Snowshoe in the Moonlight

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon in winter. (Photo by Akos Kokai/Flickr)

Winter’s long nights mean more time to tromp around this maze of desert hoodoos in the moonlight. Bryce Canyon’s very dark nights and very clean air can make the full moon spotlight-bright—and when it reflects off a fresh cloak of snow, you may as well leave the headlamp in your pack as you descend to the inner canyon. Rangers run a popular full moon snowshoe hike each month when snow is deep enough (at least 8 inches), but you can explore the canyon’s snowball-capped towers on your own. The steep, 1.5-mile route from Fairyland Loop trailhead to the Chinese Wall drops to views of knobby hoodoos forming a skinny cliff; up top, snowshoe .5 mile to 8,176-foot Paria Point for a look at the canyon’s spires in starlight (check snow conditions first). Season November to March Reservations Required (and free) for guided Full Moon Snowshoe Hikes; call the visitor center at (435) 834-4747 up to two days ahead for a spot.