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Best Time To Visit Utah (Best Weather & Exciting Outdoor Adventures)

Find the best times for Utah travel, from Sept-Nov for ideal weather & low crowds. Tips on budget travel, outdoor adventures & more for families & solo explorers.

Tobi Miles
July 19, 2022
Best Time To Visit Utah (Best Weather & Exciting Outdoor Adventures)

Utah is a state in the Mountain West region known for its mild weather and beautiful scenery. It is home to several national parks and outdoor experiences. Its populated cities and vast wilderness create the ideal vacation destination to suit any preference.

The best time to visit Utah is between September and November. During this time, the weather averages between 48 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit and the crowds are minimal. With less tourist traffic in this season, flight costs are an average of 25% lower than usual. Utah’s best fall attractions include the annual Oktoberfest and Midway Ice Castles.

Families and solo travelers alike can get the most out of their trip to Utah in September, October, and November. Continue reading to discover the most optimal time to visit Utah.

Worst Time To Visit Utah

The worst time to go to Utah is between December and February. The weather is cold during this time and can sometimes include severe conditions. Extreme weather in the wintertime can limit activities. Many roads and attractions may be closed due to the snow and ice.

The winter nights in Utah are extremely cold and not ideal for outdoor activities. Camping or lodging in cabins is not optimal in the freezing temperatures. Many of the best activities to experience in Utah may not be the same when visiting in December, January, or February.

Cheapest Month To Go To Utah

When planning any kind of vacation, budget is a deciding factor for most travelers. The cheapest month to visit Utah in September. During the low season, there is minimal traffic from other tourists.

September visitors can take advantage of cheaper flights to and from Utah. Due to the decrease in tourist traffic, there are plenty of discounts on attractions and entertainment.

Best Time Of Year To Visit Utah For Amazing Weather and Gorgeous Views

January: Best Time For Winter Sports

Utah’s weather in January is perfect for winter sports. Snow-covered mountains offer plenty of skiing, sledding, and snowboarding opportunities. The Skyline Snowmobile Complex is an interesting excursion near Salt Lake City.

Bear Lake State Park contains a natural lake that is popular for fishing year-round. The water is full of lake trout and cutthroat.

The lake is optimal for casting a line or a net almost any time of year. For winter travelers, ice fishing is one of the most sought-after excursions. This is a preferred travel time for the most unique fishing experience.

January is the month when the fish move closest to the shore. This makes it the most optimal time to go ice fishing at Bear Lake. For the best results, it is recommended to visit near the middle of the month.

Related Read: 70 Best Things To Do in Utah

February: Best Time To Visit National Parks and Wilderness Areas

Utah is home to a wealth of national parks, from Zion to the Arches. Bryce Canyon National Park is a popular choice, best known for its unique rock formations and outdoor activities. Those who visit the park in February are in for an extra special experience.

Winter is a great time to travel to Bryce Canyon, contrary to popular belief. Most of the tourist traffic will be non-existent due to the weather.

Many visits to the park are planned around spring and summer weather. This creates an opening for travelers seeking privacy during the quiet season.

On top of the minimal crowds, snow creates breathtaking scenery as it falls on top of the orange canyon. Visiting the park in February allows guests to enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, and scenic views with little interruption.

Other areas to explore in February include the Uinta Mountains and Ashley National Forest.

March: Best Time For Outdoor Activities

Utah’s March weather is ideal for outdoor activities. Popular experiences include hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking. The Salt Lake Country Club and Salt Hollow Golf Course are optimal for relaxing afternoons.

The Skinny Tire Festival is a 4-day annual event hosted in Utah’s city of Moab. Travelers have come from all over the world to participate for over 20 years. The festival is held in mid-March, which is the ideal time to visit.

There are hundreds of miles of paved roads going through the city. People gather yearly to go biking down the roads, passing several landmarks and attractions on the way.

Those who ride along on the adventure will experience scenic views of the Colorado River, Arches National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. Every registration for the festival accounts for a donation of $25 to the Moab Cancer Treatment Center.

April: Best Time For Sports Events

The weather in Utah during Spring is optimal for enjoying the fresh air. It is warm enough to travel without a coat, but not too hot. There also tend to be fewer mosquitos flying around in the air in these conditions.

Going to a baseball game is one of the best activities to enjoy in the Spring. This is especially true when visiting Salt Lake City, Utah. The Salt Lake Bees, the city’s Minor League Baseball team, offers visitors the perfect opportunity.

Each year, the first home game begins on April 12th. Travelers should keep the team’s schedule in mind while vacation planning to ensure there will be a home game during their stay.

Other appropriate activities to enjoy in Utah’s spring weather include swimming, playing tennis, and zip-lining. Travelers may also be able to catch one of the Utah Utes’ final Spring practice games at the Rice-Eccles Stadium.

May: Best Time To Go Off-Roading

Utah is home to many natural wonders and landmarks. Its vast wilderness areas and open spaces are optimal for all-terrain vehicles.

Among the best scenic areas in the state is the Coral Pink Sand Dunes National Park. As the name suggests, the park consists of red sand shifted naturally by the wind.

While the park is open year-round, the best time to visit is in May. The spring months offer mild weather as opposed to more extreme conditions.

Those who visit the dunes in May can take advantage of sledding and off-roading opportunities. The sunset views from the park in the evenings are gorgeous at this time of the year.

Other great locations to ride an ATV in Utah are the Arches National Park and Sand Hollow Resort. The city of Moab has plenty of opportunities for off-roading adventures as well.

June: Best Time For Water Activities

The month of June is ideal for water activities under the sun. These include white water rafting in Moab’s Green River and hiking Kanarraville Falls. Other excursions range from swimming to fly fishing.

Cowabunga Bay is a massive water park in the city of Draper, Utah. It features 11 thrilling water slides and a lazy river running through the property. One of the park’s must-see attractions is the inflatable spinning sphere.

Cabanas and food options are also at guests’ disposal. Visiting Cowabunga Bay is the perfect activity while visiting southern Utah in the summer.

The park is seasonal and only open during Utah’s warm months. Despite the crowds, the weather in June makes it the most optimal time to enjoy the water. Guests have the option to purchase season passes for frequent or extended visits.

July: Best Time To Experience Nature

July is one of the peak months to experience everything Utah has to offer. Some of the best sights to see include the Grand Staircase and Mirror Lake. The Bonneville Salt Flats are best visited in July as well.

The Albion Basin is one of Utah’s greatest natural treasures. It is found in the city of Alta within the Wasatch Mountain Range. The basin is perfectly situated in a carving between the canyon.

This location is most famous for its expansive meadows and flowers that pop up during the late summer months. The wildflowers are in full bloom during July. This is when guests can gain the full experience at the Basin.

There is a scenic hiking trail that loops the Cottonwood Canyon, offering up-close views of the wildflowers. Taking photos of the basin’s beauty is one of the most popular activities among visitors.

August: Best Time For Art and Culture

The Craft Lake City DIY Festival is an annual event hosted in Salt Lake City. It takes place yearly at the Utah State Fairpark event venue.

It is the largest festival in the state inclusive of art, science, music, and technology. Hundreds of vendors gather to provide art, food, and performances to guests. There is VIP lounge access available for a more personal experience.

The festival is held the second weekend of August from Friday to Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online ahead of travel.

Other popular events to participate in during this time include the Wasatch Mountain and Moab Music Festivals. Native American food and art are prevalent throughout the state.

September: Best For Budget Travelers

September is the best time to visit Utah for budget travelers. In the middle to end of the month, flight rates are the cheapest. Discounted deals can also be found for hotels and accommodation, as the state is the least crowded at this time.

Moderate crowds and decent weather make September the perfect time to visit Utah cost-effectively. If budget is a deciding factor, this is the best month to plan a vacation to The Beehive State.

October: Best Time For Fall Festivities

Oktoberfest is an annual festival that is highly anticipated by locals and travelers alike. It is held every year in Snowbird,  beginning in August and ending in the middle of October.

The best time to attend Oktoberfest is in October when the weather is cool and the scenic mountains are dusted with snow.

The festivities are family-friendly, inclusive of delicious food and fun activities for all. It is one of Utah’s largest annual events for a reason.

Guests are admitted to the festival at no cost. Those traveling should keep in mind that the event runs on Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day during the open season.

Some other things to experience in October include visiting a pumpkin patch and taking a fall hike. Another popular attraction is the Gardner Village Witches. Utah is renowned for its delicious apple cider that peaks in the fall.

November: Best Time To Visit Winter Landmarks

Winter in Utah is the perfect time to visit popular landmarks and attractions. The Park City Mountains offer a wealth of winter activities. Locations such as the Arches and Flaming Gorge also boast breathtaking views in the snow.

The Midway Ice Castles are an essential experience for anyone visiting Wasatch County, Utah. Located in the Heber Valley, the exhibit is composed of hundreds of thousands of icicles.

The ice is put together by hand to build marvelous castle formations. The ice is accompanied by fluorescent lights that illuminate the structures at night. The venue also features fountains and tunnels made of ice.

Guests have the opportunity to participate in several interactive experiences while visiting. Ice is put together to create ice mazes, thrones, and slides.

This attraction is only open during the cold months to best preserve the ice. The season length varies due to specific weather conditions each year. While it may extend to March, it is always open during the peak winter month of November. Guests can be sure this frozen landmark will be available when visiting during this time.

December: Best Time For Holiday Festivities

When it comes to holiday festivities, Utah is a premier travel destination. Activities offered include ice skating, carriage rides, and sleigh rides.

Park City is a picturesque travel destination located in Utah’s rugged mountain region. It is best known for its scenic atmosphere, especially during the winter months.

Dog sledding is one of the most popular activities sought out by visitors of Park City. Beautiful huskies lead the experience along thousands of acres of snow-covered land. Guests are guided by a professional racer as they take in the gorgeous views.

The experience of dogsledding in Park City is unmatched in December. The frosted mountains and fields contribute to a magical experience. It is the perfect opportunity for families and travelers of all ages to get into the holiday spirit.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Park City, Utah

When Is The Best Time To Avoid Crowds In Utah?

September through November is the best time to visit Utah to avoid crowds. These three months are considered the shoulder season, between the lowest and highest tourism levels.

The fact that most children and college students are in school during this time contributes to the sudden drop in tourism.

It is between these months that the weather is getting cold but is not intolerable. There are not many extreme conditions at this point in Utah’s winter season.

This makes September, October, and November solid choices for a trip to Utah. If crowds and privacy are deciding factors, travelers should make their trip to Utah between September and November.

Best Time To Visit Utah Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats are a top attraction for visitors to the Salt Lake City area. The magnificent field of white salt extends for miles. The scenery of the glowing surface and purple mountains in the background is truly unforgettable.

Late July through October is the most optimal time for a visit to the Salt Flats. From the end of summer to fall, the salt is sturdy enough for exploration in a vehicle or on foot. Water is present on the flats during the other seasons, making them unsafe to drive on.

The dry season at the flats is optimal for obvious safety reasons. With driving across the flats being one of the most sought-after activities, guests should consider making their trip sometime between July and October.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Zion National Park?

Zion National Park is one of the most highly trafficked tourist areas in the state of Utah. The park is renowned for its stunning red rock formations and vast wildlife. Utah’s first national park is a must-see attraction when visiting its southwestern region.

The best times to visit Zion National Park are from April to May or September to November. The spring season features the perfect weather for exploring the park. The later months fall into Utah’s shoulder season, where crowds are minimal and the weather is still bearable.

Best Time To Visit Utah Arches

Utah is a postcard-perfect state, rich with tons of natural beauty and landmarks. One of the Beehive State’s most sought-after wonders is the Arches National Park.

Located in the town of Moab, the park is accessible by Salt Lake City and Las Vegas in both directions. The Arches National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. For this reason, it is difficult to avoid crowds during any time of year.

Winter is considered to be the quietest season at the Utah Arches. The best time to visit the park is from December to February when traffic is minimal.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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