Wildlife In Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is known for its incredible geology and sweeping vistas, but equally impressive are the plants and animals that make the uplifted plateaus of Utah such a unique environment. Surrounded by deserts, these highlands get much more rain than the lowlands below and stay cooler during hot summers. The relatively lush ecosystems that result are like fertile islands towering above a vast arid landscape.
To see animals of the Bryce Canyon Area, Click Here!
What is a mammal? Webster’s Dictionary defines a mammal as…”any of a class of higher vertebrates comprising man and all other animals that nourish their young with milk secreted by the mammary glands and have the skin usually more or less covered with hair.”
What mammals can be seen in Bryce Canyon National Park? We have chipmunks, squirrels, prairie dogs, mountain lions, pronghorn sheep, coyotes, gray foxes, bats, mice, and many more animals classified as mammals.
The three most common birds found in the park are the Peregrine Falcon, California Condor and the Clark’s Nutcracker.
Ants are some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. Something like ten thousand trillion ants control vast stretches of territory on planet earth. Their success lies in cooperation. They are a social insect, living in often enormous colonies, coordinating their activities to an exceptional degree to achieve domination.
These are aggressive and capable critters, ones whose existence is characterized by continuous work and conflict. In many places they are the dominate insect, and usually displace solitary insects (those that live and forage alone and not in social groups) to less favorable habitat or eat them.
Trees – Conifers
What are conifers?…The name “conifer” is derived from the Latin word which means “to bear cones.” Cones, the fruiting body which produces the seeds of the tree, are common features of most conifers, with the exception of junipers and yews which produce berry-like fruit.
How do I identify a conifer?…The best way is to look at the leaves. Does the tree have linear, needle-like or scale-like leaves? Conifers are usually evergreens although they still shed their older foliage on various annual cycles. The larch and cypress are deciduous, shedding their leaves annually in the fall.
Are there many conifer species (types)?…More than 500 conifer species have been identified worldwide.
Do all conifers look about the same? Are they the same size and color?…Among the conifers can be found some of the largest, smallest and oldest living woody plants known to mankind. There is an astounding amount of diversity in the conifer world. Some conifers grow into huge forests which are harvested for their timber and others are admired for their adaptability and color variations for the household garden. Overall, they vary in textures from soft and fluffy to rigid or majestic. The wide range of greens, blues and golden yellows paint a colorful landscape wherever conifers grow.
What are the names of the different conifers found in Bryce Canyon National Park?…In the Park you can find pines, junipers, firs, spruces, cedars and Douglas fir.
Biological soil crusts, or more commonly called Cryptobiotic soil or Cryptogamic soil, occur on every continent and in nearly every environment. However, they are most commonly found in arid or desert environments. In the high deserts of the Colorado plateau (i.e. the Four Corners region), biological soil crusts can cover up to 70-80% of the ground cover.
Health & Safety
Every time you go to a National Park, you probably hear the same thing: “Don’t feed the animals.” Why do we say that? What harm could a pretzel or apple slice do to a deer or a chipmunk? Too often, it is not an apple slice, but salted peanuts or chips whose high sodium content is poisonous to an animal’s system. Those kinds of food are not healthy for people, how much less for an animal whose diet is supposed to consist of berries, flowers, and insects? Also, the animals become dependent on people as a food source and lose their ability to successfully forage when they have been raised begging for human food.
Although human food can and does harm the animals for a variety of reasons, the reason we ask you not to feed them is for the safety of humans as much as of the animals. In Bryce Canyon, there are two major hazards to humans associated with feeding the animals, specifically ground squirrels, chipmunks, and prairie dogs. First, the animals frequently bite people when they are hand feeding them, or especially when they try to touch the animal without food in their hand. Hantavirus is a disease which has received considerable publicity in southern Utah because several people have died from it recently. One of the ways it is transmitted is through the infected animal’s saliva–by being bitten. It is also transmitted by inhaling or touching dust in which infected animals have urinated or defecated, as the virus is viable in that matter for about three days. Since that dust could be on the animal’s fur, touching the animal is another potential way to obtain the disease. Currently there is no cure for Hantavirus, but if extreme flu like symptoms develop after association with these animals, contact a physician for the available treatment.
Rabies is another disease which is transmitted through an animal bite, which many more animals than just small rodents could carry. Beware of any ringtail cat, rodents, foxes, or other animals who appear extremely sluggish or have strange secretions from their mouth or eyes. Report any abnormal behavior to a ranger.
Secondly, there is a threat of disease to people who are obeying the rules and not feeding the animals when other people have fed them. Bubonic Plague, or as some know it, the Black Plague, has been known to infect our prairie dog population from time to time. A type of flea that lives on small rodents (i.e. prairie dogs, ground squirrels, chipmunks) transmits this disease. When people have fed the animals and taught them that people are their food source, that it is all right to crawl on a person’s leg because they will be rewarded with food, those people might actually be responsible for killing another person down the road. It is common for people to be mobbed by ground squirrels hoping to be fed when they go to a view point, even if the person has no intention of feeding them. If those animals have the fleas infected with Bubonic Plague, the fleas could potentially jump on the person and give them the disease. Fortunately, Bubonic Plague can be cured if caught soon enough, but it is a painful experience.
Even with the potential for all these diseases, you can still come to Bryce Canyon and enjoy a safe visit. The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” should be remembered. You can prevent coming in contact with diseases if you do not feed or touch the animals, and make sure that your children stay away from them also. If the animals approach you begging for food, simply ignore them, or chase them off if they get too close. Remember, the animals would never beg for people food if people did not teach them to. So please do your part to ensure the health of the animals, yourself, and other visitors down the road by not feeding the animals.
Activities For Kids In Bryce Canyon
Just for Kids programs every day at 3:00pm in the park. Games and Activities designed Just For Kids to learn about the cultural or natural history or Bryce Canyon National Park. Have an adult sign you up at the Visitor Center because spaces are limited and it fills up fast.
Even though the activities are designed especially for our young visitors, we do require one adult to remain with their respective kids.
Junior Ranger Program
Games and activities designed for kids to learn about Bryce Canyon ecology independently.
Each potential Junior Ranger is required to do workbook activities, attend a ranger guided program,and collect a bag of litter inside the park.
Once the kids have completed these requirements, they can return to the Visitor Center and receive a Junior Ranger badge, patch and a certificate certifying their status as a Bryce Canyon Junior Ranger.
Junior Rangers are young people who:
- Care about Bryce Canyon and all the national parks
- Help to keep our national parks clean
- Show respect for nature
- Learn as much as they can about plants, animals, history and planet Earth.
- May become national park rangers one day!
Join a ranger for games and activities about ecology and Bryce Canyon, designed especially for you. These special programs last one hour and are for KIDS ONLY!
Reservations are required to come to these way cool programs so have Mom or Dad sign you up at the Visitor Center when you first get to the park.
Throughout the summer Rangers will be testing different activities in the Geodetectives program. Ask at the information desk to find out if you are there on the lucky day.
Winter Activities In Bryce Canyon
Looking for some winter fun in Bryce Canyon? Ruby’s Inn has a wide variety of winter activities. Visit Ruby’s Inn Winter Activities page for a full list.
In winter this high plateau offers the most reliable snow and longest season in the southwest United States. Its hills and valleys provide the ultimate in diverse terrain and scenic beauty.
Bryce Canyon National Park and the surrounding areas are often forgotten about during the winter months. This is actually one of the best times of year to several things including photography, Snowmobiling, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Skating, and Ice Fishing. There is a long list of very exciting and enjoyable activities that take place all winter long in the City of Bryce.
With the Paunsuagunt Plateau reaching up to 9,000 feet (2,800 m) the average snowfall is around 200”s. This gives way to Great Snowmobiling and other winter activities. There is a lot of open snow covered ground, groomed trails just outside of the Bryce Canyon National Park gate, to where you can take off on Skis, Snowshoes or snowmobiles.
Ruby’s Inn Ice Skating is another great winter activity to think about when visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter months. Their skating ring (in the City of Bryce) is maintained for guests and people visiting the area. It is always a great time with the family and fun activity in the outdoors. Where its one of your past times or you have never been on skates everyone is welcome to give it a try!
Ice Fishing is another great opportunity to get out and enjoy the beauty of Bryce and the surrounding areas. There are many lakes close by that give opportunity for great ice fishing including; Panguitch Lake, Otter Creek, Tropic Reservoir, and many more. These lake are generally stalked all spring summer and fall with different kinds of trout.
Bryce Canyon Weather
MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPS
- January15F – 37FAverage Temps
- February17F – 39FAverage Temps
- March23F – 45FAverage Temps
- April29F – 54FAverage Temps
- May37F – 64FAverage Temps
- June45F – 75FAverage Temps
BRYCE CANYON AREA WEATHER
Bryce Canyon is in a portion of the country that experiences each of the four seasons. Bryce Canyon’s location and elevation allow it to experience vast weather changes throughout the year. Some seasons are more comfortable and temperate, and others can get quite harsh. However, during every season in Bryce, there are exciting activities to enjoy. Whether you visit during the heat of the summer or the chill of the winter, they will have a truly unforgettable adventure in this amazing area.
When considering the different seasons in Bryce, it is important to look at a few different areas of the weather. The average temperatures and precipitation have a huge impact on the outdoor activities guests can enjoy while visiting the park. By understanding the different weather conditions to expect, visitors can prepare for their trip and have the time of their life in Bryce, regardless of the season. Bryce Canyon is much higher in elevation so temperatures can swing fast when cold fronts come in.
You can enjoy Bryce Canyon’s mild weather during any season. Summer days in Bryce are pleasant and nights are cool at 8,000-9,000 feet. July is the warmest month, with an average daytime high temperature of 83 degrees and a nighttime low of 47 degrees. Much of the area’s precipitation comes as afternoon thundershowers during mid to late summer. Spring and fall weather is highly variable.
Cold winter days are offset by high altitude sun and dry climate. Winter nights are subfreezing. During some winters, Alaskan cold fronts descend on the Colorado Plateau region bringing temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero.
Although March is the snowiest month, the area can have snowstorms from October through April. Annual snowfall averages 95 inches, giving you the change for the greatest for cross-country skiing and sledding in Utah’s world famous snow!
The high altitude sun can burn in any season– hats and sunscreen are recommended all year! Layered clothing is good preparation for the plateau’s temperature extremes and frequent strong winds. Boots with good tread and ankle support are strongly recommended when you want to adventure on Bryce Canyon’s Hiking Trails.
The months of December to February are winter in Bryce Canyon. This season generally experiences the coldest temperatures of the year. It is the slowest tourist season in Bryce Canyon, so those who would like to experience the park while it is less crowded will enjoy visiting during winter. However, the cold temperatures can lead to dangerous, icy conditions. These harsh conditions can lead to trail closures and some activities are not able to be done during winter. Though there are some negative aspects to visiting Bryce Canyon in the winter months, seeing the red rock with a dusting of snow is well worth it.
Temperatures will fluctuate greatly throughout winter in Bryce. Afternoons can be warmer, especially in early winter months. Extreme temperatures can range anywhere from below freezing to over 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the average temperature during winter is around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Late evening and early morning are the coldest times of day during winter. To get a better idea of temperatures during the winter months of Bryce, guests should check the local forecast when they plan to visit.
Snow is common during winters in Bryce, but large accumulations are rare. Usually, there will be a light dusting of snow. It may also rain or freezing rain during winter months, which can turn to ice on untreated walkways and trails. While it can become bothersome, there is nothing more beautiful than a dusting of snow on this scenic landscape.
Preparing for a Bryce Canyon Winter
Visiting Bryce Canyon during winter does present a few challenges. The harsh temperatures can be difficult to handle for those who aren’t used to cold winters. To best prepare for winter weather in Bryce Canyon National Park, guests should carefully consider their packing list. They will want warm, water-resistant outerwear so they can remain comfortable during outdoor activities. Also, sturdy, comfortable boots that are designed for use in ice and snow should be worn during all outdoor activities. Other important items to combat the cold weather are hats, scarfs, gloves, warm base layers, and thick socks. Guests who are well prepared for a winter in Bryce Canyon will find that the winter weather won’t get in the way of a lovely time in the gorgeous outdoors.
From March to May, the cold begins to lift, and Bryce Canyon experiences increased wildlife activity, plant growth, and an increase in visitors. Weather in Bryce Canyon National Park during the spring season varies greatly. So, the weather that will be experienced depends on which month guests will be visiting. Overall, spring is a terrific time of year to visit Bryce Canyon. It is a season of growth, renewal, and beauty that deserves to be experienced by everyone.
The beginning months of spring are like winter in terms of temperatures. While there may be a few warm days late in the season, the temperature tends to be in the high 30s to low 40s. Deeper into spring, temperatures begin to rise consistently. By the end of spring, guests can expect temperatures to be in the mid-50s to high 70s. Since spring temperatures are hard to predict, it is a good idea to check local forecasts and pack cold weather clothing, just in case.
The month with the lowest average rainfall, June, falls during spring. Though it is possible for moderate amounts of rainfall to occur during spring, large amounts of rain are not likely. This makes spring a great time to visit since the chance of having outdoor activities canceled by rain is low. That also means that the chance of dangerous conditions, like flash flooding and high waters, are less likely during spring. For guests who are looking to get away from the wet weather during their vacation, spring is the perfect time to visit Bryce Canyon.
Preparing for a Bryce Canyon Spring
Since the weather can be unpredictable during spring, guests may find that they will need to pack a variety of clothing and outerwear for their trip. Some days, and especially nights, can get cold enough to need heavy outerwear and insulating layers. Other days may be warm enough for just a light jacket. To have the most comfortable visit possible in Bryce Canyon, visitors will want to pack for every weather scenario. Prepared visitors will love the beauty of Bryce Canyon during spring.
The summer months in Bryce Canyon, from June to August, are by far the most popular time of year to visit Bryce Canyon. Summers tend to experience warmer, sunnier weather that attracts visitors from around the world. Those who prefer a quiet vacation may want to avoid the summer months. Though the crowds can be very large, the weather during summer in Bryce is worth dealing with the groups of tourists.
Temperatures during summer can climb into the 90s, but the daytime temperatures tend to hover around the mid-80s. Afternoon in Bryce is the hottest, sunniest time of the day, so avoiding direct sun during this time is advisable. Mornings and evenings are usually cooler, so saving strenuous activities for these times will make being outdoors much more enjoyable. On the rare occasion that temperatures climb to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, even light outdoor activities can become dangerous. Visitors should be sure to heed temperature warnings to avoid serious injury. The warm and sunny days in Bryce Canyon during the summer make for a wonderful summer vacation.
Rainfall averages vary greatly during summers in Bryce. Some weeks may experience drought, while others will have an abundance of rainfall. August, at the end of summer, has the highest average rainfalls in Bryce Canyon. Large amounts of rainfall can cause dangerous conditions, like flash flooding. Flash flooding is especially dangerous for those who are hiking in canyons since the water can reach dangerous depths in a matter of minutes. By paying attention to weather reports and flood warnings, guests can enjoy their summer vacation in Bryce without worrying about the impact of rainfall.
Preparing for a Bryce Canyon Summer
Visiting Bryce Canyon during the summer means guests must prioritize items that will protect them from the heat and the sun. Clothing that is specially made to wick away sweat and keep the wearer cool is very important when enjoying strenuous activities. Guests will also want plenty of sun protection, such as sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, UPF clothing, and sunglasses. A light jacket will be nice for early mornings and evenings, but heavy outwear won’t be needed. Visitors who protect themselves from the high temperatures and the sun’s harsh rays will have an unforgettable summer vacation in Bryce Canyon.
Fall, which occurs from September to November, is the most temperate time of year in Bryce Canyon. Crowds also begin to decrease during fall months, so visiting during this season can be more enjoyable and serene. Some foliage in Bryce changes color during the fall, which makes the landscape even more beautiful than usual. A trip to Bryce Canyon during the fall is sure to be an incredible experience.
The average temperatures during the fall range from the high 60s to the low 20s. Temperatures fluctuate throughout the day, with mornings and evenings being much cooler than the afternoon. Because of the mild temperatures, there is no wrong time to explore the outdoors during the fall. However, nights can get very cold, so traveling outdoors after dusk, especially late in the season, may require a heavy coat. Those who prefer a mild outdoor experience will love the weather in Bryce during the fall.
Rainfall is minimal to moderate during fall. There is not usually a large accumulation of rainfall, but the occasional storm is not unheard of. Since temperatures do dip below freezing during these months, snowfall can also occur. Precipitation during fall will not usually cause any issues for visitors, so they can enjoy their trip without interruptions.
Preparing for a Bryce Canyon Fall
Preparing for fall in Bryce Canyon is very similar to the preparations needed for spring. A variety of clothing, outwear, and insulation pieces should be packed. Earlier in the year, guests may not need heavy outerwear, especially if they don’t plan on going out at night. However, later in the season, cold weather gear is a must. When guests are prepared for anything the weather may throw at them, they can get the most out of their vacation during fall in Bryce Canyon.
Experience the Seasons in Bryce Canyon
Every season in Bryce Canyon brings its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Each season is unique, so every guest will be able to choose the perfect time of year to visit. Bryce Canyon weather offers everything from sweltering heat to blistery cold and everything in between. Guests can research the weather in Bryce and prepare for their journey to help create the perfect vacation in a beautiful destination. No matter which season visitors choose to enjoy Bryce Canyon, it will be a magical experience.
Things To Do In Bryce Canyon
First ask yourself this, am I looking to be entertained or am I looking for things to do in Bryce Canyon national Park? In Bryce Canyon country you have to realize the possibilities and activities are almost endless!
If you are planning a trip in the area of Bryce Canyon National Park and you are looking for entertainment, you are in the right spot to make some decisions. South Western Utah holds some nationally recognized entertainment options like the Ruby’s Inn Rodeo days & the esteemed Tuachan Amphitheater in St. George Utah.
Bryce Canyon in specific has several options that are very entertaining to all, and hard to choose from. If you are looking for something a little off the beaten path please look no further that all of the activities pages on this very website. You will find everything from scenic drive and overlooks, horseback rides, shopping, four wheeling, ATV tours, biking trails, hiking trails, fishing, golf, rodeo, museums, and many more options!
Remember that on some vacations and trips you look for things to entertain you, and then there are those, where you seek out your own idea of entertainment. This just might be that trip. Either way you will find so many things to do in Bryce Canyon that we hope that you can fit it all in. From places to see, and things to do there is something for everyone, and every age, in Bryce Canyon.
Here are a few of the aforementioned activities!
Things To Do In Bryce Canyon National Park & the Surrounding Areas.
All of us who are looking for a unique adventure in Bryce Canyon will have no trouble finding something to do. No matter what visitors would like to do, they will be able to find it in the Bryce area. There are a variety of activities, both indoor and outdoor, that are sure to give every visitor an unforgettable vacation. Each exciting activity is made better by being surrounded by the gorgeous Bryce Canyon landscape. Whether you want to enjoy some time indoors, test your limits with a thrilling activity, or practice your favorite hobby, enjoy the time of your life during a visit to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Some other exciting things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park include:
Spectacular outdoor musical with a backdrop of red sandstone cliffs reaching 1500 high.
- Peter Pan
- South Pacific
Ruby’s Inn Rodeo
Wednesday through Saturday, Memorial Day – End of August, Ruby’s Inn hosts the Bryce Canyon Country Rodeo every summer. Join the fun and excitement at the Bryce Canyon Country Rodeo. Watch the bronco busters and cowboys display their skills as they perform in this western competition. This is one event you won’t want to miss! The rodeo is held nightly, Wednesday – Saturday, through the summer at Ruby’s Inn Rodeo Grounds.
For all of us who prefer less strenuous activities, or those who need a break from the action, there are many different shows and performances for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular events in Bryce Canyon, the Ruby’s Inn Rodeo, provides fantastic entertainment for the whole family. You can watch real cowboys on bucking broncos and bulls, while more adventurous visitors can get in on the action and ride a bull, as well. A few hours away, the Tuacahn Amphitheater hosts a variety of musicals, concerts, and shows for guests to enjoy. The whole family will find incredible entertainment and culture during their stay in Bryce Canyon.
VISIT BRYCE CANYON
Visitor Information for Bryce Canyon National Park
With roughly, 1.5 million people visiting Bryce Canyon National Park each year, it has easily become of the favorite national parks in Utah. The unique scenery and the endless recreational activity options keep visitors coming back for more of Bryce. Popular activities which can be found year round in the Bryce Canyon area include Hiking, Horseback Riding, Biking and ATV Tours.
We’re dedicated to helping you access the best that Bryce Canyon and it’s surrounding areas has to offer. Find the best options for Dining, Lodging, Hiking Trail and Guided Tours with ease and create a trip tailored to fit your travel needs. Bryce Canyon National Park has activities for those traveling solo or with family and friends. Experience this one of a kind geological spectacular for a trip that you’ll never forget.
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List of things to do in and around Bryce Canyon
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