Recently Fodor’s rated Bryce Canyon National Park as one of the best National Parks in the United States for a winter time experience.
Snowfall is fairly common in Bryce Canyon Country, but cumulative precipitation from snow is low. Bryce Canyon averages 15 to 18 inches of precipitation a year while heavier snowfall comes at higher elevations in areas such as Boulder Mountain. Colder winter temperatures are generally offset by the lack of wind in winter and by the frequently sunny skies and dry climate.
Ruby’s Inn, on the northern edge of Bryce Canyon, grooms approximately 30 miles of cross country ski trails that range through the nearby forest and close to the edge of Bryce Canyon. Some of the trails catch glimpses of sections of Bryce Canyon, and others connect with trails inside the national park.
The Bryce Canyon Winter Festival (usually hosted over President’s Day Weekend) provides and opportunity for free snowshoeing and cross country skiing, along with ski archery tours and clinics. Snowshoe and cross country ski equipment rentals are available at Ruby’s Inn.
The Red Canyon paved path that parallels Scenic Byway 12 offers a smooth and easy track, when covered in snow, for cross country skiing or snowshoeing past the multi-colored hoodoos of that section of the forest.
The East Fork Trail and the East Fork of the Sevier River, near Tropic Reservoir, offer more than twenty miles of snowmobile trails that wind through the Dixie National Forest. This is accessible just to the west of Bryce Canyon from Scenic Byway 12.
Badger Loop, Dave’s Hollow, Coyote Hollow Loop and King’s Creek Loop are snowmobile trails in the Dixie National Forest that connect areas between Bryce Canyon City and Panguitch Lake to the west. These trails are maintained by the Forest Service and are available for snowmobiling unless otherwise posted. The Panguitch Lake area offers miles of trails for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Boulder Mountain access roads are closed to normal vehicles from November through April, but can be accessed by snowmobile.
Panguitch Lake is very well-known in Utah as one of the best locations for ice-fishing. This area is best accessed from the town of Panguitch during winter months. Three local lodges stay open year-round at Panguitch Lake to accommodate winter visitors.
Boulder Mountain offers more than 60 fish-able lakes, that are well-stocked with trout for winter ice fishing. Access to these lakes is by snowmobile.