Location – Utah
Park tally – 2/59
Orientation – Most of Bryce Canyon National Park is accessible from one main road, starting at the park entrance near Bryce Canyon City and ending at Rainbow Point. The most visited area of the park is the section between the Visitor Center and Inspiration Point.
Most iconic view – Sunset & Inspiration Points are two of the most spectacular views in the park. Both are located along the rim of Bryce Canyon, are relatively close to the Visitor Center and have parking lots right by the lookouts.
Accessible activity – You can access some of the best views in the park via the Rim Trail, which is 0.5-miles to 5.5-mile one-way, depending on how long you choose to walk. This popular trail traverses the rim of Bryce Canyon, connecting all of the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point. The 0.5-mile section between Sunrise and Sunset Points is paved and accessible for those with wheelchairs or strollers.
Some other relatively easy hiking options in the park include the Mossy Cave Trail and Bristlecone Loop Trail. Mossy Cave Trail is only 0.8-miles roundtrip and takes you through vibrant pinnacles towards a mossy, seeping cave. Bristlecone Loop Trail is a pleasant 1-mile roundtrip hike through subalpine fir forest, staying entirely above the canyon rim.
For the adventurous – Bryce Canyon has numerous scenic hikes or those wanting to get down below the canyon rim. The Queens Garden and Navajo Loop combination is a fantastic trail for up-close views of spectacular rock formations. The hike starts and finishes at Sunset Point, with a total distance of 2.9-miles round-trip. The picturesque Peekaboo Loop Trail (5.5-miles) can also be added to the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop, for a total of 8.4-mile round-trip and unbeatable views.
Backcountry option – Find solitude via the Under-The-Rim Trail (22.9-mile one-way). There are 8 backcountry sites along the hike, though be sure to obtain an overnight backcountry permit from the Visitor Center.
Best photo opportunities – Sunrise at Bryce Canyon is undoubtedly the most photogenic time of day. Golden morning light illuminates the red rocks, providing incredible views from nearly every overlook in the park. For sunrise photography, you definitely can’t go wrong with Sunset Point and Inspiration Point. Thor’s Hammer is particularly interesting to capture and can be found near Sunset Point along the Navajo Loop Trail.
- Bryce Canyon was designated as a National Park in 1928.
- The park is home to the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. They are created by the effects of ice, water and gravity on rock.
- Bryce Canyon isn’t actually a canyon! It’s a natural amphitheater.
- The visibility from Bryce Canyon can exceed 100 miles on a clear day.
- It’s one of the best places in the country for clear skies and star viewing.