The plateau at Bryce Canyon can range from 7,800 ft to 8,300 ft in elevation. For a person used to the higher altitudes, this is no problem. For an easterner like me, it took me longer to catch my breath. The air is thin here.
A number of years ago I was working in Las Vegas . One Saturday I decided to take a drive to see the parks north of Vegas. I drove north on I15 and turned east at the Cedar Breaks turnoff. This was in mid March. Just as the highway started to ascend there was a road sign that said
" Chains are Necessary in the Winter.' I had no chains and was wearing summer clothes ( not even a jacket ) as Vegas weather was sunny and 75 Deg F. By the time I got to the Cedar Breaks park entrance the snow on the side of the road was 2.1 m. ( 7 ft ) high. The park entrance was blocked with snow and the park sign was essentially buried in snow. So I drove onward to Bryce Canyon. Bryce is at a lower elevation and when I reached the park entrance the snow was only 1.2 to 1.5 m ( 4 - 5 ft) high). I stopped at the visitor centre where they were renting snowshoes . " Snowshoes"?. At the viewpoints one had to climb up on the 5 ft snow banks to look down into the canyon . There were few people around but I did mee t a couple from Australia who were also standing on the snowbanks in summer clothes . After Bryce I drove down to Zion where there was no snow and again very few people. Go to Zion in March .
Remember that there are steep drop-offs in the park, so if you travel with children be especially cautious and watch them closely. Do not wonder too close to the edge, and stay on the trails. Watch for mule deer and other animals on the road and note that feeding wildlife is not allowed in the park. Pets must be on a leash at all times, and are not allowed on the trails.
To learn more about the history of the park, check it out at the Official Site: NPS.gov.
Photo Credit: Map from National Park Service.
I´ve been there in april and durong the day temperature are quite good not to say hot! Night temperatures drop immensly!!! We were spending our nights in tents at a campground and i almost wore all most clothes. We had about -7°C. So take warm clothing with you.
Also don´t expect you dinner to be prepaired within some minutes or normal cooking time. At an elevation of about some thousand feet it takes much longer until water boils. (We had to wait about 4 hours for dinner)
Steep dropoff's abound in the park - watch children closely and stay away from cliff edges. During thunderstorms, remain in your vehicle and avoid isolated trees and open areas. Watch for mule deer and other animals while driving, especially after dark. Feeding wildlife harms them and is illegal but it can also make you sick. Rodents in the area including chipmunks, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs can be carriers of bubonic plague. This is a contagious disease caused by a bacterium and characterized by swelling, fever, complete exhaustion, and delirium : fleas from infected animals are carriers.
It gets pretty hot and sunny in the summer. Bring some water. It can also get crowded during the tourist season. Cedar Breaks is another beautiful park in Utah...like a mini Bryce Canyon but much less crowded.
As always, you should obey all warning signs. They are there for your safety and to protect the park, its wildlife, and its plants. Be aware this is bear country.
Watch where you sit down, especially in the sand. There are red ants, and they are fierce if disturbed.
When park visitors feed animals, it makes them lose their fear of humans and can cause them to depend on getting food from humans. The result: aggressive animals in the park. Don't do it.
Hiking in Bryce Canyon can be a rewarding experience. However, the trails can be awfully steep in places. So it is definitely not for the weak of heart. It was a little too ambitious even for me.
Check trail and weather conditions before setting out on a long or all day hike. A rim trail is not a good place to be during a thunderstorm. Many trails are full of loose rock....watch your step!!
Be sure you have enough food and drink with you on a long hiking trail. In summer it gets very hot inside the Canyon. So take water and food!!!!
Grand Staircase National Monument connects to Bryce Canyon National Park and provides spectacular view, great wildlife and outstanding hiking. Just don't try to climb the rock face!
Thunderstorms are frequent in summer. So you´d better check the sky every now and then when you´re hiking down in the canyon.