Top Reasons to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park’s unique landscape separates it from other national parks found in the United States. The park’s famous crimson red hoods and exotic rock formations, mixed with an extensive network of interconnected hiking trails, make it a must-visit destination. Then of course there are the stunning valley views and vistas that create an enchanting attraction unlike anywhere else. If you are looking for a great outdoor adventure, Bryce Canyon National Park is the place for you.

Bryce Canyon offers many activities for all ages and adventurous levels. Hiking, camping, and horseback riding are among the most popular activities, but these aren’t the only activities that make Bryce Canyon National Park so interesting. Read on to find out the top reasons to visit Bryce Canyon National Park.

cap!

Bryce Canyon National Park has the largest concentration of these unique rock formations in the world.

You may be wondering what is a head covering? Hoods are columns of rock, usually 5 to 150 feet in height. Unlike the tower (which tapers off from bottom to top), the headgear has a variable thickness similar to a totem pole throughout its height. The towers are usually softer sandstone covered with a more wear-resistant layer of rock.

If geology is your thing, Bryce Canyon is the place for you. However, even if you don’t know much about geology, just walking around and enjoying the views of these amazing rock formations will make you think you are on another planet!

Find out more about America through our website Best single travel destinations in the United States.

Thor’s hammer

Thor’s Hammer is one of the most photographed hoodies in the park. This towering colossal stone structure rises 150 feet as it isolates itself from the maze of other hoods and tightly packed fins that surround it.

There are several ways to see Thor’s Hammer when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. Two of the main viewing points are the sunrise and sunset points. These two locations are only half a mile apart from each other which makes seeing the two viewpoints of this famous landmark less difficult. The view from Sunrise Point is said to be even more spectacular as the red glow of the morning sun illuminates the building.

The more adventurous explorer can choose to hike the Bryce Canyon runway along the trails of the Navajo Loop or Queens Garden. Each of the trails is about 3 miles long and can be considered strenuous given the altitude.

Hiking

One of the best ways to experience Bryce Canyon National Park is on foot. Hiking the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater allows hikers to get up close and personal with the canyon’s unique rock formations while hiking along the edge providing visitors with opportunities to view these exotic formations from above.

Perhaps the best thing about hiking in Bryce Canyon is that there is a hiking trail for almost everyone. Hiking trails range from easy, flat terrain of less than a mile to extreme outback trails that require several days to complete. You’ll find more people on the trails who stay on the edge which means that the deeper you go into the valley, the fewer crowds you’ll face.

Some of the must-do trips when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park are:

  • Navajo Loop Trail – This track makes an approximate two-hour loop from the rim at Sunset Point to the floor of Bryce Canyon while traversing gorgeous headdresses and rock formations.
  • The Rim Trail – This trail wraps around the amphitheater of Bryce Canyon, the hooded canyon at the heart of the park. This trail traces the valley, providing indispensable views of Bryce Canyon’s Hood from above.

Check out Top Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park to learn more.

horseback riding

A great way to experience the unique landscapes of Bryce Canyon National Park is to ride on a horse. Horseback riding has been part of the park’s experience since it was established as a national park. Nowadays visitors can enjoy several miles of well-established horse trails as well as guided tours led by a Wrangler.

Canyon Trail Rides, the park’s concessionaire, offers 2- and 3-hour guided horse and mule tours of the Bryce Amphitheater along a dedicated horse trail and Peek-a-boo Loop Trail. Guided trail trips usually start in April and run through October 31, depending on the weather.

Additional reading: Camping, hiking and more Las Vegas adventures

stars

If you thought the daytime views of Bryce Valley were amazing, wait for the stars to appear at night! Certified as Dark Sky Park, Bryce Canyon National Park boasts minimal light pollution and superior air quality, making it a prime stargazing location.

Amateur astronomers will find Bryce Canyon a prime destination to set up a telescope and observe celestial events, but if you’re not equipped to do so, you can join the free educational and entertainment stargazing programs at the park’s astronomy-organized visitor center. Notice. Almost all year long, the Milky Way stretches across the sky above Bryce Valley. It is also said that on a moonless night about 7,500 stars appear!

Every year the park hosts an annual astronomy festival. These astronomy festivals feature family-friendly daytime activities, ranger-led evening programs, and constellation tours.

camping

To make the most of your time in Bryce Canyon, you should pitch a tent and camp for a night or two during your stay, especially if you want to enjoy this amazing night sky that we just told you about.

There are two campgrounds established within Bryce Canyon National Park: North Campground and Sunset Campground. Both campgrounds are located near the visitor center and Bryce Amphitheater. North Campground is open year-round and Sunset Campground is open from April 15 to October 31. Both operate on a first-come-first-served basis although there are a limited number of locations that can be booked at the North Campground.

For an adventurous night under the stars, grab a countryside camping pass (up to 48 hours in advance) and take to the trails that delve deeper into the valleys. The Under-The-Rim Trail is a 22-mile trail that winds through the backcountry with several campgrounds along the way. The Riggs Spring Loop Trail offers a unique experience in the countryside, too.

New to camping? Read Camping Tips: A Beginner’s Guide to Their First Trip.

scenic driving

If you don’t have time for long walks or horseback riding isn’t your thing, you’ll find that driving through the park is amazing too. Interstate 63 runs through the heart of the park for 18 miles and connects all major scenic viewpoints. Scenic views like sunrise, sunset, and inspiration provide some of the best views in all of Bryce Canyon. Along the highway as well, there are opportunities for visitors to get outside and combine their short drive to enjoy even more great views.

winter time

The stark white of freshly fallen snow, red rocks, blue skies, evergreen trees – some say Bryce Canyon is even more beautiful in winter! Most park trails remain open during the winter months but will require snowshoes. Ranger-led snowshoe hikes begin from the visitor center on days when conditions are right. Cross-country skiers can enjoy the Fairyland Road and Paria Point Road as these roads are left uncultivated during the winter months.

In addition to daily activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter hiking, the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival and Christmas Bird Count are popular annual events.

Additional reading: 9 winter hiking tips for your next cold-weather adventure

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of Utah’s finest gems and a great destination for any traveler. Bryce Canyon’s exotic hoods and bizarre rock formations make it one of the most unique landscapes in the world. Millions of visitors come every year to witness this amazing spectacle and there is no reason why you can’t be one of them. When planning your next US national park adventure, consider adding Bryce Canyon National Park as a must-visit destination.

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