If your looking for an easy weekend getaway this holiday season, we know just the place – Bryce Canyon National Park. You may be wondering to yourself what there is to do in Bryce Canyon during the winter. The answer, plenty. In addition to the natural beauty, fresh air, and sunshine that you’ll get to enjoy, there are lots of recreational activities as well. So here is our list for the top 5 things to do in Bryce Canyon this winter.
Take a Hike – Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean that you can’t go for a hike. Most of the trails that you can use during the summer are also open in winter. So if you wanna see Mossy Cave full of ice columns, hike away. Be aware that the snow on the trails can become packed and icy, and, as the official website states, “… sections cannot be safely traversed without some sort of additional traction device for your hiking shoes or boots.” But not to worry, the Bryce Canyon Visitor sells traction devices for your winter boots. At $25 a pop, you can tramp around any trail without fear.
Try out snowshoeing – Bryce Canyon has it’s own program to teach you how to snowshoe. When staffing is available (and it usually is) you can explore a pristine, winter wonderland with a qualified Park Ranger. And the best part? Bryce Canyon provides all the equipment for you. So you don’t need to buy or rent snowshoes or poles. Those wishing to take advantage of this program can sign up at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center or make a reservation by calling (435) 834–4747. Just be sure to bring the proper winter clothing.
Of course, if you are a veteran snowshoer, feel free to explore Bryce anyway you want.
Sledding with the Family – There are a couple of caveats here. Sledding off the canyon rim into the hoodoos is dangerous and will get you into big trouble. But if you can find a spot above the rim, you are free to enjoy sledding. However, you might actually want to head over to Red Canyon, it’s very close, and it has better slopes.
Cross-country Skiing – Again, you can’t ski off the rim into the canyon, but there is still plenty of park to explore. The rim trail from Bryce Point and Fairyland Point is our first recommendation, because of the amazing scenery. But Bristlecone Loop, Paria Ski Loop, and Paria View and Fairyland Point roads are all great routes.
If you had your heart set on skiing among the hoodoos, you can get on the Red Canyon Bike Path – which is very cool. There is a also a plethora of routes to be found in the surrounding areas. Bryce Canyon City maintains many miles of groomed ski trails.
Winter Astronomy and Full Moon Hikes – Bryce Canyon National Park has some of the clearest, driest air in the state. Which translates into fantastic stargazing opportunities. From November to March, you can attend a full moon hike in snowshoes. (Find out more about the full moon hike program here. In addition to the full moon hikes, Bryce Canyon occasionally offers other cool winter astronomy programs. You can find out if anything is scheduled by stopping by the Visitor Center, or giving them a call at (435) 834–4747.