Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunset over Bryce Canyon National Park

Park Overview

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in Southern Utah and is one of Utah's "Big 5" national parks. Bryce Canyon is known for its Hoodoos which are tall, skinny columns of rock that have been formed from thousands of years of erosion. Hoodoos can be seen in many places around the world but Bryce Canyon has the highest concentration of Hoodoos of anywhere on the planet! Bryce Canyon also boasts in having amazing red rock canyons, small arches, and gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. We traveled to Bryce Canyon in January so all of our infomation will about traveling to the park in the winter (which we HIGHLY recommend), but the park is great to visit year round. Next time your passing through Utah you have to stop at Bryce Canyon National Park!

5 Best Adventures in Bryce Canyon in the Winter

1. Snowshoe Fairyland Canyon

It is hard to describe how beautiful Fairyland Canyon is during the winter time. The snow over the red rock is absolutely stunning. However, in order to get these views you only have two options, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Fortunately if you don't own either of these you can rent them for a great price at Ruby's Inn. For information about rental fees and hours go here. 


During the winter the road to Fairyland Canyon is not plowed, which is why you need snowshoes or skis, but they do groom it about once a week. The road is actually located about a mile north of the park entrance station which makes it a great first stop for your day! Be aware that there isn't much of a parking lot here in the winter so you may have to park on the side of the road. Once you get on the trail it is groomed all the way to the lookout over the canyon which is breathe taking. From there you can choose to turn back, hike part of the rim trail, or decend into the canyon. We went down into the canyon about a mile and we highly recommend it (pictured on the left).

2. Hike the Navajo Loop Trail

The Navajo Loop trail is probably the most popular hike in the park, and for good reason. If you want to walk among the Hoodoos, see the famous Thor's Hammer, or walk through red rock tunnels this is the hike for you. You can do the whole trail during the winter (besides the Wall Street portion) and you don't need snowshoes either. The trail is popular enough that it gets packed down really well, depending on recent conditions though you might consider adding crampons to your snow boots. The loop is about 3.5 miles long and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, however you should take your time here because there is nothing quite like it anywhere else.

3. Visit Inspiration Point

Once you are done hiking around the Hoodoos you should take some time to see them from distance at Inspiration Point. There are several viewpoints along the canyon, and you should visit them all, but this was our favorite. From the parking lot there are 3 different spots you can look out from, each getting progressively higher. It takes a little extra effort to get all the way to the top look out but you won't regret it! This is also a great spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. 

4. Watch the Sunrise or the Sunset

Bryce Canyon is already colorful with the red rocks, green trees, and white snow painting the gorgeous landscape but the added colors of a sunset take the views to another level. The picture at the top of the page is of the sunsetting at the trailhead of the Navajo Loop. There probably isn't a bad place to watch the sunset here but we really enjoyed that spot. During the winter the temperature drops a lot as the sun falls so make sure you are prepared with extra layers if you choose to brave the cold.

5. Stay at Ruby's Inn

We usually opt for camping when we visit National Parks for a number of reasons, including the price, but that becomes a little more complicated when you visit during the winter. Luckily, because winter is the off season at Bryce Canyon the nightly rates at Ruby's Inn are extremely reasonable. It is refreshing to come back to a cosy room at the inn after a long day of hiking and snowshoeing in the cold. The inn also has a decent size indoor pool and hot tub to relax in during the evening! The price of your room also includes a free breakfast at their restaurant which is really nice because there are not a lot of options for food near the entrance to Bryce Canyon. We loved staying at Ruby's Inn and for the low price it was unbelievable!

For more information about Bryce Canyon National Park head to the Park's official website:

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