Bryce Canyon National Park has something for everyone.
With a variety of things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park, you’ll be sure to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure!
As one of the most unique destinations in the Southwest, Bryce Canyon caters to both young and old and offers adventure and solitude all year long.
Planning a Bryce Canyon vacation promises not only a stunning landscape but a close-up look at beautiful rock formations and an opportunity to tap into nature, step into history, and feed your soul.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR BRYCE CANYON
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 use Camelbak 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.
Sunburns also lead t dehydration. Wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses to protect from the sun overhead and reflected UV light.
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:
- US National Parks packing list – FREE DOWNLOAD!
- Fleece jacket
- Buff headbands
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – FREE CHECKLIST DOWNLOAD
Things to Do at Bryce Canyon National Park
Full of rich history, visitors to Bryce Canyon say it truly resonates with all who are seeking a personal experience. There is something remarkable here and we hope that you, too, get to experience it.
Bryce Canyon National Park attracts 1.5 million visitors every year from around the world, and it is truly breathtaking. Here’s a list of things to do at Bryce!
Discover Bryce Canyon’s Famous Hoodoos
Bryce Canyon is famous for the largest collection of hoodoos in all the world. These stunning rock formations are odd-shaped rock structures that have been left behind after eons of erosion; each one is unique, and they are all fascinating to look at.
Visiting the hoodoos in the area is one of the tourist attractions in Bryce Canyon. Thor’s Hammer, The Hunter and The Rabbit, and Queen Victoria are three of the most popular and they really are incredible, but there are plenty of other smaller and beautiful ones located throughout the park.
Transport Yourself to Another Time by Trail Riding on Horseback
Bryce Canyon National Park gives you a wonderful opportunity to step back in time and explore the park from the back of a horse, or mule. Horseback and mule riding is an exciting and nostalgic way to experience the Bryce Canyon trails.
There’s a dedicated horse trail that will take you into the Bryce Amphitheater. You just ride and enjoy the views! You can choose a 2 or 3 hour tour, and they can accommodate all experience levels.
Even if you have never ridden horseback before, this is the destination to challenge yourself and try something new. There is no better place for it!
Explore the Past, Present and Future with a Guided Tour
Escorted tours at Bryce Canyon are a safe and secure way to explore the park that does not disappoint. When you take part in a tour to explore the park, you get to experience the best of what Bryce Canyon has to offer, learn about the history, and get to know the in’s and out’s of the area.
There are a variety of group tours, ATV and covered wagon tours, tours by air and helicopter, professional telescope tours and more near Bryce Canyon.
The park’s ranger programs are educational, fun and a great activity for the entire family.
Witness Spectacular Scenery and Sights From Some of the Best Hiking Trails in Utah
Someone once said that hiking and happiness go hand in hand, and we couldn’t agree more. Hiking is the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature and escape the busyness of life.
The Bryce Canyon hiking trails are spectacular; all with unique views and structures, and a variety that can suit even the most adventurous hiker.
Popular trails include the Navajo Loop – Queens Garden Trail, Fairyland Loop, the Peek-a-boo Loop, Tower Bridge Trail, and the Mossy Cave Trail.
If you only had time for one hiking trail, we recommend the Navajo Loop Trail. This is an easy/moderate trail that takes you through hoodoo formations like Thor’s Hammer, Twin Bridges and Wall Street. The trail is well-maintained and takes you from the Rim at Sunset Point down to the valley floor. It’s impressive and stunning.
We do know that wheelchair accessibility is troublesome because of the rugged, natural terrain and several grades do not meet standards. Only a ½ mile section of the Rim Trail is wheelchair accessible, but the views you’ll see from the rim are breathtaking!
Stargaze and See the Milky Way Stretch Across a Certified Dark Sky
Bryce Canyon National Park is Dark Sky certified and it’s one of the places in the US you have the privilege of viewing the Milky Way.
The Bryce Canyon night sky is a blanket of natural darkness, an on a moonless night it offers the best in stargazing; thousands of stars light up the sky and its magical to witness. Set-up a telescope and you might also get to see Venus and Jupiter shining bright.
Because of it’s amazing celestial views Bryce Canyon National Park offers professional telescope tours, and a variety of stargazing and astronomy programs. If you’re fascinated with the stars above, you’re going to love this place.
See Incredible Views from the Bryce Amphitheater
The most visited section of the park, the Bryce Amphitheater is the main attraction. Here you can see iconic hoodoos, impressive geological formations, spectacular viewpoints, and take advantage of excellent hiking opportunities.
At the amphitheater you will see the cliffs, hoods, and castles that make Bryce Canyon National Park famous. Visitors tend to concentrate on the trails and viewpoints here.
The best Bryce Canyon views can be seen at Fairyland, Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration and Bryce Point. Thor’s Hammer and other notable formations can be seen here as well.
The park lodge, visitor center, and campgrounds are also located in this area. Every visitor to Bryce Canyon should make it a point to visit this area. In the summer months the shuttle service is available.
Observe Wildlife in Their Natural Environment
Bryce Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to observe animals in the wild. Several interesting wildlife species call the park home. With a diverse population of both desert and mountain wildlife Bryce Canyon is an excellent place for wildlife viewing, and bird watchers can look forward to over 175 species of birds.
Porcupines, racoons, the Utah prairie dog, and the mule deer are plentiful here; while the mountain lions, elk, bobcats, and coyotes may be seen occasionally.
Wildlife is most active at dawn or dusk and the staff can give you great advice so you can come up with a plan before venturing out. For your safety and theirs, always view wildlife from a safe distance and never feed them.
Take a Scenic Drive
The Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive is the best way to experience the entire park! We always recommend driving to the end of the road then work your way back to the amphitheater.
As you enter the park, drive the 18 miles to Rainbow Point at the end of the Scenic Drive first with no stopping. All the scenic overlooks are on the east side of the road so if you start at Rainbow Point, you can avoid left turns on the busy road. You can instead stop at each pullout on your right.
This is the order of stops when you start at Rainbow Point:
- Rainbow Point
- Agua Canyon
- Natural Bridge
- Bryce Point
- Paria View
- Inspiration Point
- Sunset Point
- Thor’s Hammer
- Navajo Loop Trail
- Sunrise Point
Rainbow Point is a good introduction to Bryce Canyon. It’s fun to see how the scenery and geological formations dramatically change as you drive back toward the entrance of the park. Ending the scenic drive at the Amphitheater viewpoints is a spectacular sight!
Unplug from Your Day-to-Day by Camping Overnight
Being out in nature surrounded by fresh air naturally makes us happier and camping is a great way to soak up all that nature has to offer. Bryce Canyon is a wonderful place to camp overnight and has two popular campgrounds. The North and Sunset campgrounds are near the visitor center, the Bryce Canyon Lodge, and the Amphitheater.
Both campgrounds offer RV and tent camping. North Campground is first-come, first-served while Sunset Campground accepts reservations. There is no sewer, water, or electrical hookups available at these campgrounds. They do have a couple ADA/accessible sites and primitive camping is available for those who prefer solitude.
It is not uncommon for experienced campers to drive out on Forest Service roads and find a clearing or spot near a stream with a great view and spend the night.
Discover an Alternative Park Experience with Fun Winter Activities
We love that you can enjoy the outdoors year-round at Bryce Canyon National Park. Each season is its own unique experience, and the park has plenty to offer this time of year.
Bryce Canyon in the winter offers activities like snowshoeing, winter hiking, cross-country skiing, winter astronomy, and backpacking.
Bryce Canyon also hosts two popular annual events in the winter season, The Winter Festival and Christmas Bird Count.
If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend you take a full moon snowshoe hike; the contrast of Bryce Canyon’s dark sky above and the white snow below is nothing short of breathtaking.