Contact: Dan NG, 435.834.4740
Experience the Beauty of Winter at Bryce Canyon National Park During the Fee-Free Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend
Bryce Canyon National Park will waive the $25 entrance fee during the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, January 15-17, 2011. Throughout the extended weekend, park rangers will offer a variety of winter activities. As always, our ranger programs are offered free of charge.
Geology Talks - Bryce Canyon's mild winter days and subzero nights create the repeated freezing and thawing that sculpts this unique national park's bizarre and beautiful hoodoos. Learn more about the geology behind this beauty by attending 30-minute Geology Talks, daily at 11:30am. Check at the visitor center for location. No reservation necessary.
Snowshoe Hikes - Join a park ranger on a 2-hour 1-mile snowshoe adventure. On these outings you will not only receive helpful snowshoe lessons, but also learn how humans have developed winter survival technology and skills from studying animals. No prior snowshoe experience is necessary and state-of-the-art snowshoes and poles will be provided. Dress warmly and wear snow boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Sign up at the visitor center or call 435-834-4747 for reservations and starting locations.
Snowshoe hikes will be offered on the following dates and times:
Astronomy - Bryce Canyon is the place to go to learn about Astronomy. Not only does the park have some the darkest skies left in North America, we also have proud a tradition of offering enthralling multimedia astronomy programs, and weather permitting, they are followed by stargazing with large telescopes. Bryce Canyon's Head "Dark Ranger" Kevin Poe notes that "Our winter sky is so cold and dark, that we can show visitors things in our telescopes that can only be better viewed by huge research telescopes!" Poe adds, "Astronomy buffs can travel to many different places to see the summer Milky Way – our galaxy's inner arm, but it's usually only those that come to Bryce Canyon who can brag that they've seen the much fainter outer arm – the winter Milky Way!"
Astronomy programs, followed by telescope viewing, will be offered on the following dates and times:
7:00pm Sat., Jan. 15: "The Lives of Stars"– Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
Hot apple cider and hot chocolate will be provided after the programs.
Other Activities - Many people assume that with Bryce Canyon National Park's 8000-foot elevation, the park is closed for the winter; but the park remains open year-round! The park visitor center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An award-winning orientation film is shown upon request, and the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association sells a variety of publications in the park bookstore.
Touring the park by car to view and photograph the winter vistas is the most popular activity. As park staff and returning visitors can attest, Bryce Canyon's snow-capped hoodoos enhance the beauty of the park. Park roads are kept open in winter, but some sections of road may be temporarily closed following heavy snowstorms.
Snowshoes are required for the longer hiking trails, but many of Bryce's shorter, more popular trails can be hiked with just snow boots or even waterproof hiking boots. To negotiate icy section of trails, boot traction devices are highly recommended. Visitors may purchase traction devices at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center for $25, if they so desire.
Though downhill skiing, snowboarding, or any other "off the rim" snow sliding sports are prohibited, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through the forest and meadows of Bryce Canyon, or among the hoodoos of nearby Red Canyon on the Dixie National Forest.
Bryce Canyon Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh, explains that it is especially important to dress warmly for nighttime activities. "While our daytime high temperatures are usually above freezing our nighttime temperatures are normally below zero Fahrenheit."
For more information, please contact Bryce Canyon National Park at 435-834-5322.
Did You Know?
Utah Prairie Dogs are a threatened species found only in southwestern Utah. Distinguishable by its white tail and black eyebrows, several colonies are located within Bryce Canyon's boundaries. More...