping, and the rivers will be flowing clear because the muddy winter runoff will be over with (most likely, it does vary year to year).
When to Visit Utah for Skiing?
The best time to visit Utah for skiing is in the month of July. Just kidding!
In actuality, there are two ideal times for visiting Utah to ski: January if you are seeking the maximum snow yield and aren’t afraid of the cold, and April if you’re willing to trade less powder for more pleasant weather.
There are a lot of people who want to ski epic mountain lines that require back-country gear and a lot of snow, and Utah in January definitely provides those things (although you may have to stop at a rental shop if you don’t have your own gear).
Disclaimer from a local: Skiing epic mountain lines in Utah is not for the inexperienced or even the intermediate skiier, it is for experts only.
Weighing up whether to visit in January or April, here is something to consider.
In January, it’s more likely that the entire ski resort will be open because the snow will be plentiful.
In April, there may be a few parts of the mountain that are closed due to not enough snow, but that will only be the more advanced areas of the mountain. But, that means you get to combine skiing with relaxing and even getting a slight tan on your face because you won’t have to completely cover up.
See more: Best Ski Resorts in Utah ranked!
When to Visit Utah for Families with Kids?
Are you planning on visiting Utah with your family and your kids? If so, then the best time to visit is in either the Fall or the Spring.
Both are great times for visiting a variety of National and State parks due to the really pleasant weather. In either season, the sun will be shining on the red rocks or through the tall pine trees.
The Springtime may be slightly more crowded than the Fall since the weather is warmer and the swimming holes will be at a more comfortable temperature.
But the Fall is still a wonderful time to visit too, and if you are dead set on getting in the water, you can visit one or a few of the many hot spring destinations spread throughout Utah.
Utah is known for its variety of walking and hiking trails (like these easy Zion National Park hiking trails) through beautiful landscapes, and both the Fall and Spring both boast weather that is suitable for getting outside and enjoying the views.
Best time to go to Utah for couples?
If you and your special someone are planning a trip to Utah, the best times to come for couples are in the Fall, Winter, or Spring. The only months you’ll want to avoid are the summer months because the weather is blazing hot in most areas of the state and it will be more difficult to get up and get going on daily adventures.
There is a plethora of ski lodge-type rentals you can book, or even off-grid cabins if you want seclusion. Plus, you can head into the city at night and enjoy the twinkling lights that line the streets – it is really magical, especially at Christmas.
If you’re looking to escape the cold but Winter is the only time you can come, then head to St. George, Utah, and book a vacation rental or there are even great cheap hotels in St George to enjoy the beautiful year-round sunshine.
If you decide to come in the Spring, you will have a plethora of choices for a date night (in St George) or elsewhere such as taking a guided tour into a slot canyon (or going yourself), boarding down sand dunes, hiking, walking, or off-roading.
Best Time to Visit Salt Lake City?
The best time to visit Salt Lake City is in the Wintertime if you are a ski nerd, or in the late Spring if you want the maximum amount of outdoor options such as hiking, rock climbing, camping, swimming, and sightseeing.
Of course, Salt Lake City is a worldwide destination in the Winter because it is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world i.e. Snowbird, Solitude, Alta, and others.
So if that’s your get-up, then be sure to book a lodge months ahead of time and be prepared to wait in long ski lines. But, it’s well worth it. Plus, there are plenty of options to get out in the backcountry right around Salt Lake City, where there are no lift lines and there’s an abundance of powder.
In the Spring, it will be more comfortable weather for wandering around the city and visiting places like the Tabernacle and the Temples. Also, it’s the best time to take a trip out of the city and into the Wasatch range, where the outdoor activities are abundant.
🏨 Book your stay in Salt Lake City here.
Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks: The Mighty Five
Utah is home to Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and National Reef National Parks. That’s a whopping five National Parks in total! The best time to visit Utah’s National parks is the late Spring or September.
In the late Spring, the weather in Utah is warming up, so it’s very comfortable to walk around without a jacket, but it’s not so hot that you have to take shade breaks every five minutes.
Plus, nature is blossoming and the animals are emerging from their burrows. Be warned though, Utah is a free-range state, meaning there are always cows crossing the back roads and it’s up to you not to hit one (but it’s really not something to worry about)!
In September, nature is turning a beautiful shade of orange and red, mirroring the color of the surrounding rock formations. Utah is a truly picturesque state and you will be amazed at the beauty and vastness of the landscapes.
Best Time to Visit Moab?
Moab, a quintessential Utah destination, is the closest town to Arches National Park. It is the one of the best places to stay near Arches. However, even if you don’t get to the National Park, Moab itself boasts an array of activities and beauty.
The best time to visit Moab is either in late Spring or the early Fall. Both of these seasons offer amazing weather, although the late Spring is the season to go if you want to participate in river sports.
The Colorado River runs through Moab, and water sports such as white water rafting, kayaking, and floating are popular activities. There are many adventure companies that can you get started at any level, whether you have never done a river sport in your life or you are looking for some extreme rapids.
If you are planning on skipping out on dunking in the river, then the early Fall is the best time to go. You’ll miss the crowds of people who do want to run the river, but you’ll still have awesome weather and the nature will be turning a beautiful shade of red and orange. The Fall is also an ideal time to go on rock climbing or hiking adventures too.
🏨 Book your stay in Moab here.
Best time to Visit Park City?
One of the best times to visit Park City, Utah is in the winter, from December to March. Park City is famous for it’s ski resorts and its landscapes dusted in snow.
In winter, the Park City nightlife is bustling, with twinkle lights lining the streets for the perfect ambiance. While it will be chilly and you’ll need a winter coat and a scarf, you’ll experience not only world-class skiing, but you’ll also meet people from all over, eat amazing food, take some of the most beautiful pictures you’ve ever taken, and have an overall amazing vacation.
Additionally, Park City in the winter has more than just skiing. There are also opportunities for hiking in Park City, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice skating, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, and much more.
Park City is also home to Woodward Park City, which is a world class sports camp and is one of the safest places to learn action sports. It has indoor and outdoor activities that are meant for learning not only skiing and snowboarding but also skateboarding, BMX, and cheer.
🏨 Book your stay in Park City here.
Summer in Utah
- Months: June to August
Summers in Utah are hot. While there are still many opportunities for outdoor activities and the National Parks are open and ready for visitors, you will be sweating.
However, there are mountain escapes that have cooler weather, but they are more secluded and are suited for camping adventures. Some of these places are the Wasatch range up north, and the outskirts of Cedar City, Utah such as Duck Creek or Pine Valley (which are very remote locations).
Of course, Utah is extremely beautiful in the summer because the sun is shining on the red rocks, but the views are better enjoyed from inside an air-conditioned car, vacation rental or hotel!
Summer Festivals and things to do:
- SummerFest Arts Faire in Logan (June)
- SoJo SummerFest in South Jordan (June)
- Party at the Point in West Point (July 4)
- Harvest Days in Midvale (August)
Fall in Utah
- Months: September to November
The Fall in Utah is one of the most beautiful seasons. It’s like an orange and red oasis, where the red rocks are complimented by the changing leaves. The weather is cooling down but the sun is still out, and the outdoor opportunities are ramping up.
The peak rock climbing season is in the Fall, so there will be a lot of out-of-towners who are solely there to get on some rocks.
It’s one of the best seasons to visit the National Parks and to go hiking in the more off-the-beaten-path destinations such as Kolob Canyon.
Fall Festivals and things to do:
- Peach Days in Brigham City (September)
- Sandy Heritage Festival (September)
- Oktoberfest, Snowbird Resort (October)
Winter in Utah
- Months: December to February
Ah, Utah winters. It’s a fact that the winters in Utah are poppin’, as it’s a world class destination for skiing and people travel from all over the world to enjoy places like Snowbird Ski Resort and Park City Mountain.
Just like the summers are brutally hot, the winters in high-elevation locations are very cold. So come with a winter coat, gloves, and a scarf, and be ready to get outside even in low temperatures because the landscapes are absolutely stunning.
Surrounding the cities are big, bellowing mountains dusted with snow. And the towns are lined with twinkly lights and filled with tourists, so there’s always something going on if you visit a town home to a main ski resorts such as Salt Lake City or Park City.
However, you can also escape the snow and get into the sun in places like St. George, Utah, where the weather is warm during the day and the sun is out. It does get cold at night, so don’t leave your jacket behind even if you’re not planning to get into high elevations.
Winter Festivals and things to do:
- Dickens Festival, Sandy (December)
- Snowfest, Park City Resort (December)
- Bear Lake Monster Winterfest (January)
Tip: Winter is also a great time to really enjoy all the epic hot springs Utah has to offer.
Spring in Utah
- Months: March to May
Spring in Utah is a popular time to visit. It’s undeniably beautiful, and since there is a break in people’s school and work schedules, there’s typically a lot of people bustling around the National Parks.
The weather is perfect for spending entire days outside, and it’s even warm enough to go camping.
Also, while the sun is shining bright on the red rocks, the trees and surrounding environment are still green and lush. The temperature is pretty moderate in spring in Utah so it is a nice time to go camping.
Spring Festivals and things to do:
- Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival, Salt Lake City (April)
- Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games, Salt Lake City (April)
- Utah Spring Blossom Festival (May)
Tips for Visiting Utah
If you are planning a trip to Utah, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will enhance your vacation and help maximize your adventures.
1. Know Your Priorities
The number one tip is to know what your priorities are in terms of adventures. Do you want to ski? Or do you want the sun? That’s a simple question but is very important since it will determine where you go and during what season.
2. Know how many miles you want to cover
Additionally, you’ll need to decide how many miles you want to cover. If you want to stay in one area, that’s great. But if you want to journey from Salt Lake to Bryce Canyon to Arches National Park and then Zion, you’re going to need a rental car. It’s a doable route, but it’s way faster and cheaper to do if you have a rental car instead of booking tour buses.
3. Decide the type of vacation you want to have (budget 💰 and ⛰️ activities)
The last tip is to decide if you want to go on epic adventures, like rock climbing or mountaineering, or if you want to keep it simple and take hikes and possibly rent off-roading vehicles.
This will determine what type of clothing you bring, and help you get a better idea of your budget. Taking a rock climbing tour will be more expensive than going on hikes in the National Parks.
We hope this guide helps you decide when is the right time for you to visit Utah, and what you want to see and do once you get there!
In our opinion April is overall the best time of year to visit Utah. But when you choose to go really depends on what you ultimately want to do!