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This gorgeous scenic trail can be hiked year-round. However, read on for our suggestions regarding the best months:
Mid-April - May: Good chance of dry weather. The temperatures go up to 10 - 15 °C. However, Scotland’s weather is unpredictable. For hikers May is often one of the best months: Warm enough, longer daylight, lush and green landscape, wildflowers bloom, less tourists.
June - August: Long, sunny days, warmest time. However, it’s peak season: Most tourists and highest accommodation prices. Annoying midges are at their worst.
September - October: Less busy and midges start to disappear as well. Temperatures in September are between 10 and 16°C in and between 6 and 12°C in October. Idyllic landscape with beautiful foliage. In October deer are rutting. Great time for hiking and wildlife spotting here.
November - March: It can get very cold and days are short. Guesthouses are often closed.
Recommended from April to October/November. Depending on the weather conditions. After heavy rainfall, the gorge Oppig Grät is too muddy and slippery and it might be difficult to cross the stream several times.
A great month is May, still, some sunlight in the gorge and seldom flowers are in bloom.
Most beautiful months are May in spring and October with autumn foliage.
Weekends are more crowded especially at the Saar-loop which is easily accessible by car and motorbike.
A ferry is necessary for this trail. Timetable: 10 a.m. until 5.45 p.m. from April-October and in March and November weekends only. Monday is a closing day, and if Monday is a bank holiday, it is closed on Tuesday.
It's less crowded and hot in June and September which are our favorite months. Peak season in the summer holidays in July and August. Best time of the day is the early morning with perfect sunlight on the picturesque waterfalls and it's also less crowded (park opens at 7 am). In the morning and evening, it's quiet and tranquil.
Park is open all year round, and most of the precipitation occurs in spring and autumn. However, if you don't mind some rain spring or fall the shoulder season are a great time to visit.
Spring is a fabulous time as water levels are high from the melting snow and waterfalls reach their peak flow. Bear in mind if the water level is too high some parts may be closed. Most of the precipitation occurs in spring and autumn. The meadows are full of wildflowers.
- Summer (July & August) can become very hot, and it is the most crowded time of the year. In addition, the water level is lower than at other times in the year.
- Fall is a beautiful time of year to visit when vibrant colors of the changing leaves are just magnificent. Anyhow, rain occurs more often in spring and fall.
Winter, when the park is quiet and beautiful, covered in snow, and the lakes are frozen.
Try to arrive early best before 9 am (the park opens at 7 am) as most of the tourists come around mid-day via bus transfer. As an alternative visit in the afternoon when most tour groups have finished their guided walks, and you can enjoy the tranquility of the park. We recommend staying here minimum two nights. Either chose the Hotel Bellevue with an excellent location inside the park where you are not dependent on transport or one of the many private accommodations nearby. Enter your dates and click on the map. The big advantage you can visit the park already early morning and stay until the gates get closed.
For those who are limited in time or just like to enjoy and relax, there are small group tours available from:
- Split which is a three hours drive but worth the effort. The guide provides you with detailed information and the best photo spots.
- A similar guided tour offered from Zagreb with a stop at the beautiful located village Rastoke. It's a 2 hours drive. The entrance fee is included.
- Zadar which is less than 2 hours drive. You spend roughly four hours in the park.
To escape the heat, spring and fall are the best times for hiking. In summer, it is oven-like and can get well above 100°F (38°C) and on the other side thunderstorms occur. If you go in midsummer avoid long hikes. Snow and ice can be an issue in winter unless that's what you’re looking for but bear in mind, half of the annual rainfall comes during the winter.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds:
Peak months are June to August. A little less crowded in spring and fall. Very quiet in December, January, February but bear in mind road or trails can be closed. However, you can avoid crowds year-round by starting your hike or exploration right after sunrise. At that time you’ll have the park almost for yourself. Most visitors don’t start before 10 a.m.
In the morning there is also a better chance of spotting wildlife and the best light for photos.
From March to October you have to take the shuttle bus, cars are not permitted. Usually, from November to February you can park your car at the available parking lots. The scenic drive in Zion can be closed at weekends in February and shuttle bus transportation has to be taken. Check shuttle bus schedule for each season first, includes maps and hiking trail information.
Sweet Spot Months:
The best months with usually good weather and less crowds than during peak months are: March/April and October/November.
This is a popular trail, which is beautiful any time of year, although busiest in the summer. The aspens turn in late September/early October.
Time of Day Tip: During peak summer months, the parking lot of this popular trail is already full between 8:30 and 9 AM. If possible, be there early around 7 AM.