Obsessing over winter, we recently visited Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.
Bryce Canyon National Park
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.
The hoodoos are colorful rock structures that were formed by millions of years of frost and stream erosion.
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.
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.
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.
The trail winds down with plenty of views for different angles and photo opportunities.
Queen’s Garden Trail connects with Navajo Loop down towards the floor of canyon and into the local Fir Tree population.
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.”
Shown above, Co-Writer and Ultra Runner Mike Flores creates the first set of tracks on the trail.
The Peekaboo Loop combines being immersed by the stone giants and rewarding expansive views.
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.
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For More Utah Hiking, you can view our Zion Post by Clicking Here
For More Winter Hiking, You can read our Mt Baldy article by Clicking Here