Are you wondering what it’s like to visit Bryce Canyon National Park in January?
Bryce Canyon in the winter is one of the most amazing times to go.
Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park should be at the top of your bucket list, but a trip in January will be extra special!
Use this guide to help you decide if a January vacation to Bryce Canyon is the right time for you to enjoy outdoor winter adventures at this park.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK TRIP IN THE WINTER
1. US National Parks Pass
2. Hiking Gear
- Waterproof hiking boots or shoes – Merrell Moab are our FAVORITE!
- Insulated boots
- Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpack
- FOOD – healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon:
• Best Western Ruby’s Inn – easy access right outside the park
• Best Western Plus – also right outside the park
→ CHECK OUT: Winter Camping at Bryce Canyon if you’re feeling brave!
TOP REASON TO VISIT BRYCE CANYON IN JANUARY
You can’t beat visiting the park without the crowds and the offseason rates in January.
Yes there will probably be snow at Bryce Canyon in January, but that’s what makes it magical! The colorful hoodoos really pop against the white snow.
And exploring the park with snowshoes and skis is part of the unique experience of a winter vacation at Bryce Canyon!
Snow is the biggest drawback for a January trip to Bryce Canyon (and yes it’s also the top reason to go at that time!).
If you’re not a fan of exploring the outdoors in cold weather or snowy conditions, then you should probably skip visiting this park in January.
The main scenic drive could be closed due to weather and road conditions, which means you’ll only be able to see the amphitheater section of the park.
But the amphitheater is the most amazing part of the park, and you’ll be able to see, photograph and explore it more intimately than you would during the peak seasons.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GOING
Does the Shuttle Run in January?
The Bryce Canyon shuttle doesn’t run in the winter. The shuttle service runs mid April through mid October. Check the NPS website for specific service dates.
Weather at Bryce Canyon in January
When visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter you can expect it to be cold.
January usually brings the coolest temperatures of the year averaging between 36 degrees Fahrenheit and 11 degrees Fahrenheit.
With the right winter clothing, you can enjoy all the winter activities at the park!
Does it Snow at Bryce Canyon?
Due to the high elevation of the park, there will be snow at Bryce Canyon in January.
It’s the perfect place to enjoy snow activities like snowshoeing, sledding and cross-country skiing.
The park does a great job of plowing the roads as well as the parking lots near the viewpoints.
Does Bryce Canyon Close in January?
Bryce Canyon is open all year round, even in the cold winter months. In January the visitor center is open each day from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
Can you Drive Through Bryce Canyon in January?
In January, you’ll find two roads closed to vehicles: Fairyland Point and Paria View. They remain open for anyone who wants to hike, snowshow or cross-country ski in those areas.
Even though Bryce Canyon is open in January, you may find the main road closed beyond the amphitheater following a snowstorm. The park closes the road beyond mile marker 3 so snow plow crews can clear snow from the higher elevations along the southern scenie drive.
The road closure typically last a day or so, depending on the severity of the snowstorm.
They always play the first three miles of the main road first. This includes the Bryce Amphitheater area: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point.
Check the Conditions Page for road statuses.
Photography in January
Photographing Bryce Canyon is extremely popular, and January is no exception.
Be sure to download our camera gear checklist before arriving at the park to make sure you have everything you need.
Bryce Canyon sunrises are the best anywhere along the rim between Sunrise Point and Bryce Point.
HIKING IN JANUARY
The Bryce Canyon hikes in January are a unique adventure, but there are two trails that will be closed.
The Wall Street side of the Navajo Loop is closed, but the Two Bridges side of the Navajo Loop remains open for down-and-back hiking or for combination with the Queen’s Garden or Peekaboo Trails.
And the Rim Trail between Inspiration and Bryce Points will also be closed in January.
When hiking in the winter at Bryce Canyon keep in mind:
- Wear winter hiking boots or snowshoes
- Carry lots of water – we like hydration backpacks
- Dress in layers
- Use crampons and winter hiking poles for extra grip and support
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.
You may need traction devices on some trails. And some trails may close due to bad conditions. Check with the visitor’s center for the most current trail conditions.
Traction devices can be rented in Bryce Canyon City.
RANGER LED PROGRAMS IN JANUARY
In January, there will be fun ranger led programs running at Bryce Canyon:
- Hoodoo Geology Talk
- Rim Walk Showshoe Hike
- Constellation Tours
Check the Visitor Center or online for updated information
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING IN JANUARY
One of the best ways to explore Bryce Canyon is cross country skiing. There are many routes and trails open in January. Bryce Canyon maintains miles of trails in the winter.
If you are coming from out of town you can rent ski equipment in Bryce Canyon City.