Sample Itineraries


It’s impossible to exhaust the possibilities in Bryce Canyon Country. From hoodoos to slot canyons to dinosaur fossils and more, you’ll find incredible wonders of nature at every turn. Boasting rock formations and landscapes that are unlike anywhere else on the planet, Bryce Canyon Country is jaw-dropping and inspiring.

Follow the six-day itineraries above that take you through Capitol Reef, all of Bryce Canyon Country, and more. Or customize your own. From hiking to scenic drives, to horseback riding and more, there’s something for every traveler. 

Hiking Itineraries    

Our six-day hiking itinerary takes you through the other-worldliness of the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, the mesmerizing slot canyons of Willis Creek and Bull Valley Gorge, the pre-historic rock art of the Grand Staircase-Escalante, and beyond.

You’ll walk through ankle-deep water to sandy ground, along tree-covered washes to pink and white limestone cliffs, all the while taking in sights you can’t see any other way.

Capitol Reef

Spend a week in Capitol Reef with ancient history and incredible natural wonders. From the scenic byways to the many trails for hiking and biking, you’ll experience stunning sandstone cliffs, multi-colored rock formations, narrow canyons, and more.

You may spot a bison or two (or an entire herd!), and don’t be surprised if you stumble on petroglyphs and other remnants of the prehistoric Fremont Native American culture.

Itinerary Combo

This six-day itinerary takes you through the southern part of Bryce Canyon Country. Explore Grand Staircase in depth, including:

  • Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
  • Kodachrome Basin – a well-kept scenic secret named after the film made by Kodak
  • Hole in the Rock – part of a treacherous path forged by Mormon pioneers

You’ll also experience Boulder Mountain, home to more than 80 lakes – many of them annually stocked for fishing. Take in the rugged landscape of Capitol Reef National Park, including the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long wrinkle in the earth’s crust.

Pansaugunt Scenic Backways

If you choose to spend the week on the Pansaugunt Scenic Backways, you’ll be treated to incredible backcountry, including:

  • Hole in the Rock
  • Smokey Mountain
  • Cottonwood Canyon
  • East Fork Sevier

Plan to take plenty of water, and check road conditions ahead of time as many locations can be isolated.

Boulder Mountain

Spend the week on one of only two major high-elevation lake areas in Utah. The 80 lakes and heavily forested landscape of Boulder Mountain create an environment ripe for fishing, ATV riding, hiking, photography, and more.

ATV

Hoodoos, pink and white sandstone cliffs, towering rock formations, dense forests, and more: A week spent exploring Bryce Canyon Country on ATVs will be a vacation you’ll never forget. Most of the trails in our ATV itinerary are for beginner to intermediate riders.

What Are You Waiting For?

No matter how you choose to explore Bryce Canyon Country, your trip will be an experience of a lifetime. Follow our itineraries exactly, or use them as a starting point to create your own.

Interactive Map

Widtsoe - Ghost Town

Widtsoe - Ghost Town

Widtsoe, Utah - Ghost Town

Panguitch Lake

Panguitch Lake

Panguitch Lake is located at approximately 8,400 feet in elevation and approximately 30 miles west of Bryce Canyon National Park. Today Panguitch Lake is a haven for fishing, and a base for outdoor exploration of the Dixie National Forest. Cabin lodging is available, and guest have close access to Cedar Breaks National Monument, and other attractions. The word Panguitch actually means ‘big fish’ in the Paiute language.

Red Canyon

Red Canyon

At the western end of Scenic Byway 12 you'll find a magical destination called Red Canyon where you'll have the opportunity to drive through the same formations as Bryce Canyon National Park. This was once a place where outlaws found refuge, and today is a place for diverse recreation opportunities. There is a visitor center (seasonal) in the canyon with information about trails for hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding, and more.

Tropic Reservoir

Tropic Reservoir

Located just west of Bryce Canyon National Park, Tropic Reservoir is annually stocked with Brook and Rainbow Trout, and is a great area for camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, ATV riding, and more. The reservoir is just seven miles south of Scenic Byway 12 and the dirt road that leads to Tropic Reservoir is accessed from near the top of Red Canyon. Lodging, dining, and other services are very close to this entry point.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is located just south of the junction of Scenic Byway 12 and U-63 and is a series of large natural amphitheaters on the eastern edge of a large plateau. You'll enter the park from the north with the option of traveling to various overlooks along the 20 mile length of the park. Maps and information are available at the park entrance and the visitor center. Hiking trails descend into many of the amphitheaters.

Kodachrome Basin

Kodachrome Basin

Kodachrome Basin State Park is the perfect destination for a quiet family holiday or for romance. Here you'll be surrounded by 67 majestic and staggering formations of towering sedimentary chimney rocks. The park offers an excellent campground, and many hiking trails, and is named after the famous Kodak color film. Kodachrome Basin is found just nine miles southeast of the town of Cannonville (paved road to the park).

Pine Lake

Pine Lake

The Pine Lake recreation area is a great secret spot in the Dixie National Forest along the western edge of Boulder Mountain. You can access Pine Lake by going north from Scenic Byway 12 on Hwy-22 approximately 14 miles and then turning right for 5.5 miles to ascend the mountain to Pine Lake. Here you'll find 33 campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, in a great forest setting.

Griffin Top

Griffin Top

This is a great seasonally accessible back-country road (off-road capable vehicles) that leads from Hwy 22 up and over the Boulder Mountain. Beginning at the ghost town of Widtsoe (15 miles from SR12) this road leads to elevations of 10,000 feet toward Posey Lake on the eastern edge of the Boulder Mountain. This area can be accessed from either side of the mountain and the town of Escalante can also be a good staging point.

Hells Backbone

Hells Backbone

This area is best accessed from either of the towns of Boulder or Escalante from Scenic Byway 12. The Hell's Backbone and Box Death Hollow area is scenically diverse and at one point the dirt road into this area takes you across a bridge over a 1,000 foot deep canyon at Hell's Backbone. It is best traveled during good weather conditions, and this is a beautiful back-country experience through the Dixie National Forest.

Posey Lake

Posey Lake

Access to Posey Lake on Boulder Mountain is best achieved from Scenic Byway 12 in the town of Escalante. Follow signs northwest that lead up onto Boulder Mountain. Posey Lake offers great stocked fishing, camping, and is an excellent place from which to base while fishing the many other lakes in the area. Boulder Mountain does have some black bears and local campgrounds offer protective bear-boxes to contain your food.

Escalante

Escalante

This community sits at the base of Boulder Mountain and along the edge of dramatic sandstone formations that shelter the Escalante River. Escalante is a great place from which to base and explore Boulder Mountain, The Grand Staircase, and other attractions in the area. Lodging, dining, and other services are available in this quaint town on the edge of one the last explored region of the continental United States.

Grand Staircase

Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is the largest national monument in the country, and can be accessed from the communities of Cannonville, Escalante, or Boulder along Scenic Byway 12. Each access point puts you close to unique attractions or formations within the monument. One of the main entry points is the famous Hole In The Rock road that leads to Devil's Garden, and many slot canyons on the monument.

Calf Creek

Calf Creek

Calf Creek Recreation Area and Calf Creek Falls access is found just a few minutes north of Escalante on Scenic Byway 12. Here you'll find much to explore, in this canyon area, and along a 2.5 mile trail (5 mi. round-trip) that leads to the 126 foot high Calf Creek Falls at the end of the main canyon. Visitor may also access the upper falls of Calf Creek from a point closer to the community of Boulder (1 mile each direction).

Hole in the Rock

Hole in the Rock

In 1880 a famous expedition traveled down what is now called the Hole In The Rock road in an attempt to find a shorter and better route to southeastern Utah territory. A trip that was to take 6 weeks, took six months and the people struggled mightily to reach their destination in this rugged country. Visitors can travel this course to the Colorado River (Lake Powell) and see the notch cut n the canyon for wagons to descend.

Anasazi State Park

Anasazi State Park

One thousand years ago this was the home to one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River. The remains of the village and many artifacts are all visible and on display at this Utah state park museum. Located within the community of Boulder this is a great place to visit while also exploring the Burr Trail, Boulder Mountain, The Grand Staircase, and other scenic attractions near Boulder, Utah.

Burr Trail

Burr Trail

This road descends from the town of Boulder into a breath-taking red rock canyon. Side canyons along the way open into many areas waiting to be explored. This road is paved until the boundary of Capitol Reef National Park. Visitor can follow this road north through the central part of Capitol Reef on the Notom Road, and circle back to the community of Boulder. This a great day trip while staying in Boulder or Escalante.

Boulder Mtn.

Boulder Mtn.

Boulder Mountain was actually once called Thousand Lakes Mountain but 100 years ago a map-maker accidentally switched the name with a mountain to the north. There are 80+ lakes on this high and very large wooded plateau, most of which are well stocked with fish. Boulder Mountain offers several back-country roads and many trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. Top elevations - 10,000 and 11,000 feet.

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef National Park is accessible via Scenic Byway 12 to Scenic Byway 24. You have the option of looping down the Burr Trail from the community of Boulder and going north to Capitol Reef on the Notom Road. Capitol Reef is 70 miles in length and the main attractions in the park can be most easily accessed from Scenic Byway 24. The visitor center offers information to show hiking trails, and back-country access.

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Hike past large specimens of petrified wood and dinosaur fossils at Escalante Petrified Forest. Located one mile west of Escalante, at 710 N. Reservoir Road off Scenic Byway 12. The Park has hiking trails, fishing at Wide Hollow Reservoir, canoeing, camping and picnicking.

Panguitch Lake

Panguitch Lake

Panguitch Lake is located at approximately 8,400 feet in elevation and approximately 30 miles west of Bryce Canyon National Park. Today Panguitch Lake is a haven for fishing, and a base for outdoor exploration of the Dixie National Forest. Cabin lodging is available, and guest have close access to Cedar Breaks National Monument, and other attractions. The word Panguitch actually means ‘big fish’ in the Paiute language.

Panguitch

Panguitch

Panguitch, Utah has a grand history, and is a great staging point for exploration of Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon, Panguitch Lake, and other area attractions. Lodging, dining, shopping, and other visitors services are readily available here. An historic brick factory supplied the building blocks for many of the red-brick homes and building found here. Pioneer stories abound about the hearty folks who settled the town of Panguitch.

Junction 89 & 12

Junction 89 & 12

The Junction of Scenic Highway 89 and Scenic Byway 12 is a significant point along your travels and a possible place from which to base or to shop as you explore this region. A campground and other lodging services are available here, along with gift shops. Red Canyon, Casto Canyon, Losee Canyon, and other attractions are just a couple of miles from this point where the Sevier River lazily wends it way to the north.

Hatch

Hatch

Hatch, Utah is another great place from which to experience and explore the surrounding region. Looping day trips from Hatch can take you onto the Markagunt Plateau to Duck Creek, Navajo Lake, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Panguitch Lake. Lodging, dining, and other guest services are available here at this community that sits at the base of the Dixie National Forest along the Sevier River.

Bryce Canyon City

Bryce Canyon City

The city of Bryce is a new addition to official communities in Utah. Recently incorporated it encompasses an area literally at the mouth of Bryce Canyon National Park where lodging, dining, shopping, outfitter, and other services are readily available. This is also a great place from which to base while exploring Boulder Mountain, Kodachrome Basin State Park, and other scenic attractions in the region.

Tropic

Tropic

At the foot of Bryce Canyon National Park, Tropic sits in the Paria Valley and is a fine staging point for access to both Bryce Canyon and Kodachrome Basin State Park. Lodging, dining, shopping and other visitor services are found here in this quaint community that looks up to the Pansaugunt Plateau above. Visitors actually can hike into the bottom of Bryce Canyon's main amphitheater from the town of Tropic.

Cannonville

Cannonville

Along Scenic Byway 12, this quaint community offerings lodging, campground and some basic travel shopping services and fuel. This is the gateway community to Kodachrome Basin State Park and is also a wonderful central point from which to explore the region in all directions. A visitor center for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is found here, and well worth the stop to gather valuable information.

Henrieville

Henrieville

This is a historic farming community along Scenic Byway 12. You'll enjoy the scenery around Henrieville but be advised that visitor services are limited. Lodging and dining options are found in Cannonville or Escalante on either side of this community.

Antimony

Antimony

Antimony sits at the top of Hwy 22 near Otter Creek State Park (reservoir) and near the western base of Boulder Mountain. Lodging and some visitor shopping services are available here. The town gets its name from an element named Antimony which was useful in making bullets, and for a time this was a booming mining community.

Escalante

Escalante

This community sits at the base of Boulder Mountain and along the edge of dramatic sandstone formations that shelter the Escalante River. Escalante is a great place from which to base and explore Boulder Mountain, The Grand Staircase, and other attractions in the area. Lodging, dining, and other services are available in this quaint town on the edge of one the last explored region of the continental United States.

Boulder

Boulder

The community of Boulder sits along Scenic Byway 12 and at the junction of the Burr Trail. Attractions here include the Anasazi State Park Museum, The Burr Trail, and Boulder Mountain. Trails range off in all directions from Boulder for outdoor adventure. Upper Calf Creek Falls, Hells Backbone and other attractions are close by. Lodging, dining, and other visitor services are available here in this picturesque location.

Ticaboo/Lake Powell

Ticaboo/Lake Powell

Ticaboo, Utah is located on UT-276 about 90 miles east of Panguitch, the Garfield County seat, and only 12 miles from Lake Powell. This small, unincorporated town was originally established as a uranium mining and milling community, but now thrives as the northern gateway to beautiful Lake Powell and the spectacular Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. At an elevation of 4,265 feet, Ticaboo is only minutes from world-class fishing, boa

Scenic Byway 143

Scenic Byway 143

Scenic Byway 12

Scenic Byway 12

East Fork of the Sevier River

East Fork of the Sevier River

Double and single lane gravel road / passenger cars / fair weather only. This road travels south from Scenic Byway 12 past Tropic Reservoir (7 mi.) and beyond. Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities for seeing pronghorn, deer, prairie dogs, and elk. Features: East Fork of the Sevier River, Tropic Reservoir, Great Western Trail, Dixie National Forest and King Creek Campground. Distance 17 miles one way (1-1/2 hours).

Cottonwood Canyon Road

Cottonwood Canyon Road

Graded dry-weather road. Do not travel this route if storms are threatening. A photographer's dream. Features: Kodachrome Basin State Park (camping and picnicking facilities), Grosvenor Arch, Cockscomb and Paria River. Paved to Kodachrome State Park, dirt thereafter. Distance 49 miles (2 hrs).

Griffin Top

Griffin Top

This is a great seasonally accessible back-country road (off-road capable vehicles) that leads from Hwy 22 up and over the Boulder Mountain. Beginning at the ghost town of Widtsoe (15 miles from SR12) this road leads to elevations of 10,000 feet toward Posey Lake on the eastern edge of the Boulder Mountain. This area can be accessed from either side of the mountain and the town of Escalante can also be a good staging point.

Smoky Mountain Road

Smoky Mountain Road

Dirt and gravel / impassable in bad weather / high clearance vehicles This rugged corridor between Scenic Byway 12 and US 89 requires a high clearance vehicle. Spectacular views of the top of the Kaiparowits Plateau, Navajo Mountain, and Lake Powell can be seen while traveling this backway.

Distance 78 miles (5 hours).

Posey Lake

Posey Lake

Access to Posey Lake on Boulder Mountain is best achieved from Scenic Byway 12 in the town of Escalante. Follow signs northwest that lead up onto Boulder Mountain. Posey Lake offers great stocked fishing, camping, and is an excellent place from which to base while fishing the many other lakes in the area. Boulder Mountain does have some black bears and local campgrounds offer protective bear-boxes to contain your food.

Hole in the Rock

Hole in the Rock

In 1880 a famous expedition traveled down what is now called the Hole In The Rock road in an attempt to find a shorter and better route to southeastern Utah territory. A trip that was to take 6 weeks, took six months and the people struggled mightily to reach their destination in this rugged country. Visitors can travel this course to the Colorado River (Lake Powell) and see the notch cut n the canyon for wagons to descend.

Burr Trail

Burr Trail

This road descends from the town of Boulder into a breath-taking red rock canyon. Side canyons along the way open into many areas waiting to be explored. This road is paved until the boundary of Capitol Reef National Park. Visitor can follow this road north through the central part of Capitol Reef on the Notom Road, and circle back to the community of Boulder. This a great day trip while staying in Boulder or Escalante.

Hells Backbone

Hells Backbone

This area is best accessed from either of the towns of Boulder or Escalante from Scenic Byway 12. The Hell's Backbone and Box Death Hollow area is scenically diverse and at one point the dirt road into this area takes you across a bridge over a 1,000 foot deep canyon at Hell's Backbone. It is best traveled during good weather conditions, and this is a beautiful back-country experience through the Dixie National Forest.

Notom Road

Notom Road

Dry weather road (open all year) / passenger cars in good weather. Notom Road parallels the Waterpocket Fold of Capitol Reef National Park. It passes through the eastern section of Capitol

Reef between Highway 24 and the Burr Trail. Views of the Henry Mountains and Waterpocket Fold Monocline are among the highlights. May be impassable when wet. Distance 35 miles (2 hours).

Bull Mountain

Bull Mountain

Single lane dry weather road / 4-wheel drive vehicles recommended Vistas of the Colorado Plateau can be seen along the Bull Mountain Road. It climbs from the desert floor to 10,500 feet as it crosses the Henry Mountains. Splendid scenery includes beautiful canyons, red cliffs, forests and mountains. Impassable in winter and when wet. Distance 68 miles (6 to 7 hours).

Red Canyon

Red Canyon

At the western end of Scenic Byway 12 you'll find a magical destination called Red Canyon where you'll have the opportunity to drive through the same formations as Bryce Canyon National Park. This was once a place where outlaws found refuge, and today is a place for diverse recreation opportunities. There is a visitor center (seasonal) in the canyon with information about trails for hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding, and more.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is located just south of the junction of Scenic Byway 12 and U-63 and is a series of large natural amphitheaters on the eastern edge of a large plateau. You'll enter the park from the north with the option of traveling to various overlooks along the 20 mile length of the park. Maps and information are available at the park entrance and the visitor center. Hiking trails descend into many of the amphitheaters.

Cannonville

Cannonville

Along Scenic Byway 12, this quaint community offerings lodging, campground and some basic travel shopping services and fuel. This is the gateway community to Kodachrome Basin State Park and is also a wonderful central point from which to explore the region in all directions. A visitor center for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is found here, and well worth the stop to gather valuable information.

Escalante

Escalante

This community sits at the base of Boulder Mountain and along the edge of dramatic sandstone formations that shelter the Escalante River. Escalante is a great place from which to base and explore Boulder Mountain, The Grand Staircase, and other attractions in the area. Lodging, dining, and other services are available in this quaint town on the edge of one the last explored region of the continental United States.

Anasazi State Park

Anasazi State Park

One thousand years ago this was the home to one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River. The remains of the village and many artifacts are all visible and on display at this Utah state park museum. Located within the community of Boulder this is a great place to visit while also exploring the Burr Trail, Boulder Mountain, The Grand Staircase, and other scenic attractions near Boulder, Utah.

Boulder Mtn.

Boulder Mtn.

Boulder Mountain was actually once called Thousand Lakes Mountain but 100 years ago a map-maker accidentally switched the name with a mountain to the north. There are 80+ lakes on this high and very large wooded plateau, most of which are well stocked with fish. Boulder Mountain offers several back-country roads and many trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. Top elevations - 10,000 and 11,000 feet.

Torrey

Torrey

A new visitor center is opening at the junction of Scenic Byway 12 and 24, which is managed by the Wayne County (Capitol Reef Country) tourism office. Stop here to gather maps, brochures, and gain answers to questions. Other services are available in the Torrey area.

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef National Park is accessible via Scenic Byway 12 to Scenic Byway 24. You have the option of looping down the Burr Trail from the community of Boulder and going north to Capitol Reef on the Notom Road. Capitol Reef is 70 miles in length and the main attractions in the park can be most easily accessed from Scenic Byway 24. The visitor center offers information to show hiking trails, and back-country access.

Bryce Canyon Map
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