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Southwest Adventure, Living & Travel


Bryce Canyon National Park

What to See

Overview | Climate/Map | Description | Lodging/Camping | Nearby


Plan to spend from one to several days depending on your personal interests. Because of the wide variety of recreational opportunities on nearby private, state and other Federal lands, you can easily plan an extended vacation in this area.Sight-seeing, hiking, camping, backpacking, photography, horseback riding, bird watching and other wildlife observation, star gazing, contemplation, relaxation.

Most visitors tour the main amphitheater between Sunrise and Paria Viewpoints. Congestion in these areas creates problems with off-trail use and destruction of vegetation. Use only designated trails and exercise patience and care in all heavily congested areas to protect park resources.

Picnicking

Picnic tables are provided at the Whiteman Connecting Trailhead and at Rainbow Point at the far southern extremity of the Park. Others are located at Sunset Point near the Lodge, at Sunrise Point and near the visitor center. Picnic only in designated areas.

Auto Touring

The 37-mile round-trip on the main park road winds along the edge of the plateau, terminating at the south end of the park. Return to the entrance via the same road. Spur roads and pullouts offer opportunities for viewing and trailhead parking. Park speed limits range from 25 to 35 mph and are strictly enforced.

In summer, parking at most viewpoints is extremely congested. Your best chance of finding a parking space at Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, Bryce and Paria Viewpoints is before 10:00 AM. and after 5:00 PM.

Because all of Bryce Canyon's viewpoints are east of the main park road, it is recommended that you drive the 18 mile distance to the southern end of the park, start with Rainbow Point, then stop at the remaining viewpoints on your way back northward toward the park entrance. This will help you to avoid making left turns in front of on-coming traffic.

Fairyland Point
Far northern area a mile east of the main road offers startling view of Sinking Ship with the Aquarius Plateau and Navajo Mountain in the distance.

Sunset, Sunrise, Paria Points
These 3 points ring Bryce Amphitheater, the largest amphitheater in the park.

Paria View
Looks across hoodoos and an amphitheater carved by Yellow Creek. The Aquarius Plateau and Paria River Valley are in the background.

Farview Point
Offers a panoramic view of nearby plateaus and mountains. The Kaibab Plateau of the Grand Canyon North Rim is also visible far to the southeast.

Natural Bridge
Is misnamed. It is really an arch.

Ponderosa Canyon
Displays multi-colored hoods with the Aquarius Plateau to the north.

Aqua Canyon
Offers a view of small trees growing atop the hoodoo known as The Hunter.

Yovimpa Point
Provides a grand view of southern Utah and south into Arizona.

Rainbow Point
The park road ends here. On clear days one can see 90 miles south to Arizona revealing the Kaibab Plateau of Grand Canyon's North Rim and Navajo Mountain.

Biking

Biking is allowed only on paved roads in the park. Biking on any trails or into the canyon is prohibited.

Hiking/Backpacking

The park has over 50 miles of hiking trails.

Day Hikes

  • Rim Trail between Sunrise and Sunset Points, 1/2-mile (one way), is the easiest section of the trail. Other sections of the Rim Trail (which extends 5.5 miles between Fairyland and BRACE Points) have moderate terrain.
  • Fairyland Loop (8 miles round trip)
  • Peekaboo Loop (4.8 miles round trip)
  • Queen's Garden (1.5 miles round trip)
  • Navajo Loop (1.5 miles round trip) trails drop into the canyons on steep grades.
  • Peekaboo Loop Trail also serves as a horse trail.

Backcountry

  • Under-the-Rim Trail extends 22 miles from BRACE Point to Rainbow Point and has 8 backcountry campsites.
  • Riggs Spring Loop Trail runs (8.8 miles round trip) from Rainbow Point and has 4 backcountry sites. A $5 permit is required for overnight backcountry camping.

Horseback Riding

In spring, summer and fall, wranglers lead horseback rides into Bryce Amphitheater along a dedicated horse trail as well as on the Peekaboo Loop Trail. Contact one of the horse rental providers listed below for details:

  • Canyon Trail Rides
    P.O. Box 128
    Tropic, UT 84776
    435-679-8665
  • Red Rock Ride
    P.O. Box 128
    Tropic, UT 84776
    435-679-8665
  • Scenic Rim Trail Rides
    P.O. Box 58
    Tropic, UT 84776
    435-679-8761; 800-679-5859
  • Boulder Mountain Lodge
    Junction Hwy. 12 & Burr Trail
    Box 1397, Boulder, UT
    800-556-3446; 435-335-7460; fax 435-335-7461
  • Escalante Scenic Trail Rides
    P.O. Box 275
    Escalante, UT 84726
    435-826-4630
  • Escalante Canyon Outfitters
    P.O. Box 1330
    Escalante, UT 84726
    435-335-7311
  • Boulder Mountain Ranch
    On Hells Backbone Road
    Escalante, UT 84726
    435-335-7480
  • Touring the Southwest's Grand Circle DVD
  • America's Natl Parks DVD


Overview | Climate/Map | Description | Lodging/Camping | Nearby

 


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