Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the world’s largest collection of hoodoos. The hoodoos are irregularly eroded rock spires that fill this park making it unique when comparing it to other National Parks. Bryce Canyon has excellent hiking but also many hoodoo lookout points that are easily accessible to visitors not keen on hiking. We recommend spending a ½ to a full day in Bryce Canyon. Here is our quick guide on Bryce Canyon National Park.
Tip: Bring layers! Unlike the other National Parks in Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is at higher elevations and drops below freezing around 300 days per year.
FYI: This post was written based on a trip taken in mid-September
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What to Do in Bryce Canyon National Park
Hike Queens Garden/Navajo Loop and Peek-A-Boo Trail in Figure 8 Pattern
6.4 miles, 1631 feet of elevation gain, figure 8 loop
This hike combines the Queens Garden/Navajo Loop and the Peek-A-Boo Trail to create an all encompassing hike. Combining these trails gives you amazing hoodoo views.
If you only have time to do part or one trail, we would recommend doing the Peek-A-Boo section as we thought it had the most stunning hoodoo views. The hoodoos feel like they “peak” out of the canyon throughout the hike, hence the name of the trail. The Navajo loop section is the easiest part of the loop but also the busiest so try to do this part of the hike earlier rather than later in the day. National Parks only tend to get more busy as the day goes on.
Watch Sunrise at Sunrise Point or Sunset at Sunset Point
We watched sunrise at Sunrise Point and it was undoubtedly beautiful. However, in our opinion, sunset point has more neat hoodoo views than sunrise point. So if you are able to be at Bryce Canyon for sunset, we’d recommend sunset over sunrise.
Although we did not visit Sunset Point at sunset, we visited it late in the morning at the end of our Figure 8 Hike. It was beautiful at that time as well. The expansive rows of eroded rock spires are really stunning to see.
Where to Eat
Bryce Canyon Lodge Restaurant
This restaurant is nothing fancy but we recommend it for the convenience factor. When driving from Torrey to Bryce Canyon, we were traveling through mostly rural, barren Utah. As we drove, not a single convenience store was open before 8am. This nuisance made getting our morning caffeine fix more challenging than expected. We were relieved that we were able to get coffee and tea at the Bryce Canyon Lodge Restaurant when it opened at 7:30am. This stop was after we watched sunset so we also ate breakfast here. Although the food was nothing special, it was really nice to have a hot breakfast before a long hike.
Tip: Bring your own caffeine/buy it beforehand if you are coming into the park early as there may be nowhere open on the drive into the park.
Where to Stay while visiting Bryce Canyon National Park
Stay in Torrey or Hurricane
Accommodation options are very limited in Bryce Canyon. Other than the Bryce Canyon Lodge itself, that books up to 6 months in advance, or a couple of very overpriced hotels right outside of the park, there are really no other close options. In our opinion, Bryce Canyon can be done in a half to a full day. We would recommend stopping here for a day on your way in between Zion National Park and Capitol Reef National Park. Please see Epic 10 Day Utah National Parks/Southwest Road Trip for more details on how we did this.
We hope this quick guide helps you plan your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park. Anything you would add to our Bryce Canyon National Park guide? Please see Epic 10 Day Utah National Parks/Southwest Road Trip for more details on our trip. Please also visit the Bryce Canyon National Park Website for additional details. We would love to hear your feedback and questions. Please leave us a comment!
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