Bryce Canyon National Park
Climate, Geography, Map
Bryce Canyon National Park is about 80 miles northeast of Zion National Park but is starkly different in climate, topography, geology and scenery. Bryce sits atop the Paunsagunt Plateau of southwestern Utah between the Markagunt Plateau to the west and Aquarius Plateau to the east. At its widest point, it is about 5 miles east to west and runs 20 miles north to south. Instead of looking up at sandstone formations as at Zion, one is looking down along the Paunsagunt Fault onto much different geological features, primarily hoodoos, formed from the erosional action on shales and sandstone of the Claron formation.
|Bryce Canyon National Park- Monthly Climate Normals|
At 8,000 feet where the visitor center is located, it is 1,000 feet higher than Zion, with a cooler, moister climate. Much of the area's precipitation comes as afternoon thundershowers during mid to late summer. Spring and fall weather is variable. Cold winter days are offset by high altitude sun and dry climate. Winter nights are sub-freezing. During some winters, Alaskan cold fronts descend on the Colorado Plateau bringing temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero. The area can have significant snow October through March; annual snowfall averages 100 inches.
The high altitude sun can burn in any season. Hats, long sleeves and sunscreen are recommended all year.
Whole Park Map (8.5" x 11") PDF file
Bryce Canyon National Park is 24 miles southeast of Panguitch, Utah.
From north or south on U.S. 89, turn east on Utah 12 (seven miles south of Panguitch, Utah) and travel to the junction of Utah 12 and 63. Turn south (right) on Utah 63 and travel three miles to reach the park entrance. (Utah 12 continues east through the northern portion of the park.)
From the east, travel west on Utah 12 to the intersection of Utah 63. Turn south (left) to reach the park entrance.
Bryce Canyon Airport (4 miles), operated by Garfield County, has commercial flights from Las Vegas. Phone 435-834-5239 for current carriers and schedules. Private planes are welcome at this uncontrolled airport. Altitude: 7586 feet; runway length: 7400 feet; runway width: 75 feet. A shuttle service is available from the airport to local motels and recreational opportunities.
Regular commercial flights also serve Cedar City (87 miles), St George (150 miles) and Salt Lake City (270 miles), Utah, as well as Las Vegas, Nevada (270 miles).
Sightseeing bus tours are available from St. George, Cedar City and Kanab, Utah. Private vehicle rentals, bus tours and shuttle services originate outside the park. In spring and summer, concession-operated van and horseback tours are offered in the park.
The nearest Amtrak station is Cedar City, Utah, 87 miles west.
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