Best Bryce Canyon Winter Hikes

The best way to experience the white snow against the red rocks is exploring the various Bryce Canyon winter hikes!

Due to the high elevation at 8,000 feet, this Utah National Park is a winter wonderland during this time of year.

Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide to help you choose the winter hikes to add to your itinerary!

Bryce Canyon winter hikes everything you need to know

When planning to visit Bryce Canyon in the winter, you’ll need to review the road conditions, closures, and weather for the time you’ll be at the park.

Your packing list should definitely include winter clothing and other gear for hiking in the snow at Bryce Canyon.

If you’ll be driving to Bryce Canyon, be sure you’re prepared with winter road trip supplies!

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Bryce Canyon Winter Hiking Gear

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!

Hiking at Bryce Canyon in the Winter

Traction devices are recommended for all winter hikes at Bryce Canyon. They can be rented in Bryce City if you don’t bring your own.

We also recommend you talk to a park ranger to get the most updated information about trail conditions and weather. Some trails close in the winter due to unsafe conditions.

Most day hikes at Bryce Canyon National Park are found in the Bryce Amphitheater area. This makes it easy to create the best Bryce Canyon hiking experience for the time you have to spend at the park.

You also need to consider your physical abilities to tackle the high elevation at Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon elevation: You’ll be over 9,000 feet in the park. Many visitors can feel light-headed and nauseated with just mild exertion. Keep in mind that most hikes at Bryce Canyon begin by going DOWN and end with a climb back UP. Leave yourself enough energy for your return trip.

Traction devices: You’ll want warm waterproof hiking boots and traction devices and ski poles for extra grip and support. Check out these waterproof hiking shoes for women!

Water and sun protection: Carry plenty of water; 1 quart per 2-3 hours of hiking for each person. In the winter you’ll still need sun protection: lip balm with UV protection and sunscreen.

Winter Weather at Bryce Canyon

The Bryce Canyon weather in the winter will be cold and snowy.

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

Bryce Canyon in the winter
Bryce Canyon in the winter

Bryce Canyon Winter Hikes

Bryce Canyon has several day-hiking trails to meet all abilities. You’ll find easy, moderate, and strenuous Bryce Canyon hikes.

Many of the basic trails at Bryce Canyon can be connected to create a combination of two or more of these basic trails. The popular Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden Trail is an example of connecting the Navajo Loop trail with the Queen’s Garden Trail to create a longer combined hike.

Bryce Canyon winter hiking is a fun activity if you’re prepared with traction devices and good winter clothing!

hiking trails at Bryce Canyon in the winter
Snow-covered hiking trail at Bryce Canyon

Sunset to Sunrise Trail 

  • Distance: 1.0 mile roundtrip
  • Hike length: 1 hour 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Location: Sunset Point Parking Lot

The easiest hike in Bryce Canyon National Park is the the Sunset to Sunrise Rim Hike. Or you can hike from Sunrise to Sunset Point. From the trail you’ll see staggering Bryce Canyon views along the amphitheater rim.

Bryce Canyon in the winter with snow
Bryce Canyon snowy landscape

Rim Trail

  • Distance: 5.5 miles one way – shorter options available
  • Hike length: 1 to 7.5 hours
  • Hike difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Location: Fairyland Point Parking Lot

The Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park is a great trail for anyone who can’t hike DOWN and back UP the canyon. You can start from Fairyland Point hiking to Bryce Point, or the other way around.

Bryce Point is our favorite Bryce Canyon sunrise photography spot. Start your day taking photos then hike to Fairyland Point!

Bristlecone Loop Trail 

  • Distance: 1.3 miles roundtrip 
  • Hike length: 1 hour 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Location: Rainbow Point Parking Lot

At the end of the Bryce Canyon scenic drive, you will find the Bristlecone Loop. Sometimes the full scenic drive is closed in the winter due to weather.

This trail is easy and suitable for children and adults at all fitness levels. The views of Bryce Canyon along Bristlecone Loop trail are amazing. You’ll enjoy being surrounded by the Bristlecone Pine trees and fresh air!

mossy cave in the winter with ice
Mossy Cave in the winter with ice

Mossy Cave Trail

  • Distance: 0.8 miles roundtrip
  • Hike length: 1 hour 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Location: From the Visitor Center, drive 4 miles north on UT 63 (main park road) to SR 12. Turn right and drive 3.5 miles east. Parking will be on the right hand side. Do not park along the shoulder of SR 12. If the parking lot is full, return to hike at another time.

The Mossy Cave Trail is a fun winter hike at Bryce Canyon. During the winter, Mossy Cave may have large ice formations.

The trail follows the river and you’ll see the Tropic Ditch waterfall. Mossy Cave is a fee area, like the rest of the park. Keep your park pass or proof of admission with your vehicle for rangers to inspect.

Snowy landscape at Bryce Canyon
Snowy hoodoo landscape

Queen’s Garden Trail

  • Distance: 1.8 miles roundtrip
  • Hike length: 1 to 2 hours
  • Hike difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead Location: Sunrise Point Parking Lot

The Queen’s Garden Loop is a short, steep trail that starts at Sunrise Point. Remember the trail going down the canyon may not seem too difficult, but don’t forget you’ll need to hike back up this same trail!

You will need traction devices for this hike to give you that extra grip going down and back up!

This trail earned its name because of the iconic Queen Victoria hoodoo. The resemblance of the spire to a carved-out Queen is visibly apparent.

Navajo Loop hiking trail closed at Bryce in the winter
Navajo Loop hiking trail closed in the winter

Navajo Loop Trail

  • Distance: 1.3 miles roundtrip
  • Hike length: 1 to 2 hours
  • Hike difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead Location: Sunset Point Parking Lot

We HIGHLY recommend taking the Navajo Loop Trail trail down to at least Thor’s Hammer so you can experience seeing the hoodoos and windows up close. That way, the climb back up isn’t as long compared to going down to the canyon floor.

Due to unsafe conditions, this trail may be closed in the winter. The Wall Street section is always closed in the winter. You will need traction devices for this hike.

Thor's Hammer in snow at Bryce Canyon
Thor’s Hammer in snow

Navajo Queen’s Garden Combination Trail

  • Distance: 2.9 mile point to point
  • Hike length: 2 to 3 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Moderate 
  • Trailhead Location: Sunrise/Sunset Point Parking Lot

The combination Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail is a popular day hike at Bryce Canyon. This is one must-do hike we love! You will need traction devices for this hike in the winter.

We like to start at Sunset Point where the steep descent is easier going down. The ascent back up the canyon at Sunrise Point isn’t as steep. You can start and end at either point.

The Sinking Ship at Bryce Canyon with snow
The Sinking Ship

Tower Bridge Trail

  • Distance: 3.0 miles round trip
  • Hike length: 2 to 3 hours
  • Hike difficulty: Moderate 
  • Trailhead Location: Sunrise Point Parking Lot

Along the Tower Bridge trail at Bryce Canyon you’ll see panoramic views of arches, hoodoos, red rocks, and the formation known as the Sinking Ship.

Starting at Sunrise Point the trail drops in elevation from the rim down to Tower Bridge. You can return the way you came back to Sunrise Point or continue along the Fairyland Loop Trail (8 miles total).

We recommend traction devices for this hike.

hoodoos in snow at Bryce Canyon
Fairyland Loop hoodoos

Fairyland Loop Trail

  • Distance: 8.0 miles point to point
  • Hike length: 4 to 5 hours
  • Hike difficulty: Strenuous 
  • Trailhead Location: Fairyland Point Parking Lot 

The Fairyland Loop is considered strenuous for most hikers due to its length, complicated trail, and intensity of elevation changes.

You’ll enjoy views of the China Wall, Tower Bridge, and an extensive collection of hoodoos along with other unique geological features in the park. 

This is a hike where traction devices are recommended.

Peek a Boo Trail at Bryce Canyon in the winter
Peek a Boo Trail at Bryce Canyon in the winter

Peekaboo Loop Trail

  • Distance: 5.5 miles 
  • Hike length: 3 to 4 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Strenuous 
  • Trailhead Location: Bryce Point Parking Lot

The Peekaboo Loop is a strenuous hike due to its length and steep and roller coaster-like ups and downs along the trail. Definitely use traction devices and wear winter clothing!

The views along the trail are amazing where you’ll see up close Bryce’s hoodoos, The Cathedral, Fairy Castle, and Wall of Windows. The Peekaboo Loop earned its name from the windows (natural arches) formed in the rocks found in the area.

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