Winter Festival, fee-free day coincide at Bryce Canyon, Ruby’s Inn

For 32 years and counting, Bryce Canyon National Park has held the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival. Over the President’s Day Weekend, February 18th to the 20th, hundreds of guests are expected to flock to the Ruby’s Inn for this exciting event. During the Winter Festival, there are many activities for visitors, whether they enjoy the snow or prefer to keep warm.

snow shoeing in bryce canyonThis year, the Winter Festival coincides with a “fee free” day that Bryce Canyon National Park is holding. About ten days a year, Bryce Canyon and other National Parks offer free admission. During the festival, lucky guests will have the opportunity to receive free admission and enjoy the Winter Festival activities.

The winter in Bryce Canyon is usually a less popular time for guests to travel. That is a shame, because the dusting of snow and shimmering of the ice turns the park into a magical, winter wonderland. Even if you are not interested in cold outdoor activities, you will find something to enjoy during the festival. Some of the categories are adventurous, creative, educational, and kid’s activities. This means that there is something for everyone to enjoy. They have made sure to think of everyone for this exciting Winter Festival.

 

Adventure Activities

For the adventure junkie in everyone, this event is hosting a series of different physical activities for everyone. You can polish your slope skills with a ski clinic. Both kids and adults can join in on the ski clinics available. There are also archery clinics, perfect for those who have always wanted to try their hand at archery.

Some more physically demanding activities are available as well. There are snowshoe tours, which will take you through the beautiful countryside of Bryce Canyon. You can also register for one of the organized races during the festival.

If you would like an adventurous activity indoors, they have that, too. Yoga classes are perfect for finding your center, inner peace, and maintaining mindfulness. If yoga is not your forte, burn off stress with an exciting dancing class. The adventure activities at the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival are very diverse.

 

Creative Activities

Just because Bryce Canyon is an adventurer’s destination doesn’t mean that creative types won’t have fun as well. Ruby’s Inn is offering a variety of creative classes for everyone. They will have guided watercolor painting and pottery classes. Stun your friends and family with your newly learned art skills.

You can also partake in a photography class. In the age of cell phone cameras, sometimes it is good to get back to the basics. Learn how to take the perfect photo every time. There is no better place to practice taking pictures than beautiful Bryce Canyon.

You can make your own journal in the leather journal making class. This craft, which you can take with you, is perfect for writing about the adventures you have at Bryce Canyon. The creative mind will be fully satisfied at the Winter Festival.

 

Educational Activities

If you would like to learn something during your visit, Ruby’s Inn has a variety of activities for you. There is a large assortment of different presentations that will be held throughout the festival. These presentations cover everything from climbing to wildlife, so be sure to check them out so you do not miss interesting information.

If you would like to do some basic skill building and learn important skills for everyday life, you can take one of the available parenting, relationship, or nutrition classes available. You will leave Bryce Canyon better prepared for everything that life may throw at you.

 

Kid’s Activities

Ruby’s Inn didn’t forget about the kids in attendance! They have many activities tailored specifically toward your younger travel companions.

There are a variety of craft workshops that allow children to make something special and take it home with them. This will help to create a memento that will ensure they never forget their special trip to Bryce Canyon Winter Festival.

For kids that need to burn off some energy, they can enter snow boot races and take dancing classes as well. Whether they are feeling competitive or just want to have some fun, the kid’s activities in Bryce Canyon will keep them occupied for hours.

 

Hot air balloons

For the first time, ever, Ruby’s Inn will have a very special hot air balloon show. On February 19th, from 7 pm to 8 pm, five hot air balloons will soar into the sky. The balloons are 75-feet-tall and float effortlessly through the night sky. They will glow above and leave you in awe at their beauty. After the show, you can hang around to listen as the pilots talk about their balloons and answer any questions you may have. This exciting show is sure to be a hit with every visitor.

 

Enjoy the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival

There is so much to enjoy during the Winter Festival at Bryce Canyon. No matter who you are, or which activities you prefer, you are sure to find something to enjoy during your visit. Visit Ruby’s Inn online for a breakdown of the different activities and their descriptions. Some activities and presentations require registration. If you want to make sure you do not miss anything you’re interested in, be sure to register ahead of time. Seeing Bryce Canyon during the Winter Festival is sure to be an experience you will never forget.

 

If you have any questions about the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival, visit www.rubysinn.com or call 435-834-5341.

 

Backpacking Essentials

Looking for a little more excitement and solitude? Trying to escape the tourists and crowds? You may be interested in taking a backpacking journey through Bryce Canyon’s captivating backcountry! The backcountry in Bryce Canyon is quite a beautiful experience and a hidden gem. Not many people take the opportunity to get out and away from the more popular tourist destinations or hiking spots due to lack of knowledge of the area. Luckily Bryce Canyon’s park service has made this a little easier and offers maps and more for those who are interested in purchasing a backcountry permit to explore the area better. There are two main backcountry trails, Riggs Spring Loop and Under The Rim Trail. The most sought after however is Under The Rim Trail due to it’s intensity and length.

Bryce Backcountry Information

  • There is a backcountry fee os $5 per persons ages 16+.
  • Permits must be purchased for all overnight stays.
  • Advance reservations are not accepted, only 48 hours before and must be made at the visitor center.

There are four backcountry trails that are broken down from Under The Rim Trail and total about 30.1 miles all together.

  • Bryce Point – Swamp Canyon (11.6 mi.)
  • Swamp Canyon – Whiteman (3.6 mi.)
  • Whiteman – Augua Canyon (7.0 mi.)
  • Augua Canyon – Rainbow Point (7.9 mi)

You can choose to hike the entire distance and bring along with you the proper backpacking supplies, or simply use one of the segmented trails as a day hike. However, you will not quite get the same experience as if you were to take on the entire Under The Rim Trail. As stated above not many people know of, or dare to explore this entire length of backcountry and therefore miss out on the spectacular beauty and sights that it offers. On the plus side though, for those who do decide to explore the entire trail, it is much less crowded and offers a lot more to explore and be seen. Luckily you can make this hike as long or short as you desire, as each trail that is segmented offers a separate access trail to the and from the main highway.

Preparation

If you are planning a backpacking trip, then one of the most important things you will need to do, is prepare you mind and body for the excursion. This is not something that you can simply just jump into as a beginner and expect to conquer. Backpacking in backcountry is rigorous and very strenuous. Not only can it be hard on your body, but it can be mentally challenging as well. You will want as much practice and preparation as possible before you take on a long backpacking trip. Here are some tips to follow beforehand:

  • Condition your body for the trip
  • Let friends and family know your itinerary and when you plan to be back
  • Plan ahead of time for any possible emergencies
  • Take weekend/over night camp trips in isolated places
  • Practice using all your gear and emergency equipment
  • Break in your hiking boots
  • Practice backcountry etiquette
  • Learn to dig a cathole

Camping

The Under The Rim Trail is Bryce Canyon’s longest backpacking trail in the park, and it will take hikers through 8 total campsites on their way from one end to the other. You are allowed to only camp in the designated areas, and make sure to leave no trace of your visit. Campsites are first come first serve.

bryce-info-back-country-final

Pack List

When exploring the backcountry of Bryce Canyon, there are certain things that you will need to be able to not only survive, but to be able to make the trip and fun and comfortable as possible. More than often, people will find themselves out in the wilderness and realize they have forgotten something they should have brought, or worse they are in a sticky situation and do not have the proper equipment and gear to help them. It is so important to make sure that you have all the proper necessities before going into the backcountry. Here is a list of the main things you will want to pack on your trip:

Backpack

This is going to be your best friend and your enemy on a backpacking trip. It is important that you find a backpack that is right for you and fits your body well. The reason this will be both your saving grace and your enemy, is because it will carry most if not all of your necessities, all while being carried on your back. So you really want to make sure you choose the best suitable pack for your trip.

Gear

The second most important thing to pack is your gear. You want to make sure that you take the right equipment to match your needs for your trip. The following are going to be the most important:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Stove (no campfires allowed below the rim)
  • Bear Canister
  • Bear Spray
  • Enough clothing for both exposed hiking, cold nights, and inclement weather
  • Food
  • Water (LOTS OF WATER)
  • Water Filter
  • Emergency kit/First Aid
  • Knife

Navigation

Backcountry can be fairly easy to get lost in, although Bryce’s backcountry trails are slightly more maintained it can still get pretty rough and you will want some sort of navigation to find your way from one point to the next. GPS, Maps, etc. will be very helpful when hiking in the backcountry of Bryce Canyon.

Appropriate Attire

When hiking the backcountry in Bryce, you will want to make sure that you check the weather report ahead of time. Depending on the time of year and weather conditions, you will want to wear the appropriate attire accordingly.

Fall – Winter

October to January are the more chilly months of the year, temperatures during this time range from 15F-50F depending on the time of day time of year. December tends to be the most cold month out of the year and snowfall in common here. During these times, it is important to wear warmer clothing. Wool socks, heavy winter coats, long johns, gloves, hat, face protection. Make sure that the attire you bring for this time of year will protect you from the elements.

Spring – Summer

February to September are considered the spring through summer months. During the early spring time it can still get fairly cold, especially at night, so be sure to wear or bring extra layers of clothing that can be easily added or removed depending on the weather an temperatures. During id summer, you will want to wear cooler clothes but still protect your skin from sunburns, bug bites, etc. To do this it’d best to bring with you some bug spray as well as sunblock. The purpose of the right attire is to protect yourself from the elements of nature in this area.

Appropriate Shoes

This may seem like one of those “common sense” things, however, you would be surprised to hear that many people do not wear the appropriate footwear for hiking backcountry in Bryce. This is very important to avoid several things including but not limited to; sprained ankles, blisters, poor grip and more. It’s important to wear a shoe with a good grip for scaling obstacles or rock formations, it is also highly recommended to wear shoes that cover your entire foot. Some prefer to wear hiking sandals, which is not a bad choice for those who are more experience hikers. Although more comfortable, it is much ore likely to get sunburns on your feet, stubbed toes and much more when you choose to wear sandals. Hiking boots are your best bet and the most common, comfortable and safe show to wear while hiking backcountry.

Pine Lake Recreational Area

Camping, hiking, boating, fishing and fun! Pine Lake Recreational Area is a great place to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery around you. Surrounded by a good mixture of Ponderosa Pines and Spruce that are reflected of the crystal blue lake as you sit in your camp chair on the bank and sip some coffee waiting for your next catch. Sounds like a dream right? Well it can be reality and its located only a short 28 minutes from Bryce Canyon!

Pine Lake, Utah
Photo Credit: Ben on flickr

Bryce Canyon Ghost Town – The History

Bryce Canyon is a popular tourist destination and when you search for activities and places to visit, you will never run out of options to try. When you look for information online, for sure you will encounter the ghost town near Bryce which makes you wonder as to whether there is really a ghost town near such a beautiful place. But actually there is.

It is the Widtsoe town located in Utah and was first occupied in the early 19th century by Jedediah Adair. The first settler was known to be a successful farmer and eventually many people came to live in the area. The said town was initially known as Adairville. But it was renamed several times using the name of famous local leaders like for instance John R. Winder and John Houston. Eventually, it became Widtsoe from the name of the University of Utah president John Widtsoe. The town was named Widtsoe in 1917.

widtsoe ghost town 1
Photo Credit: qi lin on flickr

Come 1912, the town already had 2 hotels, post office, sawmills, 4 stores, a church and even a confectionery plant. Three years after, using water pipes, the locals were able to source out water from a spring. The US Forest Service was relocated to Widstoe. In 1919, there were about 1,100 people occupying the area.

But one year later, a famine occurred. The drought started to drive the farmers away. The Federal Resettlement Administration bought land from the landowners in 1936 and tore down the buildings. Two years after, the remaining residents left the town. Hence, it’s now called a ghost town.

That is why when you go to Widstoe, there are only a few homes, a church, school and cemetery. These are all that you can find in the used to be prospering town in the early 19th century.

Do you want to visit the ghost town? Widstoe is located in John’s Valley. It is about 16 mi. northeast of the Bryce Canyon National Park. The town is located near the East Fork of the Sevier River on Highway 22.

Please be reminded that visitors shouldn’t remove relics or debris when going to the town site.

Slot Canyons Inn – Adventurous Escape

Located about 51 miles away from Bryce and about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Capitol Reef, Slot Canyons Inn sits between the two National Parks on one of the most scenic highways in the US, Highway 12. Slot Canyons Inn is located in part of what many consider the most beautiful landscapes of the United States. With The Grand Staircase, Escalante in its backyard, this is truly one of the most stunning locations for a getaway and adventure.

lodging in escalante

What To Expect When You Book With Slot Canyons Inn

There are several different options for rooms with comfortable bedding and furniture. The rooms are designed with a southwest country flare, with a hint of luxury. Looking for a little more privacy? Ask about the Isaac Riddle Cabin, set upon the hillside with a spectacular view of the Escalante river. The location of the Inn is 5 miles west of the town of Escalante, and sits at the mouth of a canyon. There is fresh stream water that flows from the canyon and a view that will capture you. When you stay at Slot Canyons Inn, you will have the opportunity for a new, thrilling and captivating adventure each and every day you are with them. There is something new for you to explore in each and every direction and you will never see the same things twice. This land is absolutely breathtaking and was made to be explored.

 

 

Food

North Creek Grill is the The Slot Canyons Inn’s restaurant. Offering up some amazing food, spectacular views and an unbeatable relaxing atmosphere. The owners and chefs Adam and Kristine Rex are one of a kind, friendly and caring caterers. They use only the freshest local ingredients and raise their own beef. This is the spot to be when it comes to dining in Escalante.

Grand Staircase

This magnificent and vast piece of land was named a National Monument in 1996. The Grand Staircase is actually a striking ever-changing mass of land that stretches along scenic highway 12, and is made up of some of the most sought after National Parks in the US. The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Aquarius Plateu all contribute to this amazing monument.

Devil's Garden, Grand Staircase-Escalante Sunset
Photo Credit: power slave on flickr

Slot Canyons

In Escalante and the Grand Staircase, you will find yourself in awe as you explore and make your way through natures rock carvings, also known as Slot Canyons. These canyons are made by rare, but heavy rainfalls and high mountain snow melt. The silt rock does not absorb the water well, so gravity pulls the water down and as it runs through the canyons it carves them into twisted, narrow and stunning works of art. These masterpieces are something that everyone should experience and should be appreciated by all!

Dry Fork Slot Canyon (Utah)
Photo Credit: Jordi Cerdà on flickr

Activities

When staying at Slot Canyons Inn, you will be given several different options for daily itineraries. From a day of adventuring around Grand Staircase to horseback riding and slot canyon exploration. There are endless adventures that await you when you visit Escalante and Slot Canyons Inn.

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