Bryce Canyon exceeded my expectations. Just like many natural landscapes of the world, pictures did not do Bryce justice. Bryce Canyon is located in southwest Utah. This makes it convenient to visit in a day if you are staying at one of the many other national or state parks that are within a couple hours drive.
Start your day early and make it to sunrise point for you guessed it, sunrise. This viewpoint offers a beautiful, colorful vista of the canyon as the sun casts an early morning glow on the red rock hoodoos. Once you feel like you’ve seen enough, walk the flat, paved trail from sunrise to sunset point. Once you get to sunset point find the trail head for Navajo Loop and begin your decent down into the canyon. You’ll get panoramic views of the valley below and will soon see a series of switchbacks that you must head down to reach the canyon floor. These are much easier going down as they are going up.
Once you’ve reached the bottom, the landscape changes and you’ll feel like you’re in a forest mixed with hoodoos. You’ll continue on the trail, through the canyon and enter what is called the ‘silent city’, which is rows of crowded pink, orange, and brown hoodoos. You’ll continue on this trail until you see signs for Queen’s Garden Trail, connect with this trail and eventually it will ascend up out of the canyon to your starting point at sunrise point. The combined hike is about 3 miles total.
Time to eat! Jump in the car and drive to the end of the scenic road and picnic Yovimpa or Rainbow Point. Drive back the scenic road and stop off at Agua and Ponderosa Canyons, Natural Bridge, Farview Point, Paria View, Bryce Point, and Inspiration Point as they will all be on the right side of the road.
Check the Visitors Center on your way out and give yourself a pat on the back as you’ve seen, you came and you conquered!
WHERE TO STAY:
If you’re looking to stay the night, there is a campground right in Bryce National Park with showers! #JESSATRAVELTIP you can pay to use the showers even if you’re not staying at the campground. We used them after our full day at Bryce and it was worth it! 7 minutes of hot water, the best $6 we spent the whole trip!
Other Campgrounds to Check Out:
- North Campground
- Sunset Campground
- Bryce Canyon Pines Campground
- Ruby’s Inn Campgrounds
But if you’re looking for something more private and comfortable check out these accommodations:
- Best Western PLUS Ruby’s Inn– Its the best bang for your buck and has a fun gift shop and restaurant to grab dinner at after your long day of exploration and only located 1 mile away!
- Bryce Canyon Log Cabins – All cottages feature a balcony with a view. Located 15 minutes away from Bryce Canyon. Each equipped with a mini fridge, micro wave and has barbecue facilities. Prices start at $149 per cottage.
Check out more hotel options, prices, and reviews here.
WHERE TO EAT:
There are not a ton of dining options available and I love to picnic when I visit National Parks but if you want to dine in, here are a few options to check out.
Lodge at Bryce Canyon – Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menus are geared towards ‘healthy eating’ and are designed with vegetarian, low-fat, and gluten-free options based on mostly sustainable ingredients organically grown or raised. It’s also reasonably priced. This is by far the best food you’ll get around here. I did not personally stay here but the accommodations looked like something I would stay at the next time I visit.
Cowboy Buffet and Steak Room – This restaurant is located at Ruby’s Inn and is always busy. Open daily from 6:30-9 it provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. It is family style western dining offering sandwiches, steaks, and a buffet with a salad bar. The gift shop at Ruby’s is a great place to grab a souvenir or unique trinket.
Leave a comment if you think I missed something that is worth visiting!
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