Bryce Canyon National Park Summer Activities

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 a list of fun Bryce Canyon National Park summer activities and things to do near the park this time of year like hiking, biking, scenic drives, photography, and even horseback riding.

Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide to plan an amazing itinerary full of fun summer activities! We also share tips for things to pack, where to stay and more!

Bryce Canyon summer activities

Bryce Canyon National Park is a stunning natural wonder that offers a unique experience during the summer months. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous hike or just a peaceful stroll through the park, Bryce Canyon has something for everyone.

Check out these done-for-you Bryce Canyon itineraries to plan your summer vacation based on the number of days you have to spend at the park:

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

Due to the higher elevation, Bryce Canyon National Park in the summer isn’t as hot as the other Utah National Parks which is a welcome relief!

Lightning at Bryce Canyon is a year-round danger, especially during summer storms! If you can hear thunder, lightning is within 10 miles and you need to seek the shelter of a building or your vehicle immediately.

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.

Bryce Canyon National Park Summer Activities

Check out this list of fun Bryce Canyon activities you can do in the summer:

Summer Ranger Led Programs at Bryce Canyon

While visiting we highly recommend joining a Bryce Canyon ranger-led program – check the schedule of what’s offered for the time you’ll be there:

  • Hoodoo Geology Talks
  • Evening Programs
  • Full Moon Hikes
  • Astronomy Programs

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. 

Natural Bridge overlook
Natural Bridge

Summer Scenic Drives at Bryce Canyon

The Bryce Canyon scenic drive is the best way to see the variety of hoodoos, arches and windows at the park. 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.

People come from around the world to see the stunning Bryce Canyon views along the scenic drive and at all the amphitheater viewpoints.

We recommend the 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.

Hiking Trail at Bryce Canyon
Hiking Trail at Bryce Canyon

Summer Hiking at Bryce Canyon

Exploring the Bryce Canyon National Park summer hikes is the best way to appreciate this National Park that encompasses over 35,000 acres of picturesque expansive views!

The best day hikes at Bryce Canyon National Park are perfect for any type of hiker with easy, moderate and strenuous trails.

Hiking at Bryce Canyon is definitely a unique experience where you walk right along hoodoos, windows, arches, bridges, tunnels, waterfalls and more!

If you only have time for one hike, we recommend the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden Trail! We like to start at Sunset Point and end at Sunrise Point.

During the summer monsoons, check with the Rangers for the latest trail updates as some may close if they become unsafe due to weather and conditions.

Bryce Canyon’s elevations reach over 9,000 feet. Even a small amount of exertion may leave you feeling light-headed and nauseated. Remember, most Bryce Canyon hikes begin with a descent and end with a climb. Leave yourself enough energy for your return trip.

When hiking at Bryce Canyon keep in mind:

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

Summer Photography at Bryce Canyon

You’ll find a variety of Bryce Canyon photo spots to capture the stunning views of the unique landscape.

Summer is a great time for Bryce Canyon sunrise photography to capture the glow that happens on the hoodoos in that early morning light!

Be sure to download our camera gear checklist before arriving at the park to make sure you have everything you need. 

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

Milky Way over Bryce Canyon National Park
Milky Way over Bryce Canyon

Summer Stargazing at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is designated as a Dark Sky certified park. You need to definitely take time to enjoy the night sky during your stay!

This park is a popular location for astrophotography. In the summer, the milky way is visible in the sky during these times:

  • June – 10:30 pm to 3:30 am
  • July – 10:30 pm to 3:45 am
  • August – 9:30 pm to 1:30 am

You’ll also find telescope tours and Bryce Canyon astronomy programs during the summer months!

biking at Bryce Canyon
Biking at Bryce Canyon

Summer Biking at Bryce Canyon

Bike riding at Bryce Canyon is a great way to enjoy the park. In the summer rider can travel a 5 mile section of road from Bryce Canyon City to Inspiration Point, with various stops in between. There is an elevation climb of 746 going north to south. If you prefer a downhill ride, you can 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.

You can rent bikes in Bryce Canyon City. Read more about biking at Bryce Canyon and the Shared-Use Path. You can also enjoy mountain biking in nearby Red Canyon where the landscape is similar to Bryce Canyon.

bryce canyon horseback riding photo credit: Jennifer Wolff
Bryce Canyon horseback riding tour

Summer Tours at Bryce Canyon

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!

Horseback Riding Tours are the most popular tourist attractions in Bryce Canyon !

Summer Camping at Bryce Canyon

There are two campgrounds for Bryce Canyon National Park camping: North and Sunset Campgrounds.

North Campground requires reservations from May 27 to October 1. From October 2 to May 26 all sites are first-come, first-served. Sunset campground is open April 15th – October 31st. It has 98 first-come, first-served sites and 3 reservable sites.

If you can’t get a camping spot in the park, there are other Bryce Canyon National Park RV vacation spots nearby!

You can also enjoy boondocking near Bryce Canyon if you really want to enjoy the quieter side of the area!

Bryce Canyon maps and guides

Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps

Summer Activities Near Bryce Canyon

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon

Summer Packing List for Bryce Canyon

Use our Bryce Canyon Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in the summer! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

get the free Bryce Canyon National Park packing lists

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