Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in the Summer

Bryce Canyon National Park is a stunning natural wonder that offers a unique experience during the summer months. From breathtaking views of the red rock formations to plenty of outdoor activities, Bryce Canyon National Park in the summer is a great destination for nature lovers.

Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide to plan your vacation: things to do, what to pack, where to stay, and more! 

things to do at Bryce Canyon in the Summer

With summer vacations the peak time to travel, Bryce Canyon will be crowded. Use our tips to help you avoid the crowds when visiting Bryce Canyon in the summer.

Check out these done-for-you Bryce Canyon itineraries:

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 Summer

Summer weather is a great time to enjoy outdoor Bryce Canyon activities. The mornings and evenings will be cool and the daytime temperatures won’t be too hot due to Bryce Canyon’s higher elevation.

Keep in mind the summer months at all Utah National Parks are peak times so be prepared for crowds.

Our big tip to avoid the crowds in summer is to get into the park early. You can’t beat Bryce Canyon sunrise photography and hiking in the morning!

Does the Bryce Canyon Shuttle Run in Summer?

Yes, the Bryce Canyon shuttle runs every day in summer, but it’s not mandatory to ride the shuttle to access the park. The shuttle buses take visitors to the Bryce Amphitheater area of the park.

The Rainbow Bus takes visitors on a tour of the Bryce Canyon scenic drive. You can also drive this road with your private vehicle. Start early to beat the crowds and have the best light to take photos.

**Check the Bryce Canyon shuttle schedule for exact times of operation in September – toward the end of the month the times of operation change.

Bryce Canyon Services in the Summer

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.

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon and Western Cabins are open in the summer.

Bryce Canyon camping in the summer: the North Campground is open year-round and it’s first-come, first-served. The Sunset Campground requires a reservation.

Summer Weather at Bryce Canyon

Due to the high elevation of Bryce Canyon, the temperatures aren’t as hot as the other Utah National Parks in the summer.

  • June: highs 74 | lows 40 degrees F
  • July: highs 79 | lows 47 degrees F
  • August: highs 76 | lows 45 degrees F

We recommend having a fleece jacket for the cooler mornings and evenings. Summer monsoon rain storms are common as well so check the weather to see if you may also need a rain jacket.

Is Summer a Good Time to Visit Bryce Canyon?

Bryce Canyon National Park is open 24 hours a day, all year long. Check out our resource of the best times to visit Bryce Canyon that includes specific information about what it’s like at different seasons and months of the year.

Bryce Canyon in the winter is a fun time to enjoy winter activities and avoid the crowds if you don’t mind cold and snow!

Things to Do at Bryce Canyon National Park in the Summer

You’ll find a fun list of things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park in the summer:

Bryce Canyon Ranger Led Programs in the Summer

While visiting we highly recommend joining a ranger-led program. In the summer you’ll find these programs:

  • Geology talks
  • Full Moon hikes
  • Snowshoe hikes
  • Constellation tours 

All of these ranger-led programs offer a wealth of knowledge that you can learn so much more from than exploring the park on your own. 

Bryce Canyon Visitor Center

Stop by the visitor center when you first arrive. So often people visiting skip this, but it is actually the first thing we do on each trip to Bryce Canyon. 

While in the visitor center we talk with the park ranger about which hikes and activities we are planning to do on our trip. They share tips and advice that are valuable as well as the conditions of the trials. 

At the visitor center, you can also see what ranger-led programs are currently running. 

Don’t forget to check out the museum or the bookstore. If you want to relax for a minute you can take a break and watch “Shadows of Time,” which plays at the visitor center as well. 

Natural Bridge at Byrce Canyon National Park
Natural Bridge

Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive in the Summer

We recommend spending half a day to see and photograph all the views along the Bryce Canyon scenic drive.

From the park entrance, drive all the way to the end of the road at Rainbow Point, then work your way back from there.

This way, all the overlooks are on the right hand side which makes it easier to pull in and out of the parking lots.

Check out the FUN Bryce Canyon GyPSy Guide App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

Thor's Hammer at Bryce Canyon at sunrise
Thor’s Hammer at sunrise

Bryce Canyon Summer Photography

The park is known for all the spectacular Bryce Canyon views you can photograph.

Bryce Canyon sunrise photography is truly epic and worth it to get out of bed early to watch! The glow that happens on the hoodoos in that early morning light is stunning!

We’ve got a handy Bryce Canyon Photography Guide with tips and best times to take pictures at each viewpoint!

And check out our tips for photographing the sunrise.

Bryce Canyon milky way
Bryce Canyon milky way

Stargazing in the Summer at Bryce Canyon

There is nothing better than stargazing at Bryce Canyon.

In the summer you will be able to see the Milky Way along with the thousands of other stars that will light up the night sky. It is simply a magical experience to take part in. 

The Milky Way is visible in at these times in the summer:

  • May – 11:00 pm to 4:00 am
  • June – 10:30 pm to 3:30 am
  • July – 10:30 pm to 3:45 am
Bryce Canyon hiking trail

Hiking in the Summer at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is known for some of the most amazing hikes. There are many easy, moderate and strenuous Bryce Canyon National Park summer hikes, making it the perfect place for everyone to find the right hike. 

One of our favorite trails is the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail. It’s one thing to see the hoodoos from above along the rim, but entirely different to walk through them!

Before you hike in Bryce Canyon remember:

  • Pets are only allowed on paved trails and must be leashed. 
  • Stay on maintained trails. Do not climb the hoodoos. 
  • Wear hiking boots, improper shoes are the number 1 cause of injuries. 
  • Don’t forget water! Plan for 1 qt per person every 2-3 hours. 
  • If you hear thunder seek shelter immediately. This means lightning is within 10 miles. THIS is especially relevant in the summer when the monsoon rain storms roll through!

The great thing about Bryce Canyon trails is that many of the popular hikes hook together. This allows easy trails to become a more difficult hike if you choose. 

Biking near Bryce Canyon

Biking in the Summer at Bryce Canyon

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.

Horseback riding at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park Tours in May

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!

Bryce Canyon Camping in the Summer

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

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.

May is a busy time so finding camping spots in the park can be difficult. 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 in the Summer

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon in the Summer

Bryce Canyon Packing List

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 May trip, check out our Bryce Canyon Packing List! Click the graphic below to get your free checklist download!

We also recommend using a camera gear checklist to be sure you have all the necessary equipment to capture the stunning Bryce Canyon landscape!

get the free Bryce Canyon National Park packing lists

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