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Traveling to Utah this summer? Find out what to wear in Utah when visiting their incredible national parks including Zion, Arches, Bryce, and Canyonlands!
What to Wear in Utah: Summer
Written by: Niki Landry
The U.S. National Parks are in the midst of its peak season, and many travelers are gearing up to visit a park this summer. Utah boasts five national parks within its boundaries – plus several state parks including our favorite: Dead Horse Point. It’s the perfect summer vacation for any outdoor enthusiast.
Packing for multiple parks can be a little tricky because its diverse landscape has differing elevations, which can cause an extreme change in the temperature.
A suitable travel capsule wardrobe to keep you covered from all of the elements should include items for both really hot and cold temps. In addition to a change in weather at higher elevations, nighttime temperature can be quite chilly.
To help guide in your packing quest, I’ve compiled a list on what to wear in Utah when visiting the national parks in the summer months.
My level of comfort during a trip is often directly related to my shoes. I spend way too much time contemplating which pairs will make it into my backpack. Careful thought and consideration should be made to the weather and activities.
Hiking boots or sneakers should be a no brainer. There are so many great trails and walks that a durable, sturdy, and comfortable pair of shoes is necessary.
Also, there are quite a few water-based activities to keep you busy in the park. Canyoneering, rafting, and hiking Zion Narrows are at the top of the list.
I personally brought along a pair of closed toe water shoes that I already owned, but If you don’t want to spend the money or packing space there is always the option to rent shoes in the park or from a tour operator.
Lastly, pack a pair of sandals for every activity that doesn’t require the above shoes. Plus sandals will give your feet a break from the confines of your sneakers after a day of trekking. Look for a pair with a thick sole and ankle strap and they can even be used for gentle hikes in the heat.
Choose from our round-up of the best sandals for travel in summer!
Although it may be hot out, it can still be a good idea to pack longer bottoms when hiking to help protect your legs from the sun and scratches from trees and bushes. Just look for items specially made to pull sweat away from your body, and keep you comfortable like these leggings and joggers.
For days when nothing but shorts will do, I’ve included a pair of roll up casual shorts that can be worn for a multitude of activities. You can also opt for summer capris if you don’t like shorts.
Jeans will be the best option for dinner, colder days, and if you decide to go horseback riding, which I highly recommend in Bryce Canyon.
For more ideas, take a look at the best pants for hiking!
An assortment of tops is the best bet to be prepared for any type of weather. A couple of tees, tanks, and a button down should be all you really need. Mix in a few quick dry items, with normal cotton blend tops for the best of both worlds.
It may also be smart to pack a light fleece for layering. Trekking up a river in shaded areas can get quite cold, and a long sleeve top will come in handy.
Here are some of our readers’ favorite fleece travel jackets!
When compiling my Utah packing list, I always like to bring at least one clothing option that is a little bit nicer than the rest, even on hiking trips. The casual but stylish romper is something you can wear for those few times you want to feel a little more pulled together.
Also, at least one swimsuit is necessary for any water activities or to go for a post-trek dip at the hotel pool.
Store your sunscreen, bandana, water bottle, and snacks in a daypack during your days in the park. Some visitors also pack a dry bag for their wet activities, but I personally didn’t have a need for one. I did however bring a change of clothes and travel towel inside my packing cubes for my days near or in water.
Find out why a fast drying travel towel is a must for many trips!
What are your tips on what to wear in Utah when visiting the national parks in the summer? Please share in the comments below!
For more camping and hiking tips, please read:
- What to Bring on a Camping Trip
- What to Wear When Visiting Utah National Park: Springs
- What to Wear in California: National Parks
- Car Camping Checklist for a Week in the National Parks in Utah
Suggested travel resources:
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Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs. nikilandry.com nikilandrydesigns niki-landry-designs-llc