Winter Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park

Added by Kathleen Buenviaje

Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Bryce Canyon National Park with minimal crowds. Sunset campground is the only campground open in the park during the winter months. 

The incredible views at Bryce Canyon National Park can be described with little else than a “Wow.” During a snowy winter, especially, these sights are not to be missed.

There is only one campground open during the winter, Sunset Campground, and it is first come, first serve. Most visitors shy away from camping here due to the chilly temperatures, leaving you with a campground practically to yourself. Another advantage of the campground is it's proximity to Sunrise Point and Sunset Point. Hike up a slope to the Rim Trail for beautiful views of snow against the red rock.

It is important to bring a shovel and tarp when base camping in the snow. Snowfall ranges between a few inches to 4-5 feet, so the shovel is needed for digging a space to pitch your tent. These campsites do have fire pits, which will be much appreciated after a day of hiking in the snow.

On that note, it is highly recommended to bring snowshoes, crampons, and water resistant/proof hiking boots. Hiking in wet socks in 17º weather is not the most pleasant feeling.

One option for a hike is the Navajo Loop Trail, which takes you into the canyons on a one-mile loop, with 167 ft. elevation gain. The trail starts at Sunset Point, then heads into the main amphitheater. It is well-marked and popular, and therefore easier to follow in the wintertime, when the trail often is covered with tracks. Navajo Loop is also fairly steep, so it is a good idea to bring snowshoes and trekking poles. Also be aware of risk for rock slides in this area.

To photographers, know that winter sunrises in Bryce Canyon are spectacular. Although it may seem unimaginable to leave the warmth of your tent in the dark, it is well worth the trek up the mountain in freezing temperatures to capture the sunrise. Break out some hand warmers, pull down a beanie, and force yourself out of your sleeping bag – you won't regret it.

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

That was cold

Did this in early spring and I was surprised at how cold it was. That being said, the snow on the orange rock was pretty spectacular and I'd definitely do it again. Bring layers!

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

almost 5 years ago

It can get oh so cold here in the winter, but it's worth it to photograph contrasting snow on the red rocks. If you're planning on night photography be prepared with lots of layers and possibly a sleeping bag, I've had temps below zero Fahrenheit.

Stay Nearby

Bryce, Utah

North Campground

Overview North Campground is located in the beautiful and unique Bryce Canyon National Park. Known for its colorful rock spires and grand vistas that sweep out over the High Plateaus region of the ...

Bryce, Utah

Sunset Campground

Overview Sunset Campground is located in beautiful and unique Bryce Canyon National Park. Known for its colorful rock spires and grand vistas that sweep out over the High Plateaus region of the Col...

Hatch, Utah

Kings Creek

Overview Kings Creek Campground is located on the west side of Tropic Reservoir, high on the Colorado Plateau at an elevation of 8,000 feet. Visitors enjoy boating, fishing and exploring local ATV ...

Cannonville, Utah

Cannonville / Bryce Valley Koa

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Peek-a-Boo Loop in Bryce Canyon

    This 5 mile hike begins at an elevation of 8000' at the Navajo Loop trailhead at Sunset Point. The view from the lookout of Sunset Point is only just a small taste of the sweeping vistas you will see on the hike. From Sunset Point follow the sign ...

    5 miles 1660 ft gain

  • Hike Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail

    There are many many trails that explore the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and this is just one option of a combination of trails that is about 3.5 miles. The Navajo trail begins at Sunset Point and you head straight down dozens of switchbacks to what is...

    3.5 miles

  • Winter Hike the Navajo-Queens Garden Loop

    Winter is a wonderful time to visit Bryce Canyon because there is snow on the ground but the sun shines bright. I was able to get by with my waterproof hiking boots, a beanie, a thermal shirt and a down jacket. There were even a few points during ...

    3 miles 580 ft gain

  • Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive

    Inspiration Point:All who look out from this point are bound to be inspired. The intricacies of the hoodoos and their formation through the erosion of the Claron Formation is simply beautiful. You get the most spectacular perspective of the main a...