It’s nearly impossible to be alone when you’re on a Zion National Park tour. With over 5 million visitors in 2021, Zion is one of the country’s most popular national parks, so some crowds are just unavoidable. However, there are some things you can do to minimize crowding.
One tip that most experienced visitors know is to always head to the trails as early as possible. Not only do you get to enjoy the sight of the sun rising over the park, but you’ll also have the trails nearly to yourself. Of course, this method requires you to be a morning person, so it’s not without disadvantages.
You can also try to avoid the crowds by visiting the less popular sections of the park. On the west side of Zion, Kolob Canyons feature even more striking colors than the main canyon with a fraction of the daily visitors. If you’re an experienced hiker, the Observation Point trail is one of the most beautiful sections of the park, but its difficult terrain keeps most visitors away. If you’re looking for a difficult hike and some peace and quiet, Observation Point is a true hidden gem.
Another way to beat the crowds is to visit during the winter. January averages about a tenth of the monthly visitors as June, so the park is significantly more empty in the colder months. You also get the added benefit of seeing Zion covered in snow, however, harsh weather can make hiking more difficult and even close down sections of the park. If you do choose to visit in the winter months, make sure you keep track of the weather reports leading up to the trip.
If you want to get a tour of Zion without taking a crowded bus, we recommend our Zion National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour.