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.
Tips for visiting Bryce Canyon 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!
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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)
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. You can rent snowshoes and cross country skis at Ruby’s Inn.
Bryce Canyon Maps