Snow Days in Bryce Canyon

We left Phoenix with temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s and landed in Bryce Canyon, Utah which was a good 50-to-60 degrees cooler. We had snow for many of the ten days we were there, but it didn’t prevent us from enjoying Bryce Canyon National Park and its surroundings. There is definitely something to be said for visiting in the off season.

The park is truly beautiful, with gorgeous orange hoodoos and deep canyons. Only further enhanced by the snow. There are lots of great view points and overlooks as well as moderate trails that allow you to enjoy the canyons from several vantage points. Of course, there are also more advanced back-country hiking and even snow-shoeing, but we didn’t attempt any of those.

Here are my highlights.

Bryce Canyon Viewing Points

A photo posted by Andi Fisher (@andi_fisher) on

Sunset Point is command central for a lot of the activity in the main park. Sunset Point is the first big viewing area to visit. Sunset and Sunrise Points are both accessed from the same parking lot. We did a lot from this area.  It gets full fast, I have no idea how they handle the crowds in the summer, but we were usually there by 6 AM for sunrises, so it was never an issue for us.

BRYCE CANYON Sunset Point

Sunset Point at sunrise. Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

Despite the name sunset, Mr. Misadventures said the park’s orientation lent itself better to sunrise photos so we were up many days at the crack of dawn to capture them.  It was freezing. I know I was cold during my January trip to Detroit last year, but I definitely felt I was as cold as I’ve ever been! (The RV suffered too!)

Labor of Love, Mr. Misadventures’ photography. Labor of Love! He was happy with how his shots turned out, that’s all that matters!  He took a lot of panorama’s that are too large for the blog, so please go check them out there, they are gorgeous.

Rainbow Point is the last viewing point at the end of the road that runs through the park. This is a very nice vista and Mr. Misadventures took a lot of photos here although a couple of mornings it was closed due to snow fall.

BRYCE CANYON Rainbow-Point

Rainbow Point. Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

Hiking in Bryce Canyon

The Rim Trail runs along the rim of the park and allows you to get to the Navajo Loop which starts and ends at Sunset Point. There are other trails that feed into this one. (The famous Wall Street Trail was closed due to weather conditions.)

Bryce Canyon Navajo-Loop

Going down the Navajo Loop Trail. Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

We hiked from Sunset Point down into the canyon and back up through the Queen’s Garden ending at Sunrise Point.

BRYCE CANYON Queens-Garden

Queen’s Garden. Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

The Queen herself:

A photo posted by Andi Fisher (@andi_fisher) on

The trails are moderate the only real tricky part is the ascent and descent – going up is harder! Little did I know in the photo below that I still had more uphill to complete!

We also hiked the Rim Trail between Sunset Point and Bryce Point in order to see some of the ancient Bristlecone Pine trees. Mr. Misadventures took an amazing shot of one in the Northern Sierras and I’ve always wanted to see one for myself. These ancient beings grow in high altitude in harsh conditions and are thousands of years old.

Bryce Canyon Bristlecone Pine

Bristlecone Pine. Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

There is a little grove along the trail, but the conditions were pretty icy so I did more looking down to watch my footing than I did up to see the trees.  The hubby has a couple of more photos of the Bristlecone on his site, one in black and white and a lovely specimen on the edge of the canyon.

Extras

There is a bike path that starts on Highway 12 and continues on Highway 63 into the National Park.  We had every intention of riding our bikes on this lovely path, it just kept snowing on us!  It’s a great way to access the path along some amazing canyons and the Sevier River.

Fun for kids (and maybe adults too): along the hiking trails are spots where you can take a photo with a medallion or make a tracing of the medal and return to the Visitor Center for a badge or pin, it was cute.

Tips

– Use the toilet in the Sunset Point area before heading out. All the other toilets in the park are pit toilets.
– I know some of you may not be early risers, but you will see more and enjoy the park and trails to yourself if you get there early.  By 10:00 everyone is at the park and you are sharing your experiences with a lot more people.

How about you? Have you been to Bryce Canyon National Park? Is it on your park bucket list?  Do you like visiting parks in the off-season?

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About Andi Fisher

I'm a lifestyle blogger focused on travel and food. I love to travel via my stomach eating and seeking out local artisans to feature here. I'm a big supporter of the blogging community and love highlighting travel and food bloggers for you to meet.

Comments

  1. Those pictures are absolutely beautiful! I’ve been in Utah several times, but never knew about this area. I might have to make a special trip and I’ll make sure to use your tips! Thanks for the sharing your adventure!

  2. Wow! These views look like those that are default on a Windows operating system as wallpapers. I love the views at Sunset Point and Rainbow Point. They look truly magnificent!

  3. Gorgeous photography! I have to admit that it is pretty pathetic that I’ve never been to Bryce Canyon. I live in SE Idaho, so it really isn’t that far, and it’s always on my “we should do that” list, but something else always ends up being what we do. Pretty sure we need to change that and make the drive!

  4. Wow — those are some stunning views! I bet their even more breathtaking in person! We love to bike together as a family, this would be an epic bike ride for sure. Love your tips — especially the first one!

  5. Wow! I have never been to Utah but it sure looks beautiful! I would love to travel there and check it out with my family. We have said we are going to travel more but I have been very sick and in the hospital this year so we haven’t had a chance yet. I would love to make up for all of that lost time and visit beautiful places like this!

  6. Wow. Bryce Canyon is really a dream and it’s definitely high up on my bucket list! I really hope to be in this part of the world soon. I can just imagine camping in this area at night and it makes me anticipate it even more! (Great shots by the way!)

  7. Oh my these pictures are breathtaking! What an amazing travel experience and such an ideal spot to view landscape and scenery!

  8. Gorgeous pictures Andi! My husband has been to Bryce Canyon before, but I haven’t and I want to visit so bad! I think I might have to make a little trip this summer. Being from Arizona too, I can appreciate the cooler weather.

  9. Whoa! Eye candy galore! I’ve never been and now you’re pics are making me want to cut my trip short and head back to the U.S.!

  10. Unfortunately as a school teacher, the only times I can travel are usually during peak and high-season. I loved my time at Bryce this past July but there were so many tourists (and many of them being very rude, stupid, and loud). The sights were still absolutely gorgeous- but WOW I love these photos with the hoodoos in the snow!!

  11. What a beautiful place to explore. The snow here and there really makes for some awesome photos and a unique experience. This park is on my travel list!

  12. Just another reason to visit Utah, high on my bucket list!! The photos are stunning and I enjoyed seeing them dusted with snow… though I”m not sure that would be a time of year I’d want to visit!

  13. I have wanted to go to Bryce Canyon for so long! These pictures are unbelievable – I can’t believe somewhere like this exists!

  14. Olivine Eyes says:

    I’d like to hike the Rim trail. The snow and the shadows make the canyon more beautiful and interesting.

  15. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    This sounds like a great vacation. The scenery is beautiful with all the colors and shadows in these pictures. God has created so much beauty for us to see. Thank you so much for sharing

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