Mossy Cave Trail on snow. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

 

 

If you are interested in seeing icicles in a small cave (or, in a “grotto”), then you might want to make time for hiking to the Mossy Cave when you’re visiting Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave, to grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

 

Seeing this natural formation could be another nice activity to do while you’re visiting the park.

This trail is listed as 0.8 miles. It’s officially recommended to give yourself around 1 hour here, although it’s possible to be done in less time.

 

Mossy Cave Trail on snow. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

 

According to the National Park Service, about what happens to the Mossy Cave in winter:

By late fall, icicles begin to form as water continues to seep through the rock.

Sheltered from the sun, even as the days are growing warmer and longer, sometimes these icicles last until June.

And about why it’s called “mossy” cave:

During the short spring and summer season, in this otherwise arid landscape, a cool moist environment becomes a perfect place for mosses to grow.

 

 

Map location of Mossy Cave Trail

Mossy Cave isn’t actually IN the main part of Bryce Canyon, and you will be leaving the park to get to it.

So if you have this on your list of “things to do if we have time,” then you might save it for last depending on how long you take for your activities within the park.

On the flip side, if you really want to see the icicles forming in the cave, then you might want to go begin your day at Mossy Cave before making your way in Bryce Canyon National Park for the viewpoints and winter hikes there.

From the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, which is near the entrance of the park, it’s about a 15 minute drive to Mossy Cave.

There is one main road that runs through the national park, and from the end of this road where there’s a popular viewpoint (Rainbow Point for reference), it is about a 40 minute drive if you were to drive straight through.

 

 

See this map in Google Maps.

 

Mossy Cave is basically located right off the main highway, called Highway 12 Scenic Byway.

 

Bryce Canyon National Park to Mossy Cave Trail. scenic byway highway 12. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

 

Once you start to get close, you’ll see a sign for Mossy Cave.

 

Bryce Canyon National Park to Mossy Cave Trail. scenic byway highway 12. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

 

And then, you’ll see the parking lot along the side of the road.

 

Mossy Cave Trail parking lot on scenic byway highway 12. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

 

 

What to wear hiking the Mossy Cave Trail in winter

I would say the #1 thing is to definitely bring ice traction devices just in case! Hiking poles that will dig into ice might be helpful too.

I didn’t really know anything about this trail, and thinking that this is a “short” trail, I didn’t bring any of my normal winter hiking stuff with me that I had for all other Bryce Canyon winter hikes. I left it in the car. I ended up regretting this!

The last part of the trail to get up close to the cave was particularly icy! It made it difficult because the last part is also a little on an incline. Steep and icy isn’t really a good combination!

 

Mossy Cave Trail. What to wear hiking in bryce canyon national park in winter. utah travel blog.

 

I very much wished I had both my ice traction device and hiking poles. I was so afraid of slipping I actually felt it was easier to just basically sit down and push my way down the icy hill! This was a very small portion of the trail, but it was the most ice I experienced on any of the hiking trails in Bryce Canyon. There was an entire patch of ice.

 

 

 

 

 

And now…

A bit of what you’ll see with a hike to Mossy Cave in winter!

aka… PHOTOS!

I did this hike in December 2019.

 

Mossy Cave Trailhead start location. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. things to do in winter. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail in winter to waterfalls. closed trail at bryce canyon national park in winter. utah travel blog
Up this final hill where there’s a sign to the cave and to the waterfall is where I encountered the big icy patch.

 

 

The grotto!

(small cave!)

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave, to grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave, to grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave with icicles in grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave with icicles in grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave with icicles in grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

Mossy Cave with icicles in grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. utah travel blog.

 

 

And that’s a bit of what you’ll see on the Mossy Cave Trail in winter!

 

 

Waterfalls near Mossy Cave

Outside of winter season, there’s also a short waterfall trail you can take located near the cave to see waterfalls near Bryce Canyon National Park.

But when I was there in winter, this trail was closed.

 

Mossy Cave Trail in winter to waterfalls. bryce canyon national park in winter. utah travel blog

Mossy Cave Trail in winter to waterfalls. closed trail at bryce canyon national park in winter. utah travel blog

 

HAPPY HIKING TO MOSSY CAVE IN WINTER TO SEE ICICLES!

 

Mossy Cave Trail hike to cave, to grotto. winter hikes in bryce canyon national park. best things to do in winter. utah travel blog.