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Millions flock to Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park every year to get lost in its maze of towering hoodoos, take in the massive red-rock amphitheater from above, and come eye-to-eye with Mother Nature's masterpiece. There are plenty of things to do here, too, from soaking up the wild canyons from below on the Navajo Loop Trail to marveling at Inspiration Point. Sitting at roughly 9,000 feet (2,750 meters), this sandstone landscape turns into a snowy wonderland come winter, with hiking and snowshoeing excursions serving as your portals to unsurpassed national park adventure.
You’ll get the “traditional” hot, dry Bryce Canyon experience from May to September while the shoulder months of April and October offer cooler-but-manageable temps with fewer crowds. Some say winter is Bryce Canyon’s best season, with snowy whites contrasting the deep oranges of the hoodoos. In winter, the Wall Street side of the Navajo Loop Trail and the Rim Trail between Inspiration and Bryce Points is closed, but the amphitheater remains open for visitors to hike, snowshow, and gawk.
Bryce Canyon’s shuttle service is convenient for hikers and sightseers looking to access the main viewpoints along the Bryce amphitheater (it also helps with congestion in the parking lot). You can hop on at the visitor center or even outside the park in Bryce Canyon City, including at Best Western+ Grand and Best Western+ Ruby’s Inn, with proof of park admission. To get deeper into the park to spots like Rainbow Point, you’ll need your own wheels.
Bryce’s shuttle stops at Sunset Campground. With your campsite as your homebase, utilize the shuttle to have an eco-friendly trip: Stock up on goodies in Old Bryce Town and hop on and off at various trailheads when you’re ready to hit the park on foot. For a real treat, take the shuttle to the Lodge at Bryce Canyon for a five-star meal in the historic dining room.
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The most iconic section of the park is the Bryce Amphitheater, with miles and miles of orange hoodoos (rocky spires) stretching along the amphitheater floor. Don’t miss walking the rim trail, scoping out the viewpoints, and taking a peek inside Bryce Canyon Lodge. But if you can, descend into the world of hoodoos via the Navajo Loop Trail....More
There’s so much to do in Bryce Canyon National Park besides hiking. You could attend ranger talks, scope out the plentiful overlooks, drive the Southern Scenic Drive, stargaze (Bryce is a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park), go horseback riding, watch for wildlife, bike, birdwatch, go frontcountry or backcountry camping, and more....More
Most visitors to Bryce Canyon will spend their time in and around the Bryce Amphitheater, the most iconic section of the park—and where you’ll find the sea of hoodoos. Here, people can hike the trails, scope out the overlooks, go camping, picnic at viewpoints, and duck into Bryce Canyon Lodge for lunch or dinner....More
Bryce Canyon National Park is only 35,000 acres—compare that to Yellowstone’s 2.2 million. You could technically spend just a few hours here, hit all the viewpoints on the 38-mile (61-kilometer) Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive, and leave. But for an ideal itinerary, take 2–3 days to hike into and around the canyon, catch sunrise or sunset, and really soak in the park’s unparalleled beauty....More
Whether Zion or Bryce is better depends on what kind of experience you want. The landscapes are entirely different: No river flows through Bryce Canyon (it’s technically an amphitheater); instead, you’ll find the greatest concentration of hoodoos on the planet. Zion is a massive red-rock canyon carved by the Virgin River. Both offer absolutely wild outdoor adventures....More
May–September is Bryce Canyon’s high season, with the crowds chasing the fair weather. If you want a good chance at warm temps, you’ll have to come during this window. But if you’re willing to put on a jacket or risk a little snow, opt for April/October to get a little more elbow room in this popular national park....More