Are you considering going somewhere for a fun winter vacation with tons of mountain trails and apres-ski options? Or, you could instead find a beautiful hiking trail to hit during the spring and fall months.
Or perhaps you and your family are looking for a brewery-centric town ideal for water sports during the blistering hot summer. If any of these ideas sound right up your alley, we have the place for you.
Check out Salt Lake City, an outdoor person’s paradise filled with cool spots, cultural attractions, endless shopping, mouthwatering restaurants, outdoor activities, and much more.
We’ll show you the best time to visit Salt Lake City, no matter what you are interested in — this picturesque mountain town has great weather year-round, affordable flights, cozy accommodation options, and fun things that won’t break the bank.
Plus, we will even tell you the worst time to visit Salt Lake City (although we argue that ANY month is a blast) and tips for travelers to ensure you have the best time possible. Let us help you plan an exciting vacation for you and your entire family!
Why You Should Visit Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the pristine destinations for those who enjoy spending time outside. Whether you are into watersports, hiking, nature-viewing, or just soaking in the sunny skies or falling snow, SLC is the place to be.
The weather in Salt Lake City varies all year round, giving you hot sunny days during the summer for laying out or going on the water, brisk spring and fall days that are perfect for hiking, and low temperatures in the winter months for skiing and snowboarding.
Plus, with a location that offers incredible views and access to all you could want during vacation — cozy cafes, cool bars, yummy restaurants, boutique shopping, and endless outdoor attractions — everyone will find something to do during your stay in Salt Lake City.
Overall Best Time to Visit Salt Lake City
The best time to visit Salt Lake City is during the middle of winter for skiing, the springtime for hiking, and the fall for long days and other nature activities.
During the winter, you will enjoy bright blue skies and freezing temperatures that are perfect for a fresh snowfall and hitting the ski slopes. Since Salt Lake City features its own airport, you can head off the plane and get to the resort in no time!
The surrounding area has hundreds of miles of trails, such as the Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Deer Valley in the heart of Park City.
Although the winter is considered to be the ‘high season’ for tourists who want to visit Salt Lake City, the numerous ski trails, slopes, apres-ski restaurants, and Winter Wonderland vibes are enough reasons to deal with the higher number of people.
Despite having higher prices for flights and hotels, the annual events and outdoor activities are worth the expenses. In the wintertime, you can even head to the infamous Sundance Film Festival.
Buy your ticket ahead of time to come to this cultural event and rub elbows with local celebrities, content curators, and movie creators. Other fun winter events to attend during your time in SLC include the Christkindlmarkt and the Gingerbread House Competition.
You can bring your kids and participate in this inclusive event to see if you have the artistic eye to win the big prize! Or, head to the Christmas markets to try some traditional German food, buy some crafts for stocking stuffers, and get in the holiday spirit.
Plus, in February, there are dozens of concerts and musical events that are sure to knock your socks off. We recommend buying tickets ahead of time for the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Concert by the Utah Symphony — if you are a true J.K. Rowling fan, you will love it!
During the spring, you can still catch the end of the ski season and enjoy fewer people on the slopes! Or, if you are in the mood for warmer weather, go hiking on one of the lower-altitude hills to get used to long days on lung-busting nature trails.
We also love walking around the downtown shopping area and checking out some of the local sports teams during the spring months. Head to one of the Real Salt Lake matches at American First Field to see a few goals!
Plus, during the springtime, you can take part in one of the best annual events this city has to offer — the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Dress up in all green and get ready to drink a few (dozen) Guinness and munch on some traditional Beef & Guinness stew or Steak & Ale pie.
If you come to Salt Lake City in the fall, you can expect cooler temperatures, fewer people, and the changing of the leaves. The fall is a perfect time to come to Utah if you are in the mood to go hiking before the ski season.
Head to the local restaurants and shops without crowds and lower hotel prices. Plus, we love the annual festivities during the fall season, like the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival and the Utah State Fair.
You can also check out the Tooele County Fair if you bring your young kids with you on holiday, taking full advantage of the endless amounts of cotton candy, fun carnival rides, and brave rodeo riders!
Last but not least, fall is the time for leave-falling and beer-drinking — right?
Well, if that sounds like you, then head to Oktoberfest at Snowbird to drink beer steins of German lager, dress up in the infamous lederhosen, and take your kids down the sky-high Alpine Slide. Grab tickets online ahead of time so you can save a few bucks and guarantee entry to these fun events!
Cheapest Time to Visit Salt Lake City
The least expensive time to visit Salt Lake City is during the low season, which is from September to January.
You can find the best hotel deals and flight tickets during the fall season. If you avoid the high season in June and July, you can expect lower prices. Try and book your flights at least 2-3 weeks before your intended departure date to get the lowest price.
The cheapest month to get flights to Salt Lake City is in December. Round Trip prices usually hover around $48, with one-way tickets as low as $22 this month.
Least Busy Time to Visit Salt Lake City
The least busy time to visit Salt Lake City is during the fall, typically from September to October.
Skiers who want to tackle the slopes have not flown to SLC yet, and the summer hikers have returned to their homes. Plus, you can enjoy the long sunny days and the slightly-cooler temperatures that are more conducive to outdoor sports, activities, and walking around the downtown SLC area.
Plus, visitors during the fall season can expect lower hotel prices than the height of the summer season or the ski season. Not only can you have the trails to yourself, but you can save money in the process!
Coming here in the fall means you can still check out annual events, like the county fair, the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, and Oktoberfest, without spending an exorbitant amount of money like you would in the high season!
Worst Time to Visit Salt Lake City
The worst time to visit Salt Lake City is during the spring or summer.
During the spring season, you will be met with soggy conditions on the trails after the snow melts. Plus, if you come during an especially-cold spring, you may find that hiking the higher trails is still very difficult due to the unmelted snow.
Waiting a little bit longer and hiking during the summer is usually better for those who want to stand on top of the nearby peaks. However, summer is also not one of the best times to visit Salt Lake City.
Summer in Utah, especially in SLC, is no stranger to high hotel prices, expensive flights, and many tourists. You may find that restaurants, cafes, shops, attractions, trails, and sightseeing destinations are all very crowded during June and July.
Plus, the hotter temperatures make it harder to go on all-day hikes, especially with older adults or young children. Although the sun is shining all day long, from early in the morning until late at night, the higher temperatures and lack of wind make it more difficult to spend your entire day outside.
If you do decide to still come to Salt Lake City in the summertime, we recommend going to one of the two famous festivals — Pride Week or the Wasatch Wildflower Festival.
Pride Week offers dozens of daily events, fun activities, and a parade that will put you in the mood to party!
Or, if you head to SLC during July, the Wasatch Wildflower Festival at the Alta Ski Resort is a great outdoor-centric day for those who want to go hiking, listen to some local bands, and dance along to live music.
Things to Consider
Keep in mind a few things before you book a flight to Salt Lake City for your upcoming holiday:
- You can go here all year round. Although there are the best times to visit SLC and the “worst,” this amazing destination spot is still considered a year-round vacation goldmine. With hot weather during the summer that is great for watersports, brisk fall temperatures that are perfect for hiking, sunny winter days for skiing, and fewer people during the spring months, there is no bad time to head here.
- Base yourself here to tackle the trails or hop in the water. Salt Lake City is the ideal home base for outdoor enthusiasts who want to go hiking, try their luck at cycling, or go swimming in one of the many bodies of water.
- You might meet a few Mormons during your vacation. Salt Lake City and Utah have a very strong Mormon influence. Talk to some locals and learn more about this unique religion and how it has affected the citizens of SLC today.
- Shops might be closed on Sundays. Due to the Mormon influence, you may find that many of your favorite shops are closed on Sundays in Salt Lake City. Make sure to do your heavy-duty shopping on Saturday before the restaurants, grocery stores, or malls are closed the following day.
- Be aware of the alcohol laws. Okay, you already know the influence of the Mormon religion in Salt Lake City — but did you know that this strict religion somewhat determines the alcohol laws in this bustling and vibrant area? In most grocery stores, you are usually only allowed to buy beer, with a percentage level up to 3%. For most hearty beer drinkers, this is the equivalent of water. However, in recent years, the percentage allowance has increased to 5%, making it possible for you to buy your favorite 6-pack to bring back home to your Airbnb or hotel room. For those who really want to party, you will have to visit a liquor store to purchase wine, liquor, or beer, which is over 5%.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you go to any new place on vacation, it is best to know what tourists want to know the most. What is the best season to visit? How can I get the cheapest flight tickets? What are the top things to do in the surrounding area?
Let’s check out some of the most commonly asked questions to understand better when you should visit Salt Lake City:
When is the best month to visit Utah?
The best month to visit Utah is during the fall months of August, September, and October due to the cooler temperatures, low flight prices, inexpensive hotel options, and beautiful nature.
How many days do you need to visit Salt Lake City?
If you are flying from a faraway destination, we recommend staying for at least a week. However, suppose you are close by or driving through Utah. In that case, we recommend spending at least two days in the incredible downtown area of SLC.
Is Salt Lake City worth visiting?
Salt Lake City is a very popular vacation destination all on its own. We recommend visiting if you enjoy outdoor sports, cultural activities, high-end restaurants, and boutique shopping.
What is the rainiest month in Salt lake City?
Springtime is the rainy season in SLC, with May having the highest amount of rainfall during the entire year.
What is the #1 vacation attraction in Utah?
The top vacation destination in Utah is Zion National Park. This world-famous national park features Zion Canyon, red rock cliffs, amazing scenery, and flowing waterfalls.
We recommend coming here and going on one of the many hiking trails, like Angel’s Landing, or taking a spin along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
When Will You Visit Salt Lake City?
As you can see, there is no bad time to visit Salt Lake City! You can come here all year round to enjoy fun outdoor activities, endless cultural attractions, a wide variety of mouthwatering restaurants, and cool, family-friendly things to do that are interesting for people of all ages. Happy travels!