Visiting Bryce Canyon in April

Located in the southwestern corner of Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is home to some of the most stunning views and landscapes in the country. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your vacation to Bryce Canyon in April.

The spring season at Bryce Canyon National Park really begins in April. It’s the perfect time of year to see the unique landscape filled with orange and red formations known as hoodoos.

Bryce Canyon National Park in April

We live only a few hours away from Bryce Canyon and have visited during all four seasons. The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting the area throughout the years, and specifically for the month of April! This Bryce Canyon travel guide includes things to do, what to pack, where to stay, weather conditions and more!

Our biggest tip is to be prepared for the weather and temperatures for the time you’ll be at the park so you’re able to enjoy the outdoor activities you want to do! Use our Bryce Canyon Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in April! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

get the free Bryce Canyon National Park packing lists
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A Photo Tour of Bryce Canyon National Park

Take a visual tour through Bryce Canyon National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in April

Bryce Canyon National Park is open all year long. It is open every day of the year. April is considered the shoulder season at Bryce Canyon so the visitor numbers are much lower than summer or fall. But ALL five Utah National Parks are busy during spring break!

One drawback for a trip to Bryce Canyon in April is weather. Some days will be warm and sunny making it perfect to enjoy outdoor Bryce Canyon spring activities. Or a spring rain or snow storm can close roads and trails.

Does the Bryce Canyon Shuttle Run in April?

Beginning the first part of April the Bryce Canyon shuttle begins running every day. The free shuttle buses bring visitors to the Bryce Amphitheater area of the park. Riding the shuttle is not mandatory.

Weather at Bryce Canyon in April

The Bryce Canyon National Park weather in April can be unpredictable! Be prepared with rain and/or snow gear in case a storm rolls through so you can still enjoy the outdoor activities at the park. Always check the weather forecast so you have the right clothing for the conditions.

Due to the high elevation, the temperatures at Bryce in April are still on the cool side. The highs are usually in the mid 50s and the lows are close to 30. The mornings and evening will be cool so you’ll want a jacket. Layers are best for all-day activities. 

You might still need insulated winter clothing in April if a storm rolls through. Layers are key to enjoy the outdoor adventures at Bryce Canyon! 

spring hiking gear

Does it Snow at Bryce Canyon?

Due to the high elevation of the park, there’s a good chance you’ll experience snow at Bryce Canyon in April.

When it does snow, the park does a great job of plowing the roads as well as the parking lots near the viewpoints. 

Getting to Bryce Canyon in April

Driving to Bryce Canyon in April MAY take some advanced planning compared to driving there in the summer due to it’s remote and mountainous location.

Our biggest tip is to watch the weather forecast and consider other options and routes if snow is expected. The narrow and steep backcountry roads to get to Bryce Canyon may not be plowed right after a storm, and can be very scary in the snow!

Once you get to Bryce Canyon, the main road and major parking lots are usually plowed quickly. Check the Bryce Canyon Conditions Page for road status.

Can you Drive Through Bryce Canyon in April?

In April the shuttles are running, but you can drive your car to the various points on the Bryce Canyon scenic drive.

You can also drive and park at the various amphitheater lots. In April you shouldn’t have any problem finding a spot to park, unless it’s spring break in Utah!

Things to Do at Bryce Canyon in April

There are a ton of things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park in April. It’s a great time of year to enjoy outdoor activities at this unique National Park in Utah!

If you’re visiting Bryce Canyon National Park with kids, there are fun way to get them excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:

Bryce Canyon Visitor Center in April

We recommend you stop at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to find out the latest road conditions, hiking trail conditions and talk to the ranger to see if they have any tips for things to do while visiting.

It’s also good to ask about the weather forecast and what ranger-led programs at Bryce Canyon are happening during your stay. In April the Ranger Programs available are: Hoodoo Geology Talks and Full Moon Hike (depending on weather).

The services at the Visitor Center include:

  • Restrooms
  • Drinking Water
  • Backcountry permits
  • First Aid
  • Ranger Help Desk
  • Book Store
  • Twenty Minute Introduction Movie
  • Exhibits

If you are traveling with kids you will want to grab Junior Ranger booklets as well. 

Kids, and adults, will enjoy collecting stamps in their National Park Passport book! Passport booklets and stamp sets are “usually” available at the park visitor centers, but we recommend you get the passport book before the trip, just in case!! We’ve seen sad kiddos when a visitor center is out of passport books. Rangers can stamp a piece of paper, but it’s not just the same experience! 

Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon
Natural Bridge

Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive in April

The Bryce Canyon scenic drive offers stunning views of the unique geological formations like hoodoos, arches and windows at the various viewpoints and overlooks.

We suggest beginning your visit at Rainbow Point and then heading back towards the amphitheater. By doing this, the Bryce Canyon must-see viewpoints will be on your right, making it simple to enter and exit the parking areas.

We recommend the Bryce Canyon GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

Bryce Canyon hiking trail
Bryce Canyon hiking trail

Bryce Canyon Hiking in April

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore this National Park that encompasses over 35,000 acres of picturesque expansive views!

There are easy, moderate and strenuous Bryce Canyon spring hikes to accommodate all levels of hikers.

If a storm rolls through, you may find closed trails due to unsafe conditions. The trails in April may be muddy, snowy or icy so check with the visitor’s center for the most current trail conditions before setting out on any hike in April.

The Wall Street side of the Navajo Loop will be closed in April, but the Two Bridges side of the Navajo Loop remains open. The Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail is great for a down-and-back hiking experience.

When hiking in the spring at Bryce Canyon keep in mind:

biking path near Bryce Canyon
Biking path near Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon Biking in April

From Bryce Canyon City to Inspiration Point, this 5 mile section of road is available for biking at Bryce Canyon. The elevation gain is 746 going north to south. You can also take the park shuttle to Inspiration Point then ride back going downhill.

All viewpoints, the Lodge, Visitor Center and Shuttle Station have bike racks so you can stop at various places in the park to explore the area.

There’s also an 18-mile Shared-Use Path connecting Red Canyon with Inspiration Point. Pedestrians, leashed pets, cyclists, skaters, longboards, non-motorized scooters and wheelchairs can use this path.

You can rent bikes in Bryce Canyon City.

sunrise at Thor's Hammer
Sunrise at Thor’s Hammer

Bryce Canyon Photography in April

The best time to photograph Bryce Canyon is sunrise. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the multi-colored hoodoos that cannot be missed.

Our favorite Bryce Canyon sunrise photography spots are Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Taking pictures at sunset is best at Paria Viewpoint.

Be sure to download our camera gear checklist before arriving at the park to make sure you have everything you need. And since April mornings will still be cold, we like to use photographer gloves and keep rechargeable hand warmers in our jacket pockets!

Bryce Canyon Stargazing in April

You cannot visit Bryce Canyon National Park in April without stargazing at least one evening. As you view the night sky, you will be blown away that you can see up to 7500 stars on a moonless night!

Take advantage of seeing the night sky at one of Utah’s International Dark Sky Parks. The Milky Way is visible in April from 1:00 am to 4:45 am.

If you’ll be doing astrophotography, be sure to use a headlamp with a red light. The red light minimizes the disruption of night vision and allows you and other photographers around you to see their surroundings while preserving the sensitivity of their eyes to low-light conditions.

Bryce Canyon horseback riding
Bryce Canyon horseback riding

Bryce Canyon Tours in April

Whether you’re looking for a half-day or full-day excursion, there are plenty of Bryce Canyon National Park Tours available to fit your needs: guided hikes, horseback riding, photography, and ATV experiences!

Viewing Bryce Canyon on horseback is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Keep in mind that all guided trail rides at Bryce Canyon require good weather. April is an “iffy” time of year to count on this activity. But if your April visit allows it, we recommend checkout out these tour options: 1.5 to 2-hour ride or a 3-hour complete tour of the canyon.

Bryce Canyon Camping in April

There are two campgrounds near the Visitor Center and Amphitheater for Bryce Canyon National Park camping.

Due to the high elevation at Bryce Canyon (8,900 feet above sea level), be sure to pack for the weather conditions. The temperatures drop at night, so it’s important to be prepared.

The demands for Bryce Canyon National Park RV campsites within and near the park are high during the spring months. 

You can also find options for boondocking near Bryce Canyon, with some located just a few miles from the park entrance. These sites offer incredible views of the canyon and its surrounding landscapes, making them ideal for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.

Bryce Canyon Lodging in April

Except for camping, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is the only lodging available inside the park. You can book a sunrise or sunset lodge room, studio rooms, a guest suite, or cabin. This is one of the best places to stay for easy access and excellent views of the park. 

Here are a few more lodging options near Bryce Canyon:

Bryce Canyon maps and guides

Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps

Things To Do Near Bryce Canyon in April

Bryce Canyon Travel Planner

We’ve created some done-for-you itineraries for visiting Bryce Canyon depending on the time you have to spend at the park. Click the graphic below to get a free travel bundle that includes printable daily itineraries. Or click the links below to see detailed itineraries of the best things to do at Bryce Canyon!

Bryce Canyon Travel Bundle

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