John Steinbeck used to say, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” Sweet is what I would describe winter in Bryce Canyon National Park.
A trip to Bryce Canyon National Park to see the Hoodoos covered in snow has been on both of our bucket lists. We were lucky enough to make a trip out here in the middle of February. It wasn’t just the lack of crowds that made the trip special. It was the stillness of nature, the contrast of red rocks with stark white snow, and the spontaneity of a trip that made it one I enjoyed.
Traveling in the wintertime can be daunting to some, but with the right gear, you’d be able to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Tips For Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park In The Winter
- Prepare your car for snow. Winter in Bryce Canyon National Park can be unpredictable. When we arrived on Saturday morning, we were greeted by fog and lots of falling snow. Two days later we returned to a clear day! Even though we didn’t need it during our trip, I suggest bringing along snow chains, ice scrapers, and ice brush for worst case scenarios. Make a habit to constantly check the weather too.
- Dress in layers. I’ve had my fair share of winter hikes and I’ve always stuck to the custom: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. The rule of thumb is to wear a base layer, insulating layer, and a shell layer. Of course, don’t forget your beanies, gloves, and thick wool socks too. (REI gives an in-depth explanation here).
- Be opened to snow activities. Hiking in any other season is great, but winter in Bryce Canyon National Park brings other activities. You can snowshoe into the canyons, cross country ski, or even go sledding. If you plan to hike, make sure to bring along snowshoes or crampons (for when the snow gets packed and icy).
- Head to the Visitor’s Center. Luckily, there won’t be many visitors here this time of year. The visitor’s center is a great place to get updated information about the park, weather, road conditions, activities currently allowed in the park, and events led by rangers.
- Keep an open mind. Roads can close, snow can be bad, and sometimes the fog will be so thick you won’t be able to see the canyon walls. Things will not always go according to plan, so be open to going-with-the-flow. The trip will be more memorable (and fun) when you concentrate on the things you did, rather than the things you didn’t get to do.