The Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive offers views of hoodoos, arches and windows at various viewpoints and overlooks.
Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide to create your vacation itinerary to include all 13 stops along this scenic drive!
We always recommend the first thing you do when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park is to drive to the end of the road at Rainbow Point then work 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.
Keep reading as we detail what you’ll see at each of the 13 stops on the scenic drive, as well as tips to take amazing photos!
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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!
Bryce Canyon National Park Map
Use this map as a guide to navigate along the scenic drive so you can stop at all 13 overlooks!
Bryce Canyon maps, a hiking guide, a shuttle map and more can be found on the park website.
Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive Viewpoints
The viewpoints along the scenic drive are considered the best Bryce Canyon views so be sure to have your camera ready!
How Long Does It Take To Drive Through Bryce Canyon?
Driving through Bryce Canyon will take you approximately three hours if you do the full scenic drive and take your time at each stop.
The Bryce Canyon scenic drive includes 13 viewpoints along the 38-mile roundtrip adventure.
We recommend this drive as the best way to see Bryce Canyon National Park in one day!
Rainbow and Yovimpa Points
The Rainbow Point is a good introduction to Bryce Canyon National Park with views of the pink cliffs and hoodoos along with a fabulous panoramic view.
At Yovimpa Point you can see the various “steps” that make up the Grand Staircase landscape. Each step of the Grand Staircase is named after its colors. For instance, there are Pink Cliffs, White Cliffs, and Grey Cliffs.
Both the Rainbow Point and the Yovimpa Point are adjacent to each other with an elevation over 9,000 feet!
Black Birch Canyon
Many people skip the small turnout for Black Birch Canyon. From here you can see Rainbow Point in the distance. At this viewpoint you’ll get a good view of the pink, orange, and white-colored cliffs and hoodoos.
Ponderosa Canyon earned its name from the Ponderosa pine trees that surround the entire viewpoint. Some of these Ponderosa pine trees have lived a hundred years, making them very precious. For most visitors, the view here is not as impressive as others.
The Agua Canyon viewpoint is a fun stop to see two famous structures: “The Hunter” and “The Rabbit”. The Hunter has a hat of evergreens and is easily seen just in front of the viewpoint. To the right is a smaller hoodoo commonly referred to as The Rabbit (the The Hunter’s prey).
The Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon is a popular point of interest. When you catch the light just right at mid-morning, the orange/red hues reflected inside the arch is stunning. Technically, this is an arch, not a bridge. It started as a “window” and has eroded where the opening is nearly 125 feet tall!
Fairview Point displays a vista of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with its blue-hued mesas, canyons, and plateaus. From north to south, you will be able to see the Aquarius Plateau, Molly’s Nipple, Kaiparowits Plateau, and Kaibab Plateau.
At the Swamp Canyon viewpoint you’ll notice the pink and red cliffs that surround and contrast against the evergreen Ponderosa Pines. So why is it called Swamp Canyon? Below the rim, two tiny creeks and a spring provide the water needed for lush vegetation like grasses and willows to grow. It’s a wetland compared to the rest of the park!
Bryce Canyon isn’t known for its sunsets because the canyon features all face east. But you will find the famous “glow” on the hoodoos at Paria View in the evening since the hoodoos here face the west. If you’re looking for sunset photography spots in Bryce, head to this viewpoint!
One of the most scenic vistas you’ll see of the full amphitheater is from Bryce Point. It’s known for its extraordinary sunrises. From this point you can see the sun rise on the horizon. But the best part is watching the light glow and spread along the tops of hoodoos then into the amphitheater.
Inspiration Point is another must-see viewpoint and Bryce Canyon photo spot. There are three levels to view the amphitheater at Inspiration Point. Take note that the cliffs at this viewpoint are exceptionally dangerous. The edges are crumbly rock with slippery slopes and sheer drop-offs below. It’s important to remain on trails and behind railings, and watch children here!
Sunset Point is a well-visited overlook due to the popular Thor’s Hammer and Silent City you can see from here. The name Sunset Point is deceptive thought because it’s NOT a good location for sunset photography. We feel this is one of the best Bryce Canyon sunrise photography spots when the light illuminates the hoodoos.
We LOVE the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden Trail hike from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point. It’s a great way to see the hoodoos upclose!!
Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park offers stunning views of the Aquarius Plateau and the Sinking Ship. And as the name suggests, the colorful vistas you’ll see at sunrise make it a popular spot at this time of day. It’s also a pretty good spot for sunset photography to see and capture the last bit of light on the Sinking Ship in the distance.
Fairyland Point is the last stop along the scenic drive in Bryce Canyon when going from North to South like we recommend. But it can be easily overlooked and many people drive past without knowing it’s there. We like to take close-up photos of the hoodoos at Fairyland Point. The hoodoos glow in the morning light and really stand out, creating an amazing photo of Bryce Canyon.
Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park
Here are a few of the basic things you need to know before visiting Bryce Canyon. Check out these travel guides to help plan your trip:
- Bryce Canyon Travel Guide
- Bryce Canyon National Park One Day Itinerary
- Things to Do at Bryce Canyon National Park
- Bryce Canyon Photo Spots
When is the Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon
The best time to visit Bryce Canyon is during the off-season, between the months of October and May. Not only are there fewer people in the park, but the temperatures are cooler, which make hiking Bryce Canyon much more pleasant.
Here’s what you can expect during each season:
- Bryce Canyon in the Spring
- Bryce Canyon in the Summer
- Bryce Canyon in the Fall
- Bryce Canyon in the Winter
Bryce Canyon Operating Hours
Bryce Canyon National Park is open 365 days a year, twenty-four hours a day. However, there can be temporary road closures due to heavy snowfall or other significant, inclement weather during the winter.
Check the Bryce Canyon National Park website for updated Visitor Center hours of operation.
Bryce Canyon National Park Fees
There are a variety of passes available to visit Bryce Canyon. Check the website for the most current fee prices and information.
If you’ll be visiting multiple national parks in Utah, we recommend you purchase the US National Parks Pass. You can get the America the Beautiful pass at the park, but we like to purchase the pass from REI since they donate 10% to the National Parks Foundation.
Bryce Canyon National Park Weather
Bryce Canyon sits at a high-elevation so the climate and weather conditions can be extremely variable throughout spring, fall and winter. Be sure to check the daily Bryce Canyon National Park weather forecast to see if the park is experiencing any weather-related closures.
Winter Bryce Canyon weather: Between October and May, temperatures at the park regularly fall below freezing at night, with the coldest and snowiest months between December and February (snowstorms are also not unusual in October). Heavy snowfalls are also common throughout March and April. We always pack our winter gear ‘just in case’ because you never know what weather you’ll get during these months in Bryce.
Summer Bryce Canyon weather: In contrast, the weather throughout the summer is quite pleasant, with June and September temperatures in the high 60s or low 70s (F), and July and August temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s (F).
It’s important to note that July and August are the rainiest months at the park so visitors should expect daily, but brief, afternoon thunderstorms with heavy rain and lightning. If you do encounter lightning while visiting Bryce Canyon, remember to stop what you’re doing and quickly get indoors.
Pets at Bryce Canyon
If you choose to bring a pet to Bryce Canyon National Park, please note that pets are only allowed on paved surfaces like campgrounds, parking lots, roads, viewpoints, the paved area between Sunset and Sunrise Point, and on the paved Shared Use Path.
Pets are not allowed on any unpaved surfaces or in public buildings and must always be on a leash that is less than six feet long. Never leave pets unattended and always pick up and dispose of all waste.
Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps
Plan Your Bryce Canyon Vacation
- Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park
- Bryce Canyon Packing List
- Things to Do at Bryce Canyon National Park
- Bryce Canyon Photo Spots
- Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon
- Bryce Canyon Tours
Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon:
- Bryce Canyon Places to Stay
- Bryce Canyon Hotels
- Bryce Canyon National Park Camping
- Bryce Canyon National Park RV Vacation
- Vacation Rentals Near Bryce Canyon
- Best Western Ruby’s Inn – easy access right outside the park
- Best Western Plus – also right outside the park
- Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!