Guide to Visiting Bryce Canyon in the Winter

Going to Bryce Canyon in the winter is truly a unique and incredible experience and is totally different than visiting in the summer.

Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide to plan your winter vacation: what to pack, things to do, and where to stay!

Bryce Canyon in the Winter

Yes it will be cold and you will need to bundle up, but the crowds are gone and you can truly appreciate this park in all its natural beauty. It is especially gorgeous with the white snow contrasting against the red orange hoodoos.

Here’s everything you need to know to visit Bryce Canyon in the winter: weather, services available, activities to do, and more!

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A Photo Tour of Bryce Canyon National Park

Take a visual tour through Bryce Canyon National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Bryce Canyon in the Winter

It’s important to know what to expect when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in the winter.

Remember Bryce Canyon sits at 8,000 feet so the scenery changes dramatically in the colder months. You’ll have a unique experience here, but it requires a very different packing list.

Winter Weather at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park weather can change quickly at this high elevation. Winter storms can create some challenging conditions. You can see current weather conditions at Bryce Canyon on the NPS website and check weather forecasts in advance for storms. We recommend you check out the 7-day forecast as your visit approaches.

  • December temperatures: High 36 | Low 15
  • January temperatures: High 37 | Low 15
  • February temperatures: High 38 | Low 17

Don’t let these cooler temperatures deter you from visiting, with the right winter gear and clothing you will have an amazing trip to Bryce Canyon in the winter months. 

Is Winter a Good Time to Visit Bryce Canyon

Check out our guide for finding the best time to visit Bryce Canyon. Each season and month of the year will have different activities and services available.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect each month during the winter at Bryce Canyon:

Bryce Canyon in the winter is a fun time to enjoy winter activities and avoid the crowds if you don’t mind cold and snow!

Bryce Canyon entry sign with snow in the Winter.

Bryce Canyon Services in the Winter

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 for the winter months.

Restrooms at the following locations are open in the winter: 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 during the winter months, but we recommend you always 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.

Bryce Canyon in the Winter.

Things to Do at Bryce Canyon in the Winter

There are so many things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park in the winter especially if you enjoy snow activities!

Bryce Canyon Visitor Center in the Winter

If it’s your first time to Bryce Canyon, we recommend you stop at the Bryce Canyon 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 at the Visitor Center include:

  • Restrooms
  • Drinking Water
  • Backcountry permits
  • First Aid
  • Ranger Help Desk
  • Book Store
  • Twenty Minute Introduction Movie
  • Exhibits
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Bryce Canyon Ranger-Led Programs in the Winter

The ranger-led programs at Bryce Canyon happen all year long, but they aren’t as frequent in the winter. They are all free, but some require you to preregister. 

In the winter you’ll find the programs include the Hoodoo Geology Talk and Snowshoe Hikes. The park does provide snowshoes at the visitor center if you don’t bring your own. This snowshoe adventure takes about 1 ½ to two hours to complete. You must be at least 8 years old to go on the hike. 

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

Scenic Drive in the Winter at Bryce Canyon

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.

Keep in mind the road may be closed past the amphitheater at any time during the winter for snow removal.

Bryce Canyon hoodoos in the Winter.

Winter Photography at Bryce Canyon 

There’s nothing like the stunning landscape at this park – and winter makes it even more spectacular! Your camera will get a workout taking pictures of the Bryce Canyon views of 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 amazing views! Some of our favorite Bryce Canyon photo spots are:

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

Bryce Canyon sunrise photography is awesome anywhere along the rim between Sunrise Point and Bryce Point. 

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

Be sure you have your winter photography gear packed to take pictures at this stunning national park! We love our photography gloves and rechargeable hand warmers!

take jaw-dropping photos at Bryce Canyon

Winter Stargazing at Bryce Canyon

Stargazing at Bryce Canyon National Park is amazing! We think it’s worth bundling up and 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.

Bryce Canyon Cross Country Skiing

One of the best ways to explore Bryce Canyon is on cross country skis. There are many routes and trails to explore in the winter. Bryce Canyon maintains miles of trails for skiing.

If you are coming from out of town you can rent ski equipment in Bryce Canyon City. 

hikers on the trail at Bryce Canyon in the snow

Winter Hiking at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon hikes are amazing in the winter. The hiking trails are divided into difficulty levels. So regardless of your ability, there is a hike that you can do during the winter. 

When hiking at Bryce Canyon in the winter:

Some great easy hikes include Sunset to Sunrise, Rim Trail, Bristlecone Loop, and Mossy Cove. 

With all trails keep in mind that snow is only cleared from sidewalks as well as the overlooks. The snow can become muddy and slippery so you want to be extremely careful while hiking. 

Winter Backpacking at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon backpacking is hard throughout the year, but it is even more difficult in the winter with all the fallen snow and freezing temperatures.

It is easy to find yourself veering off the trail if you are not careful. You must be a very experienced hiker to be issued a permit in the winter months. 

Sledding in the Winter at Bryce Canyon

With all the snow you might find yourself wanting to go on a sledding adventure. Sledding is allowed above the Caynon rim, but you must never sled off the rim of the canyon. It is prohibited and enforced.

There are not a ton of places to sled within the park. Many of the local residents prefer sledding near Red Canyon, but not in the park. 

Winter Festival at Bryce Canyon

If visiting during President’s Day weekend you can take part in the Winter Festival. This is a free festival with lots of activities to do for the whole family. Events include:

  • Cross country ski tours
  • Snowshoe tours and races
  • Archery clinics
  • Photography clinics
  • Photo contests
  • Kids snowboot races
  • Ski archery competition
  • People-powered sled races
  • Kayaking demonstrations 
  • Snow Sculpture contests
  • Clinics on waxing
  • Lots of entertainment for you and the family to enjoy

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