While the sharp sting of winter is still on your mind, start planning a spring get-away to the blue skies, kind temperatures and blooming beauty of Utah. With desert temperatures reaching mid 50’s to 70’s during the day and 30-45 at night (depending on elevation) spring is an excellent time to explore before the rush of summertime tourists.
The NORTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON re-opens Mid-May and once again offers visitors a grand beauty that nearly overwhelms the senses. The classic old National Parks Lodge will again be serving meals in its dining room with an unforgettable view, while it is still wise to make dinner reservations in advance your chances of getting in last minute are greatly improved. The North Rim, in my mind, is more impressive then the South Rim, more serene and definitely less developed. Those early weeks in spring are a tremendous time to be there and feel the splendor of the place in greater privacy.
There is no doubt that the best time to explore ZION NATIONAL PARK is spring and autumn. Zion is Utah’s 1st National Park and encompasses 229 square miles of deep canyons, steep walls and rocky plateaus that look like colorful sandcastles crowning desert canyons. Due to its location at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave Desert, Zion possesses a variety of life zones resulting in unusual plant and animal diversity – there are over 900 different plant species.
By April, many of the cactus and other wildflowers will erupt into their short-lived dramatic beauty – desert marigold, the eye-catching slickrock paintbrush. The Zion Field Institute conducts several field trips to the lower canyon in April to view wildflowers, and a trip to Kolob Canyon mid-May.
Other great sites for viewing spring wildflowers are the Lake Powell/Glen Canyon region and in the Grand Staircase- Escalante
National Monument. Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon are at higher elevations so begin their bloom later in June. Spring storms at Bryce, with an elevation up to 9,115’ above sea level, brings the opportunity to rent cross-country skiis or snow shoes at Ruby’s Lodge and glide along the Fairyland Rim Loop viewing the fantastic red-orange spires of the canyon laced in white.
For the adventurous visitors who wish to seriously explore slot canyons like Peek-A-Boo, Round Valley Draw and others spring is also considered the optimal time. Our next blog will be on Slot Canyons large and small.
With over five National Parks, 7 National Monuments and over 22 million acres of BLM land there is a desert vacation in Southern Utah to suit everyone – casual hikes to serious wilderness exploration. We look forward to helping you discover this amazing region in all its diversity and plan your adventure.