Bryce Canyon National Park was the fourth of the Utah Mighty Five that we visited in June/July 2023. I was not quite sure what to expect going in, other than hoodoos, hoodoos, and more hoodoos. While hoodoos are a prominent feature of Bryce Canyon, they are not all the park has to offer.
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Where to Stay
When I originally planned our trip to Utah, I booked us at Ruby’s Inn RV Park in Bryce Canyon City. This campground is extremely close to the park entrance, but also a farther drive to Zion National Park. If your only destination is Bryce Canyon, somewhere in Bryce Canyon City is a great choice for affordability and convenience. Because we needed a launchpad for both Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, I decided a few weeks before our trip to move us to a campground in Kanab, the Hitch-N-Post RV Park. Kanab is a great location if you’re looking for somewhere to stay for both parks. There are so many other fun things to do in the Kanab area, I’ll have a whole separate post on Kanab coming soon.
The Hitch-N-Post RV Park is a small campground in downtown Kanab with only a few tent sites, mostly catered to RV, trailer, and van campers. The bathrooms had two toilet stalls and one shower each, and were cleaned daily. There was also a dishwashing station and good drinking water available. Despite being located in the downtown area, this campground was very quiet at night and was in a great location.
Things to Do
There are quite a few hiking trails in Bryce Canyon, depending on your fitness level and ability.
The most popular is definitely the Rim Trail, which is 3 miles one-way between Sunrise Point and Bryce Point. There are a few places along this trail you can stop and turn around, or there are also a few shuttle stops along the trail if you are over-ambitious. We hiked from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point, and decided at this point to turn around and hike back, as it was not our first hike of the day. This was about 2 miles and 350 feet of elevation gain.
Navajo Loop, Queen’s Loop, and Peekaboo Loop: There is a series of loop trails that traverse down into the canyon. You can choose to do one, two, or all three of these loops while in the canyon, depending on what distance you prefer to hike. We hiked the Queen’s and Navajo Loops on our visit. Depending on which direction you start in, you will either hike down or up the “Wall Street” portion of the trail, which is a series switchbacks. I recommend starting here so you are hiking down the switchback portion. Once at the bottom, you’ll want to carefully follow the signs as there are several sections where the trails crossover (or, you can download the trail map with AllTrails+). Once you have completed your intended loops, it’s time to head back up the canyon to the rim. If you took Wall Street down, make sure you stop to enjoy the view along your ascent up the other side.
Once you have completed your hiking for the day, there are a variety of other things to check out in Bryce Canyon before heading out. You can take a drive along the Bryce Canyon Road, stopping at a variety of overlooks, including Rainbow and Yovimpa point. These overlooks offer spectacular views of the canyon and the surrounding mountains (on a clear day). Bryce also has a very large Visitor Center with an expansive gift shop and other educational exhibits to explore.
What to Eat
We did not eat anything in Bryce Canyon National Park, but instead opted to enjoy our favorite snacks, including:
- RedCon1 Meal Replacement Bars, Brookies, and Muffins
- Nature Valley Nut Butter Sandwich Biscuits
- Dot’s Pretzels
- Glacéau Vitamin Water
Would we do anything different on a trip to Bryce? Our day at Bryce was fantastic. We had an early start to secure parking and avoid the heat. I would like to go back one day to complete the Peekaboo Loop. I also think Bryce would be beautiful to see in the late winter/early spring, although the hiking opportunities may be limited. If you are lucky enough to secure lodging or a campsite in the park, don’t miss the opportunity to see a full sunrise and sunset over the canyon. However, one full day at Bryce is plenty of time to see and do everything this park has to offer, so you shouldn’t need lodging for more than two nights.
TL:DR / 3 Things to Know
- Don’t skip out on sun protection. Bryce is at a higher elevation (around 7500 feet), so the UV will be higher, and the Utah sun is relentless.
- Bryce is immensely popular, so you may need to have some patience waiting for parking and on the hiking trails.
- One full day is all you need to experience what Bryce has to offer. I recommend trying to stay in the park or right near the park for two nights so you can capture a Bryce sunset and sunrise, in addition to a full day of hiking.