Winter Outdoor Activities
Bryce Canyon is even more beautiful in the wintertime! For the casual visitor, it might be thrilling enough to hop in and out of the warm car at the various overlooks to see the striking contrast of white snow, red rock, and blue sky. However, for the more adventurous winter recreationists, many opportunities beckon. BEFORE setting out on one of the adventures described below, stop at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to get up-to-date weather and safety information.
2014 Winter Festival Schedule
*Snowshoe Hikes can only accomodate a limited number of participants. Pre-registration may be made up to 2 days in advance by calling 435-834-4747. Reservations for the Ranger-led Full Moon Snowshoe Hike on Friday, February 14 are FULL! We do NOT maintain a waiting list for this activity. We apologize for the inconvenience.
NPS photo by Ron Warner & Kevin Poe
After a big snowfall most of the park's day-hiking trails require snowshoes. However, after a few days of melt, and with continued use, the trails become so well packed and icy that snowshoes are often more of a liability. For much of the winter the most popular trails are so icy that steep sections cannot be safely traversed without some sort of additional traction device for your hiking shoes or boots. While mountaineering crampons work fine, they are heavier and much more expensive than the traction devices pictured at left. The Bryce Canyon Natural History Association's bookstore at the Visitor Center sells such devices for the discounted price of $27.
NPS photo by Kevin Poe
Snowshoes are available for FREE for those joining Bryce Canyon's Snowshoe Rangers (when snow depth and staffing are sufficient) Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for 1-mile, 2 hr. guided snowshoe hikes. Registration is required as group size is limited and hikes are subject to cancellation - please inquire about hikes and registration at the Visitor Center. Designed for beginner snowshoers, but also enjoyed by experts, these outings help you learn or refine your snowshoe technique, while also teaching winter ecology and other winter survival skills. Our High-tech snowshoes, made by MSR, come in all sizes but are only provided for participants of ranger guided snowshoe activities. Sign up at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center or make a reservation by calling 435-834-4747. Attendance is free. NOTE: you must provide your own waterproof hiking boots, or ideally snowboots, to keep your feet warm and dry. Those with only tennis shoes, dress shoes, etc. will not be allowed to participate.
For visitors wishing to snowshoe at Bryce Canyon, but do not own their own or cannot participate in one of our guided hikes, snowshoes are available for rent outside the park in Bryce Canyon City.
Ranger Guided Full Moon Snowshoe Hikes
From November through March (when snow depth exceeds 12") we offer full moon snowshoe hikes. Snowshoes and poles are provided but you must provide your own snow-boot or waterproof hiking boots. (Click here for more info and moon hike schedule)
photo by Dan Ng & Kevin Poe
NPS photo by Jan Stock
Although sledding is allowed above the canyon rim (sledding off of the canyon rim being strictly prohibited), there are very few suitable places within the boundaries of Bryce Canyon National Park to enjoy sledding. Local residents prefer to do their sledding in nearby Red Canyon.
NPS Photo by Dan Ng