Bryce Canyon National Park

Explore Bryce Canyon National Park

Hike the Hoodoos of the eroding Paunsaugunt Plateau which Bryce Canyon National Park is built upon. The crimson rock spires of America’s most unique National Park will not disappoint. These striking forces of nature are both beautiful and educational so be sure to plan for time in the Visitors Center before you wander in awe among the hoodoos.

Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon National Park

How Many Days Do I Need At Bryce Canyon National Park?

I think this really depends on what you plan to accomplish while visiting the park. We spent four nights and three whole days in Bryce Canyon National Park; we hiked 3 major trails, explored every viewpoint, and enjoyed our downtime in the park as well.

You could easily see the whole park in two days if you planned on a morning and afternoon hike/sightseeing combination. If you’re looking to complete one solid hike and check out the viewpoints, one day is all you would need. If you’re only going to hike one trail at Bryce, I suggest the Queens/Navajo Combination Loop.

Where Should I Stay Near Bryce Canyon?

There are two campgrounds right after the entrance to the park; North campground, with walk-up sites, and Sunset campground, for group sites. North Campground has a few different loops and we were lucky enough to grab a site on very edge of the last loop. Surrounded by Manzanita, it was quiet, quaint, and beautiful at sunset. I suggest a mesh top tent for the most unbelievable stargazing; count shooting stars instead of sheep during your stay at Bryce Canyon if you’re sleeping outside!

If you’re looking for a more luxurious stay, check out the Historic Lodge at Bryce Canyon. The architecture is flawless and the lodge provides a variety of different accommodation options. Its close proximity to the Lodge Restaurant and the delicious Valhalla Pizzeria is an added bonus. Additionally, you can find one-of-a-kind souvenirs inside the gift shop at the main entrance of the lodge; the gifts here are much different than the Visitor Center! If the lodge is booked up or simply not in your price range, just outside the park entrance there are a number of hotels (and teepees!) to choose from as well. Whether you are staying at the lodge or not, I would pay the historic building a visit for lunch, a shopping trip, or to simply walk around!

What Should I Hike at Bryce Canyon National Park?

There are so many amazing viewpoints along the 18-mile scenic drive and a number of trailheads. Most of the trailheads descend down into the ‘canyon’ below and provide a really amazing perspective of Bryce! I highly suggest gearing up and taking on the challenge of Hiking the Hoodoos as well.

Totally Stoked upon our Arrival to Bryce!

What is the Hike the Hoodoos Challenge At Bryce Canyon?

The Hike the Hoodoos Challenge was developed as a fun way to get park visitors out and exploring multiple trails in Bryce Canyon. This hiking challenge is a bit of a scavenger hunt as well!

To earn your prize (a sticker for us!) visitors must hike at least 3 miles on specially-marked trails and find “Hike the Hoodoos” benchmark survey markers along the way. You can either take a photo with the benchmark or snag a rubbing of the benchmark to prove you’ve hiked the trail.

Although you’re only requires to hike three miles for the challenge, there are nine “Hike the Hoodoos!” benchmarks located along eight different hiking trails in the park. Some visitors, like ourselves, are opting to visit all nine benchmarks for their challenge. This means they’ve hiked a total of 18.4 miles. Quite an accomplishment!

TRAIL: Bristlecone

DIFFICULTY: Very Easy

DESCRIPTION: This short one-mile loop will bring you through Blue Spruce, Douglas-fir, and White Fir, providing a great ecological tour with beautiful views.

TRAIL: Rim Trail

DIFFICULTY: Easy  

DESCRIPTION: 0.5 to 5.5 miles one way. A popular trail above Bryce Canyon that spans the rim of the amphitheater and connects all the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point with less than 200 feet of elevation gain. You can access many of these viewpoints after parking in a lot and completing a short jaunt to the overlook.

Bryce Point, a viewpoint along the Bryce Canyon Rim Trail

TRAIL: Queen’s/Navajo Combination Loop

DIFFICULTY: Moderate

DESCRIPTION: This is a combination of two loops among the hoodoos! At about 2.9 miles and 600 feet of steep elevation gain, this hike can definitely have its tough moments. Hiking through the HooDoos is a real treat; between Thor’s Hammer and Wall Street, you will often find yourself in awe. Don’t forget to take the ‘Hike the Hoodoos’ Challenge and snap a photo with each marker to earn yourself a special surprise upon sharing your photos at the visitor center!

GREGORY PACKS AND BUCKET HATS AMONGST HOODOOS

TRAIL: Fairyland Loop

DIFFICULTY: Strenuous

DESCRIPTION: This loop can be accessed from outside of Bryce Canyon National Park at Fairyland Point or inside the park just north of sunset point. See the Chinese wall, tower bridge, and a number of spectacular hoodoos on this significantly less crowded trail. Be sure to bring your water in the summer months! There is a lot of ascending and descending once you make your way into the canyon. Be aware,  parking at Fairyland Loop can be very limited! Start your hike early.

Fairlyland Loop Hike at Bryce Canyon National Park

TRAIL: Riggs Springs Trail

DIFFICULTY: Strenuous

DESCRIPTION: This trailhead begins at Yovimpa Point/Rainbow Point and travels through spruce, fir and bristlecone forests. Red cliff breaks and Quaking Aspen groves are scattered along the eastern side of the trail, allowing for beautiful vistas. There are a few washes where it might be easy to lose this eight and a half mile backcountry trail. Don’t expect to see very many people; we only saw one overnight camper on the whole trail. We started our trip at sunrise which provided truly stunning skies and perfect temperatures!

Riggs Spring Trail at the very end of the 18-mile scenic road in Bryce Canyon National Park

TRAIL: Under the Rim Trail

DIFFICULTY: Strenuous

DESCRIPTION: A 22.5 mile, point-to-point trail located ‘under the rim’ of Bryce Canyon National Park. It runs from Rainbow Point to Bryce Point. This adventure could be broken up into sections, or completed as an overnight hike if you obtain a permit; utilizing the shuttle system is the best way to get to your starting point. Please be smart out there!

Hiking Under the Rim at Bryce is Gorgeous!

What Views Can’t I Miss at Bryce Canyon National Park?

Like many National Parks, there are a lot of drive-up viewpoints that you truly should not miss!

  • RAINBOW POINT: Make a point to drive to the very end of the road for sunrise and enjoy the way the Hoodoos dance alive in the morning light among a sea of spruce and fir. The color chan
  • NATURAL BRIDGE: Although this landform is inaptly named, it still is a beautiful sight to see. Bridges are formed by the steady erosion of streams or rivers while arches are largely attributed to weather erosion; Natural Bridge is actually one of Bryce’s several natural arches which have been created through frost wedging, dissolution, and gravity. I love it because it reminds me of a sandcastle!
  • BRYCE POINT: Known as the most scenic vistas of the full amphitheater, this overlook will have you in true awe of these fire spires. Stop by in early morning to watch the tops of the hoodoos set alight as if by fire from the first rays of the rising sun for one of the most glorious sunrises you might ever experience.

Why Should I Visit Bryce Canyon?

  • Incredibly Unique Landscape
    The amphitheater is so neat! It’s awesome to learn the science behind the landscape as well.
  • Something for Everyone!
    Between the many view points, calm hikes around the rim, and strenuous hikes down into the canyon, there is truly something for every kind of explorer.
  • Serious Stargazing
    Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its wonderful stargazing opportunities.
  • Welcoming Summer Temperatures
    Due to the elevation, temperatures on the plateau are a tad more doable than some of the other recreation areas in Utah. I for one, really appreciated this in the summer heat.

Bryce been one of my favorite National Parks thus far! We scored an awesome campground and found ourselves among the hoodoos without very many hiking companions. Between the general store ($8 showers! yay!) and Valhalla Pizza we were well fed and fairly clean; enjoying s, pizza, soda, fresh fruit was a real treat after eating dehydrated meals for almost a week prior. Be sure to plan ahead and try to arrive on an off day to secure a ‘walk-up’ campsite if you’re unable to reserve one in advance. Have so much fun and as always, Leave No Trace!

Published by expeditioneducation

Hi there, I'm Kati! I'm an outdoor recreation loving public school teacher who plans epic adventures on her school breaks. If you like to explore and experience beautiful new places on a budget, then let me help you plan your next trip!

14 thoughts on “Bryce Canyon National Park

  1. Alexithymia_Shubhi – Note: Because of some WordPress Support issue, some parts of the site presentation is not controlled by me and is unchangable. I believe: “Things are destined to happen. People are destined to meet. Meanwhile, fate cannot stop playing its role.” I write articles based on common people lives. I use simple words because I don’t want my readers to open the dictionary every now and then. The Blogs represented here falls under the categories of own experiences or the experiences of other’s life, fictional stories, poetry, thoughts, art and business ideas along with the plan. I have also covered up the guidelines for becoming a Blogger and monetization(ways of earning) through it. Once in a while, I am a Trainer and developer. Guitar and Photography are my hobbies. I create Sketching/Drawing as a mental therapy and expressing thoughts/reality. I am a passionate writer to express my thoughts through my observance. Languages known : English, German, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada. Experience: -I have worked as a content writer for others. -Computer Trainer -Online Language Teacher -Script Writer Career: I appreciate job offers related to writing in any of these niches: Travel, Technology, Programming, Psychology, Lifestyle, Mental/Physical wellness, Business. In case you need any help regarding blogging, you can always contact me. For queries and messages and social media page, click here Contact Us. If you like my blog post then do not forget to click on the Follow/Subscribe button for future updates. Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂 See you again !!! If you ever find hatred comment by me on any posts, it is edited by the owner of that blog. I leave positive comments on all articles. 🙂 For more information, please read: Suprised with the WordPress Feature
    Alexithymia_Shubhi says:

    This is amazing. Bryce points are so awesome. Loved the pics. Moreover, I like the idea of the historic lodge. I would like to go to this place 😀

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      It’s a beautiful park! I would highly suggest it.

  2. This looks like such a great place to visit. It’s been a long time since I did any camping, maybe it’s because I am so scared something might happen lol”thanks to movies I watch”. I should reconsider doing it again.

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      definitely reconsider! I am constantly camping and LOVE every second of it.

  3. I’m a traveler so reading this post is so cool. It looks like the kind of place I’d visit. Maybe in the next future. Thanks for inspired me 🙂 – Paolo

  4. I hadn’t heard about this particular park before! It looks like a great set of hiking trails throughout this area. I am not much of a camper but I wouldn’t mind checking out one of the easier trails! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Mr. Straight and Narrow – If anyone was to tell me what my life would look like at this age, I would have run away screaming. Well maybe laughing. OK, possibly in stunned silence. Has anyone run away in stunned silence before? I wonder what that would look like. But I digress. So who am I? I am a middle aged white guy who isn't balding. Wait . . . that describes half the white guy population? Hmmm. . . . In truth I am just a guy trying to make his way on the planet just like everyone else. And ultimately share some of life’s adventures with people. Because somehow an adventure doesn’t feel like it happened unless someone else knows. Be honest, we’ve all asked the question if a tree falls in the forest and doesn’t make a sound, does it really fall. Because it’s at that moment of impact that the tree falling has meaning. And so does life. As we impact those around use is when our life takes shape. I won’t always do it perfectly. But to be perfectly imperfect and be vulnerable is the key. And so here I am, sharing life’s adventures and those rules along with you. There is a path out there for all of us. We just have to find out. And hopefully my sharing my path helps you with yours.
    toastycritic says:

    This just reminds me I need to get back to Bryce Canyon. I haven’t been there in years but I remember how beautiful it was. So many great pictures here.

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      may!? I need to go back.

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