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Things start getting busier if you are planning to visit Zion National Park in March. Although the weather is great, March usually has the sixth most visitors out of the year to Zion. Thanks a lot Spring breakers!
But don’t let that deter you, there’s plenty to see and do while still battling less crowds than the Summer months. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to know to make the most out of visiting Zion in March…
Is Zion Open in March?
First off, yes Zion is open in March. It may seem a silly question, but there are some US National Parks that are not fully accessible all year long. Zion National Park is open all year and as of now you do not need a reservation to enter the park.
Don’t forget your America the Beautiful Pass since there is a fee to enter Zion or if you are an Active Duty Military member or Veteran like I am, you get in free with your id!
Is Zion National Park Crowded in March?
Since March is a big month for Spring Break across America – maybe in other countries too? – Zion National Park is more crowded than in the Winter. Attendance to Zion has been growing each year and March is no different.
March 2022 saw over 446,000 people visit Zion National Park, so even though you won’t be the only people there, the park is big and I am sure you will still enjoy yourself!
Can You Drive Through Zion in March?
By March, you will need to use the Zion Shuttle to access Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, but you can drive through Zion National Park on Hwy 9 in your private vehicle year-round. You will need to pay the entrance fee, but the Zion Shuttle is free, leaves from the visitor’s center and you do not need a reservation.
Depending on what dates in March you will be visiting Zion National Park, there is a chance the shuttle is only a requirement on the weekends. This means during the weekdays you may have the opportunity to drive along the Zion Canyon Scenic Dr. Check the park’s website for more up to date info on when the shuttle is in operation.
What is the Weather Like in March?
In early March the temperatures in Zion will still be cold with early mornings around 35 degrees F to 45 degrees F. It will warm up throughout the day getting into the mid-50-60 degrees (F) and with sunshine may feel warmer.
In late March, mid-day can get into the mid-70s F, but still be prepared for cool mornings in the mid to upper 40s F.
Snow in Zion National Park in March is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Since March is the rainiest month in Zion with around 8 days of rain, at some of the higher elevations, along with the early morning and late evening cooler temperatures, there is a chance of snowfall.
Things to Do
The most common question I get no matter what month someone wants to visit Zion is if The Narrows is open. Yes, you can hike the Narrows in March BUT be very prepared for cold and high water!
There are plenty of capable guides in the area, so book a guided hike of The Narrows or if you are experienced have your dry suit and poles handy.
Angel’s Landing, the most popular – and dangerous – hike in Zion is another option, but again, come prepared. If it has rained, or been below freezing, some sections can be very slick. I never like doing this, but I would be remiss if I did not remind you that people have died on the Angel’s Landing hike, so know the dangers before you go!
Also, there is now a lottery system to obtain a permit to hike Angel’s Landing. If you are planning to do Angel’s Landing make sure to plan ahead and apply for your permit on the National Park Service’s website.
Another popular strenuous hike, Observation Point, is currently closed because of a rockfall.
Now that I have some of the harder things to do in Zion in March, how about some less risky adventures…
If you drive thru Zion National Park up Highway 9 and through the tunnel you will want to stop at the Canyon Overlook right after the tunnel exit (coming from the main entrance direction – if you are arriving from the East Ranger Station, the Canyon Overlook Trail is BEFORE you enter the tunnel).
There is limited parking, but even if you only find a spot along the road, it is worth the short walk to experience a bird’s eye view of Zion National Park.
If you are up for a moderate hike, then make sure to plan to trek the Watchman Trail. It’s not too long at around 3.5 miles, but has some moderate drop-offs to keep an eye out for.
Or if something more chill is your cup of tea, then a stroll along the paved Pa’rus Trail that follows the Virgin River is very relaxing!
Finally, the Lower Emerald Pool Trail is another easy option. But you will need to ride the shuttle and get off at stop #5 to experience the 1.2 mile hike in March.
Wrapping It Up…
Bring some warm clothes and an adventurous attitude for your March visit to Zion National Park! Don’t let the increased crowds keep you from enjoying the comfortable temperatures while you check out all the amazing sites Zion has to offer.
Whether you just want to take a drive through Zion on Hwy 9 or plan some hikes that you will have to take the shuttle to access, Zion National Park offers plenty of memories you will relish for years to come!