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 the information below and our Bryce Canyon travel guide to plan your winter vacation.

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.

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

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Bryce Canyon in the Winter

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:

Winter Weather at Bryce Canyon

When visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter you can expect it to be cold. Throughout the winter months, you can expect temperatures to range from 36 degrees Fahrenheit all the way down to 11 degrees Fahrenheit. 

December averages about 3 days of rain and sees the highs around 26 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows around 12 degrees. 

January usually brings the coolest temperatures of the year averaging between 36 degrees Fahrenheit and 11 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In February you can expect about 4 rainy days with temperatures hovering between 36 degrees Fahrenheit and 11 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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

Bryce Canyon entry sign with snow in the Winter.

Bryce Canyon National Park Snow

Due to the high elevation of the park, there will be snow at Bryce Canyon in the winter.

You’ll enjoy fun snow activities like snowshoeing, sledding and cross-country skiing.

The park does a great job of plowing the roads around the park as well as the parking lots near the viewpoints. 

Does Bryce Canyon close in the winter?

Bryce Canyon is open all year round, even in the cold winter months. The visitor center also remains open each day from 8 am to 4:30 pm during the winter months. 

Always check the Bryce Canyon NPS website for current conditions.

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.

Winter Photography at Bryce Canyon 

Photographing Bryce Canyon is extremely popular, especially in the winter months.

Check out the best Bryce Canyon views and photo spots and use our Bryce Canyon Photography Guide that includes tips and best times to take pictures at each viewpoint!

Be sure to check this camera gear checklist before arriving at the park to make sure you have everything you need. 

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

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Ranger-Led Programs in the Winter

If the Ranger-led programs are running while visiting, be sure to take advantage of them! 

You will get to embark on a snowshoe hike. The park does provide them 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. 

Other ranger-led programs include Geology talk and telescopes. 

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 keep in mind:

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. 

Bryce Canyon hoodoos in the Winter.

Cross Country Skiing

We love exploring Bryce Canyon on cross country skis. There are many routes and trails to explore in the winter. Bryce Canyon maintains miles of trails.

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

Winter Backpacking

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. 


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. 


Stargazing is a must at Bryce Canyon. At 8000 feet elevation, you will see some of the most breathtaking views and see an incredible site of thousands of stars in the sky. 

Winter Festival

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

How many days should I visit Bryce Canyon in the winter?

When visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter two days is plenty of time to explore the whole park.

If you are trying to extend your trip even further then visit Zion National park in the winter as well. 

Visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter is a must. You will be blown away by its beauty and everything it has to offer.

Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps

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Plan Your Bryce Canyon Vacation

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