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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, January 03, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park A Special Treat In Winter

Bryce Canyon National Park is spectacular during the winter season, when it offers an experience that is totally different than a summer visit. The Las Vegas Review Journal has this interesting article about visiting Bryce during winter. Below are excerpts.

Winter works magic in Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah. Snow frosts each of the weirdly eroded, wildly colored spires called "hoodoos," setting each apart from its sparkling neighbors. No other time of year creates such contrasts.

Despite several feet of snow deposited during an average winter, Bryce Canyon remains open so visitors can experience the season's marvelous scenery. Expect a park entrance fee of $25 per vehicle, reduced or waived for holders of federal recreation passes. Winter visitors find welcome at the visitor center, open at this time of year from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The park's road to viewpoints along the eroded rim is kept plowed and open for winter visitors. The road skirting the edge of the high, forested plateau that creates the geological wonderland of Bryce Canyon never fails to enthrall. Unplowed roads and some trails invite exploration. The park service encourages winter activities such as snowshoe touring, winter hiking, cross-country skiing, photography and stargazing. It prohibits the use of snowmobiles in the park, which are welcome on groomed trails near Highway 12 in the adjacent national forest.

On moonless nights, Bryce Canyon is one of the darkest places in the Southwest, offering splendid views of night skies. Dark-sky rangers introduce visitors to starry skies as they have never seen them before, particularly if they are from cities where stars at night have all but disappeared in the glare of outdoor lighting.


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