National Park Series – Travel Guide to Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park
On July 15th, 2015, we pulled into Bryce National Park in the middle of the night and we set up our camp in the dark. The next morning I sleepily looked out our teardrop trailer’s window to see a nice campground complete with tall trees and a stream nearby. “Cool,” I thought, “This will be a great place to stay a couple of days and relax and get ready for the next leg of our journey.” But then Mike said to me, “let’s go for a ride around the park.”
My first thought was no, I want to stay right here and enjoy the forest and sit by the stream and just chill out all day. However, he insisted we go, so I got dressed and off we went.
Just a couple of miles down the road, we pulled into a parking lot. Nothing new to see here, I thought as we walked a path up the hill. Boy, was I wrong! As we crested the hill, I saw this…
(Photo: D. Saparow)
What is Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park located in southwestern Utah in the United States. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which, despite its name, is not a canyon but a series of giant natural amphitheaters. It is surrounded by red rock pinnacles that are among the youngest geological formations in the area and show evidence of having formed within the last 20 million years.
Bryce Canyon National Park Is Home to a Variety of Wildlife
Bryce Canyon National Park is a unit of the National Park Service that is located in southwestern Utah. The park is known for its hoodoos, which are a type of rock formation. Bryce Canyon National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn, and cougars. The park is also home to a number of bird species, including the American dipper, the common raven, and the peregrine falcon.
(Photo: D. Saparow)
How Do I Get to Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. The closest major airports are in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. From Salt Lake City, take I-15 south to US-89. From Las Vegas, take US-93 north to US-89. US-89 passes through the park.
The park is open all year round, 24 hours a day. However, some roads and trails may close due to weather conditions. Check the park website for closures before you visit.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park?
The best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is between April and November. The park is open all year round, but the winter months can be cold and snowy. Spring and fall are the best times to enjoy the mild temperatures and beautiful scenery.
What Are the Facilities Available in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is a world-renowned destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. The park offers a variety of facilities and services to make your experience enjoyable and safe.
Some of the facilities available in Bryce Canyon National Park include:
- Visitor Centers: The park has two visitor centers, the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center and the Ruby’s Inn Visitor Center. The visitor centers offer a variety of resources, including exhibits, ranger-led programs, and information about the park.
- Hiking Trails: There are a variety of hiking trails available in Bryce Canyon National Park, ranging from easy to strenuous. Whether you’re looking for a short hike or a multi-day backpacking trip, you’ll find a trail to suit your needs.
- Campgrounds: The park has two campgrounds, Sunset Campground, and North Campground. Campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis and reservations are required for group sites.
- Picnic Areas: There are several picnic areas located throughout the park, including Sunset Point, Rainbow Point, and Inspiration Point. Picnic areas offer a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
- Ranger-led Programs: Ranger-led programs are offered seasonally and are a great way to learn about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife.
What Are the Must-See Attractions in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. The park is located in southwestern Utah and is known for its beautiful red rock formations. Some of the must-see attractions in Bryce Canyon National Park include:
- The Hoodoos: These are the park’s most iconic rock formations. The Hoodoos are tall, thin spires of rock that were formed by erosion.
- The Bryce Amphitheater: This is a large, U-shaped canyon that is filled with Hoodoos.
- Sunset Point: This is one of the best places in the park to see the sunset. The views from Sunset Point are absolutely breathtaking.
- Inspiration Point: This is another great spot for sunset viewing. Inspiration Point gets its name from the fact that it was here that the park’s first superintendent, William Bryce, was inspired to create Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce Point is one of the more popular viewpoints in Bryce Canyon National Park. It offers a stunning panorama of the canyon and the hoodoos that Bryce is famous for. Bryce Point is especially popular at sunrise and sunset when the light casts a warm glow on the canyon walls.
Sunrise Point is also a popular places to see the sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park. The views from Sunrise Point are absolutely incredible, and you can see for miles in every direction. If you’re lucky, you might even see some of the wildlife that calls Bryce Canyon home.
The view from Paria View is simply breathtaking-you can see for miles in every direction. The best time to visit Paria View is early in the morning or late in the evening, when the light is just right.
Inspiration Point is a must see, and for good reason – the views are simply breathtaking! From here, you can see all the way down into the canyon and get a true sense of the vastness of this natural wonder. Be sure to bring your camera, as this is a spot you’ll want to remember forever.
The point gets its name from the colorful rocks and minerals that can be found in the area. Visitors can see a variety of colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. The best time to see Rainbow Point is in the late afternoon, when the sun is shining on the rocks.
(Photo: D. Saparow)
What Are the Best Hiking Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is a world-renowned destination for hikers of all levels of experience. There are many different trails to choose from, each with its own unique scenery and challenges. Here are some of the best hiking trails in Bryce Canyon National Park:
- The Navajo Loop Trail is a great option for first-time visitors to the park. It is a short, easy trail that winds through some of the most beautiful parts of the canyon.
- The Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail is a longer trail that offers hikers stunning views of the canyon as well as the opportunity to see some of the park’s wildlife.
- The Fairyland Loop Trail is a longer trail that takes hikers through a variety of different landscapes, including forests, meadows, and, of course, the canyon itself.
No matter what your level of experience, there is a hiking trail in Bryce Canyon National Park that is perfect for you. So get out there and explore!
What to Expect on a Hike in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the United States. With its unique red rock formations and stunning views, it’s no wonder why. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before heading out on a hike in Bryce Canyon National Park.
First, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. The trails can be rocky and strenuous, so you’ll want to be prepared. Second, be aware of your surroundings and stay on the trail. The terrain can be treacherous, and it’s easy to get lost if you’re not paying attention. Finally, be respectful of the park and its wildlife. Bryce Canyon is a fragile ecosystem, and we want to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.
Following these simple tips, you’re sure to have a safe and enjoyable hike in Bryce Canyon National Park.
What Are the Best Camping Sites in Bryce Canyon National Park?
There are two Campgrounds in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Dispersed Camping Near Bryce Canyon National Park
Dispersed camping is allowed in many areas near Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most beautiful and beloved places in Utah. However, because it is so popular, finding a spot to stay can be difficult. Dispersed camping is an alternative to staying in a traditional campground. It allows you to camp anywhere within the park’s boundaries as long as they are at least one mile away from any designated camping area.
Cabin Hallow is a dispersed campground located near Bryce Canyon National Park. It offers sites for small trailers and is a 20 minute drive from the park. This site is perfect for those who want to experience Bryce Canyon National Park in a different way and have easy access to the park’s natural wonders.
The site is accessible by an unpaved entrance road, which can be tricky to drive on as it is uneven and has huge ruts. It may be tricky getting in and out of the site, but it is definitely worth it.
Panguitch, UT 84759
GPS: 37.7343, -112.2683
Tom’s Best Spring Dispersed Camping is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a quiet and secluded spot near Bryce Canyon National Park. The campsite is located just a short drive from the park, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding area. There are also plenty of hiking trails nearby, so you can explore the area to your heart’s content.
Toms Best Spring Rd. (FR-117)
Panguitch, UT 84759
GPS: 37.728, -112.2487
Losee Canyon is located in Bryce Canyon National Park and is a great spot for those that are looking for a dispersed camping location. There are more camping areas up the road. The first camp area has a pit toilet for those that need it, as well as fire rings and nice spots for camping. It takes about 2 miles of well-maintained gravel to reach the first camp area.
Casto Canyon Rd.
Panguitch, UT 84759
GPS: 37.7685, -112.3381
Bryce Canyon National Park offers a variety of camping experiences, from developed campgrounds with RV hookups to primitive dispersed camping in the backcountry. Dispersed camping is a great option for those who want to experience the true wilderness of Bryce Canyon.
There are a few things to keep in mind when dispersed camping near Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Bring all the supplies you need, as there are no services available in the backcountry.
- Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles, such as packing out all trash and burying human waste.
- Be aware of potential hazards, such as flash floods and wildlife.
With a little preparation, dispersed camping near Bryce Canyon National Park can be a truly memorable experience.
What Are the Other Activities that Can Be Done in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the United States. The park is home to a variety of trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. In addition to hiking, other activities that can be enjoyed in Bryce Canyon National Park include horseback riding, camping, and picnicking.
Horseback Riding in Bryce Canyon National Park
In addition to hiking, horseback riding is another great way to explore Bryce Canyon National Park. There are several companies that offer horseback riding tours, and they can be a great way to see the sights of the park. The tours typically last for two hours, and they take you on a trail that goes through the hoodoos.
Scenic Drives in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is home to some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the world. In addition to hiking and camping, visitors can also enjoy scenic drives through the park. There are three main scenic drives in Bryce Canyon National Park:
- The 18-mile (29 km) round-trip Alpine Loop
- The 12-mile (19 km) round-trip Rainbow Point Road
- The 7-mile (11 km) one-way Sunset Drive
Each of these scenic drives offers breathtaking views of the canyon and its many hoodoos. Visitors can also enjoy stops along the way at lookout points and trailheads.
What are the rules that I need to follow when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park?
The National Park Service has established rules and regulations to help protect the park and its visitors. Some of the rules that you need to follow when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park include:
- Obey all posted signs and warnings
- Stay on designated trails
- Do not build campfires
- Do not collect wood
- Do not feed wildlife
- Do not disturb plants or wildlife
- Do not damage park property
- Do not litter
- Do not swim in lakes or streams
- Do not use firearms or fireworks
(Photo: D. Saparow)
Are There Any Special Considerations that I Need to Take Into Account when Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park?
When visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, there are a few special considerations that you should take into account:
- The park is located at a high altitude, so if you are coming from a lower altitude, make sure to give yourself time to adjust to the change in elevation.
- The park is located in a desert climate, so it can be extremely hot during the day and very cold at night. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
- There are a lot of hiking trails in the park, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water.
- The park is located in a remote area, so make sure to have a map and plenty of gas in your car.
Bryce Canyon National Park is a must-see for anyone interested in geological wonders or simply looking for a beautiful place to spend a few days. With its unique hoodoos and stunning views, Bryce Canyon is an unforgettable national park.