Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon - A multi-day vacation destination!
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah is a scenic wonderland with five national parks, but nowhere are the forces of nature more strikingly apparent than at Bryce Canyon National Park. Here, distinctly shaped pinnacles formed by millions of years of wind and water erosion rise from the canyon floor, adding an air of mystery and unparalleled splendor to the landscape. Throughout the park, horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters are filled with clusters of the vibrant multi-hued hoodoos that seem to come alive in the light and shadows that sweep over the park. Ancient Paiute Indians believed these fiery orange and red pinnacles were evil Legend People frozen in time by the omnipotent Coyote. Today these silent stone people stand at attention deep in the amphitheaters, leaving the two million annual visitors from around the world equally spellbound.
Bryce Amphitheater is the scenic heart of the park, encircling six square miles of these majestic rock formations. An early morning start at Bryce Point or Sunrise Point showcases breathtaking color as sunrise washes over Bryce Amphitheater and illuminates the hoodoos. Nearby Inspiration Point and Sunset Point provide some of the best views of Bryce Amphitheater throughout the day, as the changing light plays off the textures of rock to inspire and capture the imagination. Bryce Canyon National Park's tallest hoodoo, Thor's Hammer, can be seen from Sunset Point and nearby Navajo Loop Trail.
While rim views of Bryce Canyon are spectacular, descending a trail into the canyon offers a completely different yet equally dramatic perspective. Bryce Canyon National Park has eight trails of varying difficulty, from the easy, paved Rim Trail to the 23-mile backcountry Under the Rim Trail. You can do all or part of any of these trails. Just remember that what goes down must come up, and plan according to your ability.
The fairly strenuous 1.5-mile Navajo Loop Trail follows a series of switchbacks into the canyon to Wall Street, a narrow slot where two 700-year-old Douglas fir trees grow between the sheer walls. The trail continues to the Queens Garden Trail junction, one of the easiest trails below the rim, then climbs back up to the rim at Sunrise Point. A half-mile walk along the paved Rim Trail will get you back to Sunset Point where you can begin the scenic drive to the southern end of the park.
Following the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, the scenic rim drive through Bryce Canyon National Park has expansive views you have to see to believe. Surrounded by the Paria Valley and multi-colored cliffs of the Grand Staircase, there are dramatic vistas in every direction. Thirteen designated viewpoints along the 18-mile scenic drive through the national park offer supreme views in every direction, with visibility up to a stunning 100 miles from Rainbow and Yovimpa Points.
From Natural Bridge, a massive natural stone arch spanning 85 feet wide and 115 feet high, to the sweeping views of the Agua Canyon and Black Birch Canyon overlooks, the drive offers scene after scene of unmatched grandeur. The road ascends to 9,115 feet at Rainbow Point, the rim's highest elevation. From here, the Bristlecone Trail leads to sweeping views of the Aquarius Plateau (the highest in North America), Bryce Amphitheater, the Henry Mountains, and the Vermillion and White Cliffs of the Grand Staircase. A detour to Yovimpa Point overlooks the colorful steps of the Grand Staircase and a stand of ancient bristlecone trees, some more than 1,500 years old.
Be sure to make side trips to Paria Viewpoint for views of the White Cliffs and the Paria River, and to Fairyland Point near the park entrance for panoramic views of the Table Cliffs and the Kaibab Plateau. And be sure to stop at the visitor center, where you'll find a comprehensive museum with exhibits and a film about the geologic formation of the canyon and its colorful history.
To reach Bryce Canyon National Park, take Scenic Byway 12, Utah's first All-American Road for a visual introduction to the splendor that awaits you inside the park. Turn south on SR-63 to the park entrance. Bryce Canyon National Park can usually be visited in a day or less, whether you drive the scenic route through the park or take time to descend into the canyon.
How was Bryce Canyon created? Learn more about erosion here.
Visitor Center Hours
8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. thru Memorial Day.
8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. After Memorial Day thru Labor Day.
(Visitor's Center is open all year except: Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1)
Check at the Visitor's Center for times of Ranger-led walks & talks.
Interpretive programs are offered throughout the year, weather permitting.
Buy your America the Beautiful Pass - $80 at the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park! Use your Annual Pass to get into any National Park or Federal Recreation Land that has an entrance fee. The America the Beautiful Senior Pass - $10 lifetime pass, for ages 62 and older. The America the Beautiful Access Pass is free to permanently disabled U.S. residents only. For more information on passes, visit www.nps.gov/brca.
$25.00 (7 days) This fee is for one private vehicle and its occupants.The fee for an individual to enter the park is $12.00 per day. The fee for a motorcycle is $20.00 for 7 days.
$25.00 (7 days) Shuttle runs from May 15th to September 30th. The shuttle stops at the following northern points: Highway 63 &12 Parking Area, Ruby's Inn, Ruby's Inn Campground, the Visitor Center, Sunset Campground, Bryce Canyon Lodge, Sunrise & Sunset Points, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point.
Bryce Canyon National Park Campgrounds
North and Sunset Campgrounds have a total of 216 sites, available on a first-come, first-served basis. North Campground is open all year. Camping is $15 a night per site. One group campsite is available by reservation only at Sunset Campground. Some pull-through motor home sites are available. No hookups are provided, but a fee-for-use sanitary dump station is available during the summer months. Generator hours are restricted. Restrooms are provided. Showers are available at the General Store near Sunrise Point.
Back Country Camping Permit
$5.00 (14 days) This permit is required for anyone planning to stay overnight in the Back Country. Permits are issued at the Visitor Center from 8 A.M. until two hours before sunset.
Shower and laundry facilities are available at the General Store, located near Sunrise Point parking area.
Pets In The Park
Pets are not recommended in Bryce Canyon National Park. If you must bring your pet with you, be aware that they must be on a leash and under control at all times; they are not permitted on park trails or overlooks. It is not advisable to leave pets in vehicles.
Bicycles are restricted to paved roadways.
Check the Photo Page for more photography of Bryce.
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