Here are some quick facts about Bryce Canyon National Park.
- Established : February 25, 1928
- Land Size : 35,827 acres
- Annual Visitors : 2.6 million
- State : Utah
- Entrance Fees : $35 per car per person
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Where is Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon National Park is in Utah in the SouthWest of America. There are no large cities nearby, but quite a few small towns. The closest of these is Tropic, at 14 miles from the park’s entrance.
Other towns within a fifty-mile radius include Panguitch, Hatch, Panguitch Lake, and Escalante. The largest city is Cedar City, which is 81 miles away, or about an hour and a half worth of driving.
What is Bryce Canyon National Park famous for?
Bryce Canyon National Park was initially established to preserve its unusual scenic beauty and scientific interest. It was originally a monument before National Park was well established. It later transferred to the National Park Service, and it became Utah National Park.
This National Park is famous for Bryce Canyon, its namesake. The canyon is filled with geographical interest. Pillars form and become what are called hoodoos. These are now all over the Park. Walking along the rim of the Canyon is the most popular area of the park to take in all of these geographic wonders.
What is the best month to visit Bryce Canyon National Park?
The best month to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is July, since it is the year’s warmest month.
Typically, in other National Parks in Utah, you want to avoid the summer months since they get incredibly hot. Since Bryce is higher in elevation than the rest of these, it makes it cooler on average, especially at night.
Visiting Bryce in the months from May to September is good for capitalizing on the most hikes and sports in the area. During these months, most of the park should be free of snow and won’t receive much rain.
What to do in Bryce Canyon National Park?
How many days do I need in Bryce Canyon National Park?
There are quite a few different activities that you can engage in throughout Bryce Canyon. However, the surrounding area right around it also offers quite a few unique experiences.
Depending on how much time you have, there are different styles of trips you can take.
Two days (short trip)
Most of Bryce’s iconic parts can be seen with a drive around the park and short stops at the overlooks. However, taking two days allows you to get up close and personal with the park. Take the time on the first day to hike around the Rim Trail and soak up all the stunning vistas you can.
On the second day, if you want more hiking, go to the Peek-a-boo loop and get closer to the hoodoos. If you do not want to hike, go on a guided horseback trail ride or an ATV ride.
Seven days (long trip)
Spending 7 days in the National Park and the surrounding area allows you to soak up more than only the hoodoos. Break up your trip with a couple of days spent in Bryce and then visit Dixie National Forest.
Explore out a little farther at Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.
How to get to Bryce Canyon National Park?
- McCarran International Airport (LAS) is in Nevada’s southernmost corner and primarily serves the metropolitan area of Las Vegas. It has multiple airlines that fly in from around the country. From this airport, you can rent a car and drive to the National Park. It takes about four hours to get there.
- Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is in the capital of Utah, serving the area of Salt Lake City. It lies in the northern half of Utah and takes the same amount of time, about four hours.
- Interstate 15 is an interstate that runs primarily North to South. It connects some of the major cities of the West, including Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. If you come from either one of these two cities, it is easiest to get onto Interstate 15 and use it to get all the way to Dixie national forest. From here, there multiple options you can take to turn further into Utah and get to Bryce.
- Highway 12 is known as one of Utah’s All American Roads. It cuts across the majority of the U.S. and provides a scenic byway in some areas. The unique views you get on this road are enough to justify the trip before you even arrive in the National Park.
- Highway 63 is the road to use to travel in and out of Bryce Canyon City and the National Park. It takes you through southern Utah and straight through the center of Park. From this Highway, you gain access to most of the scenic overlooks and popular trailheads throughout the Park.
There is not currently any public transportation that can get you to Bryce Canyon. It is best to get a rental car if you decide to fly close to the park rather than drive there.
The other option you can consider is investing in a tour of the area. Some of these tours start from larger cities like Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. They take you to a variety of National Parks and structure much of the trip for you.
What to see in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Sunset Point is an excellent way to finish off a day of hiking in the park. It can be a bit of a hike if you want to choose another one of the outlooks. However, you can also drive up to the spot and take a short walk to reach the point. As the sun goes down, you get to see the other angle of the amphitheater being lit up by the dying rays of sun on a busy but enjoyable day.
Start an exciting vacation off in Bryce Canyon by getting up bright and early. We promise it is worth it in the end. Sunrise Point offers a stunning vista of the famed hoodoos as the sun lights up the red rock crags to see a new day. It is highly accessible, but you won’t be the only person going towards the light during the peak season.
The Rim Trail
The Rim Trail is the most popular trail in the park. It runs right around the rim of the iconic Bryce Canyon Amphitheater. Along this moderate route, you will take in the amphitheater from almost every angle possible, or at least those that are easy enough to get to.
Looking down on everything from above only gives you half an idea of what it is really like. Wall Street is a hike in Bryce Canyon that takes you into some of the slot canyons that are popular in the area. Get to this part of the trail by starting from either the Navajo Loop at Sunset Point or the Queen’s Garden trailhead.
One of the most interesting parts of this hike is the trees that have made their home in the canyon. They have grown straight up, tall and towering to get to as much light as possible near to the top of the canyon walls.
Bryce Canyon is one of the top ten national parks in the country for stargazing. At any time of the year, you can look up in the dark of night to see more than 7,500 stars that make up the Milky Way.
Go on a midnight hike to see the sky framed by arches between the hoodoos. During June, the National Park staff often put on astronomy events. If you can’t catch one of these, download an app on your phone that helps you identify formations during a starry night.
Keep an eye out as you hike since the red rock pillars are not the only things to notice. The bristlecone pines in this region have grown strong for many years. Some of them are ancient, having grown there for 1,800 years.
The quintessential picture in the park is that of the hoodoo Thor’s Hammer. To get to the view of Thor’s Hammer that is commonly photographed, start from Sunset Point. Walk down to the Two Bridges, another view worth seeing.
Just past this point, you will get to the view of Thor’s Hammer.
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.