One of the best ways to skip the crowds in busy national parks is to visit in the offseason and Bryce Canyon National Park is no exception. Visiting Bryce in the winter is magical! Those hoodoos covered in snow are such a beautiful site! Your hiking options may be a little limited because of ice and snow, especially if you are visiting with kids, but it is still 100% worth it. I have put together a one-day itinerary that will give you the perfect mix of hiking and site seeing, and wanna know the best part? You will have the park pretty much to yourself!
ONE Day Itinerary
Start your day with a short and easy 1-mile round trip hike on Mossy Cave Trail. For this hike, you won't be driving into the park. Click here for directions.
This trail is a great one to do in winter because even if it is covered in snow it is still totally doable because there is very little elevation gain. If it has just recently snowed you may need snowshoes so be prepared. When we hiked this trail the snow was very compacted from all the hikers that had gone before us and we didn't need snowshoes or even Yaktrax for our snow boots (Yaktrax would have been nice though!). You will cross a beautiful bridge and hike to a waterfall area and then backtrack a bit to check out the caves. This is a great hike with kids. Take plenty of time to explore and play. The hike will take about an hour.
Head into Tropic for pizza at The Pizza Place after your hike. They offer specialty pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. There should be something here to please everyone.
Another option for lunch is The Pines Restaurant. They offer delicious home-cooked meals including soup, pie, cowboy size steaks, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The Pines is world famous for their pie so make sure to get a slice!
After lunch head to the Bryce Canyon National Park entrance station. Drive into the park past the Bryce Canyon Lodge (the lodge is closed during the winter from December 1st through March8) turn left towards Sunset Point. Park in the designated parking lot and head to Sunset Point. Take in the views! They are AMAZING!!! From here you can hike Navajo Loop Trail for a short distance. When I was here with my family we didn't have Yaktrax with us so the trail was too slippery to go very far. If you want to hike make sure to bring Yaktrax with you for your boots. If you go to the right you will only be able to hike a short distance. The Wallstreet section of the trail is usually closed in the winter, but you can look down onto the trail from above and it is still pretty cool.
Defrost from the cold temps by heading to Ruby's Inn for hot chocolate. Take the hot chocolate to go and do a scenic drive through the park. Chances are you won't be able to make it to the end of the road to Bryce Viewpoint but you should be able to make it pretty far. Our favorite scenic stop was the Natural Bridge Viewpoint.
When you get to the end of the road turn around and head to go park on the east side of the lodge. From here make your way to the Rim Trail until finding the perfect spot to experience sunset in Bryce. The sun won't go down in front of your eyes but hopefully, you will catch some beautiful colors in the sky like we did.
What to wear for a winter day in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Average winter temps in Bryce are in the mid 30's so it is very important to dress warmly. You will need beanies, gloves, winter boots, and warm coats. Here is some link to some of our favorite winter gear. These are all products I have tried and my kiddos have tried and we love them. The women's snow sneakers from LL Bean are seriously so good!
Where to stay when visiting Bryce Canyon National park in the winter?
Stone Canyon Inn - If you are looking for a modern and stylish stay when you are visiting the area then you will love Stone Canyon Inn.
Ruby's Inn - This Bryce Canyon classic hotel is a family-friendly destination and the closest lodging to the park.
Ruby's Inn has a number of winter activities available including
I hope this inspires you to visit Bryce Canyon National Park in the winter. You won't regret it I promise. In the comment section below let me know if you have ever visited Bryce in the winter. I would love to hear about it.