October is a wonderful time to spend outdoors enjoying Zion National Park. Daytime temperatures will likely drop into the pleasant zone, and you’ll be there for the start of fall foliage season, depending on the elevation. You can get double value for your visit if you participate in one of the workshops being offered by Zion Canyon Field Institute.
Besides those workshops listed here, you can also arrange a custom adventure for yourself or groups through ZCFI.
Oct. 6 and 20, Archaeological Field Day: Spend a day with a Zion archaeologist from 9 a.m .to 4 p.m. Participants might do site survey work, cataloging or other archaeologist work. Limit of two participants. It is for those 16 or older. The cost is $60.
Oct. 7 and 22, Rim to Floor or Rim and Back: Join a ZCFI naturalist as you hike 7 to 8 miles of the East Mesa Trail to Observation Point and down into the canyon floor, or the East Rim Trail to Deertrap Mountain and back. It is for those 16 or older. The cost is $65.
Oct. 12, Wednesday Wildlife Walk: Join a biologist and search for wildlife, or evidence of wildlife, along a scenic hike. It is for those 12 or older. The cost is $45.
Oct. 15, The Ferns of Zion: Join botanist Steve McKee and explore Zion’s east side to see a wide variety of hidden spots to find ferns and fern allies. It is for those 15 or older. The cost is $60.
Oct. 17, Outside Looking In: Hike 5 to 6 miles from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Eagle Crags trail with a naturalist. Learn about the geology, botany and human history of the park. It is for those 16 or older. The cost is $60.
Oct. 20 and Nov. 3, Thursday Trek: Join a naturalist for an introduction to the geology, flora, fauna and cultural history of the park from 9 to 2 p.m. The hike will be the naturalist’s choice. It is for those 15 or older. The cost is $45.
Oct. 22, Fall Journaling in Zion: Learn about the natural world in the park by observation and listening to nature. Gain knowledge of the best ways to create journals of your time in Zion or future trips through writing and drawings. It is for those 16 or older. The cost is $60.
Oct. 28, Fall Foliage Photography: This two-day workshop is taught by Michael Plyler, the institute’s director, and is for the serious nature photographer. Learn how to use your camera in full manual mode, photographing the park’s iconic landscapes and its hidden treasures. It is two full days with a 2 1/2-hour break from 9 a.m. until dusk. It is for those 16 or older. The cost is $225.
Oct. 29, Fall Bird Hike: Walk along the Virgin River along the Pa’rus Trail and then to the top of the Watchman Trail for the best birding spots in the park from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is for those 16 or older. The cost is $45.
The meeting place for the workshops is the Zion National Park Human History Museum, just inside the park’s entrance. Since temperatures will fluctuate greatly, be sure to wear layers of clothing. Reservations for classes and workshops are necessary, and they fill up fast. Contact the Zion Canyon Field Institute by visiting zionpark.org or calling 800-635-3959 or 435-772-3264.
Deborah Wall is the author of “Great Hikes, A Cerca Country Guide” and “Base Camp Las Vegas: Hiking the Southwestern States,” published by Stephens Press. She can be reached at email@example.com.