What to pack for Zion National Park: Zion packing list for all seasons

virgin river in Zion NP

What to pack for Zion National Park: Zion packing list and essentials for visiting this stunning US National Park whether you are hiking or not.

Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

Whether you are a hiker or just going to the park to enjoy the scenery from the bottom of the canyon, you are guaranteed to be impressed by Zion’s mighty landscape and an appropriate packing list will put you in the best possible conditions to enjoy your time at the park.

We adore the park: it is one of the most beautiful places we have ever seen and the place where our kids fell in love with hiking (find below a list of all our articles about it.)

Today, we tackle the topic of what to pack. This is your complete Zion National Park Packing list.

The basic items are the same no matter what type of Zion trip you have in mind but the details and specs change with the top of hiking you intend to pursue.

Depending on the level of difficulty of the hikes you intend to take, you will need variations on this items from basic (easy hikes, staying in Zion Canyon) to performance sportswear (moderate and strenuous hikes).

Additional items will be needed also if you want to camp in Zion: in that case, you may find useful to have look at our camping packing list for families too.

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Zion National Park packing list: essential clothing

No matter what plans you have for your time in Zion, I recommend you pack the following:

Proper hiking shoes + walking/ hiking socks

Proper hiking shoes are essential if planning on doing any of the Zion hikes that at not on paved trails.

Go for good grip soles and ankle hiking shoes for maximum protection and get cushioned, hiking socks for additional protection, especially if planning longer hikes.

Runners/ sneakers/ flats for the evening and whenever you are not hiking

Runners and flats were our shoes of choice post hike and for days when proper hiking was not in the cards.

If you are only planning on walks such as the Riverside Trail and the Pa’rus trail, sneakers are the only shoes you will need.

Hiking trousers

Hiking trousers are perfect for Zion as they are versatile enough and comfortable enough to accompany you on the trails but also when relaxing back at the lodge or your hotel.

The ones I use are Columbia and they area great! If you prefer not to invest in this item and are only planning on easy hikes, yoga pants or sweatpants are ok too.

Short sleeve tops

I always pack short sleeve tops no matter the season as I find them excellent on their own or for layering.

Zion has very changeable temperatures so layers are your best friend.

Go for basic t-shirts and tops if staying on easy hikes or opt for athletic wear with wicking properties if hitting proper trails.

Us on the Parus trail in Zion

A light fleece top

You may not need this in summer however, Zion can have colder hours pretty much any time of the year so an extra layer is a good idea.

A light rain jacket

A light rain layer is a great thing to have in Zion as rain can happen (even in summer). I recommend you opt for a lightweight and packable model you can simply put in your bag when the sun is out.

In Zion, you go from sun to torrential rain so you want to be prepared but you also really do not want to drag a raincoat with you under the scorching summer! Packable is the way to get the perfect balance.

Hiking bandana

I love hiking bandanas as they are super versatile: they can protect your throat from the cold, absorb sweat and keep your hair at bay.

I recommend you bring one from home however, the local shop has lovely ones with Zion maps and prints that make for lovely souvenirs!

Clothing basics

Don’t forget to pack your underwear, bras/sports bras, nightwear and toiletries!

Additional items if visiting Zion in summer

Summer can get very hot in Zion, so I recommend you pack:

  • Shorts (normal or hiking shorts depending on plans)
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Walking sandals for lower canyon walks and the evening
  • Swimming gear for hotel pool if needed
  • Water shoes for entering the river
  • Sunscreen

Additional items to visit Zion in spring, fall or winter

In any other season, it is a good idea to have:

  • Warmer outer layer (fleece or similar) for evenings and shady parts of the park
  • Puffy jacket
  • Gloves
  • Beanie hat
  • Snow chains for the car in winter

What to pack for Zion: additional items and must have

Additional things to add to your Zion packing list are:

  • Reusable water bottle / water pouch for hiking
  • Trash bags
  • First aid kit
  • Hiking poles
  • Zion Map
  • Zion permits
  • Travel backpack
  • Day backpack
  • Sunscreen (always, Zion is pretty exposed even in winter)

Good to know: day hiking essentials such as hiking snacks and wet gear for hiking the narrows can be bought/rented in and near the park.

What to pack for visiting Zion with kids

Zion is wonderful to visit with children. In that case, on top of the above items I recommend you bring:

What to pack for hiking the Narrows

If you are planning on hiking the Narrows I highly recommend you have a chat with Zion Outfitters (I have no connection with them, just saw lots of people at the park renting from them) so they can guide you on what you need on the hike and kit you up with dry bags etc.

Additional info to help you pack for Zion National Park: Zion weather

Spring in Zion – Spring is a time of high temperature variation in Zion.

Depending on the exact month of your visiting and the snow fall in the winter, you may get mild days or very cold ones, the night temperature reaching -1 in March at night.

In this season, especially in March/April, a warm fleece top, light puffy coat and rain gear are a must have.

Summer in Zion – Summer in Zion is very hot and you will only need light summer clothing unless you plan on hiking at high altitude, where you want to have some additional protection such as a light fleece top and rain protection.

Be aware that July-August and September are monsoon season in Zion and pouring rain may happen so you want to be prepared.

Fall in Zion – Fall is layer season in Zion and you want to make sure you have lighter clothes but also fleece and rain gear for the evening, colder hours of the day and when hiking at higher altitudes or in the shaded parts of the canyon.

Winter in Zion – Winter tend to be cold and snowy in Zion with temperatures ranging from 50-60F during the day to freezing at night. You will need a suitable coat and rain protection: higher altitude hiker are routinely closed at this time. You can find official info on Park weather conditions here.

I hope you found these tips on what to pack for Zion National Park and Zion Packing list useful. Safe travel planning!

Going to Zion? Don’t forget to also check out our Zion Travel Guides below:

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