Bryce Canyon National Park is an incredibly unique park in the US because it’s home to a large concentration of colorful hoodoos (the stone pillars). The park itself is relatively small so you can see a lot in one day, but there’s enough to do if you want to explore for 2-3 days too!
We wrote about more to do at the bottom, but these are the highlights of the park.
UPDATE: Bryce is currently open, but is opening up the park in phases to ensure visitor safety. The day hikes and viewpoints are open, but the backcountry and campgrounds are closed. See public health updates here.
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Last Updated: May 22, 2020
15 Amazing Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park
1. The Scenic Drive
You can take in a lot of the beautiful scenery of the park via the scenic drive. It takes a minimum of 3 hours to drive to the 13 viewpoints and back.
2. Visit Bryce Point
Get up early and catch sunrise at Bryce Point. The morning light catches the hoodoos and gives it a beautiful orange glow. It’s a short walk to the viewpoint and is one of the highest overlooks along the rim.
3. Get Inspired at Inspiration Point
Follow a short trail to upper Inspiration point to get panoramic views of the amphitheater.
Pro Tip: Photography here is best at dawn and dusk.
5. Sunrise Point
This is just a 10-15 min walk from Sunset Point. Here you can see Boat Mesa and Sinking Ship against the backdrop of the Pink Cliffs and Aquarius Plateau. Bryce, Inspiration, Sunrise, and Sunset are the park’s main attractions and also the busiest spots.
This moderate 3-mile hike begins at Sunset Point and takes you down into the amphitheater. The views are completely different down here. You’ll get a chance to see large Douglas-fir trees, stand right next to the hoodoos, and see the gorge called Wall Street.
9. Views from Agua Canyon
This is one of the best views in the park. You see three layers of beauty, hoodoos in the front, Pink Cliffs behind them, and the Navajo Mountain on the horizon.
10. Stop at Rainbow Point + Yovimpa Point
The final stop through Bryce Canyon is Rainbow Point. You get panoramic views of Southern Utah. Yovimpa Point is just a minute walk from Rainbow Point.
11. Queens Garden Trail
2.6 mi, 623 ft elevation, moderate
This is considered the easiest trail that goes into the canyon where you can get closer to the hoodoos. Many people like to combine the Navajo Loop Trail with this trail, making this a 2.6 mile loop.
12. Hike the Peek-a-Boo Trail
5.2 mi, 1453 ft elevation, moderate
The Peek-a-Boo Loop is 3 miles in itself but can only be accessed through other trails. The shortest hike you can take starts from Bryce Point making it a 5-mile hike that takes you to the Wall of Windows, the Cathedral, and the Three Wise Men formations. If you’re already hiking the Navajo Loop Trail, you can add the Peek-A-Boo Loop to get an 8.6-mile trek.
13. Under the Rim Trail
22.4 mi, 4366 ft elevation, difficult
If you want to go backpacking, Under the Rim Trail is the longest trail in the park. You can get an intimate look of Bryce with this one-way 23-mile hike over two days. It’s the best way to see everything from Bryce Point to Rainbow Point.
Pro Tip: You will have to get a backcountry permit and arrange a ride at the end since it’s a point to point hike.
14. Join a Night Hike with Their Ranger Program
Check the visitor center for the most up-to-date information. They offer ranger programs like Astronomy and Full Moon hikes where they give a short presentation. You get a closer look through telescopes. Don’t forget to check out the other ranger-guided activities.
15. Guided Trail Rides
From April 1st through Oct 31st, you can ride into the canyon on a horse. This activity is weather dependent.
Bryce Canyon Map
In the winter, you can get a unique experience of the park by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or sledding.
In case you are there to explore even more, here’s a list of the other viewpoints and hikes. Several of the viewpoints are connected to each other, where you just get a slightly different perspective of the same view. If you’re strapped for time, it’s not necessary to visit them all.
Other Viewpoints in Bryce Canyon
- Paria View
- Swamp Canyon
- Piracy Point
- Farview Point
- Ponderosa Canyon
- Black Birch Canyon
Best Photography Spots at Bryce
- Inspiration Point (sunrise + sunset)
- Bryce Point (sunrise)
- Sunrise Point (sunrise + sunset)
- Sunset Point (sunrise)
- Natural Bridge (mid-morning)
- Agua Canyon (late morning)
- Thor’s Hammer (sunrise, after sunset)
- Rim Trail
- Paria View (sunset)
More Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
- Mossy Cave (0.8 Mile, easy)
- Rim Trail (11 Miles, easy)
- Bristlecone Loop (1 Mile, easy)
- Tower Bridge (3 Miles, moderate)
- Hat Shop (4 Miles, moderate)
- Swamp Canyon (4.3 Miles, moderate)
- Fairyland Loop (8 miles, strenuous)
- Riggs Spring Loop (8.5 miles, strenuous)
Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
4.5 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 12 & Hwy 63
Spring Hours (April): 8 AM-6 PM
Summer Hours (May-Sept): 8 AM-8 PM
Fall Hours (Oct): 8 AM-6 PM
Winter Hours (Nov-Mar): 8 AM-4:30 PM
We always recommend you visit the Visitor Center first to get the most up to date info from park rangers. They always have great insight into what’s currently going on in the park.
$35 per vehicle ($30 for motorcycles)
$20 per person if entering by foot, or bicycle
Admission is for seven days and includes unlimited use of the Shuttle
$40 Bryce Canyon National Park Annual Pass
$80 Annual Pass to National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands (we have this!)
There are two campgrounds near the Visitor Center that have restrooms with flush toilets and drinking water. Daily rates start at $15. During the summer, there are coin-operated laundry and shower facilities. There are no hook-ups, but there is a dump station for RV users at the North Campground.
Best Places to Stay
All accommodations listed have Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and has at least 4 stars.
- The Lodge at Bryce Canyon (luxury) – It’s more a lodge / cabin than a luxury hotel or resort. You’re mainly paying a premium for the location inside the park.
- Canyon Country Lodge, Escalante (mid-range) – 50.6 mi, 1 h away, map
- Canyons Boutique Hotel, Kanab (mid-range) – 77 mi 1 h 25 min away, map
- Mountain View Lodge, Parowan (budget) – 73.5 mi away, 1 h 20 mins away, map
- Search Airbnbs near Bryce Canyon National Park
Visiting other parks in Utah? Check out the best Utah National Parks road trip that lets you see all of the Mighty 5.
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (19 mi east / 25 min)
- Zion National Park (72 mi southwest / 1 hr 18 min)
- Capitol Reef National Park (112 mi northeast / 2 hr 5 min)
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area / Lake Powell (150 mi / 2 hrs 30 min)
- Page, AZ (151 mi southeast / 2 hrs 35 min)
Where else have you seen hoodoos? Can you think of any other things to do in Bryce Canyon that can’t be missed?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.