Bryce Canyon is one of the most breathtaking, beautiful sites that southern Utah has to offer. Each year over 1 million people visit the Bryce Canyon National Park to take in the beauty and challenge themselves on hikes and other activities. With close to 36,000 acres to cover, there are endless possibilities for any adventure seeker to enjoy.
Bryce Canyon offers many activities for all ages. Hiking, camping and horseback riding are among the most popular within the area. Bryce Canyon National Park also provides many other activities like fishing, mountain biking, shooting ranges, and ATV trails. It’s fun for the whole family.
Not far from Bryce Canyon National Park is the beauty that is the Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument. Some of the greatest views and beauty comes from the Grand Escalante area. With so much camping, hiking and biking activities, you are guaranteed a great time when you visit Grand Escalante.
Whether you come to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument or Bryce Canyon National Park, there are plenty of activities. With stargazing, horseback riding, hiking, camping, ATV riding and many other activities, the possibilities are endless. Come visit Bryce Canyon and the Grand Staircase-Escalante today and start your adventure!
Bryce Canyon Country in the Dixie National Forest and on public lands is spectacular, with trails that take you through red rock formations that offer incredible views! The terrain and scenery is impressive with “hoodoos”, rock spires, and dense forests. Bryce Canyon Country boasts many new trails for ATV riding.
You will discover trout fishing at its best in our many mountain lakes, reservoirs, and streams with the surrounding scenery as beautiful and diverse as the fisheries themselves. From low-lying streams like the Sevier River, to large lakes like Panguitch Lake, which is surrounded by forests, to clear mountain lakes high in the Boulder Mountain, you will find plenty of opportunities to catch your limit of rainbow, brook, cutthroat, or German brown trout.
You’ll find that Bryce Canyon National Park is filled with endless miles of hiking trails, ranging from pleasant walks to strenuous back-country hikes – and everything in between. In Bryce Canyon there’s a hiking trail to suit the experience or energy level of just about anyone.
You can ride through the nearby Red Canyon, which is under the management of the National Forest Service. In Red Canyon, you’ll find scenery and terrain nearly identical to that of Bryce Canyon, but you’ll be able to enjoy it on your bike.
Explore an Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) village that was likely occupied from A.D. 1050 to 1200, and one of the largest communities west of the Colorado River. Outside the museum, tour a life-sized, six-room replica of an ancient dwelling and view a portion of the original site. Inside, view artifacts excavated from this site and learn the lifeways of these people.
Your camera is the first thing to include on your list when visiting Bryce Canyon Country. In this day and age, it is easy to capture and share your pictures. You’ll impress your friends around the world with what you are seeing and doing in the Bryce Canyon region.
Bryce Canyon and the surrounding canyons and forests are home to a diverse population of high desert and mountain wildlife. In the Bryce Canyon area, researchers have identified 59 species of mammals, 175 species of birds, 11 types of reptiles, and 4 kinds of amphibians.
The Bryce Canyon Winter Festival (usually hosted over President’s Day Weekend) provides an opportunity for free snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, along with ski archery tours and clinics. Snowshoe and cross country ski equipment rentals are available at Ruby’s Inn.
Among the many places and sites to see in southern Utah, the beauties of Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are must-sees for nature fans. Amid these national treasures are many other beautiful sites and parks in the surrounding area for people of all ages to enjoy. With places Like Dixie National Forest, Hole in the Rock, Lake Powell and Red Canyon, there is almost too much to do. Make your trip today and see the beauties that southern Utah has to offer!
Bryce Canyon National Park, open all year, is located near the junction of Scenic Byway 12 and U-63. Bryce Canyon is a series of large natural amphitheaters with thousands of multi-colored rock pinnacles called “hoodoos”. These formations shine brilliantly under sunny skies, but glow most exquisitely under the softer light of the rising or setting sun.
This ancient Indian village in the heart of Utah’s canyon country was one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River. The site is believed to have been occupied from A.D. 1050 to 1200. The village remains largely unexcavated, but many artifacts have been uncovered and are on display in the newly remodeled museum.
Boulder Mountain, also known as Utah’s Aquarius plateau, is part of the High Plateaus section of the Colorado Plateau. At over 11,000 feet in elevation, Boulder Mountain is roughly 90 miles long, north to south, and forms what looks like an S in reverse. The plateau covers more than 900 square miles, and is the largest and highest plateau in Bryce Canyon Country. Eighty lakes are found across the mountain that is covered in aspen, fir, spruce, sub-alpine grasslands and meadows. Along the middle elevations you’ll find ponderosa pine, while pinyon and juniper trees are found in the lower elevations.
Open all year, the rugged western landscape of Capitol Reef adds to the western adventure. Capitol Reef is accessible via Scenic Byway 12 and U-24, or take the Burr Trail from Boulder. Drive the Park’s scenic drive, stop in at the Visitor Center and Museum, hike the trails, and visit the old log schoolhouse and the village of Fruita.
The town of Widtsoe, Utah was first settled in the early 1900s by Jedediah Adair. He was successful as a ‘dry’ farmer and this soon attracted other settlers to the area. The town was originally known as Adairville, but was later renamed multiple times using names of local prominent leaders such as John Houston and John R. Winder. Ultimately it retained the name of one-time University of Utah president John A. Widtsoe.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a vast tract of land (1.7 million acres) that connects Glen Canyon National Recreation Area with Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks. The nation’s newest monument is largely desert wilderness. Hike the canyons, view wildlife, explore and photograph the remote areas.
While the Hole in the Rock road is a dirt road, it is wide and quite well maintained and is passable for most vehicles during good weather. Many visitors venture down this road to hike into slot canyons such as Peek-a-boo, Spooky, Egypt, Coyote Gulch and more. Also along this road is Devil’s Garden which is very much a natural play-land for adults and kids with its curious rock formations and arches.
Kodachrome Basin State Park is just a short drive from the picturesque communities of Tropic, Cannonville, and Henrieville that make up the scenic Bryce Valley. Best known for the 67 towering sand pipes that dominate the desert landscape, this colorful park has a well-deserved reputation as a photographer’s paradise.
Fish, boat, swim, hike at Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Bullfrog Marina is accessible via the Burr Trail or by way of U-95 and U-276. To get to Wahweap Marina near Page, Arizona, drive south on US 89.
There are three sections of the Dixie National Forest in the Bryce Canyon Country region (Garfield County). Each section encompasses a major plateau and elevations range from approximately 6,000 to over 10,000 feet. The Markagunt Plateau, Paunsaugunt Plateau and Aquarius Plateau are each within these three sections of the Dixie National Forest. The Aquarius Plateau is believed to be the highest plateau in North America.
Panguitch Lake is located just 20 minutes south of the town of Panguitch and, at 8,400 feet in elevation, is a great year-round mountain destination. Panguitch Lake is found right along Scenic Highway 143 and is a great base-camp for exploring nearby attractions such as Cedar Breaks National Monument, Mammoth Cave, Cascade Falls, and other mountain attractions.
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.
Trails lead visitors past many of the hoodoos can be explored via short hikes, or visitors have the option of enjoying the paved, five-mile Red Canyon bike and walking path. This popular bike and walking trail winds through the ponderosa forest between Red Canyon and the upper Paunsaugunt Plateau, with access points for the Grand View Trail and the Thunder Mountain Trail.
Visitor Centers are one thing that we do especially well in Bryce Canyon Country. There are several visitor centers that are run by Federal Agencies and several that are managed by our local tourism office.
The best scenic byway routes in Utah are in the Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante areas. There is nothing quite like the views and scenery that these beautiful byways have to offer. If you are looking for breathtaking views on a casual drive, give Utah’s Byway 12, Byway 143 and Scenic Highway 89 a try!
Scenic Byway 12
Spanning a route of more than 120 miles, Utah’s Byway 12 Scenic Byway travels through some of the most diverse and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. Included in this natural showcase is the newly created 1.7 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Scenic Byway 12 is one of two paved highways in the monument. See More »
Scenic Byway 143
Scenic Byway 143 follows a 55 mile course between Panguitch and Parowan, Utah, and connects Intestate-15 to Highway 89. This throughway follows the historic migration route used by the ancient Anasazi and is nicknamed Utah’s Patchwork Parkway. In 1864 pioneers were forced to walk on quilts to avoid sinking into the deep early winter snow as they crossed the mountains to Parowan, to obtain much needed flour to save their settlement from starvation. The now famous Quilt Walk is an annual celebration and is the impetus behind the name Utah’s Patchwork Parkway. See More »
Scenic Highway 89
Scenic Highway 89 through Bryce Canyon Country is part of the Utah Heritage Highway 89. This road passed through the western section of Bryce Canyon Country from north to south and connects travelers on the south to Zion National Park, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. This section of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 is an adventure through scenic beauty and living history. See More »
Burr Trail Road
The Burr Trail road is a scenic backway that spans 66-miles and winds through dramatic portions of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. See More »
Hole In The Rock
While the Hole in the Rock road is a dirt road, it is wide and quite well maintained and is passable for most vehicles during good weather. Many visitors venture down this road to hike into slot canyons such as Peek-a-boo, Spooky, Egypt, Coyote Gulch and more. Also along this road is Devil’s Garden which is very much a natural play-land for adults and kids with its curious rock formations and arches. See More »
As you travel Byway 12 Scenic Byway, take time to explore the designated scenic backways. A backway is a paved or dirt road that reaches less traveled but breathtaking areas. Check with the nearest visitor center or any local business for road and weather conditions. Be sure to have plenty of gasoline, food and water as there are usually no facilities along these beautiful corridors.
East Fork of the Sevier Scenic Backway
Double and single lane gravel road / passenger cars / fair weather only. Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities for seeing pronghorn antelope, deer, prairie dogs and elk can be found. 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 Scenic Backway
Utah National and State Parks Scenic DrivesGraded 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, Paria River and views of Bryce Canyon National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Table Cliffs Plateau. Paved to Kodachrome State Park, dirt after. Distance 49 miles (2 hours).
Griffin Top Scenic Backway
Narrow single lane dirt and gravel road (closed in winter) / passenger cars. This 32-mile gravel road crosses the Table Cliffs Plateau on the Dixie National Forest. Features: secluded lakes, excellent wildlife viewing, and vistas from the high plateau. The road is wonderful for snowmobiling in the winter. Distance 32 miles (1 hour).
Smokey Mountain Scenic Backway
Dirt and gravel / impassable in bad weather / high clearance vehicles. This rugged corridor between Byway 12 and Highway 89 requires a high clearance vehicle. Spectacular views of Fifty Mile Mountain, Powell Point, desert slickrock and Lake Powell can be seen while traveling this backway. Distance 78 miles (5 hours).
Posey Lake Scenic Backway
Single lane dirt and gravel road (closed in winter). Camping, fishing, hiking, hunting and mountain biking opportunities abound on the road through the Dixie National Forest. This backway provides access to Posey Lake and Posey Lake Campground with beautiful scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities. The backway starts in Escalante and ends on Highway 24 at Bicknell. Distance 40 miles (1 hour).
Hole-in-the-Rock Scenic Backway
Gravel and graded dirt road / passenger cars in good weather; 4-wheel drive recommended. Step back in time and travel the route that Mormon pioneers took on their historic journey to the San Juan country. Access is provided to Devil’s Rock Garden, Dance Hall Rock, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Hole-in-the-Rock and several desert hiking trail heads. Last five miles requires a high clearance vehicle. Distance 56 miles one way (6 hours round trip).
Burr Trail Scenic Backway
Hard surfaced, graded dirt and gravel road / passenger car in good weather; 4-wheel drive recommended. Beautiful scenery can be found around every turn! Features access to Deer Creek Recreation Site, Long Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Lake Powell and Bullfrog Marina. Impassable when wet. Distance 66 miles (4-1/2 hours).
Hell’s Backbone Road
Gravel and dirt road (closed in winter) / high clearance vehicles recommended. Although this is not a designated scenic backway, Hell’s Backbone is one of the most dramatic roads in the world. The road makes a loop connecting Escalante with Byway 12, three miles west of Boulder. From the Posey Lake Scenic Backway, Hell’s Backbone heads east, passes Blue Spruce Campground and circles the Box Death Hollow Wilderness Area. Hell’s Backbone Bridge is an engineering feat. Distance 44 miles (1-1/2 hours).
Notom Road Scenic Backway
Dry weather road (open all year) / high clearance vehicles recommended. Notom Road parallels the Waterpocket Fold of Capitol Reef National Park. It skirts the eastern section of Capitol Reef between Hwy 24 and the Burr Trail. Views of the Henry Mountains and Capitol Reef are among the highlights. Impassable when wet. Distance 29 miles (2 hours).
Bull Mountain Road Scenic Backway
Single lane dry weather road / high clearance vehicles required. 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).
Some of the Scenic Backways are gateways to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Stop at the Interagency Office in Escalante for information and topographic maps of the area. When driving in the back country, please stay on the roads to avoid damaging the environment.
Ask a Question: Need a question answered. Feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us at 800-444-6689 and we will try assist you.
Astronomy / Night Sky Tours
The high desert air and lack of significant light pollution, make the Bryce Canyon region North America’s premier stargazing destination. Come see our amazing rocks by day, then stay an extra night to view our world-class sky! View Options »
Enjoy the epic scenery of Bryce Canyon from a bird’s eye view with chartered helicopter and airplane rides. View Options »
Biking Tours & Rentals
Bryce Canyon Country has a variety of biking rental vendors, whose options feature many unique outdoor adventures. View Options »
Thrill seekers come from around the country to Bryce Canyon’s Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to repel hundreds of feet down narrow, cool canyons. Learn More »
Travel around the county from one incredible adventure to another. A car rental gives you the freedom to explore all that Bryce Canyon Country has to offer. View Options »
With flexible daylong or multiple-day hikes, these guided tours have something for everyone. Family-friendly hikes provide access to breath-taking views of Bryce Canyon and the Escalante Mountains. View Options »
Horseback Riding and Pack Trips
Our specialized guides offer a variety of horseback riding options. Follow the legendary trails of Butch Cassidy on horseback through Red Canyon. See incredible rock formations up close while riding through Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Staircase National Monument. View Options »
Hunting & Fishing
Our outfitters at Bryce Canyon Country have handpicked the best scenic locations for hunting and fly-fishing, with multiple rental and guide packages. View Options »
PAWZ offers a safe and comfortable place for your pet when you have to be apart. All dog guests have indoor and outdoor kennels, blankets and lots of love. Cat guests enjoy private indoor accommodations with cozy beds, toys and clean litterboxes. View Options »
Off Road Tours and Rentals
Experience the stunning landscape of Bryce Canyon Country away from roads. Countless wilderness adventures include a jeep expedition, 3 to 6 day llama-pack trip, or a guided hiking tour of Bryce Canyon and other nearby parks! Customized tours provide beautiful lookouts and unique destinations. View Options »
Wagon Rides / Pack Trips
Experience the trails of Bryce Canyon, the Grand Staircase, and Dixie National Forest on a pack trip or wagon ride. With options from day trips to multi-day destinations, these vendors offer great excursions for an adventurous view of Bryce Canyon.View Options »
Coast through Wide Hollow Reservoir or cruise across scenic Lake Powell with great rates on boat and canoe rentals.View Options »
Take a trip back in time to the Wild West! Enjoy cowboy grub during a rodeo or experience work on a dude ranch. View Options »
Winter Activities and Rentals
Start your winter vacation gliding through the landscapes of snow-capped hoodoos with our cross-country skiing instructors at Ruby’s Inn. View Options »