Things To Do Near Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is a stunning natural wonder located in southern Utah. There are a variety of things to do near Bryce Canyon National Park for anyone who enjoys hiking, biking, canyoneering, landscape photography and more!

This Bryce Canyon travel guide will help you know what to pack, where to stay, and what to expect when visiting this park and the surrounding area.

things to do near Bryce Canyon National Park

If you are looking for things to do near Bryce Canyon, then this guide will provide you with some great ideas.

Use these done-for-you itineraries to help you plan the most amazing vacation to Bryce Canyon:

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Bryce Canyon National Park Activities

Bryce Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in Utah. It features an array of amazing rock formations, including hoodoos, spires, and windows.

It is a great destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, who can enjoy a variety of activities like hiking, camping, horseback riding and more. This list of Bryce Canyon activities will help you plan your time here.

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

Things to Do Near Bryce Canyon National Park

You’ll find many things to see, do and photograph near Bryce Canyon National Park: another Utah National Park, a few Utah State Parks, hiking trails, slot canyons, and scenic drives!

Bryce Canyon is a good central location between Capitol Reef National Park to the east and Zion National Park to the south.

Below we’ll detail all the activities you can do as you drive from Bryce Canyon to each of the other two National Parks.

Scenic Byway 12
Scenic Byway 12

Things to Do Around Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef

Here’s a list of things to do around the Bryce Canyon National Park as you drive toward Capitol Reef National Park:

Scenic Byway 12

Enjoy a spectacular journey along Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in America. It winds its way through red rock canyons, lush pine forests, and past stunning mountain vistas. Highway 12 begins at Red Canyon about 7 miles from Panguitch, Utah on Highway 89 and runs 124 miles to Torrey, Utah.

There are a variety of recommended stops along Scenic Byway 12 to explore ancient Native American ruins, visit unique roadside attractions, and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and off-roading!

Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Basin State Park

About 15 minutes away from Bryce Canyon is Kodachrome Basin State Park. It’s a small park in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, but due to it’s unique landscape, it’s worth the stop even if you just drive through.

The spires in the park are formed from sedimentary rock that has been eroded over time by wind and water, creating tall, narrow columns of red and white sandstone.

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
Petrified tree

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

This stop along Highway 12 features an array of petrified wood and fossils, making it a great spot to explore and learn about the history of the region. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park offers several trails, which wind throughout the park. The Petrified Forest Trail is a one-mile loop, winding through lava flows and thousands of pieces of petrified wood. Remember it is illegal to remove any petrified wood from the park.

Hell's Backbone bridge
Hell’s Backbone bridge

Hell’s Backbone Scenic Byway

Built by the CCC workers during the Great Depression era, this 44 mile road starts in Escalante and ends in Boulder. The byway runs through juniper desert, passes Posey Lake, continues up into the pine and aspen forest then returns down to the desert. This road is closed in the winter.

Be sure to stop where the road crossed the old historic wooden Hell’s Backbone Bridge. The views of the rugged canyons here are stunning!

If you take this road, it does bypass a few cool stops along Highway 12 between Escalante and Boulder.

Calf Creek Falls
Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek Falls Hike

Calf Creek Recreation Area offers a 13-site campground, a day-use picnic area, and trailhead. – a great stop after a day of driving or hiking and seeing all the sites along Byway 12. 

Lower Calf Creek Falls hike is the main attraction here. It’s a 6-mile moderately strenuous round-trip hike. But the stunning 126-foot waterfall is worth the effort!

Capitol Reef sunrise at Panorama Point
Capitol Reef sunrise

Capitol Reef National Park

With beautiful red canyons this is a great place to spend a couple days if you are into hiking, off-roading, fishing, camping, and photography.

rom the breathtaking views of the Waterpocket Fold to the unique rock formations of Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef has something for everyone!

More Things to Do Around Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef

Red Canyon Tunnel along Scenic Byway 12

Things to Do Around Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef

Here’s a list of things to do around the Bryce Canyon National Park as you drive toward Zion National Park:

Red Canyon

Most visitors only drive along the highway through Red Canyon. The rock tunnels are stunning and worth the stop to take a photo!

If you have time, stop by the Red Canyon visitor center to get a list of trails. There are a few short hikes that provide the best views: Photo Trail, Tunnel Trail, Golden Wall Trail, and Pink Ledges Trail.

Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument

You’ll drive through Dixie National Forest to reach Cedar Breaks National Monument. We’ll be honest, Cedar Breaks is much smaller and not as impressive as Bryce Canyon. But the entire drive is beautiful! Panguitch Lake is a nice stop to eat a snack while you enjoy the scenery!

Once you reach Cedar Breaks, you can turn right for a quick side-trip to Brian Head, or turn left headed to Duck Creek, passing Navajo Lake on the way.  

Zion National Park

Zion is 73 miles from Bryce Canyon and takes around 1 1/2 hours to drive there along Highway 89.

We recommend you plan at least a full day, if not two, to really see and explore the park.

More Things to Do Around Bryce Canyon to Zion

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