Plan a Vacation to Bryce Canyon in December

Visiting Bryce Canyon in December is a unique time to go to enjoy winter activities!

Use our Bryce Canyon travel guide and the list below of fun things to do to plan you winter vacation!

It’s important to note the weather at Bryce Canyon in December is cold, and winter snow storms may create challenging travel conditions and road closures. 

If you’re looking for a place to see amazing landscapes and enjoy winter activities, then a December vacation to Bryce Canyon might be what you’re looking for!

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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK TRIP IN THE WINTER

Outdoor Gear we recommend! Travel Gear & Hiking Gear

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Bryce Canyon in December

Due to the high elevation of Bryce Canyon, it will be a different experience to visit compared to the other Utah National Parks in the winter.

Here’s what you can expect and how to prepare visiting this amazing park!

December Weather at Bryce Canyon

At Bryce Canyon, the temperatures in December are cold! The average highs around 36 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows around 15 degrees at night.

The daytime temperatures in December are terrific for exploring the Bryce Canyon Hikes if you’re willing to wear layers.

We recommend a winter jacketfleece jacket, a buff or hat and gloves . The mornings and evenings will be especially cold!

It will probably snow in December at Bryce Canyon so be prepared with insulated boots and waterproof hiking gear.

You can see current weather conditions at Bryce Canyon on the NPS website and check weather forecasts in advance for storms.

Services in December

The park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, even on holidays!

But the visitor center will be closed on holidays so be sure to check the website for the most updated hours and closures in December.

Restrooms at the following locations are open in December: Rainbow Point, Farview Point, Sunset Point, Visitor Center and North Campground.

When a snow storm hits the area, there may be temporary road closures. Road(s) will stay closed until plowing is completed and conditions are safe for visitor traffic. Check current conditions for more information.

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon “might” have some units open in December, but check in advance.

Bryce Canyon winter camping can be found at the North Campground as it’s open year-round and it’s first-come, first-served. The Sunset Campground is closed November through March.

Things to do at Bryce Canyon in December

If you’re looking for the best time to visit Bryce Canyon, December is a magical time to visit because there are so many things to do at Bryce Canyon.

It’s a great time of year to enjoy outdoor winter activities and avoid the crowds!

Be sure to check out our complete travel guide for visiting Bryce Canyon to help you plan the perfect vacation!

Ranger-Led Programs

The ranger-led programs happen all year long, but they aren’t as frequent in the winter.

They are all free, but some require you to preregister. 

In December the programs include the Hoodoo Geology Talk and Snowshoe Hikes.

On some Saturdays, you can enjoy looking at the constellations with the telescopes at the Visitor Center. 

Scenic Drive

The Bryce Canyon scenic drive is the perfect activity if you want to see the views of hoodoos, arches and windows from various viewpoints and overlooks.

We always recommend you start by driving to the end of the road at Rainbow Point then working your way back to the amphitheater.

This way all the overlooks are on the right so it’s easy to pull in and out of each parking lot.

Photography

There’s nothing like capturing your own Bryce Canyon photos of the naturally carved amphitheaters with colorful hoodoos and windows.

Definitely stop at all the pullouts along the Bryce Canyon scenic drive and take pictures of the views since each overlook has a different vantage point of the canyon below.

Be sure you pack your camera equipment for this stunning national park! 

Some of our favorite photography spots are:

  • Rainbow and Yovimpa Points
  • Agua Canyon
  • Natural Bridge
  • Bryce Point
  • Paria View
  • Amphitheater Overlooks

Grab our Bryce Canyon Photography Guide with tips for taking pictures with any camera!!

take jaw-dropping photos at Bryce Canyon

Exploring the Visitor Center

If it’s your first time to Bryce Canyon, we recommend you stop at the Visitor Center, especially during the winter.

Find out the latest road conditions, hiking trail conditions and talk to the ranger to see if they have any tips for things to do while visiting.

It’s also good to ask about the weather forecast and what ranger-led programs are happening during your stay.

If you are traveling with kids you will want to grab Junior Ranger booklets as well. 

The services include:

  • Restrooms
  • Drinking Water
  • Backcountry permits
  • First Aid
  • Ranger Help Desk
  • Book Store
  • Twenty Minute Introduction Movie
  • Exhibits

Stargazing

Stargazing at Bryce Canyon National Park is amazing!

It’s worth braving the cold night air to see the sky full of stars on a moonless night!

You’ll see why Bryce Canyon is one of Utah’s International Dark Sky Parks.

Hiking

The Bryce Canyon hikes can be divided into easy, moderate, and hard depending on your hiking ability.

IMPORTANT TIP: remember that all trails below the rim have steep climbs out of the canyon!

After a snow storm, most of the trails will require snowshoes. After a few days of use, the trails will become packed you’ll need to wear hiking boots with traction devices instead.

When hiking at Bryce Canyon, keep these tips in mind.

  • Carry lots of water (1 liter for every 2-3 hours of hiking) per person, even in the winter
  • Be aware that due to park elevation, you might get a little light-headed while hiking. 
  • Stay on maintained trails and do not climb hoodoos.

Our favorite hikes at Bryce Canyon are the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail, Mossy Cave, Sunset to Sunrise, Rim Trail and Bristlecone Loop.

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