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10 Best Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

10 Best Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

If you’re looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Bryce Canyon National Park is the perfect destination. With its awe-inspiring natural scenery and abundance of outdoor activities, Bryce Canyon is a great place to relax and reconnect with nature. Here are some tips on what to do when you visit this amazing national park.

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore Bryce Canyon. There are trails of varying difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, and be prepared for a workout!

If you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, take a scenic drive through the park. You’ll be able to see all of the highlights without having to hike for miles. Bryce Canyon is also a great place for stargazing. The night sky is incredibly clear, and you might even be able to see some shooting stars! So, make sure to bring a blanket and set up camp under the stars.

Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoos sound like some sort of voodoo spell cast on you by a strange woman you might find in a mysterious swamp somewhere. Fortunately for all of us, hoodoos are actually beautiful natural pillars that were formed through millions of years of erosion.

They can be found all over the world, although they are often referred to as pillars, peaks, and spires. Only in Bryce Canyon can you see the largest collection of hoodoos anywhere in the world- hundreds of thousands of pillars reaching up to the sky with their naturally striped bodies.

Best Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park at Sunset
From Flickr user PiConsti

Bryce Canyon National Park is a great destination for travelers looking to explore the natural beauty of southern Utah. With its incredible views, hiking trails, and campgrounds, it’s easy to spend a full day exploring the park. It also offers shuttle services that help limit tourist traffic on narrow roadways.

If you’re looking for an easy trail with hoodoos, it sounds like some sort of voodoo spell cast on you by a strange woman you might find in a mysterious swamp somewhere. Fortunately for all of us, hoodoos are actually beautiful natural pillars that were formed through millions of years of erosion.

Hiking

Hiking Trails at Bryce Canyon

Hiking is one of the best things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park. There are several trails available for any physical ability, so everyone can enjoy the incredible views. The Riggs trail is a great option for those looking for a more strenuous hike.

It’s 9 miles with four campsites along the way. For an easy hike, The Rim Trail is a great option. It’s an easy trail that goes along the rim of the canyon and offers some of the best views in the park. Another short trek is the Fairyland Loop Trail, which is less than 2 miles long.

Ranger Guided Tour

Park Ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park

Another great option for things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park is to take a ranger-guided tour. These tours are offered several times throughout the day and provide visitors with an in-depth look at the history and geology of the area.

You can also take a night sky tour to see the stars as you’ve never seen them before.

Camping

For those looking to spend more time in the park, camping is a great option. There are two campgrounds located within Bryce Canyon National Park. The first is Sunset Campground, which is located near the Amphitheater. The second is North Campground, which is located closer to the visitor center.

If you’re planning on camping at Bryce Canyon, there are two campgrounds to choose from – Sunset Campground and Sunrise Campground. Both campgrounds offer restrooms, picnic tables, and fire grates.

There is also a dump station available for those with RVs. Showers are not available at either campground. Both campgrounds are open year-round, but Sunset Campground is first-come, first-served while Sunrise Campground can be reserved in advance.

Camping fees range from $15-$20 per night. When camping at Bryce Canyon, be sure to take some time to explore the nearby trails and viewpoints. The best time to see the famous hoodoos is early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is low.

Covered Wagon Tour

Covered Wagon Tour in Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is a gorgeous natural wonder, and one of the best ways to see it is on a covered wagon tour. You’ll be pulled by a horse-drawn carriage through the forest and into Bryce Canyon, getting an up-close look at all the hoodoos and natural rock formations.

And to make the experience even better, your tour guide will regale you with cowboy stories and old West tales. It’s the perfect way to relax and take in all that Bryce Canyon has to offer. Reservations for covered wagon tours can be made online in advance. So don’t wait, book your tour today.

Sunrise Point

Panorama of Sunrise Point at Sunrise

Sunrise Point is one of the most popular destinations in Bryce Canyon National Park. From this viewpoint, visitors can see the incredible hoodoos and rock formations that make up the park. The view from Sunrise Point is best early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is low.

Sunset Point

Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunset Point is another popular destination in Bryce Canyon National Park. From this viewpoint, visitors can see the incredible hoodoos and rock formations that make up the park.

The view from Sunset Point is best late in the evening when the sun is low.

Winter activities

Bryce Canyon National Park in Winter

Winter is a great time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. The snow creates a whole new landscape to explore, and you might even get lucky and see the canyon in a blanket of snow. If you’re looking for a cross-country skiing adventure, Ruby’s Inn offers ski rentals.

There are also ski trails between Ruby and Bryce, as well as some lookout sites where roads have not been cleared out. So bundle up and enjoy the winter wonderland that is Bryce Canyon National Park.

Go on a Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park

Driving Bryce Canyon National Park

If you don’t feel like hiking or are short on time, taking one of the scenic drives in Bryce Canyon is a great way to see the highlights of the park.

The 18-mile Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive takes you through all of the main viewpoints in the park. The drive can be done in about 2 hours without stopping, but you’ll want to allow plenty of time to stop at the viewpoints and take in the scenery.

If you are short on time or don’t want to do the entire drive, you can also just do the 8-mile section from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point. This section includes all of the most popular viewpoints and can be done in about 1 hour without stopping.

Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park

Stargazing at Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce is one of the best places in the world for stargazing. The clear, dark skies offer amazing views of the Milky Way and countless other stars and planets.

There are several great spots for stargazing in the park, but the best place is probably Bryce Point. This overlook has amazing views of the canyon and is a great place to watch the sunset and the stars come out.

Bryce Canyon National Park is also home to an annual astronomy festival called the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival. This festival is held each year in June and offers a variety of activities for those interested in learning more about astronomy.

Best Hiking Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park

Sign for Sunrise Point and Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon

If you’re looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Bryce Canyon National Park is the perfect destination. With its awe-inspiring natural scenery and abundance of outdoor activities, Bryce Canyon is a great place to relax and reconnect with nature.

Here are some tips on what to do when you visit this amazing national park. First, the Bryce Amphitheater is the main feature of Bryce Canyon and can be seen from almost anywhere in the park. The best way to see it, however, is from one of the many trails that leads down into the amphitheater.

Walk the Rim Trail

Sign for Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon National Park

The Rim Trail is an easy, paved trail that follows the edge of the Bryce Amphitheater and provides stunning views of all the hoodoos. The trail can be crowded in places, but it’s still a great way to see the park without having to hike for miles.

With the Rim Trail, you’ll get a chance to see Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. There are also several other trails that branch off of the Rim Trail, so you can explore even more of the Amphitheater.

Fairyland Loop Trail

Fairyland Trail Sign, Bryce Canyon National Park

The Fairyland Loop Trail is an 8-mile loop that takes you through some of the less-visited parts of Bryce Canyon. The trail includes several steep sections, but the views are well worth the effort.

You’ll see towering hoodoos, colorful rock formations, and maybe even some wildlife along the way. The Fairyland Loop Trail is one of the best ways to experience all that Bryce Canyon has to offer.

Tower Bridge and Swamp Canyon Trails

Tower Bridge, Bryce Canyon National Park

The Tower Bridge and Swamp Canyon Trails are two of the less-traveled trails in Bryce Canyon. The Tower Bridge Trail is a 4-mile round trip that leads to a natural bridge, while the Swamp Canyon Trail is a 5-mile loop that takes you through a canyon with towering walls.

Both trails are relatively strenuous, but they offer amazing views that you won’t find anywhere else in the park.

Queens Garden Trail

Queen's Garden Trail, Bryce Canyon

The easiest trail is the Queens Garden Trail which is only 1.8 miles roundtrip. This short hike takes you through a hoodoo-filled landscape to a beautiful garden of hoodoos at the end. The trail passes by some of the most popular hoodoos, including Queen Victoria and Thor’s Hammer.

Navajo Loop Trail

Navajo Loop Trail Sign at Bryce Canyon

For something a little more challenging, try the Navajo Loop Trail and Queens Garden Trail combo which is 3 miles roundtrip. This hike starts out on the easy Queens Garden Trail but then descends into the heart of Bryce Amphitheater on the Navajo Loop Trail.

This is a great option if you want to see a lot of hoodoos up close without hiking the entire amphitheater.

Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail

Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon

For the most challenging option, hike the Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail which is 5.5 miles roundtrip. This strenuous hike takes you down into Bryce Amphitheater and then back up again with an added loop trail through some of the more narrow and secluded slots canyons.

This is a great option for those who want to get away from the crowds and really explore all that Bryce Canyon has to offer.

Bryce Canyon Hiking Tips

Squirrel Ontop of a Warning Sign in Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is geared towards those of outdoorsy inclinations, with many different hiking trails available for any physical ability.

If you are looking for an easy trail, you can walk along the rim all day long and see all the viewpoints without the crowds or the traffic. There are also other easy trails that are all less than 2 miles for short hikes just to take in a little bit of the scenery.

If you prefer a more moderate hike, you can take one of the several 4-mile hikes down into the Bryce Amphitheater or see one of the lesser-known areas of the canyon with the Tower Bridge or the Swamp Canyon.

If you are looking for a more strenuous day hike for a good bit of exercise on your trip, check out the 5+ mile loops through Rainbow Point or the Fairyland Loop Trail.

Recommended: Breathtaking Camping Spots in the World

Bryce Canyon National Park Camping

Camping Tent at Bryce Canyon National Park

For the serious adventurer, Bryce Canyon also offers backpacking campsites. You can hike the Under-the-Rim trail which goes for 23 miles with eight different campsites.

The Riggs trail comes in at only 9 miles with four campsites if you aren’t looking to walk your feet all the way off. The views no matter what will be absolutely spectacular, and the backpacking trails will be significantly less busy than the easy hiking paths.

If you aren’t looking to hike, you can jump on the Bryce Canyon Shuttle almost every day from 8 AM to 6 PM and get a convenient ride through the park to stop at all of the viewing points.

These shuttle services also help to limit the amount of tourist traffic that goes through the park, clogging the narrow roadways.

To make a full trip out of your time in Bryce Canyon, so you can hike multiple trails or take a ranger-guided tour, you can stay at one of the two campgrounds located within the park. With a quick walk to the Amphitheater, you can’t get a spot with a better view.

However, if camping isn’t your style you can always stay at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, which also offers a full-service restaurant and a gift shop for cute souvenirs.

How to Get to Bryce Canyon National Park

The closest major airports to Bryce Canyon are Las Vegas, Nevada, and Salt Lake City, Utah, which are approximately 200 miles away. Two smaller international airports are also in the area. Take I-95 South to UT 202 East towards North.

Take US-19 south to UT12 and east to UT63. Take Interstate 64 south through Bryce Canyon. From South: Take I-15 North into Utah and travel 90 miles east on US89. Continue north on US89 to UT-12 East, then follow the signs for Bryce Canyon.

Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is open all year round, although winter weather can make some roads and trails impassable. The best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.

If you are planning on doing any hiking, summer can be a good time to visit as well since the trails will be mostly snow-free. No matter when you visit, Bryce Canyon National Park is sure to offer an unforgettable experience.

Bryce Canyon Visitor Center

Bryce Canyon Visitors Center in Winter
kellyvandellen – stock.adobe.com

If you’re going to Bryce Canyon, be sure to visit the Visitor Center first. Here you may get a map of the area and learn about any future excursions.

You may also buy a few mementos of your trip to keep. Bryce Canyon is recognized for its starry night sky, and the Visitor Center is a fantastic resource for learning more about it. The ranger program offers lectures on astrophysics in the evening, and you can view the night sky through large telescopes after the program.

Because there are no major cities near Bryce Canyon to generate light pollution, it’s an excellent spot to view the stars. So don’t forget to look up at the sky while you’re here – you might be shocked by what you discover. If you are interested in visiting Bryce Canyon, visit the National Park Service website to plan your trip.

Utah’s National Parks Tour

Monument Valley Panorama
Monument Valley in Utah

Utah is home to some of the most beautiful National Parks in the country. Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park are all within a short drive of each other and offer a variety of different landscapes to explore.

On a guided tour of Utah’s National Parks, you’ll have the opportunity to hike through canyons, forests, and mountains, and see some of the most unique geological formations in the world.

You’ll also have plenty of time to take photos and create lasting memories. So whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just looking for a new adventure, Utah’s National Parks are definitely worth a visit.

FAQs

How long does it take to drive through Bryce Canyon National Park?

The average time it takes to drive through the park is about 1-2 hours. However, we recommend that you allow yourself plenty of time to explore all the different viewpoints and trails.

Is backcountry camping allowed in Bryce Canyon National Park?

Yes, backcountry camping is allowed with a permit. For more information, please visit the official website.

I want to go horseback riding in Bryce Canyon National Park. Where can I do that?

There are several companies that offer horseback riding tours in the park. For more information, please visit the official website.

What is the best time of year to visit Bryce Canyon National Park?

The best time of year to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is from late spring to early fall. However, the park is open year-round and each season has its own unique beauty.

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