Fun Things to Do at Bryce Canyon in the Fall

Visiting Bryce Canyon in the fall 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 is cooler in the fall. And there are fewer people taking vacations in the fall, making it the perfect time for exploring the great outdoors. 

We share awesome tips for planning your Bryce Canyon vacation in the fall:

  • What to pack for Bryce Canyon in the fall
  • Fall weather at Bryce Canyon
  • Things to do at Bryce Canyon in the fall
  • Best fall hikes at Bryce Canyon
  • Stargazing at Bryce Canyon in the fall
  • Travel planning resources for a fall vacation to Bryce Canyon

bryce canyon fall vacation ideas

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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 t 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.


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:

Fall weather at Bryce Canyon

Fall is the perfect time to visit Bryce Canyon. Throughout the fall the temperatures range from the highs in the 60s to the lows in the teens by the time November hits. 

While visiting Bryce Canyon in September you can expect the highs to be around 69 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows to be around 37 degrees. 

Once October hits it will get a little more chilly with the highs hovering around 57 degrees Fahrenheit dipping down into the high 20s at night.

If you visit in November, you definitely will want to bring your winter clothing for national parks as the highs will be around the mid-40s and the lows will be in the teens. 

Bryce Canyon sunrise is must-do Utah experience.
Bryce Canyon sunrise is a must-do Utah experience.

Things to do at Bryce Canyon in the fall

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!

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. 

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. 

Photography at Bryce Canyon

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

You will definitely want to bring your camera equipment. 

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. 

Horseback Riding

If you want to explore Bryce Canyon in a whole new way, why not do it on horseback! 

At this National Park, there are guided trail rides in the fall until October 31st depending on the weather. 

They have two-hour and three-hour rides. You can rent horseback while there or you can bring your own.

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!
Horseback riding at Bryce Canyon is a thrill!

Exploring the Visitor Center

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 ranger-led programs are happening during our stay.

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

You can take a breather and watch “Shadows of Time.” Don’t forget to check out the museum exhibits and the bookstore as well. 

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

Best Fall Hikes

There are so many great fall hikes at Bryce Canyon. The hikes 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 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 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, Mossy Cave, Sunset to Sunrise, Rim Trail and Bristlecone Loop. 

Enjoy the hoodoos up close along the Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon
Enjoy the hoodoos up close along the Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon. Photo credit:

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 hike the best Bryce Canyon Hike, we recommend the Queen’s Navajo Combination, 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. 

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.

Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon:

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Bryce Canyon in the fall

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