While the winter weather may keep the majority of people away, Bryce Canyon in the winter is one of the most unique ways to experience the park. Enjoy having the park almost to yourself while capturing the iconic images of the towing sandstone pillars carved by the water and winds, topped with a coat of white snow. Creating a stunning color contrast for as far as the eyes can see.
- Bryce Canyon in winter offers a unique and serene park experience with stunning snow-covered sandstone pillars.
- Plan ahead for winter visits to ensure a safe and memorable trip.
- Enjoy the park’s scenic drive and short walks along the rim for a half-day adventure.
- Pack essential gear, including microspikes, gloves, and suitable footwear for icy conditions.
- Be prepared for sub-zero temperatures and windy conditions.
- Check trail conditions and closures regularly for safety.
- Be cautious of icy roads even after snow plowing.
- Popular winter hikes include the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden, which are well-maintained.
- Consider connecting the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden with the less-traveled Peekaboo Loop.
- Ruby’s Inn is a recommended lodging option with amenities and gear rental.
- Rent snowshoes and cross-country skis at Ruby’s Inn for added winter adventure.
Tips for visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in the Winter
Visiting Bryce Canyon in the Winter can compete with any national parks in the country when it comes to natural beauty. But when planning any outdoor time at higher elevations in winter there are always tithing you should take into account. The right planning will make the trip of a lifetime. So below are my tips for visiting Bryce Canyon during winter!
Scenic Drives and Lookouts in Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is a very drivable national park. With one main road featuring a few turn offs and 12 dozen or so look out points. Many people just make the 16 mile out and back drive. Enjoying the short walks along the rim to the look outs. You can easily spend half a day (4 hours+) just doing this.
Essential Gear for Enjoying Bryce Canyon Overlooks
Even if you are just enjoying the overlooks, you need to have the right gear. The freshly plowed roads, parking lots and sidewalks can be slick. A good set of microspikes will make your short or long walks a lot more enjoyable. These will also open you up to other hikes in the park.
Winter Weather Precautions for Bryce Canyon
Temperatures can dip into the negatives with wind chill. Hold onto your phones and make sure you have gloves that allow you to touch your phone’s screen and take photos.
Footwear Recommendations for Exploring Bryce Canyon
A good pair of hiking boots/shoes is recommended. If you have something for snow even better. But a good pair of trail running shoes will work. (don’t forget your microspikes)
Trail Conditions and Closures in Bryce Canyon
While Bryce Canyon is open 24-7 365 days a year that doesn’t mean all of the trails are. You can check the latest trail conditions and closures by clicking here.
Road Safety in Bryce Canyon After Snowfall
The park has a snow plow and will plow the park roads after a snowfall. But you should be careful of icy roads even after they have plowed the roads.
Road Plowing and Access in Bryce Canyon
After a fresh snow you expect the road to Rainbow point will be closed. Following a heavy snow, the park service usually plows the road in two phases (days). First from the park entrance to Bryce Point. The second day clearing from the Bryce point turns off to Rainbow point.
Top Winter Hikes in Bryce Canyon: Navajo Loop and Queens Garden
When it comes to Bryce Canyon winter hikes. The most popular trail to do is the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden. This loop holds up well in the snow and will typically not require you to break trail after the first day. Here is the all trails link.
Trail Closure Alert: Wall Street in Bryce Canyon
One of the first trials to close is typically Wall Street. Which is half of the short Navajo Loop. Don’t worry, this is not the part featuring Thor’s Hammer.
Explore More: Combining Hikes in Bryce Canyon
If you’re looking for something a bit longer. I highly recommend connecting the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden with the Peekaboo Loop. The Peekaboo loop is much less traveled and will give you a more back country feel during winter. Without getting too far out.
Lodging and Amenities at Ruby’s Inn
During the winter almost everything is closed. So I highly recommend staying at Ruby’s Inn. The rooms include an incredible breakfast. And the lodge has a restaurant, market, rental gear, and a large souvenir shop. Everything you need in one place.
Winter Gear Rentals at Ruby’s Inn
You can rent snowshoes and cross country skis at Ruby’s Inn.
Bryce Canyon Maps
Visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter is a truly unique and enchanting experience, offering a chance to witness the park’s iconic sandstone pillars adorned in a pristine coat of white snow. To make the most of your winter trip, remember to plan carefully, equip yourself with the right gear, and stay updated on trail conditions. Whether you opt for a leisurely drive along the rim or venture onto well-maintained winter trails like the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden, Bryce Canyon in the winter promises a serene and awe-inspiring adventure. For a comfortable and convenient stay, consider Ruby’s Inn, where you can also rent snowshoes and cross-country skis to explore the snowy wonderland. Embrace the tranquility and natural beauty of Bryce Canyon during the winter months for an unforgettable experience.