Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah, was the third-most-visited national park in 2017 – and for good reason. Beautiful red cliffs, pockets of green vegetation, hikes that make your heart race – this park has it all. Here’s what you need to know about visiting this desert paradise in your RV:

1. Outsmart the Crowds

Having had over 4.5 million visitors in 2017, Zion National Park sees its fair share of crowds. This can make negotiating an RV through the park complicated and frustrating. Here’s how to outsmart the crowds:

Start Early – Not only will it help you beat the heat in the summer months, but it will help you avoid the crowds. If you want to park in the Visitor’s Center parking lot to explore the park by shuttle, make sure you arrive early to get a spot. If you’re going to hike popular trails like Angel’s Landing or the Narrows, make sure to get on the first shuttle bus at 7 a.m. for your best chance at an uncrowded experience.

Avoid Peak Season – Most visitors come to Zion early February through late November. Those visitors are missing the beauty of a Utah desert winter, however. If you do visit during peak season, make sure to avoid Memorial and Labor Day Weekends, Easter Week and the Utah Education Association’s October break (see when this falls at www.myuea.org).