Table of Contents

33 Top Zion NP Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

Zion national park
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Zion National Park is a stunning place to visit, no matter what time of year you go. There are so many breathtaking (literally AND figuratively!) hikes that your walking sticks and hiking shoes won’t know what hit them! The desert southwest vistas, climate, and vibe are so peaceful – you’ll likely be scheming about how to visit again even before your trip ends.

It can be hard to know how to pack for your visit, especially if you’re not familiar with a desert climate, so we’ve put together this helpful Zion packing list which also includes what to wear in Zion, what NOT to pack, and answers to your biggest Zion NP FAQs.

Man looking at view in Zion national park
Zion is otherworldly, prepare to be in awe at every turn.
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What to Pack for Zion National Park – 33 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    Keeping your suitcase organized is the last thing you want to have to think about when traveling. These handy packing cubes make it so much easier to avoid a suitcase explosion. This set comes in a variety of sizes, including a couple of laundry bags, and even has index cards for you to write the contents so you can keep everything straight.

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    Packing Cubes

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  • 2. Solar Charger

    With no shortage of sunlight in Zion, this is the perfect place to use a solar charger for your devices. After this charger is fully loaded, it can power multiple charges for smartphones and tablets. It comes with 2 USB ports to charge your electronics simultaneously, as well as a built-in LED flashlight.

    Solar Charger

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    If you plan to do any online streaming or internet browsing while unplugging in nature, be sure to at least use a VPN. A Virtual Private Network gives you a private channel to surf the web without being vulnerable to hackers. It will add a layer of encryption between your private info like passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. It’s super affordable and is useful to have at home or on vacation.


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  • 4. Neck Wallet

    Keep your valuables in one easy-to-find place while you hike your way around Zion. With its RFID lining, this neck wallet is perfect for cash, credit cards, passports, hotel and car keys, and even your phone. Made from sturdy ripstop fabric, it’s easy to tuck inside your shirt, keeping everything close. And with its lifetime guarantee, if you ever have trouble with it, you can have it replaced.

    Neck Wallet

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  • 5. Motion Sickness & Altitude Relief

    If you are prone to motion sickness, thinking ahead is wise. You can end up very motion sick if you overwork yourself in the direct sun. Not to mention that some parts of Zion National Park reach beyond 8,500 feet above sea level. Altitude Relief can be a preventative measure, and sticking a motion relief patch behind your ear can’t hurt to mitigate any nausea.

    Motion Sickness & Altitude Relief

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Zion National Park

    If Zion is over 100 miles from home for you, travel insurance is a great investment for your trip. It protects you from flight cancellations, medical emergencies, lost or stolen luggage, and a variety of other things to give you peace of mind before, during, and after your trip. We use Faye because they create customized plans for each trip. They also have unique coverage for things like extreme sports, pet care, and the ability to cancel for any reason.

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Discounted Tickets for Zion Tours

    Trek the Crimson Slot Canyon, horseback through White Mountain, and push yourself to new heights at Angels Landing Summit. Whether you’re watching the sunset from the ‘Top of the World‘ or stargazing with peak views of the milky way – Zion has a plethora of magical sights to offer.

    We use Get Your Guide to book the best excursions on earth because they have unique tours, discounted prices, and flexibility around cancelations.

    Discounted Tickets for Zion Tours

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  • 8. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A quick-dry towel is one of the most versatile items in our packing artillery. As an alternative to bulky bath towels that can be hard to lug around, these weigh less than a feather and are great on hikes, for drying off after splashing through a creekbed, or to rinse off your hot, dusty face. With the handy loop, you can hang it from your backpack with a carabiner to dry while you keep exploring.

    HERO Travel Towel - Blue

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  • 9. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    Small, portable chargers can be invaluable when you’re out on a trail. Chargers like this are easy to reload overnight and will prevent you from the unpleasant surprise of having your phone die in the middle of the wild. This is especially important if you’re using the phone either for GPS or as your main camera. It uses a standard USB cable to attach to your device and is no larger than a tube of lipstick.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 10. Emergency Paracord Bracelet

    Many of the hiking trails in and around Zion NP are pretty remote. If an accident occurs or if you completely lose your bearings, this little gem is like having a Boy Scout tucked inside your backpack. It comes with a fire starter, compass, loud emergency whistle, knife, and 12 feet of military-grade paracord.


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  • 11. Cooling Towel

    The high desert climate in Zion means days can be warm during the summer months. In an effort to stay cool in Zion, this cooling towel will instantly offer relief from warm weather. Simply soak the towel in cold water and apply to the back of neck, or forehead to enjoy a long day of adventure and sightseeing. Feel recharged and energized with this towel dropping to 30-degrees colder than the outside temp!

    Cooling Towel Pink and blue

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  • 12. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    A universal waterproof phone case is a great way to be sure your smartphone is protected from the elements during your trip to Zion. Whether it’s swimming, hiking in The Narrows, or you get caught in a surprise rainstorm, this case will keep your phone safe from any moisture damage. Add a float strap to ensure your devices remain buoyant and easy to grab.

    Universal Waterproof Phone Case

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  • 13. Collapsible Hiking Sticks

    Hiking sticks are an easy item to forget. But with a number of hikes rated ‘strenuous’ and having significant elevation change, you’ll be grateful you packed these. This set is strong but lightweight aluminum that will easily fit into your daypack without adding much bulk.

    Collapsible Hiking Sticks

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  • 14. Waterproof Backpack

    Daypacks are invaluable on visits to Zion, as you’ll want hands-free but still need to have sunscreen, water, snacks, a hat, a quick-dry towel, a phone, etc., while you take in the sights. This backpack is compact and lightweight since it’s made for travel, while still having plenty of pockets and exterior loops to attach things you want readily available.

    Backpack grey

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  • 15. Luggage Locks

    Attach luggage locks to any bags or suitcases, especially if flying to Utah or checking any luggage. These locks are TSA-approved so security won’t have to cut them off, but you’ll have peace of mind against any unwanted hands digging through your suitcase. It can also be useful to lockers where you may need to leave your dry items when hiking The Narrows.

    luggage locks

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  • 16. Moisture Wicking Scarf

    This gaiter will not only keep your neck and face protected from wind, sun, and dust. It also easily doubles as a headband to keep your hair out of your face or a mask when needed. These also smush into the smallest corner of a backpack, no you’ll never need to be without it!

    Moisture Wicking Scarf

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  • 17. LED Headlamp

    For any outdoor activities, a headlamp is a smart way to keep your footing on rocky ground. If you need to find a restroom in nature or need to find something at night, it will keep you safe from accidents. It will even be helpful during the day when areas have poor lighting or can be difficult to navigate.

    LED Headlamp

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  • 18. Portable Coffee Maker

    Nothing quite beats a cup of Joe that you freshly brewed in the wild. Overlook the sunrise of Upper East Canyon as you whip up your morning java. This one is super easy to use, simply grind it up and infuse your water over the grounds to brew. It is a sleek portable design and there’s simply no substitute for that morning mud!

    Portable Coffee Maker

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  • 19. Hand Warmers & Gloves

    In the winter months, Zion National Park gets very frigid and often rainy. While the day hours may be brisk and windy, the evenings will drop to below freezing. I absolutely recommend bringing a warm pair of insulated gloves, along with some cozy hand and foot warmers that can be slipped into gloves and socks. It’s an absolute delight that you won’t regret in the colder months!

    Hand Warmers & Gloves

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  • 20. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Surprisingly, Zion National Park has a monsoon season and even experiences flash flooding. If you plan on visiting Zion during the chillier months, then be sure to bring rain gear. A travel umbrella is a good option because it’s compact and adds very little weight to your pack. This umbrella is my favorite because while it’s a travel umbrella it’s also super well-made and sturdy.

    Hero Umbrella

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  • 21. Fast-Drying Wool Socks

    Smart wool does a great job keeping your feet ventilated while hiking. These short socks will help keep your tootsies comfortable while you scramble over rocks and up inclines without being overly bulky or hot. They’re made for trail running and activity so they are also designed to be anti-blister.

    Fast-Drying Wool Socks

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  • 22. Quick-Dry Travel Pants

    Quick-dry pants are so much more comfortable if there’s any chance of getting wet while you’re hiking! These are great options with both women’s and men’s having zippered pockets to ensure you don’t accidentally leave anything behind in the creekbed. Here’s a great pair of convertible hiking pants that unzip at the knee if you get them muddy or wet.

    Quick-Dry Travel Pants

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  • 23. Blister Balm

    You could easily spend hours or even days discovering Zion’s incredible trails like Angels Landing and The Narrows. Your feet will be covering some serious mileage exploring the park, which is why I recommend packing blister balm. Just apply it to your heels or anywhere else that tends to blister or chafe. It works to prevent painful sores that could slow you down – that way you can hike to your heart’s content!

    Blister Balm

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  • 24. Fleece Zip-Up Vest

    Even if you visit Zion NP during the hottest summer months, the evenings can still get chilly, so you’ll be glad you have a fleece on hand to help keep you cozy while munching on s’mores.

    Fleece Zip-Up Vest

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  • 25. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    You definitely want a good reusable water bottle for your trip to Zion. As we all know, hydration is super important when you’re out hiking under the hot sun. This water bottle with a built-in filter will help you to have autonomy over your water while eliminating single-use plastic waste. It is great for general use, but if you drink from a stream or untreated water, you will need a stronger filter like the Grayl system. For most elevations at Zion, unclean water would need to be boiled for 3-4 minutes to be safe from pathogens.

    Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

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  • 26. Sunscreen

    Sunscreen is a must in Zion! Even if you visit in March (traditionally the rainiest month of the year), there will doubtless be sunshine at various times of the day and with elevations ranging from about 3000-9000 feet, the sun can be intense. As always with sunscreen, you’ll want to be sure to reapply it every few hours, especially if you’re sweating a lot.


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  • 27. Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

    Mosquito activity is very high at Zion and you will need to take precautions. Long-sleeved shirts are appropriate if hiking long trails, but adding these mosquito-repellent wristbands is a brilliant way to wear your protection. We use this brand because they’re natural, safe for kids, and you don’t have to re-apply toxic fumes all day with a spray variation.

    Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

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  • 28. Outdoor Shower

    One of my favorite things to bring on a camping trip is an outdoor shower. There are no shower facilities in Zion, only public ones in the town of Springdale that you can purchase for a fee. Instead, find your own private oasis with this solar-powered shower. Simply fill the bag with water and leave it out to bake in the sun while you explore. It will warm up like a jacuzzi and you can then find a private nook to hang it from a tree, allowing gravity to be your water pressure. Don’t forget the biodegradable soap and get ready to enjoy the most beautiful shower of your life!

    Outdoor Shower

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  • 29. Tent

    There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars! With this easy set-up tent, you get all the benefits of sleeping outside, without actually being in the elements all night. This one is available in sizes ranging from 2-person to 6-person, so invite your friends. It’s easy to set up and very spacious, plus it’s able to withstand 35+ MPH winds. We’ve never had a leak or any issue with it!


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  • 30. Binoculars with Phone Adapter

    The wildlife watching is out of this world at Zion! So come prepared with a pair of binoculars to spot deer, bears, foxes, sheep, mountain lions, and more! This pair is pretty cool because they have a power adapter that connects to your phone, allowing you to take screenshots and record videos of what you’re seeing. Way cheaper than something more precious like Vanguard and still solid quality.

    Binoculars with Phone Adapter

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  • 31. Hanging Toiletries Bag

    Camping brings with it a scarcity of storage space, no countertops to leave your makeup or skincare products on, and no place to set your toothbrush. That’s why we use this hanging toiletries bag that converts any pole hook or branch into an immediate full-length shelf. It has 4 giant compartments and will hold everything you need to maintain your routine (and sanity!)

    Hanging Toiletries Bag

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  • 32. Hammock

    As you meander through Angels Landing, Observation Point, Emerald Pool Trails, and more – a hammock is a sweet refuge where you can slow down and find your zen. Set it up anywhere between two trees and nap to your heart’s content. Hammock camping is permitted at Zion, so this could also serve as your bed.


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  • 33. Electrolytes

    Electrolytes are true heroes. They literally save lives and as you spend long days in the heat, or potentially get sick, you will need something to rapidly replenish your energy. This brand is delicious and will enhance the power of your water. This formula helps your body ward off dehydration since it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals that will quickly balance your fluid levels.


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What to Wear in Zion National Park

Regardless what time of year you visit Zion, comfortable and casual are the name of the game. The atmosphere in and around Zion is a combination of laidback-outdoorsy and southwest desert chic. Having comfortable shoes to walk/hike in are essential at any time of year and see our suggestions below for some fun options to consider for an evening ‘on the town’.

Temperatures vary significantly throughout the year, but even in winter daytime temps are surprisingly mild and comfortable. Unless you’re camping in winter, you may not need a terribly heavy coat, but will probably still want a lightweight beanie and maybe gloves. For summer visits to Zion, make sure you have your swimsuit and some shorts as temps regularly cross the century mark!

What should WOMEN wear in Zion NP? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

What should MEN wear in Zion NP? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Packing for the Seasons in Zion National Park

While it can snow in Zion, daytime temperatures even in winter generally accommodate shirtsleeves and pants. In summer you’re likely to pretty much live in your swimsuit, shorts, and a tank top, but will want some lightweight layers you can add for the evenings, especially if you’re camping in the park. Summer or winter, good shoes, and sunglasses are important pieces to include in your Zion wardrobe.

Winter – December, January, February

Average winter temps in Zion range from a balmy 50s during the day, dropping into the 20s overnight. As we mentioned, while it can snow in Zion, it rarely lasts for long. Unless you’re planning a number of hikes with large elevation changes, chances are good you’ll be comfortable with lighter weight winter clothing. Good options to include are long pants, base layer, hat, fleece, heavy jacket, short or long sleeve shirts depending on your cold tolerance and hiking shoes or boots.

Spring – March, April

Spring is beautiful and mild in Zion. Temperatures generally are in the 30s overnight and up into the 70s during the day. March is usually the rainiest month in Zion, so be prepared for that if you plan to visit then. Some good clothing options for spring are shorts or pants depending on your chill tolerance, lightweight waterproof jacket, fleece vest, short or long sleeve shirts, hiking shoes, boots or sandals.

Summer – May, June, July, August, September

Summer is the most popular time to visit Zion, so in addition to great hot weather, be prepared for lots of fellow visitors. Summer temps during the day commonly reach into the 100s while overnight it will often dip into the 50s. Lightweight and comfortable are best for summer months including shorts, short sleeve shirts or tank tops, lightweight jacket (for nighttime), hiking boots, shoes or sandals, sunhat.

Fall – October, November

Fall is relatively short in Zion but it can be a great time to go if you’d rather miss the crowds of summer. Temperatures will range from the 30s to the 70s, so you can plan your wardrobe for this time much as you would for a March or April trip.

What NOT to Bring to Zion National Park

  • 1.DON’T TAKE Lots of clothes

    Zion was made for enjoying the outdoors. While you will undoubtedly get dusty and dirty on your trip, you don’t want to overpack by stuffing too many clothes into your suitcase. Multipurpose items are de rigueur for a visit to Zion.

  • 2.DON’T TAKE Heavy items such as books

    An e-reader, like a Kindle, is your friend on an outdoorsy trip. Especially if you’re camping, let alone overnight backpacking!, you don’t want to be loaded down with tons of extra weight. Streamline your packing list to include smaller, lighter weight items.

  • 3.DON’T TAKE Lots of electronics

    While you definitely want some items (phone and kindle being great examples), don’t over-pack with lots of devices. The risk of them getting dust inside, or dropping them into water isn’t worth it.

  • 4.DON’T TAKE Jewelry or other valuables

    These will only cause you worry and stress .. especially if you’re staying in a campground. If you plan to have a nice night or two out on your trip, take maybe one piece of jewelry, but don’t make it your heirloom necklace from great-grandma.

  • 5.DON’T TAKE Rentable gear

    Many of the items you might need for hiking, biking or climbing can be rented in nearby Springdale.

  • 6.DON’T TAKE Regular bath towels

    This great quick-dry towel will not only save you weight in your luggage, but drying time as well, compared to a regular cotton towel.

  • 7.DON’T TAKE Impractical/uncomfortable shoes

    While we would never recommend not having some fun little sandals on a trip, your feet will be much happier with you if those cute shoes are also comfortable to wear! Without a doubt you’ll be doing a lot of walking in Zion, so keeping your paws comfy in the down-time will keep you much happier!

What NOT to wear in Zion National Park – (Click to expand)
Don’t bother with packing anything very dressy. Not only will you be uncomfortable when it’s hot, but you’ll also stand out in this very casual southwest area. See our suggestions in the ‘what to wear’ section of this article for some classy, yet comfortable options.

FAQs about Zion National Park

  • 1. When is the best time to visit?

    This depends largely on your interests as well as your heat tolerance. Summer is super popular as it’s when you can be most sure that all the hiking trails will be open and as a result, it can be very crowded. At least before Covid-19, the park had stopped allowing private cars into the park during much of the year and required all visitors to take the free, easily accessible shuttles to various points of interest. Many locals swear by venturing into the park during the fall months when crowds have waned and the weather is a bit cooler.

  • 2. Are there things to do outside the park?

    Definitely! Springdale is the town immediately outside of Zion. It has some great restaurants and fun shopping where you can find everything from native American crafts to art to decadent chocolates. There are also several festivals at different points in the year. The Zion Park website has a good summary of these. If you’re ready to confront some ghosts, you can also visit nearby Grafton and probably have the place to yourselves. There are also Jeep, ATV and helicopter excursions, river tubing, canyoneering, and rock-climbing adventures, and a couple of amphitheaters tucked into the rock cliffs.

  • 3. When is Zion open?

    Before Covid-19, Zion NP was open 24/7/365. Like so many other venues it has been closed in 2020 for health and safety reasons, so do your research before booking tickets for your trip. Hopefully, it will be back up to speed (maybe at reduced capacities?) by the time you’re reading this!

  • 4. What are the best hikes?

    There are so many great hikes in Zion that it would be impossible to name them all! Here are some of the favorites. Angel’s Landing .. a strenuous 5.4 miles up and back, you’ll want to start early, but the views from the top are magnificent! Upper Emerald Pools is a moderate hike of about 3 miles up and back with some delightful, though small, waterfalls (pro tip: spring and fall are the best times to catch the falls). Canyon Overlook is a short hike .. only about 1 mile .. but has some pretty steep climbs, so it’s still considered a moderate trek. During the day Canyon Overlook has some great views down into some of the slot canyons (more on those in a minute) and it’s also a great night hike if you want some stunning views of the stars! (Just don’t forget your flashlight or headlamp.) The Narrows hike is the piéce de la resistance of Zion! It’s a tough hike as most of it is through water but you can decide how far up into the slot canyon you want to go, so it can be anywhere from a couple of miles to 9.5 miles round trip, depending on how much time and effort you want to give it. Just know that the further you go, the more amazing it gets! Do your research on this one though. If the water is running too high, park staff will close this hike as there is no way to get clear of a flash flood if one were to come tearing down through the slots.

  • 5. Where can I stay?

    You have tons of options both in and around Zion for overnight. Within the park, camping is your only option at one of three campgrounds. There are also many campgrounds outside the park if it’s booked up. Also, there are plenty of great hotels, inns, resorts, and cozy little bed and breakfasts in Springdale and nearby Rockville .. many of which have a stop for the previously mentioned shuttles into the park. You can also opt for vacation rentals, such as Airbnb, or RV campgrounds if that’s your thing.