Over the next couple of months, Bryce Canyon NP, in southern Utah, will transition from a busy summer tourist destination into a place of quiet, solitude and spectacular winter vistas. If you've hiked the trails here in warmer months, you're in for a big surprise. Gone is the desert heat and dry undergrowth, replaced by snow capped red hoo-doos with white flocked trees.
At an altitude reaching 9100 feet, it will receive an average 96" of snow during the year. The Park is open year round, but some roads may not be accessible by car depending on snow fall. December temperatures average 35 degrees during the day and 10 at night. Factor in blowing winds and temps can feel below zero. Trail edges can be deceiving when covered by snow, so walking sticks can come in handy.
I also use foot and hand warmers when going for longer hikes in the snow. Keep an eye out for winter storms that can dump large amounts of snow and cause white out conditions.
Lodging and dining can be a challenge since most of Bryce Canyon City shuts down for the Winter. Doing a little advance research can save you a lot of aggravation. Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel is one of the few open hotels and offers a great place with low pricing with their "Winter Warmer" Specials with stays over 1 night starting around $80 a night. This also includes a full breakfast buffet. There are some black out dates. The Grand is only a mile from the park entrance. Their rooms are neat and spacious and the lobby has a double sided fireplace that is great for warming yourself by the fire. Keep in mind that dining is also limited, so check out Ruby's Inn and Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant, which has amazing homemade pies. Any additional items you may need are available across the street at Ruby's General Store and if you can't find it there, you probably don't really need it.