A fantasyland of bizarre rock formations, sandstone pillars, and expansive vistas, Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Southern Utah.
|Park||Bryce Canyon National Park|
|Things To Do||Scenic Drive, campaign, Hiking|
|Hotels Near Banff National Park||Canyon Country Lodge, Bryce canyon Resort and many more|
|Camping Location||Multiple Locations|
In this article, we’ll share some of the best things to do in the Bryce Canyon National Park including, the best time to visit, lodging options, weather, and much more to help you plan your trip down to detail. Let’s get started.
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most inspiring and compact national parks in Southern Utah, United States.
Its rocky scenery, fascinating viewpoints, and diversity of desert plants set it apart from other national parks.
No matter where you turn in the park, enthralling and gorgeous views awaits.
With close to 36,000acres, Bryce Canyon National Park is a collection of colorful hoodoos, tall skinny rock spires that spike high into the air, natural bridges, and other unique rock formations carved by erosion at the easter part of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
A Brief History
The Bryce Canyon National Park boasts a rich and colorful past dating back to more than 10,000 years.
Little is known about the region’s earliest inhabitants; Archeologists believe that Paleo-Indians used the region as the hunting grounds about 10,00-15,000 years ago.
The region of Bryce got discovered around 1776, and it wasn’t until the 1800s that areas were explored thoroughly and documented.
Mormon pioneers settled in the area in the 1850s, and the place got named after Ebenezer Bryce, who lived and homestead in the area till 1874.
In 1923, the area around the Bryce Canyon was designated as a National Monument to preserve the region’s unique beauty and scientific interest.
The monument was renamed “Utah National Park” in 1924 and fell under “National Park Service.” Administration.
Finally, on February 25, 1928, the name changed from Utah National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park. Subsequently, legislation was passed to add more land to the park, making it to its current size of 35,835.
Things to do in the park
Here are the best things to do in Bryce Canyon Park that will guarantee a great time in the park:
Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive
A scenic drive through the Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to take in a lot of beautiful scenery.
The 38-mile round trip drive follows the rim of Bryce Canyon and takes around three hours.
There are 13 viewpoints along the route, and you’ll also find a variety of hiking trails and picnic areas on your way, so makes sure to stop if you have time.
The northern overlooks of the park have the highest number of hoodoos, but the southern overlook offers the most stunning and expansive views.
Queen Garden & Navajo Loop Trail
Bryce Canyon National Park has numerous hiking trails with different lengths and difficulty levels, but the Queen Garden & Navajo Loop Trail is the most popular.
Both these trails provide the best hiking experience by allowing visitors to look at the Hoodoos; walk through the canyons and forests of pine trees.
The Queens Garden 1.8-mile trail starts from “Sunset Point” and descends to 320 feet down in the canyon amongst hoodoos for an extra treat.
Meanwhile, the Navajo trail is a 1.3 mile that descends back up to the rim. Though it’s pretty strenuous, the magnificent views along the way make it worth it.
Take a Hike to Sunset Point
Sunset point is one of the most popular attractions in Bryce Canyon National Park, famous for its amazing views from dawn to dusk.
The overlook offers vistas of some of the most famous and spectacular hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.
Beautiful light covers the maze of hoodoos and fins packed in a tight formation As the sun dips below the horizon.
The way shadows settle into each crevice of the stunning rock formations, you’ll be awe-struck by the beauty of this area.
Just below the overlook on the north edge, you see the Thor’s Hammer, one of the most photographed Hoodoo in the park.
Visit the Inspiration Point
For those who want to enjoy the beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park from a different perspective, Inspiration Point is an incredible sight.
It features three viewpoints that offer a birds-eye view of the world’s most extensive collection of hoodoos.
The 5.5-mile trail to the Inspiration Point begins in the South Bryce Point and is wheelchair accessible, perfect for mobility issues.
However, be careful and always remain behind the railing as the cliffs of the points are crumbly rocks and slick slopes.
Another great hike you shouldn’t miss at Bryce is the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail. This 5-mile trail begins at Bryce Point and quickly drops at the canyon floor.
It is considered one of the most challenging hikes in the park due to its length and rapid elevation.
This hike is particularly suitable for experienced hikers looking to pump up their adrenaline level.
The trail is generally less-crowded, so you can enjoy a peaceful hike with so much to see around.
Best Time to Visit
Bryce Canyon National Park is open all year round, and the best time to visit the park depends on what you want to do there.
From May through September, the weather is warm and most comfortable and yields plenty of ranger activities.
Winter months have their charms. From October through April, temperatures are cool with fewer crowds, and visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Bryce Canyon National Park map is an essential tool to plan your vacation in the best possible way.
No matter how you choose to explore the park, your trip will be the experience of a lifetime.
Here is the PDF map of the park showing all roads, trails, entrances, campgrounds, and points of interest.
Camping in the Bryce Canyon National Park is an economical and practical way to experience the park’s beauty and soak up in nature.
There are two developed campgrounds in the park: North Campground and Sunset Campground, located near the visitor center, Bryce Canyon Lodge, and the main Bryce Amphitheatre.
Sunset campground is available on a first-come-first-served basis, while North campground requires a reservation.
For more information about camping or making reservations, visit the NPS website.
The rim of Bryce Canyon has an elevation between 8,000 and 9,100 feet which means temperatures can be highly variable throughout the year.
In Summer, days are usually pleasant, but in July and August, the temperature can go up to the 70s to low 80s.
The Park experiences the coldest and snowiest period from December to February when the temperatures fall below freezing point at night.
Raining is a common occurrence during July and August with thunderstorms. It is a good idea to check the latest weather conditions before you visit.
Hotels to Stay Near Bryce Canyon National Park
Whether you’re traveling with family or looking for a backcountry adventure, there are plenty of lodging options within the Bryce Canyon National Park and its vicinity, equipped with modern amenities.
Here are some places to stay near the park:
- The Lodge at Bryce Canyon
- Canyon Country Lodge
- Bryce Canyon Resort
- Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inns
- Garfield County Tourism Burau
- Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Entry Fees and Passes
The entry fee of Bryce Canyon National Park is $35 per private vehicle, $30 per motorcycle, and $20 per person (Walk-in or bicycle), valid for seven consecutive days.
If you plan to visit the park more than once, you can purchase the Bryce Canyon National Park Annual Pass worth $40 to get free entry for the next 12-months.
You can buy All passes at the park’s entrance booths or online at no additional cost.
Checklist for Things to Pack
Listed below are the few essential items you must bring with you while visiting the Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Warm and cold clothing layers
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking boots/water shoes
- Rain gear
- Snacks & Drinks
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and hat
- Headlamp/ flashlight
- Small plastic bags
- Bug Spray
- First-aid kit
- Park’s Map & compass
How much time do I need to explore Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is very compact and one day is all you need to need to explore this park. If you have less than a day, that’s completely fine too.
How many visitors come to Bryce Canyon National Park?
Around 2 million people come to Bryce Canyon National Park each year to experience the magic of this otherworldly land.
How to beat the crowd at Bryce Canyon National Park?
The park has a minimum number of visitors in January February and at the end of september, making it an ideal time to enjoy some solitude along with beautiful weather.
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