BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
“Before there were humans, the Legend People lived in that place…
The Legend People in that place were bad. Because they were bad, Coyote turned them all into rocks. You can see them in that place now all turned into rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding onto others. You can see their faces, with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks.”
— INDIAN DICK, A PAIUTE ELDER (FULL ACCOUNT HERE)
Welcome to the Ultimate Bryce Canyon Trip Planning Guide
Bryce Canyon National Park is the land of the “hoodoos”, or pillars of rock, that have both inspired and reverenced people for hundreds of years. Now it’s your turn to experience this enchanting place — it’s your turn to be a part of its history.
BRYCE CANYON AT-A-GLANCE
What It’s Famous For: Pillar-like rock formations called “hoodoos”
Highest Elevation You Can Reach by Road: 9100 feet above sea level (Rainbow Point)
Established: February 25, 1928 — this is national park #17
Size: 35,835 acres — the 13th smallest national park
Crowd Levels: Moderate, with around 2.6 million visitors each year
COMMON BRYCE CANYON TRIP PLANNING QUESTIONS
Where is Bryce Canyon, and how do I get there?
Bryce Canyon is located in a remote area of Southwest Utah, about 4 hours from Salt Lake City, 4 hours from Las Vegas, and 2 hours from St. George.
I suggest flying into Las Vegas or driving along Scenic Highway 12. In this article, I share details about the best airports and roads in the area.
Is Bryce Canyon open year-round?
Bryce Canyon is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to do everything you’re hoping to do.
Learn more about the weather, hours, and common closures that may affect your trip to the park.
How many days should I spend in Bryce Canyon?
You’ll want at least one full day in Bryce Canyon.
However, if you like to hike, another half or full day will make a big difference.
See my recommendations for the amount of time to spend in the park, as well as how to split your time between multiple parks.
When is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon?
If you’ve decided you want to visit Bryce Canyon, but are unsure of the best time to go, I’ve got you covered!
When choosing the best time to visit Bryce Canyon, you’ll want to consider things like the weather, what’s open, and crowds.
Here are my suggestions if you’re hoping to:
- Beat the crowds: September
- Travel during the summer: June
- Go backpacking: July, August, or September
- Save money: April, May, or October
- Have a unique adventure: December or February
This article provides a month-by-month breakdown of what to expect in Bryce Canyon — including information on weather, closures, festivals, crowds, and which points of interest will be open.
THINGS TO DO IN BRYCE CANYON
10 Things You Can’t Miss on Your First Visit
This popular article outlines each can’t-miss spot in detail. You’ll learn about the important things you need to know about each stop, and driving directions are included.
The Best Things to Do In Bryce Canyon:
IF YOU LOVE RANGER PROGRAMS
- Geology Talk
- Full moon hikes
- The Annual Astronomy Festival
- Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing
- The annual Winter Festival
- Sleigh rides
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HIKE
- Canyon overlooks
- Horseback riding
- Rainbow Point Bus Tour
IN A WHEELCHAIR
- The Rim Trail
- The Shared-Use Trail
- Canyon overlooks
This massive list of things to do in Bryce Canyon will cover the travel needs of your entire group.
In addition to the items mentioned above, it also includes high adventure activities, things to do with a dog, biking, things to do with kids, best hikes, and more. There’s something for everyone!
The Best Easy Hikes
Looking for good beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, or wheelchair-friendly trail options? This list details the best hikes in and around Bryce Canyon.
Learn about all the places you can bring your dog in and around Bryce Canyon.
The Figure 8
This trail is absolutely EPIC — it’s the dayhike I recommend if you’re looking for a longer trail that showcases the best of the park.
BRYCE CANYON ITINERARY
Do you LOVE to have a plan while traveling?
You’ve probably been spending a lot of time and money to make your trip possible. But don’t forget about the most important part — the day-to-day details!
When you get to Bryce Canyon, will you have all the information you need to confidently navigate around the park and avoid the crowds?
This hour-by-hour itinerary will make sure you see the best of the park — no more research needed!
LODGING IN BRYCE CANYON
Where Should I Stay?
This article provides information on the gateway towns and lodging options in the area.
All About Camping
Learn all about the campgrounds in the park and how to snag a site.
GETTING AROUND THE PARK
You can drive to all viewpoint and trailhead parking areas with your own car, but be advised that there is only one parking space for every four cars that enter the park! If you’d like some help planning your day so that you can get parking without having to circle parking lots, take a look at this itinerary.
Anything over 20 feet long is considered oversized in Bryce Canyon. If you’re in a vehicle that large, you will not be able to park at the following stops:
- Visitor Center
- Sunrise Point
- Bryce Lodge
- Sunset Point
- Inspiration Point
- Bryce Point
- Paria View
If the park shuttle is not running while you are there, you may drive to those locations with your oversized vehicle (except Paria View). If you need to park at the visitor center, there is an overflow lot across the street that has space for larger vehicles.
Bryce Canyon Shuttle
The park shuttle stops at all of the major viewpoints, campgrounds, and hotels in the area. It’s a great way to get around, especially if you don’t want to deal with the crowded parking lots. Learn all about using the Bryce Canyon Shuttle here.
Planning a trip to Bryce Canyon can be overwhelming.
How do you make a solid plan if you’ve never been to the park before? How do you keep everyone in your group excited and engaged?
You can spend hours on the internet searching for things to do, but you still won’t find the insider tips and first-hand knowledge that I’ve gained from working as a park ranger.
If you’re hoping to see the best sights without getting stuck in traffic, circling parking lots, or being surrounded by people, check out this Bryce Canyon Itinerary.
You will see all of the can’t-miss spots, plus get lodging and dining guides, driving directions, and insider tips!
Thanks for using the Ultimate Bryce Canyon Trip Planning Guide
You may also be interested in one of these nearby national parks:
Disclosure: This Bryce Canyon Trip Planning Guide may contain affiliate links, which means that (at no extra cost to you) I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase. I don’t recommend anything that I don’t personally love and use myself! Thanks for your support. — Ash