Visiting Bryce Canyon in November
Learn all about what to expect visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in November (Written by Erin McCarthy)
November is considered the shoulder season in the Park—a time that is too cold to be considered autumn, but not yet the true start of the winter season. The advantage of visiting in November is that it’s still relatively cold in Bryce Canyon so the number of visitors is low. A visit to this iconic area of southern Utah in November promises endless views and empty trails. If you plan to visit on Thanksgiving Day, be advised the Visitor Center and fee booths will be closed. Read on for our complete guide to visiting Bryce Canyon in November.
BENEFITS OF VISITING BRYCE CANYON IN november
Visiting Bryce Canyon in November is a chance to visit the Park without the hassle of trying to find a parking space, or hiking on a crowded trail. In November you can hike on trails that in the summertime are bustling with visitors— the slot canyons, fins, and marvelous hoodoos will be all yours.
DRAWBACKS OF VISITING IN novemBER
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. November has lower snowfall accumulations than the true winter months, and there can be days above freezing too. This is perhaps the biggest drawback of all—unpredictability.
Unfortunately, the cross-country skiing trails in Bryce Canyon National Park are not groomed until December. Trail closures are also possible in November. The Wall Street section of the Navajo Loop trail may be closed due to rockfall danger. If snow cornices have formed by November, the Rim Trail will be closed between Inspiration and Bryce Points. Be sure to check the most current conditions in the Park if you visit in November.
THINGS TO DO IN novemBER
The small number of visitors in November makes the popular hiking trails in Bryce Canyon more enjoyable. Depending on the trail conditions, you may need snowshoes. There are options to rent snowshoes or if you sign up for a ranger-led snowshoe hike snowshoes are provided free of charge.
Hiking the Rim Trail in November is spectacular. This popular trail will be far less crowded than it is in the summer months. Remember that the section between Inspiration and Bryce Point may be closed. If so, there are still 4 miles 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 november
Weather conditions can be unpredictable in November, so it’s important to be well-prepared before you head out on the trail. Waterproof boots and clothing will help you stay dry and happy on your hike. 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.
Hiking options in November 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.
If you’re looking to maximize your time in the Park and travel along some of the best trails with a knowledgeable, local guide you can book a guided tour. Wildland Trekking offers three inn-based tours in November that will take you to Bryce Canyon, Escalante, and Zion National Park and then back to a beautiful lodge for a gourmet meal. There is also an option for a camping tour if you prefer to sleep under the stars. All necessary gear will be provided— tents, sleeping bags, daypacks, and more. If you’re short on time, you can book a private guided day hike that lasts 5-7 hours.
Backpacking in the park is permitted throughout the year. However, only the most experienced backpackers should venture out in November conditions. Check-in with the rangers at the Visitor Center and make sure to purchase a backcountry permit.
weather in november
November in Bryce Canyon is typically quite cold. The average high is 45 and the average low is 23 degrees Fahrenheit (2/-9 degrees Celsius). November snow accumulation is typically 10 inches on average. Be prepared for potential 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.