Visiting Bryce Canyon in the Fall

As the summer crowds thin out and temperatures cool down, you can enjoy stunning views at Bryce Canyon in the fall without having to deal with the heat or huge numbers of tourists.

This Bryce Canyon travel guide has everything you need to know to plan your fall vacation: weather, what to pack, where to stay, and things to do!

Bryce Canyon in the fall

The weather at Bryce Canyon is cooler in the fall, and there are fewer people taking vacations this time of year, making it the perfect time for exploring the great outdoors. 

During the fall season, you can enjoy hiking, backpacking, scenic drives, horseback riding, and landscape photography!

Use our done-for-you Bryce Canyon itineraries to plan the perfect fall vacation:

Bryce Canyon Travel Bundle
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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 in the Fall

Due to the high elevation, the weather at Bryce Canyon in the fall is cooler, and there are fewer people taking vacations this time of year, making it the perfect time for visiting this park.

Here’s what you can expect when you plan a fall trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon Services in the Fall

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 the fall.

In the fall, the Lodge at Bryce Canyon and Western Cabins begin to close for the season. The North Campground is open year-round and it’s first-come, first-served. The Sunset Campground requires a reservation and is closed November through March.

Fall Weather at Bryce Canyon

The Bryce Canyon National Park weather begins to really cool down:

Always check the Bryce Canyon weather forecast, wear layers and pack a fleece jacket during the fall months!

Is Fall a Good Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park?

The fall months are a terrific time of year for visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. But it’s considered the busy season so be prepared for crowds.

Check out our list of best times to visit Bryce Canyon with information about what to expect during each season and every month of the year to decide if fall is the best time for you to go to Bryce Canyon.

Does the Bryce Canyon Shuttle Run in the Fall?

Yes, the Bryce Canyon shuttle runs every day in the fall until the end of October. Check the Bryce Canyon shuttle schedule for exact times of operation in September – toward the end of the month the times of operation change.

It’s not mandatory to ride the shuttle to access the park. Here are quick facts about the Bryce Canyon shuttle:

  • The shuttle is free with park admission: Your park entrance receipt or annual pass allows you and the occupants of your vehicle unlimited shuttle access.
  • Buses typically arrive at each stop every 15 minutes
  • The best place to board the shuttle is before you enter the park, at the Shuttle Station in Bryce Canyon City (Stop 1), or at the Visitor Center (Stop 6).
  • The best place to park your car is at the Shuttle Station in Bryce Canyon City or the Additional Parking lot across from the Visitor Center.
  • All buses are wheelchair accessible and can accomodate 2 bicycles on a front rack.
  • Pets are not permitted on the shuttle.

Things to Do at Bryce Canyon in the Fall

Check out this list of Bryce Canyon National Park fall activities:

Bryce Canyon Ranger-Led Programs in the Fall

Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center at Bryce Canyon. In fact, each time we go this is the first thing we do! We pick up our hiking directions 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 Bryce Canyon ranger-led programs are happening during our stay. They are all free to do, although some do require you to preregister so you will want to sign up early. 

During the fall you can experience Geology Talks or the Rim Rock Daily. On some Saturdays, you can enjoy looking at the constellations with the telescopes at the Visitor Center. 

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

Natural Bridge at Byrce Canyon National Park
Natural Bridge along the scenic drive

Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive in the Fall

Definitely add the Bryce Canyon scenic drive to your must-do list of activities to do when visiting in the fall. It’s the best way to see all the park’s points of interest at each overlook you’ll see different views of hoodoos, arches and windows.

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

Check out 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. It’s a great way to have a tour guide in your car as you drive!

Iconic Thor's Hammer at Bryce Canyon National Park.
Iconic Thor’s Hammer

Fall Photography at Bryce Canyon

Photography at Bryce Canyon is epic. As you visit. look at the amazing carved natural amphitheaters that showcase colorful formations and windows you can’t help but be amazed.

Some of our favorite Bryce Canyon Views and Photo Spots:

  • Rainbow and Yovimpa Points
  • Agua Canyon
  • Natural Bridge
  • Bryce Point
  • Paria View
  • Amphitheater Overlooks

Use our Bryce Canyon Photography Guide with tips and best times to take pictures at each viewpoint!

Stargazing at Bryce Canyon in the Fall

You cannot visit Bryce Canyon National Park in the fall 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.

The Milky Way is visible in September from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm and in October from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Use a headlamp with a red light to navigate through the dark and not disturb other photographers.

Check out all the astronomy and night sky programs available at Bryce Canyon.

Horseback riding at Bryce Canyon is a thrill!
Horseback riding at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park Tours in the Fall

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

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

Fall Hikes at Bryce Canyon

There are so many great Bryce Canyon National Park fall hikes. The hiking trails are divided into easy, moderate, and hard depending on your hiking ability.

Regardless of your ability, you want to remember that all trails below the rim have steep climbs out of the canyon, so you want to be especially careful. 

When hiking at Bryce Canyon keep these tips in mind.

  • Wear actual hiking shoes or boots
  • Carry lots of water (1 liter for every 2-3 hours of hiking) per person – hydration packs are perfect for hiking!
  • 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 do connect together. We love this because if we link several easy hikes together it makes 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. 

bryce canyon biking shared use path
Biking at Bryce Canyon

Biking in the Fall at Bryce Canyon

From Bryce Canyon City to Inspiration Point, this 5 mile section of road is available to bikers to ride. 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 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. Read more about biking at Bryce Canyon and the Shared-Use Path.

Bryce Canyon Camping in the Fall

You’ll find 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 really drop at night in the fall, so it’s important to be prepared.

If you can’t find a camping spot in the park, check out the various Bryce Canyon National Park RV campsites near the park as well.

If you’re ok with getting of the grid, there are places for boondocking near Bryce Canyon.

Or you can elevate your camping experience to enjoy glamping near Bryce Canyon National Park!

Bryce Canyon maps and guides

Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps

Things To Do Near Bryce Canyon

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon in the Fall

Packing List for Bryce Canyon

The climate and altitude of Bryce Canyon can be harsh if you’re not prepared with the right clothing, hydration, food, personal items and hiking gear. To help you know what to pack for your fall trip, check out our Bryce Canyon Packing List! Click the graphic below to get your free checklist download!

get the free Bryce Canyon National Park packing lists

Bryce Canyon in the Fall

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