Winter is a quiet time at Natural Bridges. Snow, ice, freezing rain, and high winds are common this time of year. However, if the day is clear and you are prepared, a bright winter’s day among the snow-covered canyons of Natural Bridges is an experience not to be missed.
Visiting in Winter
What You Need to Know
You can avoid crowds and the heat of summer by visiting in winter, but visitor services are reduced. You will need to be more self-reliant and prepared for several different kinds of weather.
Winters are cold, with highs averaging 30-50ºF (-1-10ºC), and lows averaging 0-20º F (-17- -6ºC). Though large snowfalls are uncommon (except in nearby mountains), even small amounts of snow or ice can make local trails and roads impassable. Learn more about weather at Natural Bridges and check the National Weather Service forecast.
Water is available from a spigot in the visitor center parking lot or from the water bottle filling station inside the visitor center. Water is not available at trailheads or in the campground.
The park visitor center may be closed on certain days during the winter months. Check our hours page for updated information. When the visitor center is closed, park maps and trail guides are available in the box outside the visitor center. Restrooms at the visitor center are open unless otherwise posted.
Sandstone is treacherous when covered with snow and ice. Snow can quickly cover cairns, making trails difficult to follow. Snow and ice may remain in shady spots after it has cleared elsewhere. We recommend instep crampons or other traction aids and hiking poles.
Paved roads may close temporarily after snow while crews plow. Check on park alerts and conditions
Things to Do
Trails are open unless otherwise posted, but may be icy.
The campground is open year-round and is first-come, first-served. The campground rarely fills in the winter. Camping fees apply in winter and are payable by cash or check at the campground fee station. Check the fees page for updated information.
Temperatures often reach below freezing at night, but hardy campers and determined astronomers can bundle up and enjoy winter constellations. We recommend either stargazing from your campsite or from the visitor center parking lot. Make sure you have lots of warm extra clothing and/or blankets and to check the weather for clear skies. Although trails are open after dark, conditions become much worse as temperatures drop. Only well-prepared and experienced hikers should attempt to access canyons after dark.
Kids (and adults!) can earn a Junior Ranger badge by completing activities in the Natural Bridges Junior Ranger Booklet [1.5 MB PDF file]. Booklets are available in the visitor center when open.
Last updated: February 15, 2018