Bryce Canyon Winter Camping + Travel Tips

With its stunning snow-dusted hoodoos and crisp, clear skies, Bryce Canyon in the winter is transformed into a winter wonderland unlike any other. For a unique experience at this Utah National Park, we suggest Bryce Canyon winter camping.

It’s a surreal, peaceful experience to explore the amphitheater’s maze of red rock spires under the winter sun. So, if you’re game for some adventure, bundle up, and join us as we walk you through everything you need to know about winter camping in Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon winter camping

Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide for a list campgrounds, facilities available, and reservation information for winter camping in the park. In case you can’t get a spot for camping in Bryce Canyon, we’ll list campgrounds and RV Parks near the park as well.

We are lucky to only live a few hours away from Bryce Canyon National Park. We’ve had the opportunity to visit many times during all seasons! The tips we share for planning a winter vacation to Bryce Canyon are based on our experiences visiting the area throughout the years!

Use our Bryce Canyon Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in the winter! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

get the free Bryce Canyon National Park packing lists
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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!

Bryce Canyon in the Winter 

Planning a vacation to Bryce Canyon in the winter means you’ll get to experience a spectacular and sought-after sunrise at the park with the unique snow-capped hoodoos.

It’s a photographer’s dream to capture Bryce Canyon winter photos. The colder months offer an entirely new landscape with scenery that’ll take your breath away. Words can’t describe these views. 

Enjoy fun outdoor Bryce Canyon winter activities like scenic drives, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and photography. Some activities may be a bit more limited due to cold or snowy conditions!

Due to the higher elevation at Bryce Canyon compared to the other Utah National Parks, the weather and temperatures will be different.

Winter Weather at Bryce Canyon

It’s important to be up-to-date with current Bryce Canyon National Park weather and road conditions! It will be cold and snowy in the winter, 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.

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

During the winter it is especially important to dress in layers. We recommend:

The park does a great job of plowing the Bryce Canyon roads as well as the parking lots near the viewpoints. Always check the Bryce Canyon website for current conditions.

winter hiking gear
Bryce Canyon amphitheater view in the winter with snow
Bryce Canyon amphitheater view in the winter with snow

Bryce Canyon Winter Camping Basics 

Winter camping at Bryce Canyon National Park inside the park is limited but well worth exploring.

Only loop A of North Campground is open in the winter months. It is first come, first serve. Due to the cold temperatures there are times you could find yourself with the campground all to yourself. If you want to experience the campground and Bryce Canyon without all the crowds and people, winter is the time to do it. 

If you’re planning to camp at North Campground during the winter it is important to come prepared; at the very least pack:

Winter can create challenging conditions especially at high elevations and the inexperienced should be cautious.

It is not uncommon for people to visit the park during the winter. Here are alternative lodging options if you don’t want to camp:

Bryce Canyon entry sign in the winter
Bryce Canyon entry gate in the winter

Things to Do While Winter Camping at Bryce Canyon 

There are a lot of things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park, even in the winter!

Some access roads and trails close seasonally. but the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater is open year-round and is a must-see in every season.

The landscape is stunning when it is covered in a blanket of snow and it is remarkable. You can’t beat taking photos of Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos and views in the winter! 

Check out our Bryce Canyon photography guide with tips and best times to take pictures at each viewpoint!

Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive in the Winter

The Bryce Canyon scenic drive is a great way to take in the landscape and views during the winter. Start at the far end of the road at Rainbow Point that way all the overlooks will be on the right, which is easiest to navigate for driving.

Make a quick stop at the visitor center and snag a helpful map complete with viewpoints and the corresponding mile markers. Park rangers can update you on road conditions and offer tips for the best way to capture those views on your drive. 

There’s a lot to see here and it’s a popular way to explore the park year-round. In the winter months weather is unpredictable and you should come prepared for that. They do a great job of plowing roads after the snowstorms, but you could find temporary road closures while they clear the main road. 

hiking trails at Bryce Canyon in the winter
Hiking trail at Bryce Canyon in the winter

Winter Hiking at Bryce Canyon

The Bryce Canyon winter hikes are icy and steep for most of the winter, but with the right footwear and traction devices you can hike the hoodoo’s in the snow.

Winter hiking is exhilarating and if you’ve never done it before, you’re in for a real treat. Queens Garden Trail, Navajo Trail, and Fairyland Loop Trail are beautiful trails to explore in the winter.

Snowshoeing and ranger-led hikes are fun ways to experience the trails in the snow.  

Bryce Canyon Cross-Country Skiing

Though it is illegal to ski off the Rim into the Canyon, cross-country skiing is a great way to experience Bryce Canyon.

Above the rim you can access the Rim Trail along the edge of the Amphitheater and enjoy other routes like Bristlecone Loop Trail, Paria View and Fairyland Point.

Both cross-country skis and snowshoes are available for rent at Ruby’s Inn outside the park.  

Winter Stargazing at Bryce Canyon

Winter camping at Bryce Canyon gives you the unique opportunity to take in a Certified Dark Sky. Bryce Canyon National Park received this certification because of the exceptional quality of the park’s night skies and sky watchers come from all-over to see it.

When weather conditions permit it Bryce Canyon offers wonderful winter Astronomy programs, and if you’re lucky enough to participate in the rare ranger program that offers a full moon snowshoe hike, you must do it. It’s an experience you won’t forget. 

Bryce Canyon Winter Festival

If you plan to visit Bryce Canyon National Park in February, try to do it during the Winter Festival weekend. Ruby’s Inn hosts this popular event each year where families can fully experience a Bryce Canyon winter.

The Winter Festival has a ton of events; you might see sled races, ice skating, sleigh rides, archery, painting classes, cross-country skiing and more. Snow and weather conditions could alter the events, but the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival will still go on regardless of the weather. The festival is a lot of fun for all ages.  

Adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts will have plenty to do in Bryce Canyon during the winter, and winter camping at Bryce Canyon will be a memorable experience you’ll be able to forever carry with you. 

Bryce Canyon maps and guides

Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps

Bryce Canyon Itineraries

We’ve put together our favorite Bryce Canyon National Park Itineraries for 1, 2, or 3 days in the park! Grab a free copy by clicking the graphic below. Click on the links to read the detailed itinerary for Bryce Canyon based on the time you have to spend at the park!

Bryce Canyon Travel Bundle

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