When should you hike a trail? Some hikes lead to fascinating forests, some have tremendous views and others are rich in variety. Share your favorite trails with other hikers and nature lovers.
Otherworldly! The Wave - Coyote Buttes North. One of the most fascinating hikes on our planet! However, there is one catch: You have to win a permit! How to increase your chances and answers to every other possible questions you might have are covered here. You'll learn things no one else tells you about 'The Wave'! Read our powerful planning guide below (check our huge infographic!). This guide was updated 2019.
5 Proven Quick-Tips | Winning a Permit
Our famous 5 proven must-know tips for the lottery (how to win a permit) at a glance:
- Months: Highest chance for a permit in January / early February
- Walk-In Lottery: Enter the lottery for at least 2 consecutive days
- Walk-In Lottery: Between November and March. Plus: Enter on a Friday as well
- Online-Lottery: Wait until the end of the month before entering the lottery (it's NOT first-come, first-served!)
- Online-Lottery: Select 3 dates with the fewest applicants
Read on for more detailed tips and everything you should know before you go.
There is no more real off-season in terms of lottery applicants. Don't trust older reviews and articles. Winning becomes less likely every year. However, the chances to win a permit are still a little better in the winter months. Especially in January and early February. Find more insider tips on how to win a permit in the text and big infographic further below.
Crowds and Weather
Since only 20 persons per day are allowed, crowds are not an issue. However, Kanab (Visitor Center) and Page are less crowded if you avoid peak tourist months (late June, July, August). In terms of weather, we recommend spring (March, April, May) or fall (September, October, November): The temperatures are moderate and the cloud cover is reasonable, particularly in April/May. In summer (June/July/August) it gets very hot (100°F, 40°C). You should start very early to beat the heat. In the winter the ground might be snow covered and muddy. This may result in an impassable road sometimes. The cloud cover is higher in winter as well. However, you should keep in mind that the weather doesn't matter that much: Try to win a permit for this unique hike, regardless of the weather.
Photography (Time of Day)
A sixty foot buttes causes massive shadows and the best time to take photos there is often not sunrise/sunset. However, almost any time for a photo is great when you're at this otherworldly place. Extra tip: Look for puddles to capture great reflections.
Bryce Canyon is one of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. However, there are a lot of things to consider if you’d like to make this a visit you’ll remember forever. We wrote this guide to give you the best tips for Bryce Canyon in terms of the best time (months), weather, busy times, best hikes, personal hotel tips, and more. You shouldn’t miss our complete season guide and tips for the 5 Amazing Must-Know Walks and Hikes at the end of this article!
The best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park in terms of weather is from May until September. The temperatures are usually mild between 63°F and 80°F (17°C – 27°C). However, it’s peak season. If you want to avoid busy times and still experience mostly pleasant weather, go in April or October.
Guide-Book Tip: Check out the best guidebook for Bryce and Zion which is available: Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks. Tour Tip: This one is unforgettable: You spend three days with the best tour guides you can imagine and explore stunning Zion and Bryce National Parks, Monument Valley, as well as Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon. You ride with a 4x4 jeep through Monument Valley and get world class photo opportunities on this once in a lifetime tour. Hassle-free with with everything taken care of! Read the reviews: Bryce, Antelope, Grand Canyons, Zion & Monument Valley - Exclusive Tour
Monthly Weather and Busy Times
Sitting at a relatively high elevation of 8,000 to 9,000 feet, Bryce Canyon National Park is colder than any national park in Utah including Zion, Canyonlands and Arches. Summer temperature is pleasant and mild with little fluctuations. Night time in spring and fall are chilly but winter is the coldest with plenty of snowfall. Remember to pack your warm clothes when planning your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park anytime of the year. Monthly average maximum temperatures:
More details: Bryce Canyon Climate
Spring (March – May): Weather during spring transition from cold to mildly warm. Nonetheless, visitors still need a jacket particularly in March and April. This is the time to see snow melt from the higher elevation mountains surrounding this spectacular park. However, especially March is still considered a 'winter month' with snow and often unpleasent temps. April is the time when most Bryce experts consider going: The snow is melting and it's the first 'warmer' month as temperatures are getting more pleasant in April. It doesn't matter that the trails are still muddy and that’s it's unlikely to see flowers. Also, keep in mind that nights in April and May are chilly.
Summer (June – August): Experience pleasant days and cool nights during summer. The best weather is in July, the warmest month. Rainfall during mid to late summer comes as afternoon thundershowers. These are also the peak tourist months with heavy crowds.
Fall (September – October): Especially September is a great month with pleasant temperatures, blue sky, clear and crisp air. However, weather can be unpredictable and fall nights can be relatively chilly. It is possible to experience some snowfall in October.
Winter (November – February): Winter is the coldest time to visit Bryce Canyon. One will experience lots of snow between January and February, making it ideal time to enjoy snow activities such as skiing and sledging. Much of the area experience the occasional snowstorm from October through April. The coldest month is December. Few facilities and amenities will either remain closed or reduce their operating hours. The shuttle won't operate in winter. However, it's still worth visiting in the colder months! Why? 1) No crowds, you have the park almost to yourself. 2) It's cold but definitely not freezing cold during the day. 3) Accommodation prices are at their lowest with great discounts (check our hotel tips below). There are also a lot of amazing things to do in the winter. We loved the 'Ranger Guided Snowshoe Hike'. Check the official park website for more information: NPS - Bryce Canyon Winter Visit
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
The park is attracting over 2.6 million people annually now (2018). Summertime is the peak tourist season and very busy. Quieter times are winter, early spring and late fall. In September, the crowds start to thin out slightly after Labor Day (first Monday in September). However, not on weekends, as they are still packed in September. June, July and August bring the heaviest crowds. In May it already starts to get busy, especially on weekends.
To avoid the crowds, start your day’s exploration early and go mid-week if possible. Finding the perfect parking space can sometimes be challenging especially at the view points along the scenic drive. However, you can find a nice parking spot just few kilometers away from the more packed ones. Special Tip: If you want to park your car at Sunset Point (limited parking only), arrive there around 7 a.m. A park ranger even suggested 6 a.m.! Otherwise it's better to use the shuttle (see below). Hiking enthusiasts should also start very early as most hiking trails will be packed later. The family friendly and moderate trails are packed in high season: Rim Trail, Queens Garden Loop, Navajo Loop, … You can find solitude, even in peak season, on the more strenuous day hikes like Fairyland Loop and Peekaboo Loop. Especially if you start early. Looking for very easy, short hikes or walks? Read our guide with the 5 best hikes and walks at the end of this article.
Opening Hours and Shuttles
The park is open 24 hours throughout the year. The Visitor center is modern, with everything you need. No restaurant though. Visitor Center Operating Hours . Shuttle service for the Bryce Canyon stops in late October and resumes with the start of spring in mid-April. Detailed schedule: Bryce Canyon Park Shuttle Is is it free? Yes, there is no additional fee. You can use the shuttle as often as you like. It's all included in the $35 entrance fee to Bryce Canyon.
The Table Mountain is a truly magnificient landmark in South Africa. It's an iconic landmark with stunning views of Cape Town and its surroundings. Table Mountain can be visited year round. However, we are happy provide you with essential time of day tips and details about the best months. [This guide was updated in late 2019]
When to Go
The best time to visit Table Mountain is from October to March. Those are the driest months, as the most rain falls between May and September. The perfect time of day to go up is in the morning before it gets busy and too hot. Either take the first cable car (8:00 am / 8:30) or start hiking early.
Read more details below about the cable car operating times, time of day tips, getting to the top, weather, and why we would visit in the winter months as well.
Table Mountain is 'open' and accessible 24 hours each day throughout the year. That means you could theoretically hike up and down whenever you want. However, we do not recommend this! Especially when it's still dark in the morning or already getting dark in the evening. Safety first! If you don't want to hike or use the cable car for at least one direction (read below: 'Getting to the Top'), the operating hours below are helpful for your trip. Keep in mind that during bad weather the cable car won't operate. If you aren't sure abou the weather conditions on a certain day, call their cable car weather hotline: +(0)21 424 8181
Cable Car Operating Hours 2019/2020
|First Cable Car up||Last Cable Car up||Last Cable Car down|
|16 Dec - 15 Jan||8:00||20:30||21:30|
|16 Jan - 31 Jan||8:00||19:30||20:30|
|1 Feb - 31 Mar||8:00||19:00||20:00|
|1 Apr - 30 Apr||8:00||18:30||19:30|
|1 May - 31 Aug||8:30||17:00||18:00|
Detailed Time of Day Tips
- If you hike, start very early before the cable car begins to operate. That way you'll avoid busy areas and dodge the heat as well in summer months.
- If you use the cable car to get to the top, also be early. Arrive as soon as they start operating in the morning. That way you'll avoid long waiting lines and a very crowded experience. For operating times click the official link (then scroll down): Cableway - Rates - Hours
Getting to the Top | Hiking or Cable Car
- Cable Car (Cable Way): You can get up and down via cableway. Please keep in mind, that it doesn't operate when the weather is bad, the visibility is poor or the wind is too strong. Find rates and operating times here: Cable Car Table Mountain - Official Site. Getting to the cable car itself is not difficult: Cableway - Getting There | Official Site. The easiest way is to book the combo tour (see the tours section below).
- Hiking: An even better experience is to hike. You can hike up and down. However, most visitors choose to hike up and then take the cable car down. It's not recommended to take the cable car up and then hike down. One exception: If the cable car closes you have to hike down. The two alternative routes for hiking are Platteklip Gorge and India Venster. The first one is easier, the second one more strenuous. Never hike alone due to safety reasons.
The best weather conditions at Table Mountain with the least rain are from October until March. Most rainfall (almost 80%) throughout the year happens from May until September. Summer temps range between 15°C and 27°C degrees. In the winter months between 7°C and 20°C. You won't experience any extremes, which results in both pleasant winter and summer periods. That means winter isn't a bad time to visit! But keep in mind that it's colder at the top of the mountain and windier. Always bring a suitable jacket or layer of clothes. The 'tablecloth': The famous and stunning looking cloud formation at Table Mountain is called tablecloth. It looks terrific even from the bottom.
Hiking in the Cradle Mountain National Park is very popular throughout the year. However, in the winter you have to deal with snow, and despite more pleasant temperatures in the summer, the weather is even more unpredictable. However, snow can also occur in December as it happened in 2019. During the summer Cradle is pretty busy with the highest accommodation rates.
Update for Summer 2020
Due to the increasing rate of visitors in Cradle, police presence is raised from this week, January 9th to late April. The police's duty is to control the traffic, which can be an issue during summer, but also for public safety, crime, and in case of an emergency.
Weather by Seasons
The best time to visit Cradle Mountain is from December to March. January and February experience the least amount of rainfall. These months with the most stable weather are also the busiest. Visitor numbers are increasing annually; November and April are less crowded. Keep in mind; the weather at Cradle is changeable and unpredictable throughout the year.
Wildflowers are abundant during spring and early summer. Tasmanian Waratah and Banksia are flowering which is beautiful to see. Echidnas can be seen; getting active after hibernation in winter. Day temps range between 10°C-15°C / 50°F-59°F on average. October is one of the windiest months of the year. We experienced snow and hail in November on a higher elevation with 0°C / 32°F while hiking.
More stable weather from December to April with warmer daily temps on average around 15°C-18°C / 59°F-64°F. The "warmest" months are January and February. Less precipitation from January to March. However, the weather is unpredictable. Be prepared for 4 seasons in one day, even during summer. If you like camping, be prepared for one-digit night temps throughout the year. Even during summer, expect snow as well. If hiking the Overland Track carry warm clothes as well. In December 2019, three hikers suffered hypothermia. Luckily, all of them got rescued.
Autumn (April - May)
In April and May, you see the spectacular range of autumn colours from gold to deep red. The deciduous beech tree also called fagus is the icing on the cake until losing the leaves. The tree is endemic to Australia. Daily temps are around 10°C-15°C / 50°F-59°F on average. Nights are freezing cold between 3°C-5°C / 37°F-41°F. Already increasing rainfall in April.
The winter is the wettest time of the year. Snow is common usually from July to September, with an average daily temp of 6°C / 43°F. It can get even colder and freezing during the night (below 0°C / 32°F). Be prepared for minus degrees in the night while camping. The coldest months are July and August. Hiking can be difficult and strenuous, depending on the amount of snow. If there is heavy snowfall the road to Dove Lake is closed for 2WD. May and September are a little warmer. However, it is not uncommon to experience snow in these months at Dove Lake and at higher elevations.
Top Tip for Cradle Mountain Hiking: Check the weather forecast and conditions before you venture into the National Park. Check out our Weather Link or stop by the visitor centre.
Cradle is the second most visited National Parks in Tassie, attracting more than 300.000 people each year and visitor numbers are increasing annually. You almost don't experience any crowds in the low season during winter. During summer, it's busy with visitors from around the world, especially at Dove Lake. Longer and more strenuous hikes are less frequented. To get a memorable experience visit the park early morning. It gets less busy again in the late afternoon. The busiest months are from December to March nowadays. November and April are still busy but bearable.
Top Tip for the Peak Season: Start your hike before dawn with headlights and enjoy a breathtaking sunrise from Marians Lookout.
Shuttle Bus Service and Parking
There is one car park at Dove Lake and one at Ronny Creek. Arriving early is recommended. Otherwise, shuttle buses have to be taken from the Visitor Center or the Interpretation Center. For National Park Pass holders; the shuttle bus is for free. The last bus leaves Dove Lake in the afternoon. Due to the increasing number of visitors, new bus service also for people with disabilities was introduced in 2018. When these medium-sized buses operate from 8 am to 6 pm cars can't get to the parking. If you want to hike independently, you have to be at Dove Lake parking before 8 am.
The best time to visit Acadia National Park in terms of pleasant weather is between late spring and fall. However, it's often crowded. A less busy time with great weather is the two weeks after Labor Day in September until mid-September, just before the leaf-peeping crowds arrive.
Read our complete overview for every season below with many useful tips. Tip: If you'd like experience something special in Maine and get away from the crowds, check out these great tours: Lighthouse, Coastal & Sailing Tours in Maine. And one of the best guidebooks out there for Acadia N.P.: Acadia - The Complete Guide (via Amazon)
We also collected the the best tips for short hikes and walks, as well as insider tips on how to avoid the crowds during peak season and fall color tips (direct navigation):
Season Tips for Acadia National Park
May - June | Spring
Both months bring warmer and drier conditions. However, in May the trees aren't green yet and it might be too cold for water activities. Temperatures: Up to 51-75°F / 11-22°C in June. It’s pleasant weather for hiking and other outdoor activities. The downside is, depending on how rainy it has been before, there are biting bugs from mid-May until mid-June. Many facilities are open and May is still a quiet month, except for Memorial Day Weekend (end of May). In June it gets already busier but not as crowded as in July and August.
July - August | Summer
Warm, most pleasant temperatures. Peak season. It gets very busy, even more in August. Booked accommodations, waiting lines, crowded parking lots, congested Park Loop Road and busy view points. To avoid the crowds during peak season, get to the park early in the morning or in the late afternoon around dinner time. More tips on how to avoid the crowds can be found below.
September - October | Autumn - Fall Colors
Early September after Labor Day until mid-September is a nice time to visit the park: The weather is pleasant (49-68°F / 9-20°C), it's not super quiet, but the heavy summer crowds are gone and the 'leaf peeping' crowds haven't arrived yet. It gets very busy again from late September until mid-October as thousands want to see the leaf color explosion in fall. The best time to experience the amazing colors is usually mid-October. Tip: Read our '7 Must-Know Fall Color Tips' below in the main text. Book ahead of time if you need accommodation during the ‘leaf peeping’ weeks. After Columbus Day in mid-October crowds dissipate and rates drop. This is another sweet spot time without the heavy crowds. The last week of October ist often still ok for watching the fall colors, but it also gets cold and rainy.
November | Late Autumn
Even in early November, it's usually too late for spotting the beautiful fall colors. Temperatures drop (33-48°F / 1-9°C ), try to visit until mid-November. It’s colder, but still worth to visit the park without the crowds, almost in solitude. Many facilities are closed though. Definitely, drive the Loop Road which is usually still open in November.
December - March | Winter
It’s off season and very cold. Average temperature in January: 14-32 °F / 0-(-)10 °C . Time for snowmobiling and skiing. Most hotels, restaurants, campsites and attractions are closed. The scenic Park Loop Road is also closed from December until mid-April (weather dependant). More winter activity info: NPS Acadia Winter Activities
April | Early Spring
Many visitors would say that April ist is still not pleasant with melting snow and muddy ground. Average temperatures are between 25-41° F / 1-11° C. However, we'd definitely recommend this month. You might be wondering why? First of all, from mid-April the scenic Park Loop Road usually opens. Second, it's still quiet without any heavy crowds of other tourist. You'll have no issues with parking and can enjoy some places almost in solitude. While there are still signs of winter, the scenery is just breathtaking. Some say the views are even more amazing with no leaves on the trees. Bottom line: We think a visit between mid and late April is a great time!
Regardless of monthly temperatures we described above, you should know that in Maine the weather can change dramatically during the year. However, temperatures along the coast in Acadia N.P. are moderated by the ocean. In the graph below you'll find the average monthly highs. Least rainfall is in June, July and August. But still, keep in mind that the weather is often unpredictable and can change instantly. Be prepared for rain at any time.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
It gets crowded in Acadia National Park in summer and fall. A sweet spot time without the heavy crowds but mostly pleasant temperatures used to be those two weeks in September (after Labor Day until mid-September). However, it's not that quiet anymore during this time, especially in the recent years as visitation increased. Otherwise, there are two different sweet spots weeks with mostly pleasant weather and few visitors: A) The weeks after Columbus Day (mid-October) until early November. B) Early June until mid-June: Although it's already busy at places like Bar Harbor, visitors report that most hiking trails in the park are not crowded.
However, if you plan to visit during the summer and leaf peeping time in fall, we have three great tips to avoid crowds:
1. Be Early or Late:
The majority of people tend to visit Acadia from mid-morning to afternoon. Get up early and try to be at the most visited spots or trailheads before 9:00 AM. Usually, the crowds start to arrive around 10:00 AM. Incredibly popular spots like the summit of Cadillac Mountain can be crowded earlier. Be there at 8:00 A.M. and you'll dodge the heavy crowds at the top. Another advantage to visiting early is the great light for photos and the higher chance of spotting wildlife. Check out this great Ranger Early Bird Video. Alternatively, visit the favorite spots later around dinner time or head out on a short trail just before sunset. Just after 5 P.M. is a perfect time since most are heading back for dinner around that time. However, make sure to be back when there is still daylight. It's too dangerous to hike in the dark.
2. Visit Quieter Areas:
Head to the less traveled places and trails. On the 'quiet side' of Mount Desert Island west of Somes Sound, try out Acadia Mountain Loop or the Beech Cliff Trail (see below in the hiking section). Or you could head to Schoodic Peninsula (Google Maps) on the mainland, or the quietest side of Isle au Haut, accessible only by mail boat.
3. Use the Shuttle:
If you are visiting between late June and Columbus day, use the free Island Explorer Shuttle. It takes away all the worries of full parking lots at trailheads and congested parking areas at popular places like Cadillac Mountain or Bar Harbor. There are bus stops at all well-known places. They even added one for the trailhead of Caddilac North Ridge Trail (see below in the hiking section). Additionaly, you can always ask the bus driver to let you off, even if it’s not an official stop.
Karijini is one of our favourite National Parks in Australia. We visited the park already twice in different seasons. The best time to visit Karijini is late autumn, winter, and early spring (May - September); the dry season with the most pleasant temps. In April, the water level in the gorges may be too high to explore the entire slot canyons. During October, day temps can reach almost 40°C.
Read on for more insights and tips on how to avoid the crowds. Also, don't miss our '9 Must-Know Tips' at the end of this article!
Weather by Season and Month
The weather in Karijini National Park is influenced by the local steppe climate or, in other words: Mostly desert climate. It can get boiling hot, and there are a few months with lots of rain, which might spoil your adventure. Precipitation doesn't occur often, but if it rains, it pours. Check out our detailed monthly guide to find out more:
In September, temps are still bearable around 30°C. It's a fantastic month to visit the mindblowing National Park but come before the spring break. Swim through the chilly waterholes. You won't believe how cold these waterholes in the gorges are. Increasing day temps in October and November, which makes hiking in Karijini strenuous during the day. Start early morning to avoid the midday heat. Carry plenty of water.
Summer isn't got a good season for Karijini. Cyclones, heavy rainfall, and thunderstorms can happen during the rainy season from December to the end of March. Precipitation occurs on average just on 32 days in the entire year but the majority during summer. If it starts raining, you can't enter any of these gorges. Road closures may happen. You always have to monitor the forecast. Flash floods can occur, and the water is muddy. It is oven-hot, frequently topping 40°C. Even the information centre is closed from mid-December to late February.
Rain and thunderstorms can occur until the end of March. April is still hot, on average more than 30°C during the day. The gorges might be inaccessible until mid-April if there was too much precipitation before. May and June are great months for Karijini. There are huge waterholes where you have to wade and swim through. The water is freezing cold. It’s even more fun for the adventurous to climb to the different gorges, especially the well-known Weano Gorge. Pleasant day temps are ranging from 22°C to 26°C. Night temps are cool but above 10°C on average.
June is a perfect month to explore Karijini with its waterholes. In the winter months of June and July days are warm and clear with average daily temps of 22°C while night temps drop below 10°C. The existing waterholes are freezing cold. Hypothermia can happen; so be careful. You need a warm sleeping bag for camping; 0°C can occur during the night. There is a significant difference in the day and night temperatures during winter. It’s pleasant for hiking because of the low humidity.
Avoiding Crowds and Busy Times
In general, it's not very crowded. However, the season at Karijini starts during the Eastern Holiday until the end of October. It's busy at Easter, on weekends and during school holidays: Packed adventure tours, hectic campsites, and crowded spots. At this time the Karijini Eco Retreat, which is perfectly located, might be fully booked. Seriously, try to avoid Easter, the school holidays in winter (usually, the first two weeks in July), and the spring break at the end of September if possible!: Western Australia School Holidays 2019.
Where to Stay and Camping (Our Accommodation Tips)
Top accommodation tip: Karijini Eco Retreat (save this bookmark). Perfect location, utterly fantastic place. Excellent food and accommodating staff. We came here already twice; once we spent three nights in a cabin and again camping for five nights in 2019. We would book any time again. In the evening you can either have dinner in the restaurant or from the burger bar. They offer ice for cooling and ice cream as well, which we appreciated while camping. It's the closest accommodation with luxury tens and campground for Karijini close to Joffre Falls.
There are 114 campsites plus 12 group campsites available. The bush kitchen and BBQ are average. Solar shower and flush toilets are available but not in high number. If the Savannah campground is fully booked during the holidays; you may line up. The Eco tents with quality bedding and private bathroom were even at the end of the season in late September fully booked. If you prefer to stay at the Eco Retreat, book your tent in advance.
Karijini Eco Retreat; Dorm Cabins with shared bathroom (cheapest option)
Another option is the Dales campground at the eastern side of the park. It's basic bush camping without power or a shower; clean drop toilets only. A shower is available at the Information Center. We recommend staying at both campgrounds to enjoy as much as possible of the park. Don't come here in a rush. Karijini is one of the most adventures and mindblowing parks in Australia. Stay at least 5 nights to explore the many gorges.
If you want to visit the entire National Park, it is pretty convenient to stay in Tom Price. It always takes around one hour to get to the different entrances and gorges. There is an excellent bakery offering bread, pies, apple crumble, and coffee. Two liquor stores and a pharmacy are also located in the town centre. All in walking distance. Tom Price Tourist Park booking. It offers a mix of camping, fully equipped cabins, and backpacker rooms.