Visiting Bryce Canyon in October

Visiting Bryce Canyon in October is one of our favorite times to go.

There are so many fun things to do at Bryce Canyon during the fall months.

The weather at Bryce Canyon is cooler in October making it the perfect time for exploring the great outdoors. 

And the busy season begins to wind down during the month of October so you can enjoy a more relaxing time at this amazing national park.

Use this guide with tips and resources to plan your Bryce Canyon vacation in October.

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WHAT TO PACK FOR BRYCE CANYON

Hiking Shoes & Socks

Did you know the #1 and #2 causes of injury at Bryce Canyon is bad choice of footwear. Be sure to wear hiking boots with good ankle support and ample traction. Sport-sandals & “trainers” are NOT safe hiking footwear. We use and always recommend our Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes worn with Darn Tough socks.

Hydration and Food

The #5 cause of injury at Bryce is dehydration. Drink 1 quart / liter every 1-2 hours. Always carry water with you during all hiking activities. Refill stations at Bryce Canyon: Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, Sunset Point, Sunrise Point and Bryce Canyon Lodge. We usCamelbak hydration packs or carry Hydroflask bottles in our packs. Also eat plenty of healthy snacks and food.

Remember it’s just as easy to become dehydrated in the cold as it is in the heat so carry plenty of water during the winter, and not just during the summer. 

Sun Protection

Sunburns also lead to dehydration. Wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses to protect from the sun overhead and reflected UV light.

Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin so we always carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed when we’re out exploring the trails.

Clothing

Bryce Canyon summers mean high temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting clothing that does not absorb sunlight.

During the winter, be sure to wear the right clothing to stay dry and warm.

National Parks Pass

Before you visit Bryce Canyon National Park be sure to pack your The America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

Other items we recommend you pack for visiting Bryce:

October Weather at Bryce Canyon

October weather at Utah National Parks in the fall is amazing!

At Bryce Canyon, the temperatures begin to get more chilly with the highs hovering around 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and dipping down into the high 20s at night.

The daytime temperatures in October are amazing for exploring the Bryce Canyon Hikes. We recommend layers with a fleece jacket for those colder mornings and evenings.

It usually doesn’t snow in October at Bryce Canyon, but it may rain so be prepared with waterproof hiking gear.

Services in October

The park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, even on holidays!

Be sure to check the Bryce Canyon website for the most updated information for the visitor center hours and closures in October.

In October it’s rare to have a snow storm, but if one does roll through the area, there may be temporary road closures. Road(s) will stay closed until plowing is completed and conditions are safe for visitor traffic. Check current conditions for more information.

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is open in October, but the Western Cabins close mid-month.

If you want to camp at Bryce Canyon in October, the North Campground is open year-round and it’s first-come, first-served. The Sunset Campground requires a reservation through mid-month, then it’s first-come, first-served through the end of October.

Bryce Canyon sunrise is must-do Utah experience.

Things to do at Bryce Canyon in October

If you’re looking for the best time to visit Bryce Canyon, we highly recommend October because there are so many things to do at Bryce Canyon in the fall.

Be sure to check out our complete travel guide to Bryce Canyon to help you plan the perfect vacation!

  • Check out Bryce Canyon TOURS
  • Check out Bryce Canyon DAY TRIPS
  • Ranger-Led Programs

    While visiting Bryce Canyon National Park you will want to check out some of the amazing ranger-led programs. They are all free to do, although some do require you to preregister so you will want to sign up early. 

    In October the programs include the Hoodoo Geology Talk and Rim Walk.

    On some Saturdays, you can enjoy looking at the constellations with the telescopes at the Visitor Center. 

    Scenic Drive

    The Bryce Canyon scenic drive offers views of hoodoos, arches and windows at various viewpoints and overlooks.

    We always recommend you start by driving to the end of the road at Rainbow Point then working your way back to the amphitheater. This way all the overlooks are on the right so it’s easy to pull in and out of each parking lot.

    Photography

    You’ll want to definitely be ready to photograph Bryce Canyon’s naturally carved amphitheaters with colorful hoodoos and windows.

    In October, you may find patches of fall leaves to photograph along the Bryce Canyon scenic drive.

    Be sure you pack your camera equipment for this stunning national park! 

    Some of our favorite photography spots are:

    • Rainbow and Yovimpa Points

    • Agua Canyon

    • Natural Bridge

    • Bryce Point

    • Paria View

    • Amphitheater Overlooks

    READ: where to take mesmerizing pictures at Bryce Canyon for more details on each spot and tips on how to get the perfect shot. 

    join free photography group

    Horseback Riding

    Viewing Bryce Canyon on horseback is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!  

    Luckily the guided trail rides are available until October 31st, depending on the weather. 

    The tour options include a 1.5 to 2-hour ride or a 3-hour complete tour of the canyon.

    If you bring your own, you just want to make sure that you follow the Private Stock regulations and guidelines at Bryce Canyon. 

    Horseback riding at Bryce Canyon is a thrill!

    Exploring the Visitor Center

    Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center at Bryce Canyon, especially if it’s your first time visiting the park.

    We find out the latest hiking trail conditions and talk to the ranger to see if they have any tips for us to do while visiting.

    We also find out the weather forecast and what ranger-led programs are happening during our stay.

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

    The services include:

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

    Stargazing in October

    You cannot visit Bryce Canyon National Park in October without stargazing 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.

    October is the last month you can photograph the milky way – it won’t be visible again until March!

    milky way at Bryce Canyon

    Hiking at Bryce Canyon in October

    There are so many great hikes at Bryce Canyon that you can do in October. The hikes are divided into easy, moderate, and hard depending on your hiking ability.

    IMPORTANT TIP: remember that all trails below the rim have steep climbs out of the canyon!

    When hiking at Bryce Canyon keep these tips in mind.

    • Wear actual hiking boots

    • Carry lots of water (1 liter for every 2-3 hours of hiking) per person

    • Be aware that due to park elevation, you might get a little light-headed while hiking. 

    • Stay on maintained trails and do not climb hoodoos.

    Most of Bryce Canyon’s popular hiking trails connect together so you can combine several easy hikes together to make a harder hike. 

    Some of the best fall hikes that you will want to check out are Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail, Mossy Cave, Sunset to Sunrise, Rim Trail and Bristlecone Loop.

    Day hike packing list

    Hiking gear for kids

     

    Enjoy the hoodoos up close along the Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon

    Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden Trail

    If you want to hike down into the canyon, Queen’s Garden is the easiest trail, but it’s still considered moderate difficulty due to the climb back UP!

    This trail is a down and back hike that’s a little under two miles.

    If you want to know the best Bryce Canyon hike, we recommend the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail, you won’t be disappointed.

    Mossy Cave Trail

    Mossy Cave is a short (less than a mile) hike up the side of the stream up to a mossy grotto. It is fun to see the mossy icicles when it starts freezing at night. 

    You’ll also enjoy seeing the small waterfall in the area known as Water Canyon.

    Sunset to Sunrise Trail

    Sunrise to Sunset is a one-mile paved hike along the rim, making this a great walk with kids.

    It is one of the easiest hikes you will find to see the views of the Bryce Amphitheater. This is hike is a small portion of Rim Trail. 

    Rim Trail

    On this hike, you will be able to walk the entire rim of Bryce Amphitheater. This is NOT a loop trail!

    The various trails you can take along the Rim Trail range from 1 mile all the way up to 11 miles, depending on the route you want to hike.

    You will look down into the amphitheater canyon to view the hoodoos from above as you hike this trail. 

    Bristlecone Loop Trail

    Another one-mile easy hike for the whole family is the Bristlecone Loop Trail near Rainbow Point.

    On this hike, you will walk through spruce-fir forests and take in the most incredible views. 

    Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon:

    national park packing lists

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