Are you visiting Utah and thinking how many days you need to visit Bryce Canyon National Park? Is one day enough to visit Bryce Canyon National Park? Which places to visit in Bryce Canyon and what are the must-see things in Bryce Canyon. You are about to get the answers to all.
We recently visited Utah in Spring vacation 2021. We had 6 days for our vacation all jammed pack with exploration from day 1 when we landed in Las Vegas. We were left with only a day for Bryce Canyon National Park. To our surprise and our smart planning, we were able to do the best of Bryce Canyon in one day. We are an adventurous hiking family of 3 with a Kid.
We started early in the morning for Bryce Canyon NP from Kanab where we stayed in a hotel for 5 days. Kanab is the best location to stay if you are planning to visit Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Escalante, Grand Canyon National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Dam, Glen Canyon Recreation Area, Page Arizona, and other southwestern Utah famous places. Check out to see my blog post on Things To Do In Page Arizona
Things to Do In Bryce Canyon National Park in One Day
Bryce Canyon National Park is a stunning place with amazing views of Hoodoos. There are two main things to be done at Bryce Canyon National Park. One is to drive through all the scenic viewpoints and the Second important thing is to hike down to Bryce Canyon floor to see the various hoodoos from a quite closer view and angle. So Let’s get started.
How Many Entrance Does Bryce Canyon Have?
Bryce Canyon National Park has only one entrance along UT 12, 14 miles from US 89 in West and 110 miles from UT 24 in East. On driving from the Westside, The small tunnel of the Red Canyon welcomes you giving the feel of entering the park. But still, there are 12 more miles to the only entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park.
How many days are required for Bryce Canyon National Park?
Half-day or 4-5 hours are sufficient if you are planning to drive through and visit all the scenic viewpoints in the park. One full day is needed if you are looking to hike 1-2 trails along with visiting all scenic points ( 🙂 depending on your hiking capacity). If you are planning for 2 or more strenuous hikes along with visiting the points, then 1.5 – 2 days are recommended. For families with young small kids, older parents, or families looking for wheelchair-accessible places, Driving through Bryce Canyon National Park stopping and visiting all the scenic vista points is more feasible.
When is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park?
For those who are sensitive to heat – Early Spring till May and Later Fall is a good time to visit. All the Viewpoints and parking lots were cleared and no snow when we visited in the month of April. It gets very hot during Summer starting from June. We visited in the first week of April, we got to see some patches of snow on the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail.
Driving through Bryce Canyon National Park
Driving through Bryce Canyon National Park is perfect for families or visitors who are having less time in the park and are not looking to hike any trails. Visiting all the scenic viewpoints gives amazing aerial views of hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. There are two ways to drive through and sight visit all scenic points, one way is to stop at the Scenic points while driving inside the park. The second way is to drive directly to the last point in the park – Rainbow Point/Yovimpa Point and drive/stop at all scenic points on way back.
Is there Shuttle service in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Yes, There are shuttle buses that operate in the park and takes you to all the scenic vista points. One can park the vehicle in the parking lot at the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park and hop on the shuttle. If you have the luxury of time, then a shuttle is a good option.
How long does it take to drive through Bryce Canyon?
Must-See Places in Chronological Order on Driving in the park
There are total of 13 Viewpoints which is approximately 40 miles round trip scenic drive. It may take minimum of 3- 5 hours depending on the time spend on each vista capturing the pictures and enjoying the view of Hoodoos.
- Sunrise Point
- Sunset Point
- Inspiration Point
- Paria View
- Bryce Point
- Natural Bridge
- Aqua Canyon
- Ponderosa Point
- Yovimpa Point or Rainbow Point
The very first scenic point entering the Bryce Canyon National Park is the Sunrise Point. There is a big parking lot at Sunrise point. You can park the car and stroll out to have the amazing views of the Hoodoos. The Sunrise point is the trailhead for Queen’s Garden trail. There is a paved trail known as “Rim Trail” that connects Sunrise point to Sunset point. The Rim trail is an easy and just a 1-mile trail giving the view of Hoodoos from above. Walk the rim of the scenic Bryce Amphitheater.
Sunset Point is the most visited and jammed pack scenic point in Bryce Canyon. There is a big parking lot but it gets fully packed within the early hours of the morning. Sunset Point is a heavily trafficked area as its trailhead of the most famous trail – the Navajo Loop Trail. The view from the Sunset point is not to be missed. The only place to view Thor’s Hammer, The Queen, Wall Street, The Two Bridges, and the beautiful switchback descending to the floor of Bryce Canyon.
What are Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon?
The Hoodoos are rock formations that can range in size of a human to the height of a 10-floor building. The hoodoos are carved in Claron formation. Limestone, Dolomite, Mudstone, siltstone make up the four different rock types that form Claron Formation. Each Hoodoos structure erodes at different rates depending on the exposure to wind, snow, rain, and temperatures. The rock’s resistance to erosion is what causes the undulating shapes of the hoodoos.
How Old are the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon? Hoodoos are believed to be 50 million years old.
Are Pets Allowed? Pets are not allowed on trails.
Beware of WildLife on Roads – Driving Speed is 25mph inside the Bryce Canyon National Park
The Next Scenic point on the route ahead is the Inspiration Point. The Viewpoint is not to be missed as one gets to see the Hoodoos Kingdom from the viewpoint. There is a decent size parking lot and a paved trail that leads to the viewing deck area.
Paria View Point
Bryce Point is the next heavily traffiked area as it is trail head to the famous hike of Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail, Under the Rim trail, Continental Divide trail and more.
Natural Bridge is at an elevation of 8627 feet. This view point is a must and not to be missed. The Natural Bridge formation is viewed from view point next to the parking lot.
Agua Canyon is at an elevation of 8800 feet. Agua Canyon point has parking space to park more than 5-7 cars.
Ponderosa Point is at elevation level of 8904. There is parking space to park 3-4 cars in a row.
Yovimpa Point or Rainbow Point
Yovimpa Point and the Rainbow Point are at same place and share the same parking lot. It’s located at highest elevation in the Bryce Canyon National Park. Do get out of the Car to have a look in to the Hoodoos Valley and feel a cool breeze.
Best Hiking Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park
After seeing the hoodoos from the Viewpoints, if you feel the need to have some up-close view of the hoodoos then hiking is the best option. I would recommend doing the Navajo Loop Trail at Sunset Point. Navajo Loop Trail is considered a moderate 1.3-mile round trip. It’s moderate as the trail descends 550 feet down via switchbacks between the colorful limestone walls to the Bryce Canyon Floor. Navajo Loop Trail is heavily trafficked due to the famous Thor’s Hammer, The Switchbacks, Two Bridges.
For experienced hikers and adventurous families with youth and teens who are looking for more adventure then Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail is the best. Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail trailhead is at Bryce Point. It can be done in combination with Navajo Loop Trail from Sunset Point trailhead. Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail is the best to get a close view of the Wall of Windows, Pockets, Fins, Liberty Castle, and some cool walk-through Tunnels. Check out my blog post on Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
We spend one full day in Bryce Canyon National Park. In the morning, We hiked the Navajo Loop Trail in Combination with Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail. And then we drove and visited all the scenic points in the park. It was an exhausting day but worth it.
Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon City is the nearest city to Bryce Canyon National Park and many options to stay in this beautiful small town.
Best Western PLUS Ruby’s Inn – Located just 1 mile from Bryce Canyon National Park, This Utah hotel offers convenient amenities and comfortable accommodations just minutes from Scenic Byway 12 and the Escalante national Monument.
Best Western PLUS Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel – Nestled among the red rock cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park. Pink Cliffs Village is 1.3 mi from Best Western PLUS Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, while Three Wisemen is 2.2 mi away. Scenic hiking and cycling trails are also easily accessible
Luxe Bryce Canyon Home with Fireplace, Patio, and Grill – Perfect for a group of Families, This holiday home has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
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