Bryce Canyon winter camping is a fun way to battle the winter blahs and get outdoors!
If you’re planning a winter vacation, use our tips below and our Bryce Canyon travel guide!
Camping at Bryce Canyon during the winter is an adventure, but we promise it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget!
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What to Pack for a Winter Vacation
1. Hiking Gear
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Insulated boots
- Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
2. Clothing – Layers
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece 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
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Guide books
- National Parks Pass
- Camera Gear Checklist
- Photography gear for hiking
Bryce Canyon in the Winter
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.
A photographer’s dream, the colder months offer an entirely new landscape with scenery that’ll take your breath away. Words can’t describe these views.
Bryce Canyon Winter Camping Basics
Winter camping inside the park is limited but well worth exploring. Visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter gives you a unique opportunity to fully immerse yourself in nature and is perfect for anyone seeking solitude, adventure, or simply want to capture unique and unforgettable views.
Only loop A of North Campground is open in the winter months. It is first come, first serve (get there early) but 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 a shovel, tarp, water resistant and insulated boots, and a heat source is recommended. Fire rings are available, electricity is not.
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:
Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon:
- Bryce Canyon Places to Stay
- Bryce Canyon Camping
- Vacation Rentals Near Bryce Canyon
- Best Western Ruby’s Inn – easy access right outside the park
- Best Western Plus – also right outside the park
- Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!
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!
The Bryce Canyon hikes are icy and steep for most of the winter, but with the right footwear and traction 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.
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.
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 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.
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.