Winter Hiking Bryce Canyon, Utah

Obsessing over winter, we recently visited Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Overlooking Bryce Canyon

With over 35,000 acres, Bryce Canyon National Park makes for otherworldly winter hiking through white snow and colorful red and orange rock structures. Bryce is most notably famous for its distinct geological characteristics that include arches, bridges, and hoodoos.

Mike Flores Along the Queen's Trail

The hoodoos are  colorful rock structures that were formed by millions of years of frost and stream erosion.

Sunrise in Bryce Canyon
The towering pinnacles have served as the inspiration for local folklore as well as Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Ride.

The Hoodoos Stand Guard

 

There is contrast between the grandiosity of the geological structures and the wide open space.

The combination of elevation and clear air create a visibility that can span over 70 miles.

 

Bryce Canyon in Winter

 

Sunrise Point

Using information we found on the National Park Service website, we decided to see the sunrise from…. well, Sunrise point.

In the FAQ’s section of the NPS page which you can view by clicking here, it lists several places to view the sunrise.

Although Sunrise Point was not listed as the favorite, it was conveniently on the trail head for the route that we had chosen for our hike.

Notice the two rainbows on opposite sides of the sunrise
If you look on either sides of the Sun, you can see two large rainbows. In some of the far off distances, you can see an early morning haze creating a surreal glowing effect.

Sunrise in Bryce Canyon Pt 3

Please note, it wasn’t snowing when we arrived. What I believe happened is that the wind was picking up snow particulates from the ground which became airborne and reflected light.

Queen’s Garden Trail

With the sun still rising, we made our way down into Bryce Canyon along the Queen’s Garden trail.

Descending into Queen's Trail

The trail winds down with plenty of views for different angles and photo opportunities.

Along the Queen's Trail

Queen’s Garden Trail connects with Navajo Loop down towards the floor of canyon and into the local Fir Tree population.

Fir and Red Rock

As you can see, the hoodoos are beautiful when seen from above and spectacular when seen from below.

Peekaboo Trail Via Navajo Loop

The Navajo Loop Trail connects with the Peekaboo Trail which takes you on the “walk among the hoodoos.”

Mike Walking Towards a Monument

Shown above, Co-Writer and Ultra Runner Mike Flores creates the first set of tracks on the trail.

Walking Towards A Monument

Mike's Peaceful Walk

Peekaboo Trail Monuments

The Peekaboo Loop combines being immersed by the stone giants and rewarding expansive views.

View from Peekaboo Trail

Peekaboo Loop Trail

View from the Peekaboo TrailWeather

When we began our hike, it was 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit. Bryce Canyon, Utah gets cold! Check the NPS site for weather forecasts.

It seems the smarter way to Winter Hike Bryce Canyon is to wake up for the Sunrise and then have breakfast while the temperature warms up.

It was almost thirty degrees warmer by Noon.

However, a note for the bold or those seeking privacy:

We were the only hikers on the trail at Sunrise in 2 degrees weather. We don’t regret it. The only issue we had is that there was no clear trail at that time due to the fresh snow.

Survival Tip: If you ever momentarily lose the trail, start by going back to the last place you were sure. Don’t take shortcuts and risk really getting lost. It’s much easier to do the right thing at the start.

What to Wear

We highly recommend traction devices for your shoes. We were using Yaktrax Pro.

Carry extra layers of clothing that you can put on if necessary. Carry a face mask or balaclava.

Wear water proof boots when hiking in snow. We highly recommend carrying hand and feet warmers that you can activate and put in your gloves and boots for added warmth.

Resources 

www.utah.com

http://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm 

Ascending towards Sunrise Point

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For More Utah Hiking, you can view our Zion Post by Clicking Here

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