While there's no 'bad' time to visit Bryce Canyon, the park is considered to be at its best from June through September when the weather is warm and sunny. With great conditions for exploring the trails and famous hoodoos, it's no surprise that this is also the busiest period. If you prefer smaller crowds and can tolerate more unpredictable weather, you could plan a trip in the shoulder months of April, May or October instead.
Our tours in Bryce Canyon
The weather in spring can be all over the place, particularly in March and April. It might be clear and sunny one day, with a snowstorm the next — and some roads may still be closed due to snow and ice. Highs average a crisp 7-11°C in March and April, creeping up to 17°C in May; however, nights can drop below freezing.
If you're willing to endure the unpredictable weather, the plus side of spring is that there are fewer tourists so the trails have less foot traffic. It's also a very pretty time of year as wildflowers begin to bloom, including western wallflower and showy stoneseed which add a splash of yellow to roadsides and meadows.
Bryce Canyon has an elevation of 2,438 metres, so even at the peak of summer, highs average a comfortable 23-26°C. This is much cooler than Arches, Canyonlands and other national parks in Utah. Summer is usually the rainest season, so expect brief, albeit intense, afternoon thunderstorms.
Despite the large number of visitors that summer brings, Bryce Canyon is really beautiful at this time of year and the long daylight hours are perfect for hiking, horseback riding and spending time outdoors. Ranger-led activities are also available in the summer.
September is mild with average highs of 20°C; however, it drops to 7°C by November. The weather is more unpredictable in autumn and nights are chilly, so ensure you bring a waterproof jacket and warm layers. Summer crowds start thinning out in late September, making it a great time to explore the trails at your own pace. Snowfall is possible in late autumn, so be sure to check the forecast.
Our Bryce Canyon trips only run in the warmer months, however, winter is a fantastic time to visit if you enjoy snow and solitude — and have experience with treacherous winter weather and appropriate clothing and footwear. Daily highs linger at 2-3°C, while nights can drop to a frosty -10°C.
The park's average snowfall is a respectable 2.5 metres, with plenty of opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (some trails are only accessible if you have snowshoes). Stay updated with park notices and check with a ranger before heading out, as some areas may be closed due to cornices (overhanging masses of hardened snow).