Visiting Bryce Canyon in March
Learn about what to expect visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in March (Written by Erin McCarthy)
The month of March is equated with the beginning of spring in the United States— budding flowers and mercury rising— but this isn’t the case in Bryce Canyon. Elevations in the Park range from 8,000 ft to 9,100 ft, resulting in significant snowfall during March. When it’s still relatively cold in Bryce Canyon the number of visitors is low. A visit to this iconic area of southern Utah in March promises endless views and empty trails.
benefits of visiting bryce canyon in march
Visiting Bryce Canyon in March is a chance to visit the Park without the hassle of trying to find a parking space or fighting crowds on popular trails. A visit in March will grant you the opportunity to hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski on trails that in the summertime are bustling with visitors— the slot canyons, fins, and hoodoos will be all yours.
Winter activities dominate Bryce Canyon throughout March. Groomed cross-country skiing trails in Bryce Canyon are available for use from December through March. Sign up for a ranger-led snowshoe hike around the canyon rim and learn the natural and cultural history of the Park. Snowshoes are provided free of charge.
drawbacks of visiting in march
Roads and trails may or may not be closed throughout Bryce Canyon in March. This is perhaps the biggest drawback of all—unpredictability. March has similar snowfall accumulations as the two months prior, but there can be days above freezing too. When a snowstorm hits Bryce Canyon, the main road that runs through the Park will be closed beginning at mile marker 3 until the snow plows have safely cleared it.
Seasonal trail closures also exist within the Park. Be advised to always check the current conditions before you hit the trail. The Wall Street section of the Navajo Loop trail is closed during the winter due to rockfall danger. The Rim Trail is closed between Inspiration and Bryce Points due to the potential of snow cornices. Facilities such as public restrooms, lodging, and dining options are reduced during the winter months in the Park. It’s a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible for a visit to Bryce Canyon in March.
things to do in march
The small number of visitors in March makes the popular trails in Bryce Canyon more enjoyable. Explore with cross-country skis, snowshoes, or even by vehicle.
Three miles into the Park is the Paria View ski loop— a beautiful 3.5-mile groomed trail available only in the winter months. At Rainbow Point, 18 miles into the Park, you’ll find the Bristlecone Loop Trail (0.7 miles). If you need to rent skis, check out the nearby Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon City.
Another fun outdoor activity in the winter is hiking along the Rim Trail. More than likely you’ll need snowshoes to hike this trail in March. Remember that the section between Inspiration and Bryce Point is closed, but 4 miles are still available for breathtaking winter exploration.
If you’re not keen on winter sports, you can take a scenic drive through the Park. Make it as long or as short as you’d like. There are several viewpoints where you can effortlessly marvel at the iconic rock formations and lush evergreen forests.
hiking in march
Weather conditions can be unpredictable in March, so it’s important to be well-prepared before you head out on the trail. Since Bryce Canyon is at a high elevation, snow in March is likely. The amount of snow will dictate what equipment you need for hiking. In the freshly fallen snow, you’ll need snowshoes. If the snow has melted but ice remains on the trail, it is highly recommended to wear waterproof boots with spikes to avoid potential injuries. Waterproof boots and clothing will help you stay dry and happy on your hike.
Hiking options in March depend largely on accessibility. If there is a snowstorm in the Park, the main road will be closed for plows beyond the Bryce Amphitheater area. If that is the case, you can hike the Rim Trail or the Fairyland Loop trail. If the road is clear, head further south and check out the Swamp Canyon Loop or the Bristlecone Loop.
Wildland Trekking offers three inn-based tours in March that will take you to Bryce Canyon, Escalante, and Zion National Park and then back to a beautiful lodge for a gourmet meal. There are also two camping tours if you’d rather sleep under the stars. All necessary gear will be provided— tents, sleeping bags, daypacks, and more. Both guided tour options help to maximize your time in the Park and travel along some of the best trails with a knowledgeable, local guide.
Winter backpacking in the park is permitted, but only the most experienced backpackers should venture out in these conditions. Check-in with the rangers at the Visitor Center and make sure to purchase a backcountry permit.
weather in march
March in Bryce Canyon is typically cold and snowy. The average high is 45 and the average low is 23 degrees Fahrenheit (2/-9 degrees Celsius). March snow accumulation is typically 17 inches on average, the same as January. Be prepared for winter conditions by bringing plenty of water, high-calorie snacks, and warm layers.
JOIN A GUIDED HIKING ADVENTURE
Booking a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park is the opportunity to experience one of the most scenic hiking vacations in the United States. The biggest advantage to booking a guided tour is that it will allow you to focus your energy entirely on enjoying this iconic area. Permits, local transportation (excluded on some day tours), meals, and gear are all figured out for you on a Wildland Trekking tour.
Wildland Trekking offers several options for guided inn-based and camping tours in the southern Utah area. You’ll have the chance to see magnificent rock formations, learn about the cultural and natural history of the area, and enjoy some solitude all while having the adventure of a lifetime.
BRYCE CANYON ADVENTURE TOURS
- INN-BASED HIKING PACKAGES: these tours are all-inclusive packages with lodging, amazing daily hikes, expert guides, meals, transportation and more!
- BRYCE CAMPING TOURS: camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of Bryce on wonderful outdoor vacations.
- BRYCE DAY HIKE TOURS: maximize your day in Bryce on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour of one of the Park’s best trails.
- ALL UTAH HIKING TOURS: check out a full list of Utah offerings, which include Bryce Canyon, the North Rim, Arches, Canyonlands and more.
- UTAH BACKPACKING TRIPS: explore options for discovering Utah on an all-inclusive backpacking trip with expert guides and mind-blowing scenery.
About the Author
Erin McCarthy is a freelance writer and former Colgate University Outdoor Education Leader. When Erin isn’t writing, she is exploring the mountains and rivers of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. You can view her complete portfolio at www.erinannmccarthy.com.