Best time to visit Bryce and Zion etc

Old Nov 10th, 2014, 06:12 AM
  #1  
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Best time to visit Bryce and Zion etc

We plan to visit friends in Tucson and then visit the Four Corners area. We want to see Bryce, Zion, and Moab. We want to get away from the cold weather in Va and were planning to go in mid to late February. What's the weather like that time of year?
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 06:50 AM
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J62
 
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www.weather.com is your friend here. you can see historical averages for each month.

Bryce is at 8000 to 9000 elevation. February is deep winter. Average daytime high = 39F, average low = 17F

Zion will be slightly warmer, avg high in Feb 47F, low 24F.

Not what I would call getting away form the cold.

Last time I was in Bryce it was early May and it snowed each night. It didn't prevent me from enjoying Bryce, but you need to be prepared for cold even then.

Ideal time to visit Zion is late May / early June, or in Sept/Oct.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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We visited the very end of May/ first of June. Perfect and not crowded. We also stayed at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 08:06 AM
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At Zion, if you would plan on hiking any trails that would take you up out of the canyon, I have read that they can be icy in Winter. Not a good thing in some spots, though people certainly do it.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 02:04 PM
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cd
 
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Historic Hwy 12 is a beautiful drive from Zion/Bryce to Capitol Reef but I would not drive it in the winter with possible ice on the roads!
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 05:13 PM
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If you want to get away from the cold then stay in Arizona. All of southern Utah experiences winter like conditions. The higher mountains get more snow, so sometimes Zion or Moab area will be great in the winter, but Bryce will almost always have snow and cold. It is beautiful with snow, but not what you are looking for it sounds like.

My question for you is how long do you have? I mean you'd need more than a week to see those three parks especially if you are starting in Tucson.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 07:45 PM
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Thanks everyone - sounds like we should explore areas around Tucson and save Four Corners for a better time. What is the ideal time to visit Bryce, Zion etc. October? May?
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Old Nov 11th, 2014, 02:57 AM
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It's probably best you are saving the parks for another time. We have been to Bryce and Zion in February and there was a lot of snow even in the campground in Zion. The Riverside Walk and even lower Emerald Pools trail were closed because of icy conditions. Bryce was beautiful but walking around in knee deep snow was challenging...wish we had our snow shoes then.

September - October or April - May will be good times to visit the parks. If you go in April just make sure it's not over elementary-high school spring break. All the parks are getting crowded even in the spring and fall when children are in school because so many older retired people visit the parks and tourist from other countries.

Utahtea
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Old Nov 11th, 2014, 04:50 AM
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We've been in October, and the warm days and crisp nights were pretty perfect.

I am amused that you want to "get away from the cold weather in Virginia." We go to Richmond for the winter to get away from the cold weather here in New England!
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Old Nov 12th, 2014, 02:11 PM
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I second late May / early June for Bryce and Zion.

I was also there in mid-Sept and the weather was great as well.
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Old Nov 12th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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Good call, did you notice that the latitude of Zion is almost the same as Richmond, VA and it is higher in elevation so you wouldn't expect to "get away from the cold in VA" by going there.
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