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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Salt Lake City in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Salt Lake City in 2024

What's the best time to visit Salt Lake City?

The best time to visit Salt Lake City depends on your preferred activities. If you enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, visit in the winter months (November to March) when snow conditions are ideal. For hiking, boating, and attending outdoor festivals, summer (June to August) is the best time, offering warm weather and a vibrant city atmosphere.

Salt Lake City, Utah’s capital, has a unique history and is a great place to use as a base for exploring the rest of the gorgeous state of Utah. The city holds a very important role in the Mormon faith, and even non-religious visitors will be impressed by the massive complex at Temple Square.

It’s also close to gorgeous natural areas, such as the Great Salt Lake which gave the city its name, and is a fun place to go swimming and boating. But while there’s much to see and do, when is the best time to visit? We’ll show you this and more below.

Overall Best Time to Visit Salt Lake City

People skiing down a hill in front of a ski lodge during the winter, the best time to visit Salt Lake City

David A Litman/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Salt Lake City depends on what outdoor activities you like best. Visit in the winter if you want to go skiing and enjoy the snow, while summer is better for hiking.

Since the city has a temperate continental climate, it receives four distinct seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. Temperatures aren’t as extreme as in other parts of Utah, but the types of activities that you can do will definitely vary depending on what season you visit.

Winter in Salt Lake City can get cold. Average temperatures aren’t very cold — the average high temperature in January is 38 degrees Fahrenheit — but you should still pack your warmest coat.

Despite the chill, crowds flock to the city in the winter. That’s because of the snow; the city receives an average of 10 to 11 inches of snow every month in the winter season. Salt Lake City is close to some of Utah’s most famous ski resorts, such as Park City.

From the end of November until March, conditions are excellent on the slopes for:

  • Skiing
  • Sledding
  • Snowboarding

Locals don’t flee from the cold; they embrace it. Winter has plenty of seasonal activities and festivals that bring people out of their houses. December has the most festive atmosphere thanks to Christmas, which brings decorations to Temple Square and festivities such as Christkindlmarkt.

Later in the season, check out the Sundance Film Festival, one of the world’s best independent film festivals. If hiking is more your thing, then you should visit in the summer.

Summers in Salt Lake City are warm, but not as hot as in the rest of the state. Average high temperatures in July can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but on mountains around the city such as Ensign Peak, it is cooler and more pleasant.

Summer is also the best season for exploring the Great Salt Lake. The warm temperatures bring locals and tourists alike to the lake’s shores, where you can enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing.

Swimming in such a salty body of water is a very unique experience. The warmest season is also festival season. Expect lots of outdoor events such as farmer’s markets, free concerts, and more.

Some of the biggest festivals include:

Cheapest Time to Visit Salt Lake City

Beautiful garden in Salt Lake City pictured during the cheapest time to visit, the autumn

Worachate Joe Khongthon/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Salt Lake City is in the fall (September to November), after summer vacation is over. Once Labor Day passes, kids in the United States go back to school and families don’t travel as much.

Fall marks a lull between the summer high season for hiking and boating, and the winter ski season. Thanks to this relatively lower demand, hotel rates tend to be lower.

Most hotels are discounted by 15% to 20%, but you can find deals for about 40% lower than the rest of the year. Fall is also the cheapest time to fly to Salt Lake City International Airport, which will save on costs for out-of-state visitors.

Fall is the low season for travel to the entire state of Utah, so low demand lowers costs. The cheapest months for flights are September and October.

You can get around Salt Lake City itself without a car since the public transportation in the city is decent, but you will need a car to visit the natural areas nearby. Since demand among visitors is lower in the fall, you can find better deals on rental cars then as well.

Least Busy Time to Visit Salt Lake City

Stream and rocks pictured in the middle of the forest during the least busy time to visit Salt Lake City, autumn


The least busy time to visit Salt Lake City is in the fall (September to November), which sees a lull in visitor numbers. As mentioned above, fall is the shoulder season between the summer and winter high seasons.

After Labor Day, visitor numbers drop drastically so you won’t have to scramble to find a hotel room or book other activities. Visitors in the know say that fall is actually the best season to go hiking around Salt Lake City.

Temperatures are far more pleasant than in the summer. The average high temperature in September is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and in October, it is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

The days are still fairly sunny, but you just won’t be sweating after a hike. The nature around Salt Lake City is also very beautiful in the fall. The leaves change color, painting the mountains and forests.

Plus, fall brings a number of seasonal events and festivals to the area, such as Halloween celebrations and pumpkin patches. There is something for everyone, such as:

If you visit during the end of November, you can even see the beginnings of the holiday season festivities as Temple Square begins to deck the halls. Just be careful around Thanksgiving, when prices tend to rise.

Worst Time to Visit Salt Lake City

Rainy day with downtown pictured during the worst time to visit Salt Lake City

Victoria Ditkovsky/Shutterstock

There really is no bad time to visit Salt Lake City, but spring brings the most unpredictable weather, which makes outdoor activities hard to plan. This makes it the worst time to visit.

In mountainous areas such as Salt Lake City, April and May are unpleasant. In the city itself, temperatures are warm, with average highs of 71 degrees by May. However, higher in the mountains, it is still cold. Snow storms are possible well into April.

The conditions on the ground are also not so pleasant in the spring. April and May are the months when the snow begins to melt, which turns the ground into mud.

You can’t go skiing anymore, but it’s also hard to go hiking or cycling. However, if you pick the right footwear and stick to trails at lower altitudes which tend to clear up faster, you can still enjoy the outdoors in the spring.

Take in the blooming wildflowers or go birdwatching. Spring is one of the best seasons for spotting migrating birds, and locals even organize the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival in May.

Spring is also a season where you can find good deals and fewer crowds. A little mud and rain may be worth enduring to beat the summer high prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Downtown Salt Lake City pictured from the air with a gorgeous church and its grounds in the middle of the image

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Here are a few of the most common questions that people have asked about visiting Salt Lake City:

What month has the best weather in Utah?

September has the best weather in Utah. Temperatures are not too hot, but are warm enough for hiking, and the weather is sunny.

Is Salt Lake City worth visiting?

Salt Lake City is worth visiting if you are in Utah. Its Mormon heritage gives it a culture unlike any other state capital in the United States, and it is surrounded by beautiful nature.

What is the coldest month in Salt Lake City?

January is the coldest month in Salt Lake City. Daytime high temperatures are just above freezing, while at night temperatures drop as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

What month does it snow the most in Utah?

The month with the most snow in Utah is January. Salt Lake City gets an average of 11 inches of snow that month, while ski areas get even more.

What is the rainy season in Utah?

The rainy season in Utah depends on the region. Salt Lake City doesn’t have a rainy season per se, but gets the most rain in the spring.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City is a great base for exploring the great outdoors, so the best time to visit depends on your preferred outdoor activities. Skiers should come in the winter, while hikers and cyclists should visit in the summer, or in the fall for discounts.

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Salt Lake City has to offer. Happy travels!