Best Season to Camp in Southern Utah

Best Season to Camp in Southern Utah

The best season to camp in southern Utah depends on your interests and weather preferences. You can enjoy the great outdoors year-round, but each season is best for different activities. 

While spring tends to have the most pleasant hiking weather, summer is an excellent time to dive into the area's refreshing lakes and water holes. Many consider fall the best time to witness the beauty of a changing season, while winter campers seek the area's snow-covered mountains and exciting ski slopes. No matter when you visit, camping in southern Utah is an unforgettable experience.

Spring Camping

Spring camping in southern Utah is a fantastic time to explore the state's popular trails or cast a line to catch some fish. Spring in this area often brings pleasant weather, so it's a great season to go outdoors and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. 

Incredible Spring Hikes

Hiking the Horsetail Falls trail in Alpine is an excellent spring activity. This trail takes you through a wooded canyon to a breathtaking waterfall with gorgeous valley views. Another fun hike perfect for enjoying the spring weather is the Peekaboo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. This exciting hike is long with some rapid elevation changes, so it's fantastic for adventure-seekers. 

If you're looking for an easier hike, the Cecret Lake trail in Salt Lake City is a short path that leads to an alpine lake surrounded by mountains and wildflowers. This spot is popular in the summer, so spring is the best time to visit if you want to avoid the heat and the crowds.

Best Fishing Spots in Southern Utah

Camping in southern Utah during the spring months is also a great opportunity to fish for the perfect catch. You can throw some lines in the following areas for a number of species:

  • Lake Powell
  • Sand Hollow Reservoir
  • Quail Creek Reservoir
  • Fish Lake
  • Gooseberry Reservoir
  • Joe's Valley Reservoir
  • Electric Lake
  • Otter Creek Reservoir
  • Various lakes throughout Boulder Mountain
  • Yankee Meadows Reservoir
  • Oowah Lake
  • Warner Lake
  • Gunlock Reservoir

Summer Camping

Utah is very busy and hot during the summer months, but summer is a fantastic time to explore. Plan a summer camping trip to experience the following adventures: 

Exploring The Narrows

While some hikes are difficult during summer months due to high temperatures, summer is the best time to hike The Narrows. This popular Utah path takes hikers through the Virgin River between gorgeous towering rocks, and the ideal to explore it is between late May and early October.

Swimming and Water Sports

Summer is also an excellent time to splash in a swimming hole, relax by a lake or engage in exciting water sports. Cool down on a hot summer day at Mill Creek, a beautiful swimming hole in Moab with a beautiful waterfall. To reach this fun spot, park at Powerhouse Drive and hike a short path from the trailhead to the swimming hole.

If you're looking for a summer adventure, Utah offers plenty of exciting water activities. Whether you raft along the Colorado River, ride a jet ski through Moab or enjoy stand-up paddleboarding in Zion's lakes, summer is the perfect time to experience this area's refreshing, clear water. It's also an opportunity to relax by a campground swimming pool before sharing some smores around a fire.

Fall Camping

You will love fall camping in southern Utah if you enjoy pleasantly cool weather and magical views. When you visit this area in the fall, you can engage in the following activities:

Leaf Peeping

The state's southern landscape is mainly desert terrain, but you can still marvel at its subtle fall beauty in certain areas. Brian Head, Cedar Breaks, Pine Valley and Zion National Park transform into stunning sights as the leaves change colors and create beautiful contrasts against the red rocks. Whether you take a scenic drive or hike through a colorful forest, experiencing Utah's fall foliage is an unforgettable experience.

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is a classic way to celebrate the fall season, and it's a wonderful camping activity. Visit a local pumpkin patch, such as Staheli Family Farm or Judd Pumpkin Patch, to pick your own pumpkin and enjoy fun fall activities like petting zoos, haunted fields, corn mazes and wagon rides. Carve your pumpkins around a cozy campfire and use them to decorate your campsite after a day venturing through the festive pumpkin patch.

Winter Camping

Since temperatures can drop below freezing, winter camping in Utah is the perfect opportunity to enjoy comfortable lodging in a cozy cabin or rent an RV Site with full hookups.

While this area is too cold for swimming and hiking during the winter, it's still a great season to camp and enjoy the great outdoors. When you camp in this gorgeous state during the winter, you can hit the nearby slopes for some exhilarating skiing or a snowboarding adventure. You can also witness stunning holiday light displays and experience local holiday cheer. Winter camping lets you enjoy the following activities:

Salt Lake City Zoo Lights

Salt Lake City's Hogle Zoo lights up with hundreds of holiday displays on select dates each December. You and your family can stroll through the zoo while the animals sleep and explore delightful light displays. Take some fun photos, walk through a kaleidoscope light tunnel, visit Santa and marvel at a gorgeous 20-foot Christmas tree.

Temple Square Christmas Lights

You can also see stunning Christmas lights at Temple Square. Each year, Temple Square becomes a gorgeous sight the day after Thanksgiving, and the display remains on until New Year's Day. 

Nearby Ski Slopes

Embark on a winter adventure flying down snow-covered mountains at any of the ski slopes surrounding Salt Lake City. Visit Powder Mountain to explore tons of skiable terrain, or ski at Sundance Mountain Resort for fun slopes, exciting activities and beautiful, rustic scenery. Over 10 incredible ski resorts are within a short drive from Salt Lake City, so you will surely find some exhilarating slopes during the stunning winter months.

Experience Southern Utah at Kampgrounds of America

You can camp in southern Utah any time of the year, but the best season to camp in this incredible area depends on your favorite activities. Salt Lake City KOA Holiday offers various camping and lodging options such as Tent Sites, RV Sites, Camping Cabins and Deluxe Cabins. Enjoy any site type to explore the state when the weather is pleasant, or rent a Deluxe Cabin for a cozy winter stay. KOA also offers fun campground activities and exciting seasonal events to make each stay even more special.

Whether you jump into a refreshing water hole on a hot day or fly down the ski slopes during the cold, snowy months, your time in Utah will surely be memorable. Salt Lake City KOA Holiday is 14 blocks from Salt Lake City, making it the perfect spot to experience the city and explore the great outdoors. Book a stay at KOA during your favorite season for a fantastic time.

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