No crowds, beautiful scenery, and exciting winter activities, Bryce Canyon has everything winter travelers could ask for. While visiting Bryce Canyon in winter, guests will find that the weather is manageable, especially if they are prepared for the climate, and there are many exciting winter activities to enjoy. Rather than feeling the need to take vacation time in the summer and fight the crowds to see Bryce Canyon National Park, guests can book their trip in the winter and see Bryce in a way most people could never imagine.
Bryce’s Winter Weather
Though Bryce is in southern Utah, the high elevations mean temperatures are lower and snowfall can be substantial. Though the average winter in Bryce Canyon is manageable, as far as winter weather is concerned, there have been times where temperatures have fallen below zero and snow accumulation was immense. Below are the average temperatures and snowfall in Bryce. It’s important for guests to keep in mind that these can vary greatly throughout the winter, so checking the local weather report before committing to a trip in winter is a good idea.
The average winter temperature in Bryce varies each year. Generally, during the coldest part of winter, highs range from the low 30s to low 40s and lows range from the high teens to mid-20s. Combined with wind, snowfall, and other factors, these cool temperatures can feel quite harsh at times, but they are usually quite bearable. Though there are some biting temperatures at times, enjoying the outdoors during winter in Bryce is usually enjoyable and, guests who are prepared will be able to handle low temperatures without any issues.
Like the temperature, snowfall varies each year, as well. Though heavy snowfall is possible, there’s usually no more than a few inches of snow in the park. This perfect amount of snow makes it possible to enjoy exciting winter activities without dealing with the hassles or dangers of heavy snowfall. The days are generally sunny and clear, making Bryce Canyon the perfect location to enjoy the best parts of winter.
Cold temperatures don’t mean that guests will have fewer activities to enjoy. In fact, there are even more exciting activities to enjoy in the park during winter. Though biking and other activities may not be possible during the winter, there are many other adventures to enjoy while visiting Bryce Canyon in winter.
During the warmer months, hiking is the most popular activity in the park. Most of the hiking trails that are available during other seasons remain open during winter, so hikers will have the chance to enjoy all the incredible trails in the park. Regular hiking shoes will not be enough to brave the conditions in winter. Waterproof and heavily insulated hiking boots, along with other winter gear, will be needed to hike Bryce during the winter months. Those who are dedicated enough to head out on the Bryce Canyon trails during winter will be rewarded with incredible views and memories that will last a lifetime.
Unlike hiking, snowshoeing can be done even after heavy snowfall. In fact, the park intentionally leaves some portions of the land unplowed to provide areas for visitors to enjoy snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is such a popular activity in the park that rangers organize snowshoeing excursions through the Bryce Canyon Snowshoe Program. This program provides snowshoes and poles to all those in attendance so they can discover the joy of snowshoeing through Bryce Canyon in the winter.
Cross-country skiing can be enjoyed on many of the park’s trails. Cross-country skiing is faster and slightly less strenuous than snowshoeing, and skiers can see all the beautiful sights of Bryce Canyon during this exciting activity. Whether skiing along the Rim Trail or exploring other parts of the park, a cross-country skiing journey through Bryce Canyon will be unforgettable.
Experienced adventurers can obtain a permit to backpack through Bryce and the backcountry during winter months. Backpacking during the harsh weather can be extremely difficult, even for very knowledgeable outdoorsmen. Those who brave the cold and snow will enjoy being alone in the serene winter setting in Bryce.
Staying Safe in Winter
The biggest issue with visiting Bryce Canyon in winter is the fact that cold, snowy, and icy conditions can make outdoor activities more dangerous. Visitors can mitigate these risks by being prepared, being aware of their surroundings, and paying attention to all issued warnings for the area. By following these simple guidelines, visitors will have a safe and enjoyable winter getaway in Bryce.
Having the proper clothing and winter gear and being mentally and physically prepared for outdoor winter adventures are essential to enjoying the outdoors and avoiding serious injuries. When participating in outdoor activities, having the proper items, like heavily insulated clothing, snow boots, and cold weather gear like hats, mittens, and heavy socks is essential. In addition to the proper outerwear, visitors must be mentally and physically prepared for their adventures. This includes mapping out the routes that will be taken, understanding the risks of harsh winter conditions, and being physically fit enough for the planned excursions.
Heed All Issued Warnings
Snowfall, ice, and other dangerous conditions can lead to road and trail closures in the park. It’s important for guests to be aware of these warnings and closures so they don’t end up in a dangerous situation. If hikers take a trail that is closed, emergency rescue won’t be able to reach them if they are in danger.
Be Aware of Surroundings
Snow and ice can make the landscape look extremely different than it does in warmer weather. Snow can create the illusion of solid ground in areas with steep drop-offs. Cornices, which are areas that look like cliff edges but are fragile snow and ice, increase the risk of injury or death from falls. By being aware of their surroundings, visitors will be able to drastically decrease their chances of being seriously injured in the park.
Experience a Winter in Bryce
Many visitors may find that it’s the perfect time of year to plan a vacation to this beautiful area. There are many benefits to traveling to Bryce Canyon during the winter, like smaller crowds, incredible scenery, and thrilling winter activities. Anyone considering taking a trip to Bryce Canyon during winter should book their trip today. It will be an incredible journey full of unforgettable moments and natural beauty.