Greatest Time to Go to Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park – Bearfoot Concept

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Situated in Southern Utah, Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park is without doubt one of the most beautiful nationwide parks in Utah’s Mighty 5. Sitting at an elevation of 8,000 ft, the Park experiences the total swing of all 4 seasons, which suggests your expertise shall be formed by the point of 12 months you go to.

Every season in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park has its perks, together with varied seasonal packages and alternatives to attempt completely different out of doors actions. Whether or not you wish to snowshoe among the many hoodoos, {photograph} the night time sky, camp contained in the Park, or cruise the bike paths, you’ll wish to contemplate your priorities when selecting the very best time to go to Bryce Canyon.

As a Utah resident, I’ve been fortunate to go to Bryce Canyon quite a few instances. My private desire is to go to Bryce Canyon in late Spring earlier than it will get too scorching and summer season crowds descend on the Park. I additionally love late fall when there’s an opportunity of snow dusting the hoodoos, however the trails are nonetheless typically hike-able.

No matter your priorities, on this publish, I cowl the very best time to go to Bryce Canyon and the entire issues to do within the completely different seasons that can assist you determine when to plan your journey.

The Fairyland Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park
The start of the Fairyland Loop in early summer season

Essential Reminder: Because it goes in the entire locations we share, please observe good path etiquette and bear in mind to Depart No Hint. This implies packing out your whole rubbish (together with rest room paper), being respectful to others, and following the established guidelines.


Climate in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park

Because the park is between 7,000-8,000 ft in elevation, it is very important pack the suitable objects for climate circumstances when experiencing the entire issues that Bryce Canyon has to supply. The climate at Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park can change shortly and unexpectedly.

Irrespective of the time of 12 months you go to, I like to recommend sporting practical and cozy mountain climbing attire together with layers and a jacket. For winter, fall, and spring, deliver snow attire and traction gadgets simply in case, particularly should you plan to take a look at a few of the finest hikes in Bryce Canyon.

The chart under can assist you intend your go to across the common temperature and precipitation for every month.

Chart showing the average temperature and precipitation for each month in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Common temperatures and precipitation ranges in Bryce Canyon / Supply: Bryce Canyon National Park
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Visiting Bryce Canyon in Spring

With blooming flowers and delicate temperatures, the spring is a refreshing time of 12 months to go to Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park. The common every day excessive temperature is 55-65 levels, whereas the typical low is 30-40 levels.

Relying on whenever you go to within the spring, you should still get to see snow on the crimson hoodoos. There’s often an opportunity of snow from March to the tip of April, and Bryce Canyon additionally averages a few inches of snow in Might. You’ll nonetheless wish to costume in heat layers, deliver traction devices, and put on waterproof mountain climbing boots which can be good within the mud.

BFT contributor Kaylin first visited Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park throughout a snowstorm over Memorial Day weekend in 2019. She solely had time to drive by way of the park for a fast go to, and it was so foggy that she couldn’t even see the hoodoos from Sundown Level! If you happen to plan to go to Bryce Canyon within the spring, attempt to give your self a few days in case of sudden climate circumstances.

Landscape high angle aerial view from Sunset Point Overlook cliff edge at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah with yellow flowers in foreground during day
Flowers blooming at Sundown Level in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park

Issues to do in Spring in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park

  • Attend a every day ranger-led geology speak to be taught extra in regards to the unimaginable geology of the park. There are additionally night time sky packages on Saturday nights.
  • Hike the 7.9-mile Fairyland Loop to see the hoodoos up shut with snow. The Fairyland Loop combines mountain climbing alongside the plateau rim close to Boat Mesa with views of the hoodoos within the Bryce Amphitheater. Chances are you’ll want snowshoes should you go to in early spring proper after a giant storm. In any other case, the snow tends to be well-packed as a result of different hikers, however microspikes nonetheless could turn out to be useful. By mid-April, issues ought to be thawed out.
  • Try the Customer Middle Museum. The museum has reveals on geological, ecological, and human impacts, together with particular night time sky and air high quality reveals. While you’re on the Customer Middle, it’s also possible to watch the 30-minute movie, A Tune of Seasons, to be taught extra in regards to the park. 
  • Go to the Bryce Canyon Lodge, restaurant, and reward store, which reopens on April 1st. On this identical date, you may start using the general public showers and laundry services for the season on the Basic Retailer close to Dawn Level (a terrific perk for van lifers visiting the park).
  • Go horseback driving within the park. As soon as the snow and ice soften round April 1st, Canyon Trail Rides provide horseback rides in Bryce Canyon. You possibly can pay for a 2-hour guided horse or mule trip into the Bryce Amphitheater alongside a horse path and the Peekaboo Loop Path. 
Beautiful bright golden hoodoos illuminated during sunset in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park in Utah

Visiting Bryce Canyon in Summer time

The summer season months (June by way of September) are the busiest time of 12 months to go to Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park. The common excessive temperatures are between 70-80 levels (a lot cooler than the opposite Nationwide Parks in Utah), and the low temperatures are likely to fall round 40-50 levels.

As a result of it will get scorching throughout the daytime in the summertime months, I like to recommend waking up early for the actions you will have deliberate. This manner, you may beat the afternoon solar and the crowds.

Carry loads of sunscreen and water on your adventures. I like to recommend sporting a wide-brimmed mountain climbing hat and solar safety always. The excessive elevation mixed with scorching circumstances may result in delicate altitude illness, so know how you can forestall altitude illness earlier than you go to.

Me mountain climbing the Fairyland Loop in early summer season. A solar hat was clutch!

Issues to do in Summer time in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park

  • Attend annual occasions such because the astronomy competition in June or the geology competition in mid-July. Each festivals are free and embrace family-friendly actions throughout the daytime and night hours.
  • Backpack in Bryce Canyon’s forested backcountry. You need to acquire a allow from the Bryce Canyon Customer Middle or on Recreation.gov and camp in designated websites. You possibly can backpack the 22.9-mile Below-the-Rim Path (7 campsites) or the shorter 8.8-mile Riggs Spring Loop Path (3 campsites). Each trails are thought of strenuous and have a complete elevation achieve of over 2,500 ft. There are pure water sources alongside the paths (besides if you’re backpacking in drought circumstances). Carry a water filter to purify for consuming.
  • Go birdwatching within the park. Chicken breeding season in Bryce Canyon happens from Might by way of July. Carry some light-weight mountain climbing binoculars, and you’ll probably see an abundance of hummingbirds, together with the black-chinned, broad-tailed, and rufous. You too can discover hermit thrushes, western tanagers, green-tailed towhees, wood-pewees, flycatchers, violet-green swallows, and cliff swallows within the summertime.
  • Journey your bike within the park. A 5-mile Shared-Use Path begins on the shuttle heart north of Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park and ends at Inspiration Level. You too can hop on the trail from the Customer Middle, Dawn Level, or Sundown Level. The Historic Service Station within the park presents normal bike and e-bike leases.
A paved trail with pine trees surrounding it in Bryce Canyon National Park.
There are views of pine bushes alongside the 5-mile Shared-Use Path that runs by way of the park / Picture Credit score: Kaylin Zittergruen @katekeepswild

Visiting Bryce Canyon in Fall

Whereas Southern Utah isn’t a leaf peeping scorching spot, with nice temperatures and colourful foliage, the autumn (finish of September by way of early December) is a wonderful time of 12 months to go to Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park. The common excessive temperature tends to fall between 40-60 levels, whereas low temperatures dip to 20-40 levels.

On BFT contributor Kaylin’s most up-to-date journey to Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park, she visited in her van over the last week of October. The every day temperatures felt comfy, and she or he wore fall mountain climbing attire together with mountain climbing pants and long-sleeve shirts.

Though the park is open day by day year-round, there are adjustments to hours and closures throughout the fall months. Examine the Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park web site for up to date Visitor Center hours, which change in early November.

The horseback and mule rides provided inside the park cease on the finish of October, together with the free shuttle service. The Lodge at Bryce Canyon and the Basic Retailer at Dawn Level shut on the finish of November.

Bryce Canyon's Natural Bridge with autumn foliage in the foreground
Bryce Canyon’s Pure Bridge at fall

Issues to do in Fall in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park

  • Hike the Navajo Loop and Queens Backyard Path. The Navajo Loop and Queens Backyard Path is a average 3-mile path and the most well-liked hike within the park. Doing this hike within the fall means you received’t should share it with as many individuals as in peak summer season. This hike is a wonderful option to see the Bryce Amphitheater up shut. Additionally, you will see the well-known Thor’s Hammer hoodoo and Queen Victoria hoodoo.
  • Drive the Southern Scenic Drive. This 15-mile stretch of the principle park street begins after the preliminary 3-mile Bryce Amphitheater space. There are 9 scenic overlooks alongside the Southern Scenic Drive, and the elevation will increase from 7,894 ft to over 9,000 ft as you make your approach up the street. It’s a few 40-minute drive from the Customer Middle to the tip of the Southern Scenic Drive, however give your self 2-3 hours to drive and cease on the viewpoints.
  • Stroll your canine alongside the Rim Path between Dawn Level and Sundown Level. It’s the solely paved strolling path (in addition to the Shared-Used Path) within the park the place you may stroll your canine. It’s a 1-mile out-and-back stroll to benefit from the hoodoos together with your furry buddy. Canine should be leashed within the park always.
  • Look ahead to wildlife. Animals are plentiful in Bryce Canyon, together with hummingbirds, Peregrine Falcon, Rocky Mountain Elk, and Pronghorn. It’s not unusual to identify them all through the park alongside the principle street. At Bryce Amphitheater, search for chipmunks, floor squirrels, mule deer, and ringtails close to the Sundown Level car parking zone at night time. You’ll find Utah prairie canine colonies close to the Customer Middle and Dawn Level. Though mountain lions and black bears are current within the park, they’re unusual to see.
Hoodoos along the Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park with a tunnel inside of a fin.
A tunnel inside the hoodoos alongside the Queens Backyard Path in fall after the summer season crowds have departed / Picture Credit score: Kaylin Zittergruen @katekeepswild

Visiting Bryce Canyon in Winter

With fewer individuals and views of gorgeous white snow contrasting in opposition to the enduring orange hoodoos, there are particular benefits to visiting Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park within the winter months. Though some trails and roads could shut seasonally, the park has year-round entry to the Bryce Amphitheater.

Bryce Canyon Winter Ideas

Since visiting Bryce Canyon in winter requires a bit extra preparation than different seasons, listed below are a bunch of useful tricks to be sure to’re prepared for variable circumstances.

  • Common Temperatures: Put together for common temperatures of 35-40 levels throughout the day and lows of 10-20 levels at night time. There’s often 10-20 inches of snowfall every month from November to April.
  • What to Carry: I like to recommend bringing heat winter layers, snowshoes (should you plan to hike instantly after a snowfall), trekking poles with baskets, and microspikes to stop slipping and falling on the paths and paved areas. If you happen to neglect traction gadgets, you should purchase them on the Bryce Canyon Customer Middle.
  • Path and Street Closures: Keep watch over the current conditions of Bryce Canyon National Park for updates on street or path closures. The roads resulting in Fairyland Level and Paria View are closed for your complete winter season. After a giant snowstorm, the principle street by way of the park closes after mile marker 3 to permit for snow elimination. Relating to path closures, the Wall Road part of the Navajo Loop Path and the Rim Path between Inspiration Level and Bryce Level are closed for winter.
  • Icy Street Circumstances: Keep in mind that even when the roads are open, they are often icy as you drive to and from the park. Winter driving circumstances are unpredictable and typically harmful. Drive slowly and thoroughly each out and in of the park should you go to within the wintertime.
  • Campground Closures: Campgrounds and dispersed tenting areas close to Bryce Canyon are sometimes closed or are typically inaccessible, so make plans for lodging lodging in Bryce Canyon Metropolis. Another choice is to camp nearer to Zion which is decrease in elevation. Although the climate remains to be chilly close to Zion with freezing temperatures within the winter, this may very well be an choice when you’ve got a van or correct setup for winter tenting.
  • Allowable Actions: Park guidelines forbid snowboarding, snowboarding, sledding, and many others. off the rim or inside the canyon. These actions can injury the hoodoos and trigger slides and rockfalls.
A view of a red rock and trees covered in snow along the Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce Canyon after a snowstorm / Picture Credit score: Kaylin Zittergruen @katekeepswild

Issues to do in Winter in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park

  • Drive to Inspiration Level and {photograph} the Bryce Amphitheater to see the valley of hoodoos with snow. You possibly can see an unimaginable view of the Bryce Amphitheater by strolling lower than 0.1 miles from the Inspiration Level car parking zone. You too can hike up the steep path to the upper overlook, however it’s typically icy. 
  • Snowshoe or cross-country ski on the park trails. You possibly can lease these from Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon Metropolis should you didn’t deliver your individual. You possibly can snowshoe on all the paths of the park, and the most well-liked routes are the Rim Path, Bristlecone Loop, Fairyland Street, and Paria Street. There are additionally ranger-led snowshoe hikes within the park, and you’ll cease by the Customer Middle to study upcoming occasions. For cross-country snowboarding, you may go on a few of the areas above the rim, together with sections of the Rim Path alongside the sting of the Principal Amphitheater, the Bristlecone Loop Path, Paria Ski Loop, and the unplowed Paria View and Fairyland Level roads.
  • Attend annual occasions just like the Christmas Chicken Rely within the park in December or the Bryce Canyon Winter Competition in February. Each of those occasions are free to attend, with the Winter Competition that includes ski excursions, images clinics, morning yoga lessons, crafts for youths, and extra.
  • Stargaze within the clear winter skies and expertise the magic of the Milky Manner galaxy. I like to recommend parking at Sundown Level or Inspiration Level so that you don’t should stroll far to get to and out of your automobile within the chilly.
Bryce Canyon Rim covered in snow
The view from my winter journey to Bryce Canyon

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Have you ever been to Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park? In your opinion, when is the very best time to go to Bryce Canyon? Let me know in a remark under.