Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Snowshoeing In Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

          We’re snowshoeing inside a giant layer cake with dollops of fluffy white frosting perched on pinnacles, sandwiched between rock layers, and sliding down canyon walls.  Where is this confectionary dreamland?  Along the Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. 
       In his book 50 Best Short Hikes in Utah’s National Parks Ron Adkison describes the Queens Garden Trail: 
This is a popular dayhike into the incomparable Bryce Canyon amphitheater, descending into the realm of hoodoos, castles, and balanced rocks, many of which have been likened to familiar images and given such fanciful names as Gullivers Castle and Queen Victoria.”
         This is an apt and succinct description of the delights offered by this trail and I would add this:  When viewed through the lens of a heavy snowfall, the charms of this trail are multiplied exponentially. 

         Although Bryce Canyon is enchanting in any season I prefer a January or February visit.  After viewing the following photographs, I think you’ll agree.
         As always, click on an image to enlarge.

Strapping on snowshoes for the Queens Garden hike.

Rita, approaching one of the tunnels
on the Queens Garden Trail.

If this isn't a day in paradise, then I don't know what is.

Inside the layer cake.

Captivating views along the trail.

Our group descends into the amphitheater.

Tim poses among icing-topped red rocks.

Go ahead, immerse yourself in the marshmallow world that is Bryce Canyon in winter.

Plan your visit to Bryce Canyon National Park by visiting these websites:   http://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm


  1. Wow, Rita, these photographs are spectacular! It's fascinating to see how the snow accentuates all these unusual sandstone sculptures. I've been to places like this in the springtime, but it's always hazy. Never seen such bright blue skies!

    So, for us wimpy Californians...how cold does it get in February?!

  2. Thanks Vickie,
    Skies are usually bluer in winter but yes, it's also colder. Tim and I started visiting Bryce in 2004 and those first few years we had nighttime temperatures as low as nine below zero! But the last few years it has been much warmer, with night temps. in the teens and daytime temperatures in the 20's and 30's. I think even a wimpy Californian could handle that!

  3. Oh my! Rita those photos are way beyond stunning! I'm awestruck by the wide-ranging textures and shapes, plus the dramatic contrast between the brilliant white snow with the earth tones of the surrounding rock. Should I be so fortunate to travel out there some winter to witness that first-hand, are there any months that are generally better than others? I fully realize that Mother Nature is totally unpredictable, but perhaps there are some general trends that sort of hold up from year to year??


    1. Thanks for your comments, John.
      In this case I have to give all the credit to the location rather than to the photographer! Can you believe that the pictures in this post have not been photoshopped or altered in any way? This is really what Bryce Canyon looks like in winter. As for which winter months may be the best, these pictures were taken from several trips during the months of January and February. You're right that Mother Nature is unpredictable; we haven't noticed any general trends, but I would say that almost any time is a good time to be at Bryce Canyon!

  4. Interesting conversation.. Thanks for your valuable thought.

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