Guide to Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park

Guide to Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park

Within the American Southwest, Bryce Canyon National Park stands apart as one of the most awe-inspiring parks to visit. It is one of five within Utah alone but gives a different look at the red rock formations unique to this area.

Camping in the park, or close to it, helps make accessing the park more convenient, especially in the peak season. It also allows you to experience the park more personally instead of dividing up your time. 

Camping is also one of the more economical choices to experience the area.

Read More :

Campgrounds in Bryce Canyon National Park

North Campground

  • Type : Tent / RV
  • Open : Year-Round
  • Cost : $20 to $30 per night
  • Reservation : No

The North Campground is one of the biggest campgrounds in the entire area. It has 99 sites spaced out between four loops: A, B, C, D. The first two loops are meant for RV campers and the second two are for tent campers. There are no electric, sewer, water, hookups, and power generators are prohibited.

The North Campground makes accessing many of the famous points in the park very easy. It is near to the Fairyland Loop Trail and the Rim Trail. You can also quickly scoot over to the Visitor Center and the General Store from the campground.

All of the sites in this campground are first-come, first-served. There is very little cell phone reception here and no internet connection. The trash and recycling collection is continued year-round, although the rest of the services are only seasonal.

Facilities include coin-operated showers, laundry, and flush toilets. This campground is approximately 8,900 feet above sea level and can get colder than most visitors expect.

Sunset Campground

  • Type : Tent / RV
  • Open : Mid-April to November
  • Cost : $20 to $30 per night
  • Reservation : Sometimes

The second campground offered by Bryce Canyon National Park is called Sunset Campground. It is named mostly due to its central location in the park, and is located directly west of Sunset Point. It is about 1.5 miles south of the Visitor Center as well. It has a shuttle stop at the entrance for increased accessibility.

Sunset Campground is slightly bigger than North Campground, having one more site than the other. The 100 sites are spread throughout three loops: A, B, and C. The first one is for RV campers, and the second is for tent campers. Be aware that there are no sewer, electrical, or water hook-ups available.

During the open season, there are laundry facilities available, toilets, and a dump station. Trash and recycling are offered as well. You will be unlikely to get any cell phone reception or internet at this campground.

Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground

  • Type : Tent / RV / Cabin
  • Open : March through October
  • Cost : Varies
  • Reservation : Yes

Ruby’s Inn Campground is convenient to the Park, being only one mile away from the entrance. It offers 150 campsites, each of which has electric and water hookups and a large pull-through area for those people who drive.

Ruby’s Campground is mostly shaded, being nestled into a pine grove in front of the canyon. It is best to reserve your place in this campground as early as possible. The convenience of the hookups and facilities and its closeby location to the park make it a coveted spot.

The facilities include flush toilet restrooms, shower facilities, and to top it off, an outdoor heated pool. There are no fees required to use these facilities. If you are planning a more massive event centered around the park, Ruby’s campground can accommodate larger tents for more people and trailers as well.

Bryce Canyon Pines Campground

  • Type : Tent / RV
  • Open : End of May through October
  • Cost : Varies
  • Reservation : Yes

Bryce Canyon Pines Campground is located outside of the national park but still in Bryce Canyon. This presents a gray area for some campers who want to be in the park, but it is very convenient for people who want to be close.

The RV sites in this campground are all fully equipped. They have hookups for water, electricity, and sewer lines. Camping in a tent is still an option here. Both of these camping sites come with a fire pit and a camp table.

The amenities in the campground are difficult to pass up. They include restrooms with flush toilets, hot showers, laundry services, a swimming pool, and a hot tub. Most of the sites are shaded since the campground rests underneath a pine forest typical of those within the National Park.

Campgrounds Near Bryce Canyon National Park

King Creek Campground in Dixie National Forest

  • Type : Tent / RV
  • Open : May through September
  • Cost : $17
  • Reservation : Individually, no; Group sites, Yes

Bryce Canyon National Park isn’t the only area of interest in this portion of Utah. Located nearby is Dixie National Forest, which has several campsites to accommodate travelers and hikers in the area. King Creek Campground has 37 sites and is situated close to the Tropic Reservoir. It has boat ramps available if you want to get out on the water.

This campsite is about 9 miles west of the National Park. You can access it via a gravel road, and most of the campground has paved sidewalks to improve accessibility. This area is a favorite of ATV lovers since it has access to a significant network of trails.

All of this campground is meant for tent campers, but RVs can fit. Individual sites are ruled by a first-come, first-served ordinance, while the two group sites can be reserved online. If you want another car on your site, it costs an additional $8. Dogs are allowed in the campsite, but you need to have them on a leash or hiking harness.

The campground facilities include access to drinking water as well as flush and vault toilets. There are no showers, and all of your garbage needs to be packed out.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

  • Type : Tent / RV / Cabin
  • Open : March through November
  • Cost : Varies throughout the year
  • Reservation : Yes

Another nearby nature reserve to the National Park is the Kodachrome Basin State Park. Even though Bryce Canyon gets all of the hype in this area, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t stunning views and features elsewhere. This state park showcases 67 monolithic stone spires. They are called sedimentary pipes and show off the layers of multi-hued sandstone.

Being surrounded by these geographic wonders gives the campground a unique edge. It is not as well-known as some of the other parks in the area, so it is generally quieter. There are 54 sites to choose from, including some with full hookups for RVs, and some for campers. There is also a bunkhouse in the area for more home-style convenience.

The campground facilities include a dump station, hot showers, flush and vault toilets, potable water, and picnic tables among the sites.

Red Canyon Campground

  • Type : Tent
  • Open : March through October
  • Cost : $20
  • Reservation : No

The Red Canyon Campground is another site located in the Dixie National Forest. It is built among the ponderosa pines that line the Red Canyon. You can access it by using the Scenic Byway or UT Highway 12. This route is recommended to use anyway to take in a whole host of views.

If you enjoy hiking and mountain biking, then camping at this site gives you easy access to many different trails near the national Park. There are 37 campsites, each equipped with a fire pit and a camping grill, and a tent pad. The campground amenities include drinking water, access to flush and vault toilets, showers, a dump station, and garbage disposal.

Dogs are allowed to stay with you at this campground, but they must always be kept on a leash. You can take your RV to the campground, but there are no hookups available since it is primarily a tent site.

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

  • Type : Tent / RV
  • Open : Year-round
  • Cost : Varies seasonally
  • Reservation : Yes

Escalante is another one of the major attractions in this area of Utah. It features a petrified forest, meaning that the trees that died here are preserved as mineralized wood. It makes them hardy, and they stand up under the test of many years of harsh weather.

The campground in this State Park has 20 sites in it, although they are mixed for both RV and tent camping. Since the campground is right in the State Park and is a pretty popular area, it is exceptionally well-equipped. There are restrooms, access to drinking water, a fish cleaning station, hot showers, swimming, and more.

From this campground, they offer nature programs during the peak season. It is also very close to the 130-acre Wide Hollow Reservoir. It provides an excellent opportunity for fishing, and they have boat launches available. 

This campground is the farthest away from the National Park, being a little less than an hour’s drive.

Camping tips for Bryce Canyon National Park

  1. Bring layers. Many people think of Utah as an area of burnt red rock baking in the summer heat. While this is true during the summer months, the winters see stacks of snow and freezing temperatures. If you are camping off-season, bring plenty of camping blankets and warm camp gear.
  2. Don’t underestimate the surrounding area. Many people target the National Parks and don’t think twice about state parks or national forests. The area around Bryce Canyon is arguably just as beautiful as the park itself.
  3. Stay updated on the fire regulations. Since it is so arid, the state has stringent fire regulations implemented throughout most of the year. Know them and respect them.
  4. Bring plenty of water. Even though most campgrounds have access to drinking water, it is not always the cleanest or the tastiest. Pack plenty of water and take hydration seriously. Bring a cooler or extra water bottles with you.
  5. Download an app for the night sky. Bryce Canyon is known for some of the best night sky views in the country. Learn more about the stars and what you can see with a night sky app.
  6. Camp high during the summer months. Elevations in and around Bryce Canyon can top 9,000 feet. Camping higher during the summer months means cold nights and better sleep. Consider getting a sleeping bag if you’re afraid of cold.
  7. Respect nature and the cryptobiotic crust. Although you might not see it, much of Utah’s desert floor is covered in a cryptobiotic crust. It is an essential part of the ecosystem, a conglomerate of lichen, bacteria, algae, and fungi. It binds the topsoil together to stop it from blowing away. Stepping on this ruins the bond and leads to further erosion. Stay on the marked trails to avoid this.

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams is a writer, plant-nerd, and outdoor enthusiast. She has traveled extensively, around the U.S., throughout Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Everywhere she treks, she takes time to enjoy the outdoors. John Muir is her hero. She aspires to inspire people to live better as he did.