Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah is most famous for its unique rock formations known as hoodoos. The park is home to the world’s largest concentration of hoodoos, which rise high up into the air like totem poles in vivid red, orange, and amber. The park also boasts spectacular natural amphitheaters and bowls, pine forests, high plateaus, and deep valleys. Anywhere youlook in Bryce Canyon is uniquely beautiful, and you can look forward a new jaw-dropping vista at every turn. People often spend just a day or two in Bryce Canyon as part of a trip to multiple national parks, if you plan out your stay—that’s plenty.
Greet the Day at Sunrise Point
One of the most stunning sunrises in the world is at the Sunrise Point scenic overlook. You can arrive early—the park is open 24 hours a day—and take in the park’s majesty under the golden light of a new day. Sunrise Point offers an expansive view of the park and what makes Bryce Canyon so special.
Drive to Rainbow Point
The drive to Rainbow Point from the Visitor Center is 18 miles each way. The trip is well worth it thanks to the exceptional views from Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point, and from the 13 scenic viewpoints you’ll pass to get there.
At an elevation of 9,100 feet, Rainbow Point provides expansive views of the whole of Bryce Canyon and beyond. It is at the park’s far southern end, and its views looking north toward the hoodoos are some of the best you’ll see.
See the Grand Staircase at Yovimpa Point
For a totally different experience, walk from the Rainbow Point parking lot down to Yovimpa Point and look to the south for a clear view of the dazzling sequence of rock layers known as the Grand Staircase. This spectacular showcase of the planet’s natural processes stretches hundreds of miles through Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon.
The layers of rainbow sedimentary rocks of the Grand Staircase are the result of hundreds of millions of years of tectonic activity and weather. You can clearly see five distinctly colored steps: Pink Cliffs, Grey Cliffs, White Cliffs, Vermilion Cliffs, and Chocolate Cliffs.
Take a Trail Ride
Seeing Bryce Canyon on horseback is a phenomenal experience, and the perfect activity if you have a full day to spend in the park. Canyon Rides is sanctioned by the National Park Service as Bryce Canyon’s official horseback tour guide. Rides are available daily from April 1 - October 31. After being paired with a horse or mule, you will be led on a ride down to the floor of the canyon. The gentle, experienced steeds provide you a unique vantage point to observe the beauty of the canyon. During your ride, local tour guides will explain the surrounding history and geology. You will experience such views as the Wall of Windows, The Chessmen, Silent City, and the Bristle Cone Pine Trees. Rides are 2 – 3 hours and range in price from $65 to $90 per person.
Hike the Rim Trail
Hiking is the most popular activity to do in Bryce Canyon. There are trails designed for all levels of fitness and have the freedom to stop and turn around at any point.
The best and most iconic scenery, including of the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, the single most photographed formation on the park, is on display on the 11-mile Rim Trail. The Rim Trail is easily accessible by foot from many of Bryce Canyon’s most popular viewpoints, as well as the Bryce Canyon Lodge. No matter where you are on the trail, colorful canyons, valleys, and of course hoodoos will rise and fall around you, giving you a dazzling view from all angles.
Watch the Sunset at Sunset Point
Sunset at Sunset Point is the perfect bookend for your perfect day at Bryce. As the day cools and the sun slowly sinks behind the rocks, the canyon seems to catch fire with the breathtaking orange light. Dramatic, vibrant, and awe-inspiring, Bryce Canyon at sunset feels like a different place. The impossibly bright moon and stars glow white as the sunshine fades. The rocks go from gold to purple to deepest black as the sun and moon trade places—a sight you won’t soon forget.
Stop by the Visitor Center
Bryce Canyon’s Visitor Center is a great place to drop by to help get your bearings and learn about the park. The knowledgeable staff is happy to answer questions and offer expert advice. Additionally, there they offer a range of services including updated information on weather and Park Ranger programs, backcountry permits, first aid, a small museum, and a nicely appointed bookstore.
Bryce Canyon Facts You Should Know
- Sunrise and sunset are the best times to take photos
- Cars are allowed in the park, but parking is limited - the better option is the free shuttle, which visits areas of interest, viewpoints, and trailheads
- Bryce Canyon is extraordinary at night, and there are many ranger-led night activities throughout the year
- On a clear dark night, you can see 2.2 million light years or 527,000,000,000,000,000 miles to the Andromeda Galaxy
- On a clear day, you can see for over 100 miles
- Bryce Canyon National Park was established in 1928
- The park covers 35,835 acres
Visit Bryce Canyon National Park with YMT Vacations
If the stunning beauty of the hoodoos, amphitheaters, and vistas of Bryce National Park sound interesting to you, why not join YMT Vacations on a tour of Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, and more, on our Crimson Canyons & Mesas National Parks Tour? It’s a great way to see the best of the west for an affordable price! To make your plans to join, call your travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.