Bryce Canyon is an enchanting national park located in one of the most picturesque areas of Utah. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get to Bryce Canyon National Park, including the best airports to fly into and the best roads to drive!
If you are flying to Bryce Canyon National Park, the closest airport is the Cedar City Regional Airport, which is about 90 miles away. If you’d rather fly into a larger international airport, then book your tickets to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City.
Driving to Bryce Canyon National Park? The best scenery is found along Highway 12 between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park. You can also drive along Highway 89 from Zion National Park or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
My name is Ash, and I’m a former park ranger. I’ve been to Bryce Canyon A LOT, and I can’t wait to help you plan your upcoming trip to this spectacular national park.
Let’s talk more about how to get to Bryce Canyon National Park, including my advice for the best airports and roads in the area!
Where is Bryce Canyon National Park Located?
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in Southwestern Utah. It is approximately 4 hours from Salt Lake City, 4 hours from Las Vegas, NV, and 2 hours from St. George, UT.
The nearest national parks to Bryce Canyon are Zion National Park (1.5 hours), Capitol Reef National Park (2 hours), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (3 hours).
The closest town to Bryce Canyon National Park that has a decent number of amenities is Panguitch, Utah.
What is the Closest Airport to Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon Airport
Ok, so technically the closest airport to Bryce Canyon National Park is the Bryce Canyon Airport, but this airport is for small charter planes and scenic flightseeing tours. You won’t be able to book a regularly scheduled flight into this airport.
Cedar City Regional Airport
The closest airport you can actually book flights to is the Cedar City Regional Airport. This airport is about 1.5 hours from the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center. It is only serviced by Delta Airlines, and the only flights going in and out of this airport are connections to the Salt Lake City International Airport.
St. George Regional Airport
The St. George Regional Airport is another option for getting close to Bryce Canyon if you don’t mind flying into a small airport. It’s located about 2.5 hours from the park. This airport is serviced by Delta, American, United, and Allegiant Airlines, and connects to bigger hubs like Salt Lake City, Denver, and Phoenix.
What is the BEST Airport for Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park?
For the majority of people coming to Bryce Canyon, it will make the most sense to fly into the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, NV, or the Salt Lake International Airport in Salt Lake City, UT.
McCarran International Airport
Flying into Las Vegas has a lot of advantages, which makes it my number one choice for flying to Bryce Canyon. You’ll have to rent a car and drive about 4 hours to get to the park from here, but there is so much to see in the area!
Besides being in Las Vegas (party!), you’ll also be perfectly situated to hit multiple national parks from this airport, making it the perfect base for your trip. A route I recommend is Vegas to Zion National Park (2.5 hrs), Zion to Bryce Canyon (1.5 hrs), Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon North Rim (3 hrs), Grand Canyon North Rim to Page, AZ (2.5 hrs), Page to Grand Canyon South Rim (2 hrs), and then the South Rim back to Vegas (4.5 hrs).
Now that’s an amazing trip!
Salt Lake International Airport
Many people fly into Salt Lake City to see Utah’s National Parks, including Bryce Canyon. It’s about the same amount of time to drive to Bryce Canyon from Salt Lake City as it is to drive from Las Vegas, so there’s not much difference there.
The drive to Bryce Canyon from Salt Lake City is a little less exciting (and you don’t hit as many points of interest along the way), but hey, it works! You can easily see all of the Utah’s national parks by flying in and out of Salt Lake…many people also add on parks like Grand Teton and Yellowstone from there as well.
A sample route to the Utah National Parks from the Salt Lake Airport would be Salt Lake to Arches/Canyonlands National Parks (4 hrs), Arches to Capitol Reef National Park (2.5 hrs), Capitol Reef to Bryce Canyon National Park (3 hrs), Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park (1.5 hrs), and then Zion to Salt Lake (4.5 hrs).
You could also complete this loop from Las Vegas. It makes more sense to fly into Vegas if you also want to add in the Grand Canyon.
Traffic and crowding in Bryce Canyon can be terrible.
Did you know that there is only one parking space for every four cars that enter the park?
Are you hoping to see the best sights without getting stuck in traffic, circling parking lots, or being surrounded by people?
Stay ahead of the crowds with 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!
The Best Roads to Bryce Canyon National Park
If you’re driving to Bryce Canyon, you’ll encounter some fabulous scenery through Utah’s vast wilderness areas! Here are some things you can expect on the roads that lead to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Scenic Highway 12 (Torrey to Bryce Canyon)
Highway 12 between Capitol Reef National Park (Torrey) and Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most scenic highways in Utah and shouldn’t be missed! Some amazing points of interest along the way are (listed from east to west):
- Capitol Reef National Park – this park is like a mix of Arches NP and Zion NP. It’s spectacular!
- Boulder Mountain – you’ll find a lot of great fishing in this area.
- Anasazi State Park Museum – see the ruins of an ancient Native American village.
- The Hogsback – the cliffs drop 600 feet on BOTH sides of the road through this area shortly after passing the town of Boulder.
- Calf Creek Falls – hike to this gorgeous colorful waterfall.
- Escalante Petrified Forest State Park – see the petrified wood and canoe or fish on Wide Hollow Reservoir.
- Kodachrome Basin State Park – hike and camp in this colorful state park.
Can I drive this road in an RV? If you’re driving Highway 12 from Torrey to Bryce Canyon with an RV, be aware that it is mostly a 2-lane highway with some steep drop-offs. The road fluctuates between 5,200 and 9,600 feet above sea level. If you’re not used to the steep grades or curves that are characteristic of mountain roads, you may want to consider another route. That being said, people drive RVs through here all the time. The lanes are standard-width, you’ll just need to keep your eyes on the road (especially through the Hogsback)!
Highway 12 from Bryce Canyon to Panguitch is mild. You’ll pass by the beautiful Red Canyon area, and there are a few exciting tunnels carved into the red rocks (height 13’6” for you RVers…buses and RVs drive through here all the time).
Highway 89 (Zion to Bryce Canyon)
Highway 89 is the road you’ll drive if you’re traveling to Bryce Canyon from Zion National Park. It’s just a regular ol’ road, good for all types of vehicles.
If you’re traveling from Zion to Bryce Canyon in an RV, be sure to check the tunnel restrictions and get a permit for the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (Hwy 9) or you won’t be able to get to Highway 89 from Zion.
Highway 22/Johns Lake Road (Antimony to Bryce Canyon)
This road is paved and fine for travel in any vehicle. It’s not the most scenic or direct route to Bryce Canyon, so you likely won’t have to drive this road at all, but it’s a good alternative if you don’t want to drive Highway 12 from Torrey.
Highway 14 (Cedar City to Bryce Canyon)
Highway 14 is the most direct route from Cedar City to Bryce Canyon. It’s a mountain road that goes up to almost 10,000 feet above sea level. You’ll get beautiful views, but that also includes steep grades and curves. If you have time, take a short detour off this route and visit Cedar Breaks National Monument!
If you’re in an RV, you’d be better off driving north on I-15 and taking Highway 20 east to Bryce Canyon. This road is difficult to drive in a large vehicle.
Highway 20 (Beaver to Bryce Canyon)
If you’re coming to Bryce Canyon from Salt Lake City, you’ll likely take Interstate 15 south to Beaver and then turn off onto Highway 20 and cut over to Panguitch. This route involves some mountain-climbing, but it’s a manageable road in any vehicle, including RVs.
This information should help you get to Bryce Canyon fast — there are so many fun adventures waiting for you in this magical national park!
Click NEXT to see the 10 things you absolutely can’t miss on your first visit.