Is it feasible to hike trails to at least some overlooks around Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah in mid-May? If yes, do we need a 4x4, or will a sedan do?

We are only interested in day hikes.


Yes you can definitely hike Zion/Bryce in May. In fact it is a good time of the year for hiking in that area. A sedan will do just fine for most trailheads.

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  • So we do need an SUV to access some trailheads, right? Do rental cars come with gear to brush off snow and scrape off ice? Could we need that? – AlexC Mar 28 '15 at 15:54
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    I would not assume that ice scrapers would be included -- the good old' credit card somewhat works if you are out of luck. I would not expect snow/ice at that time of the year. I don't know of any trail head in Bryce/Zion that a SUV would be required. – ppl Mar 30 '15 at 2:35
  • Thanks - once we woke up and saw a quarter inch layer of ice on a rental car. Had to wait until the car warmed up and the ice started to melt away. – AlexC Mar 30 '15 at 17:57
  • Note that in Zion, the popular trailheads are only accessible by shuttle bus. – gerrit Dec 13 '17 at 1:36

Zion has only one unpaved road you're likely to want to drive on: a one-mile stretch of the Lava Point road. That road is marked on the map as "impassible when wet", which I suspect means an SUV won't do any better than a sedan in bad weather; it's not marked as high-clearance, so a sedan will do just fine in good weather.

There are no unpaved roads in Bryce; the roads are either open to everything or closed to all traffic depending on the conditions.

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