Your Guide To The Bryce Canyon National Park

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Bryce Canyon National Park – A General Summary

Located south in the majestic, sprawling state of Utah, the Bryce Canyon National Park is a beautiful wonderland of pink cliffs, red rocks, and spire-shaped rock formations. Overlooking the Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, Bryce Point, and the Fairyland Canyon – the Bryce Canyon National Park is a picturesque and breathtakingly beautiful national park. Regarded as a national heritage site, the park is brimming with adventurous trails, hiking paths, and canyons. The entire stretch of the landscape is a treat for the eyes with its solid rock formations, crimson-colored hoodoos, and the majestic Bryce amphitheater.


Date of Establishment

The Bryce Canyon National Park was established on 25 February 1928. The park has been named after Ebenezer Bryce, who inhabited the area in 1874. The park is famous for the Bryce Canyon, which was previously an accommodation for the Mormon pioneers in the region back in the 1850s. In 1923, it was officially declared as a national monument that needed protection and preservation by President Warren G. Harding. In 1928, Congress voted for the area to become open for the public, changing the status to “Bryce Canyon National Park”.


Popular Season

This beautiful rocky park can be admired throughout the year. However, May-September is the most popular season for families, solo travelers, and tourists from all over the world. The time from May to September offers the perfect weather to enjoy long hikes, sunsets, and night-time stargazing. It also yields a lot of ranger activities, which will definitely be the highlight of your event. However, you can also visit the area between October and April. These months receive fewer crowds, offering you and your family a good time to enjoy all the attractions without any hassles.

With a cooler temperature throughout the day, fewer people, and the impressive fall foliage, you can certainly visit the park towards the end of the month. However, because the park is located at a high elevation, the seasons can change dramatically. Oftentimes, summers and winters can get really extreme in the Bryce Canyon, making the hike unbearable during the day. To avoid any unforeseen weather activities, make sure to check the forecasts before planning your trip. Although the park is open 24/7 all-year round, the time from October to May causes the regulatory bodies to close some roads, visitor facilities, and campgrounds. Since the park has plenty of elevated, rocky formations, they do this to ensure maximum safety of the tourists and avoid any unpleasant accidents.


Visitor Center

Just like every other park in America, Bryce Canyon National Park also has a Visitor Center, which is a popular first-stop during the trip. The center offers informational guides on the topography and geology of the rocky formations, along with hiking and driving directions for the visitors. You can also get weather forecasts, Park Ranger guided programs, and informational booklets from here. The Visitor Center is open every day of the year except Christmas. You can visit anytime between 8 am to 8 pm during summers and 8 am to 4:30 pm during winters. With that said, let’s move on to the intriguing history and geology of this amazing park.


Introduction

The Bryce National Park is laden with enrapturing reds, oranges, pinks, and white. If you want to experience an out-of-this-world adventure, the park has some of the most scenic rocky formations that are sure to steal your breath away. Known for the spectacular Bryce Canyon, the attraction is in fact not a canyon. It was never formed by the erosion of a central stream. Rather, the landscape was carved by the head-ward erosion that excavated huge amphitheater features.

Therefore, the park is essentially a picturesque collection of gigantic natural amphitheaters along the lines of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. From all the national parks in Utah, Bryce is quite unique and distinctive when it comes to its geological structures. Here, you’ll find crimson-colored hoodoos, luscious viewpoints, and soaring trails for hiking. As mentioned above, the rocks are naturally-occurring formations in orange and white color. Because of this rare geological phenomenon, the Bryce Canyon National Park is a beloved attraction in Utah. Even though it is much smaller than the Zion National park that is located close by, it is loved by everyone because of its unique rocky structures and beautifully defined trails for hiking. The park is located within the Colorado Plateau. Therefore, visitors who are coming from the plateau also get to enjoy the scenic valley towards the plateau edge. The park is also known for the charming Rainbow Point, which is regarded as the highest elevation of the park. The Rainbow Point stands tall at a staggering height of 9,105 ft. Travelers can easily get there following an 18-mile long scenic drive.

There are many other irresistible attractions at the Bryce Canyon National park that overlook beautiful sunsets and sunrises. There’s an entire Viewpoint called “Sunrise”, which offers an amazing view of the Sinking Ship and Boat Mesa. These rocky formations are bordered by the Pink Cliffs of the Aquarius Plateau. It is attractions like these that make you feel like you’ve been transferred to a unique, Atlantis-inspired world.

But perhaps, the most popular viewpoint that tourists flock to every year is the Bryce Point. The place offers breathtaking sunrises for people who wish to get up early and admire the best that nature has to offer. The amber-colored flames blazing out from the tops of the hoodoos and rising towards the sky is an exciting view. Bryce Canyon National Park is the best place to see the sun rising or surrendering to the evening.

Towards the Bryce Point, you will also find two spectacular trails for camping and hiking. Look out for the Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail that drops into the canyon floor. A truly rare and daunting sight – this trail is not for the faint-hearted. From here, you will encounter the 23-mile long Under-the-Rim trail that will link you to the Rainbow point.

Other famous attractions are the Fairyland Canyon, the Black Birch Canyon, and many more exciting trails for you to set your foot on. With so much to offer, here’s to exploring an out-of-this-world rocky wonderland – welcome to the Bryce Canyon National Park!


A Brief History

Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its natural amphitheaters that are often referred to as canyons. We all know that it was primarily differential erosion that produced these terrific formations of bright-colored pinnacles, pedestals, windowed walls, spires, and fins. Eroded from the Pink Cliffs Layer, the area was formerly called the Wasatch formation.

So, what is the spell-binding history behind this region? How has it changed over time, and who were the people who inhabited the area at the beginning of civilization?


Inhabited By Native People

Historical evidence suggests that the Paunsahunt Plateau was inhabited by the Early Native Americans. There are many records and traces of their activities in the region. Although they weren’t the first inhabitants, they are the most famous, according to records.

There are many ancient cultures that occupied the Colorado Plateau some 12,000 years ago. Historians have found cryptic artifacts of the Fremont and Anasazi cultures not only within the plateau region but beyond it as well.

Moreover, when the first Euro-Americans came to southern Utah, Paiutes were living in the region. Paiutes believed that the colorful rock formations were actually “legend people” who turned to stone by the Great Coyote. This was later known to be the “Legend of Bryce Canyon”.


White Exploration

The first Caucasians came in the region during the later eighteenth and the early nineteenth century. As mentioned before, the Mormons settled in the area in the 1950s to use the land for grazing and agricultural development. However, the first official scientific expedition of the Bryce Canyon took place in 1872, when John Wesley Powell – a U.S Major Army – with an enthusiastic team of geologists and mapmakers surveyed major chunks of the Colorado Plateau. Following the discovery, the mapmakers decided to keep the original Paiute names of most of the places. Around the same time, a small group of Mormon pioneers inhabited the area for cattle grazing. A Scottish immigrant by the name of Ebenezer Bryce and his wife was sent by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Greatly admired for his carpentry skills, the Bryce family soon decided to inhabit the area right below Bryce Canyon Amphitheater.

Most of the landscape was used for cattle grazing. Ebenezer Bryce also built a road leading to the plateau in order to acquire timber and firewood. As more and more settlers joined him, the region was later known as the “Bryce Canyon”.


The Establishment

The Bryce Canyon became famous for the original settlers long after they had found a home in Arizona. In the 1900s, when the Union Pacific opened up its rail service, the Bruce Canyon – which was once a remote area – began receiving a lot of attention and intrigue. The naturally-occurring colorful rocks mesmerized all kinds of travelers.

In 1916, Reuben Syrett – a pioneer rancher – also known as “Ruby” by the locals inhabited the region with his family. Together with his wife, Minnie, they set up tour services at the Bryce Canyon region to give visitors an opportunity to access the natural words by railroads. He built the “Tourist Rest”, which is present even today. The iconic “Ruby’s Inn” serves tourists and travelers from all over the world as they explore the Bryce Canyon National Park.

Fast forward a few years after the rise in tourist activities, President Harding ordered the establishment of the Bryce Canyon National Monument in 1923. The park finally gained its national park status in 1928. Today, the area spans across 35,835 acres of land. The Civilian Conservation Corps all constructed the 18-mile long beautiful Rim Road, which is one of the major routes used by nearly 2 million annual visitors who come to the Bryce Canyon National Park. Home to famous places like the Sunrise and Sunset Point, Fairyland Canyon, and Bryce Point – the national park is loved and visited by thousands each year.


Planning Your Itinerary

The captivating landscape at Bryce Canyon National Park will be unlike anything you’ve ever set eyes on. You may have hiked the highest mountain peaks and seen gravity-defying, mind-boggling rock formations, but nothing compares to the natural wonders at this national park, which are going to steal your breath away.

The pillar-like geological formations, crimson-hued hoodoos, red rocks, and pink cliffs seem like they’ve just come out of a fairytale. The sun is known for playing exciting tricks on your eyes with changing shadows, as it slowly rises and sinks into the horizon. With so much to see at this stunning national park, you might just feel like never leaving.

Offering its visitors a homelike ambiance yet an adventure of a lifetime, here’s how you can plan a successful trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park.


The Best Season

Depending on the time of the year you’re visiting, each season will have its unique draws. The park receives visitors all year round. However, summers are the best time to visit the national park, especially if you’re planning a hiking trip or camping trip.

However, some days can get extremely hot. The park can also get really crowded during summers, because the temperature at the rim of the canyon is the most favorable at that time. However, the weather can drastically vary throughout the day.

For example, in June, the temperature may start off with 50 Degree F, but it can increase up to 90 Degree F during the day. On the other hand, if you’re someone who likes snowy peaks, you will definitely love the stunning view of the rock formations in winters.

Although the weather can be quite extreme and might not allow hiking or camping, the Bryce Canyon is simply magical during the winter season. You might just want to spend a few weeks doing nothing but admire the scenic view from your hotel window. If you’re truly prepared for the snow and low temperature, then don’t miss the opportunity.

The least crowded time to visit the park is during spring and fall. However, you may catch yourself in the midst of light snow showers and cold temperatures. Depending on your seasonal preferences and how you’ve been planning your activities, visiting the Bryce Canyon National park is always going to be an unforgettable escapade.


The Best View-Points and Hikes at Bryce Canyon National Park

When it comes to hiking trails and viewpoints to catch the breathtaking sun rising or setting, this national park will never disappoint you. Here are some of the best places to include in your trip.

  1. Bryce Point: As a great sunset spot, the Bryce Point offers an iconic view of the entire landscape. Brace yourself for the best of both worlds at this viewpoint. To savor the scenic view of the park’s amphitheater, this is where you need to be. The hoodoos are beautifully positioned to catch the morning light, especially when it’s time for sunrise. Backpackers, who are looking for a challenging trail, will love the 23-mile long Under-the-Rim backcountry trail that begins from the Bryce Point, located in the northern end all the way to the Rainbow Point. Brace yourself for creeks, boulder fields, scenic ridgelines, and passing hoodoos during your journey. You will need a backcountry permit as the entire hike requires 3-4 days to complete. Dayhikers, therefore, can divide their trails into different portions to cover the entire trip. All in all, this is a great place to begin your tour to the Bryce Canyon National Park.
  2. Sunset and Sunrise Point: This might just be the best 3-mile hike of your life. Start your journey at the Sunrise Point that beautifully captures the Boat Mesa and the Sinking Ship. Go down into the canyon and climb back up to Sunset Point to catch a beautiful sunset before you call it a day.
  3. Peek-A-Boo Loop Hike: The peek-a-boo loop hike is a 5.1 mile roundtrip that will take you about 3-4 hours. The hike stands at a staggering elevation of 1300 feet. The hike may be strenuous and not meant for the faint of heart, however, if you have time and energy, it will definitely be a worthwhile experience. You’ll get to see the breathtakingly magnificent Wall of Windows and the spectacular hoodoos.

While these three attractions are the top of our list, in this book, you will find a collection of some of the most gorgeous hikes, hoodoos, and spires. There is the Navajo Loop Trail, the Aqua Canyon, and the Black Birch Canyon that are heavenly-sent wonders on this earth.


What to pack for the trip

Whether you’re packing for a hiking trip or camping night, here are the most crucial essentials you will need:

  • A good pair of shoes for hiking (keep an extra pair with you during the trip)
  • A hat for shade
  • Sunscreen
  • A camera
  • Picnic lunch and water bottles (You can also fetch your water supply from the Visitor Center before you set on your trip)

With that, let’s get on to the top attractions at the Bryce Canyon National Park for you and your family!


Top Attractions at Bryce Canyon National Park


1. Bryce Canyon Visitor Center:

Your trip should ideally begin by visiting the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center. Offering insightful sessions on the natural topography and geology of the national park, the Visitor Center is a wonderful opportunity to learn for both you and your kids. The place is usually open from 8 am to 8 pm during the summers; however, it closes down earlier during the winters.

The Visitor Center offers interesting programs where the rangers explain and talk about the topography of the national park. They also feature their new award-winning film called the “Shadows of Time”. The film’s duration is 20-minutes long and plays throughout the day for tourists and locals to catch it. The center is also a good place to enjoy Junior Ranger booklets, Park Ranger guided programs, and important information for tourists on area services that include major attractions, famous dining areas, and recommended lodgings.

The Center also features museum exhibits that will offer a fun learning experience for the kids. There’s also a bookstore nearby that stores the best reads on the national park’s interesting history. You can buy a few short books to keep you company along the trip.

The Visitor Center is open every day of the week, except Christmas Day. It offers drinking water facilities and restrooms. There’s also a Ranger Help Desk 24/7 for travelers and tourists in case they need any help or a professional guide to accompany them during the trip. With exciting exhibits, first aid facilities, and many other amenities, the Visitor Center should definitely be the first place on your tour list.

2. Bryce Point:

For anyone who is willing to get up early, the Bryce Point is the best place to witness extraordinary sunrises. As it is one of the most scenic vistas, from here, you can admire the top of the hoodoos as they blaze up from the first rays of the sunrise. The light quickly spreads around, driving shadows from all the rocky formations. It almost looks like the landscape is magically changing colors.

Once you have the park admission, the Bryce Point can be freely accessed. Located 3 ½ miles south of the Visitor Center, there are two trails that begin from this point. The strenuous and challenging Peek-a-boo Loop Trail runs 5 ½ miles from the Bryce Point. Beware, this one drops steeply into the canyon floor.

Along the trail, you might just spot some of the rarest wildflowers like Platy Penstemon, Maguire Catchfly, and the Bryce Canyon Paintbrush. Anyone who nurtures the love for floriculture will adore this trail.

From here onwards, hikers and travelers can also take on the 23-mile long Under-the-Rim trail, which leads towards the Rainbow Point. If you’re exploring the national park through a free shuttle, the Bryce Point will be your third stop.

However, the shuttle doesn’t run before dawn, so if you want to enjoy the sunrise, you will need your own transportation. If you’re looking to travel overnight, you and your family will require a permit from the Visitor Center.

3. Peek-A-Boo Trail:

The name “Peek-A-Boo” comes from the naturally-occurring arch “windows” in the rocks. As mentioned above, the Peek-A-Boo trail begins at the Bryce Point and descends into a steep fall that leads to the canyon floor. The elevation and length of the trail rapidly change, which makes the Peek-A-Boo hike one of the most strenuous to date. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the thrill is unmatched.

Peek-A-Boo trail is a loop trail that stretches across 5.2 miles and features a beautiful river and rare wild flowers. Land here for a relaxing picnic and bird watching. Hiking and horse riding through the canyon are popular pursuits, but the trail is also a gorgeous place to just sit and admire.

The total mileage may be short, but the climb is arduous and demanding. You can also access this trail from the Sunrise and Sunset Point, but the Bryce Point offers the quickest and easiest route. Brace yourself for an unforgettable journey as you contour below rock walls, cross bluffs and ridges while slowly losing elevation.

The variety of colorful hoodoo towers will be the highlight of your trip. As you plunge down the canyon, the Peek-a-Boo Loop Connector finishes at a “T-shaped” intersection. If you’re up for a greater challenge, take the left half of the trail from the intersection. Tackle rough ridges, steep descents, and colorful spires for an intrepid experience. And, while you’re at it, stay cautious of mule and horse riders.

4. Navajo Loop Trail:

Bryce Canyon is every hiker’s dream place to be. Each and every stop is just another stunning trail to take on. The best thing about the trails here is that almost all of them are clustered around one main area.

The Navajo Trail starts at the Sunset Point and descends down into the main amphitheater. As a popular trail, it can be combined with the 2.5-mile long Queens Garden Trail. If you’re a fast hiker, the journey will last you for an hour.

Otherwise, two hours are all you need to traverse through the ridges and steep rock formations. However, be careful while hiking as there are many loose rocks that can fall from the cliffs above you, or come rolling down beneath your feet. There have been major rockslides in the region, which is why the Navajo Trail is mostly recommended for professional hikers.

5. Inspiration Point:

The Inspiration Point primarily consists of three elevation levels, each offering a spectacular view of the main amphitheater. The Lower, Mid, and Upper Inspiration Points are ideal for different skill levels. From here, you can admire the Silent City located near the Sunset Point. The colorful, frozen hoodoos set against the beautiful Boat Mesa are one of the reasons why the place is known as the “Inspiration Point”.

The hoodoos are incredibly intricate in their formation. Even when there are no trails that lead down into the canyon, the Inspiration Point is worth seeing. However, you have to be extra cautious, as there are many slippery slopes, crumbly rocks, and sheer drop-offs.

From the Inspiration Point, you also get a chance to hike north 0.7 miles at the Bryce Canyon Rim Trail. From there, you can head south to the equally beautiful Bryce Point.

6. Fairyland Canyon:

The Fairyland Loop is yet another spectacular hiking trail. The hike is called “Fairyland” for the extravagantly colorful scenery that surrounds it. Looking over at unique shapes from the canyon rim is a surreal experience. However, if you truly want to savor the beauty of this fantasyland, you need to venture down below the rim for an unrivaled hiking experience.

Strolling amongst the eccentric-shaped hoodoos, which date back to 60 million years, truly makes for an awestruck adventure. This loop hike isn’t as crowded as other trails at the national park, which is another reason why it’s appealing. The trail is well-maintained, making it easy to navigate through the hoodoos and cliffs.

For an average hiker, the entire 8-mile long route may take 3 ½ hours to complete and includes a short side-trip to the magnificent Tower Bridge. As it drops to its lowest, the trail will lose 950 ft. of elevation and then rises back to 950 ft. again as it returns to the rim. The trail is usually covered in snow during winters; therefore, October and September are the best times to hike.

The trails are marked and signed, so you won’t need a map. It’s better to begin your hike along the Rim Trail if you’re camping in Bryce Canyon. All in all, the Fairyland Canyon is a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing stroll, hiking, camping, and day picnics. Stay on the lookout for rare wildlife and make sure to take pictures!

7. Sunrise and Sunset Point:

The Sunrise and the Sunset Point are beloved tourist attractions and the two famous viewpoints that perfectly capture the brilliant sun as it rises and dips into the horizon. Many people have claimed that they stayed back until dawn to catch the sunrise. The gentle transition from the soft, golden rays to blazing, amber sunbeams shining from the hoodoos was an experience that they simply couldn’t put into words.

The Sunset point overlooks the Sinking Ship and the Boat Mesa set against the breathtaking Pink Cliffs of the Aquarius Plateau. Here you will find the resistant rock “The Conglomerate at Boat Mesa” standing at a staggering elevation of 8073 ft. rising above the hoodoos of Fairland Canyon. The Sinking Ship is the result of a tectonic activity that started some 15 million years ago. It caused the Paunsaugunt Plateau to rise into an elevation, while some sections of its rocks were dragged away, resulting in the tilt we see at present.

The Sunrise Point serves as the beginning of Queen’s Garden trail, which is about 0.5 miles away from the Visitor Center. Here you will find wild shrubs of Blue Elderberry and unique flowers. Since vegetation is sparse, you will mostly find rodents and reptiles in this region.

The Sunset Point, on the other hand, offers spectacular vistas of some of Bryce Canyon’s most famous and breathtaking hoodoos. Towards the south and right below this point is the majestic Silent City that rises from the Canyon floor.

From a distant glance, the picturesque scene looks unreal – a beautiful maze of hoodoos, fins, and rocky peaks tightly standing against one another. Here, you will also find Thor’s Hammer – a one-of-a-kind hoodoo that is known for its striking features.

According to many tourists, if you really want to enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view of the Bryce Canyon rocks, then the Sunset Point is the only place. Look for the rock called Claron – a unique formation made of limestone deposits around 50 million years ago.

8. Black Birch Canyon:

The Black Birch Canyon, Just North of Mile 16, is a collection of gorgeous cliffs that drop from the road. You will come across this trail during your Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive. The Viewpoint also offers an up-close look at the colorful hoodoos. At a height of 8750 ft., this is also one of the lesser-known scenic overlooks at the Bryce Canyon National Park.

Enjoy a view of the Rainbow Point and the Yovimpa Point towards the south from the Black Birch Canyon. The majestic pink, white, and orange cliffs will stop you dead on your tracks and impel you to think, could anything really be as beautiful as this?

Admiring the hoodoos so closely in their phantom-like formation while enjoying the stroll is an experience you’ll never forget. The journey is almost hypnotic. If you stare long enough, you might just see eccentric shapes frozen into the rock. This is certainly not for the faint hearted, but the journey is worth it!

9. The Natural Bridge:

Next up is the Natural Bridge, which is one of the best-known lofty natural arches of the Bryce Canyon National Park. The massive rock formation spans across 85 ft. of land and is beautifully sculpted out of red sedimentary rocks. The vibrant red hue comes from the rich content of iron oxide present in them. Part of the great Claron Formation – the Natural Bridge is a live proof of the incredible power of nature.

Chemical weathering, frost wedging, and the overwhelming forces of gravity have come together to carve this bridge. You can view the arch right from the Natural Bridge viewpoint, located about three-quarters of your way towards the scenic drive.

10. Other Natural Arches:

Apart from the Natural Bridge, there are many other bridges and arches at the Bryce Canyon National Park. The Twin Bridges towards the Navojo Loop Trail, the Farview Natural Bridge, and the Bryce Point Arch near the Wall of Windows are some of the best places for sight-seeing, bird-watching, and of course, star-gazing.

11. Agua Canyon:

The Agua Canyon is a magnificent place where two of the most popular hoodoos deserve your attention. These hoodoos are known as the “Hunter”, which is taller of the two and located towards the left. The “Backpacker” or the “Rabbit” is the other hoodoo, towards the right. Through the national park’s history, there were countless efforts made to sign and preserve the natural hoodoos. However, many of them either fell and crumbled or are at risk of falling. Therefore, most hoodoos look nothing like they did originally.

However, the Hunter and the Backpacker are two extremely famous hoodoos that are known for their unique, creative formations. From here, you can see the Navajo Mountain in its all glory and enchanting beauty. The mountain is referred to as a batholithic – a volcano that never happened – which is what the appearance looks like.

A typical volcano begins with molten rocks rising up from inside the mountain, swelling up and then bursting forth. However, with Navajo mountain, the volcano didn’t quite happen. It never blew up, so the plume of molten rock cooled up without bursting, giving the mountain a swelled-up appearance that we see today.

This is also a place to witness the ever-rare and spell-binding bird called the California condor. From a distance, it might resemble an eagle, but up-close, this large bird is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. With its pink and purple mouth and a unique-shaped, protruding beak, the bird looks other-worldly.

You’ll be surprised to know that these large-winged animals haven’t been spotted as frequently as during the time of Ebenezer Bryce. When in flight, a condor’s wings span across 9 ft. in the air, casting an awe-struck shadow over the landscape.

However, the regulatory bodies realized their dying presence and soon initiated a bunch of breeding programs to reintroduce the birds’ natural habitats. Even when the program is still certain, the scientists involved have a lot of hope that the birds will return to their natural habitat.

12. An Exciting Ranger’s Program:

The Bryce National Park also has an exciting Ranger’s Program that offers a wonderful learning opportunity for kids and adults alike. While you are trekking, find out why the rocks are red, orange, and white.

The best thing about a ranger-guided program is that you can enjoy a complete tour with a professional. If you or your kids are shying away from visiting a Viewpoint or Trail because of lack of hiking skills or experience, a Ranger’s Program is the best way to make the most out of your trip at the Bryce Canyon National Park.

You will get to learn the unique geology and find all the answers to your questions. Certainly, the magical, phantom-like hoodoos in all their color and wonder pique everyone’s curiosity. Whether you spend a few minutes or a few good hours in the Ranger’s Program, you will learn a lot.

The program’s main intent is for travelers and tourists to understand the importance of natural heritage sites. The cliffs, spires, fins, and the hoodoos at this park are testament to the magnificent work of God. The rangers will share fascinating facts about the park and explain the wonders of the night sky as you tour each place with them. And, the best part? These programs are absolutely free for everyone!

You should definitely bring the kids here to spend an entire day and expand their knowledge. The programs begin from late Spring and continue all the way to October— you can check their schedules online. Each day, the rangers will teach you and take you to a different location of the park.

Featuring a “Geology Talk” – the program typically takes place at the Sunset Point during the summers and the Visitor Center during the winters. Here, you will meet expert geologists who have spent years studying the Bryce Canyon. Find out the science behind each rock formation and how scientists use the geology to predict the fate of hoodoos.

The program also features the “Rim Walk”, which happens daily at the Sunset Point throughout the year, except during winters. The rangers will take you and your family out to see fascinating wildlife, plants, and luscious views of the mountains. With intense cultural history and amazing geology waiting for you, the Ranger’s program simply can’t be missed.

Join the rangers as they stroll around the Main Amphitheater and enthusiastically explain the spectacular landscape to you! You will definitely go back home humbled and appreciative of the natural wonders around us!



The Best Lodgings

Many hotels offer a great view of the Bryce Canyon National Park. Whether you are looking for a good hotel package, a comfortable family retreat, or want to crash the coolest neighborhood in the area, here are some of the best places to stay around the park!

1. Bryce Canyon Lodge:

This retreat has a rustic feel to it and is safely the best place to enjoy a spectacular view of the Bryce Canyon. Note that this hotel is just a minute away from all the main attractions of the national park. Whether you want to go to the Bryce Point, the Navajo Trail, or the Fairyland Canyon – all the places are an easy drive away. With 114 super-comfy and spacious rooms, each unit has contemporary amenities, and of course, an on-site restaurant that serves delicious meals.

2. Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel:

Located along the Scenic Byway 12, this hotel offers one of the most affordable yet luxurious lodgings. With two 4-storey hotel towers, the place offers 164 guest rooms that include deluxe, king, and queen suites. Now, that’s an offer you can’t miss! With an indoor pool, a complimentary breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, hair dryers, and coffee makers – the place has everything you could ever dream of! And, the best part? You can easily get a shuttle service to the Bryce Canyon National Park from here!

3. Bryce Canyon Inn:

The Bryce Canyon Inn is a comfy, clean, and cozy accommodation that is ideal for large families. The guest cabins are huge and luxurious with full-family suites as well as king and queen bed cabins. Each unit offers a beautiful view of the Bryce Canyon National Park. There’s also a Pizza Place located right next to the cabin, serving hand-tossed, piping hot pizza upon ordering.

4. Foster’s Bryce Canyon Motel:

Offering a family-friendly environment with top-notch suites, Foster’s Bryce Canyon Motel is super-affordable for families who are traveling on a budget. You can enjoy breakfasts, lunch, and dinner at the onsite Bryce Canyon restaurant after your visit to the nearby attractions. There’s also a Full-service Foster’s Supermarket that sells fishing gear, camping, and groceries! These are our top picks, but there are many cool and affordable places in Utah that you can stay at during your visit to the Bryce Canyon National Park.


Parting Words

Your trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park will definitely be one to remember. This is a place where nature expressed itself in a way you’ve never witnessed before. Its otherworldly magic, colorful hoodoos, majestic spires, and rosy cliffs are wonders you simply can’t miss.

Save up and put your money in a cause you won’t regret. Plan an exciting trip to this amazing national park and enjoy its scenic views, picturesque rocky formations, and fun hiking adventures. A trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park is a journey your friends and family will remember for a lifetime.

Safe Travels!

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Your Guide To The Bryce Canyon National Park

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Your Guide To The Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park – A General Summary

Located south in the majestic, sprawling state of Utah, the Bryce Canyon National Park is a beautiful wonderland of pink cliffs, red rocks, and spire-shaped rock formations. Overlooking the Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, Bryce Point, and the Fairyland Canyon – the Bryce Canyon National Park is a picturesque and breathtakingly beautiful national park. Regarded as a national heritage site, the park is brimming with adventurous trails, hiking paths, and canyons. The entire stretch of the landscape is a treat for the eyes with its solid rock formations, crimson-colored hoodoos, and the majestic Bryce amphitheater.


Date of Establishment

The Bryce Canyon National Park was established on 25 February 1928. The park has been named after Ebenezer Bryce, who inhabited the area in 1874. The park is famous for the Bryce Canyon, which was previously an accommodation for the Mormon pioneers in the region back in the 1850s. In 1923, it was officially declared as a national monument that needed protection and preservation by President Warren G. Harding. In 1928, Congress voted for the area to become open for the public, changing the status to “Bryce Canyon National Park”.


Popular Season

This beautiful rocky park can be admired throughout the year. However, May-September is the most popular season for families, solo travelers, and tourists from all over the world. The time from May to September offers the perfect weather to enjoy long hikes, sunsets, and night-time stargazing. It also yields a lot of ranger activities, which will definitely be the highlight of your event. However, you can also visit the area between October and April. These months receive fewer crowds, offering you and your family a good time to enjoy all the attractions without any hassles.

With a cooler temperature throughout the day, fewer people, and the impressive fall foliage, you can certainly visit the park towards the end of the month. However, because the park is located at a high elevation, the seasons can change dramatically. Oftentimes, summers and winters can get really extreme in the Bryce Canyon, making the hike unbearable during the day. To avoid any unforeseen weather activities, make sure to check the forecasts before planning your trip. Although the park is open 24/7 all-year round, the time from October to May causes the regulatory bodies to close some roads, visitor facilities, and campgrounds. Since the park has plenty of elevated, rocky formations, they do this to ensure maximum safety of the tourists and avoid any unpleasant accidents.


Visitor Center

Just like every other park in America, Bryce Canyon National Park also has a Visitor Center, which is a popular first-stop during the trip. The center offers informational guides on the topography and geology of the rocky formations, along with hiking and driving directions for the visitors. You can also get weather forecasts, Park Ranger guided programs, and informational booklets from here. The Visitor Center is open every day of the year except Christmas. You can visit anytime between 8 am to 8 pm during summers and 8 am to 4:30 pm during winters. With that said, let’s move on to the intriguing history and geology of this amazing park.


Introduction

The Bryce National Park is laden with enrapturing reds, oranges, pinks, and white. If you want to experience an out-of-this-world adventure, the park has some of the most scenic rocky formations that are sure to steal your breath away. Known for the spectacular Bryce Canyon, the attraction is in fact not a canyon. It was never formed by the erosion of a central stream. Rather, the landscape was carved by the head-ward erosion that excavated huge amphitheater features.

Therefore, the park is essentially a picturesque collection of gigantic natural amphitheaters along the lines of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. From all the national parks in Utah, Bryce is quite unique and distinctive when it comes to its geological structures. Here, you’ll find crimson-colored hoodoos, luscious viewpoints, and soaring trails for hiking. As mentioned above, the rocks are naturally-occurring formations in orange and white color. Because of this rare geological phenomenon, the Bryce Canyon National Park is a beloved attraction in Utah. Even though it is much smaller than the Zion National park that is located close by, it is loved by everyone because of its unique rocky structures and beautifully defined trails for hiking. The park is located within the Colorado Plateau. Therefore, visitors who are coming from the plateau also get to enjoy the scenic valley towards the plateau edge. The park is also known for the charming Rainbow Point, which is regarded as the highest elevation of the park. The Rainbow Point stands tall at a staggering height of 9,105 ft. Travelers can easily get there following an 18-mile long scenic drive.

There are many other irresistible attractions at the Bryce Canyon National park that overlook beautiful sunsets and sunrises. There’s an entire Viewpoint called “Sunrise”, which offers an amazing view of the Sinking Ship and Boat Mesa. These rocky formations are bordered by the Pink Cliffs of the Aquarius Plateau. It is attractions like these that make you feel like you’ve been transferred to a unique, Atlantis-inspired world.

But perhaps, the most popular viewpoint that tourists flock to every year is the Bryce Point. The place offers breathtaking sunrises for people who wish to get up early and admire the best that nature has to offer. The amber-colored flames blazing out from the tops of the hoodoos and rising towards the sky is an exciting view. Bryce Canyon National Park is the best place to see the sun rising or surrendering to the evening.

Towards the Bryce Point, you will also find two spectacular trails for camping and hiking. Look out for the Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail that drops into the canyon floor. A truly rare and daunting sight – this trail is not for the faint-hearted. From here, you will encounter the 23-mile long Under-the-Rim trail that will link you to the Rainbow point.

Other famous attractions are the Fairyland Canyon, the Black Birch Canyon, and many more exciting trails for you to set your foot on. With so much to offer, here’s to exploring an out-of-this-world rocky wonderland – welcome to the Bryce Canyon National Park!


A Brief History

Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its natural amphitheaters that are often referred to as canyons. We all know that it was primarily differential erosion that produced these terrific formations of bright-colored pinnacles, pedestals, windowed walls, spires, and fins. Eroded from the Pink Cliffs Layer, the area was formerly called the Wasatch formation.

So, what is the spell-binding history behind this region? How has it changed over time, and who were the people who inhabited the area at the beginning of civilization?


Inhabited By Native People

Historical evidence suggests that the Paunsahunt Plateau was inhabited by the Early Native Americans. There are many records and traces of their activities in the region. Although they weren’t the first inhabitants, they are the most famous, according to records.

There are many ancient cultures that occupied the Colorado Plateau some 12,000 years ago. Historians have found cryptic artifacts of the Fremont and Anasazi cultures not only within the plateau region but beyond it as well.

Moreover, when the first Euro-Americans came to southern Utah, Paiutes were living in the region. Paiutes believed that the colorful rock formations were actually “legend people” who turned to stone by the Great Coyote. This was later known to be the “Legend of Bryce Canyon”.


White Exploration

The first Caucasians came in the region during the later eighteenth and the early nineteenth century. As mentioned before, the Mormons settled in the area in the 1950s to use the land for grazing and agricultural development. However, the first official scientific expedition of the Bryce Canyon took place in 1872, when John Wesley Powell – a U.S Major Army – with an enthusiastic team of geologists and mapmakers surveyed major chunks of the Colorado Plateau. Following the discovery, the mapmakers decided to keep the original Paiute names of most of the places. Around the same time, a small group of Mormon pioneers inhabited the area for cattle grazing. A Scottish immigrant by the name of Ebenezer Bryce and his wife was sent by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Greatly admired for his carpentry skills, the Bryce family soon decided to inhabit the area right below Bryce Canyon Amphitheater.

Most of the landscape was used for cattle grazing. Ebenezer Bryce also built a road leading to the plateau in order to acquire timber and firewood. As more and more settlers joined him, the region was later known as the “Bryce Canyon”.


The Establishment

The Bryce Canyon became famous for the original settlers long after they had found a home in Arizona. In the 1900s, when the Union Pacific opened up its rail service, the Bruce Canyon – which was once a remote area – began receiving a lot of attention and intrigue. The naturally-occurring colorful rocks mesmerized all kinds of travelers.

In 1916, Reuben Syrett – a pioneer rancher – also known as “Ruby” by the locals inhabited the region with his family. Together with his wife, Minnie, they set up tour services at the Bryce Canyon region to give visitors an opportunity to access the natural words by railroads. He built the “Tourist Rest”, which is present even today. The iconic “Ruby’s Inn” serves tourists and travelers from all over the world as they explore the Bryce Canyon National Park.

Fast forward a few years after the rise in tourist activities, President Harding ordered the establishment of the Bryce Canyon National Monument in 1923. The park finally gained its national park status in 1928. Today, the area spans across 35,835 acres of land. The Civilian Conservation Corps all constructed the 18-mile long beautiful Rim Road, which is one of the major routes used by nearly 2 million annual visitors who come to the Bryce Canyon National Park. Home to famous places like the Sunrise and Sunset Point, Fairyland Canyon, and Bryce Point – the national park is loved and visited by thousands each year.


Planning Your Itinerary

The captivating landscape at Bryce Canyon National Park will be unlike anything you’ve ever set eyes on. You may have hiked the highest mountain peaks and seen gravity-defying, mind-boggling rock formations, but nothing compares to the natural wonders at this national park, which are going to steal your breath away.

The pillar-like geological formations, crimson-hued hoodoos, red rocks, and pink cliffs seem like they’ve just come out of a fairytale. The sun is known for playing exciting tricks on your eyes with changing shadows, as it slowly rises and sinks into the horizon. With so much to see at this stunning national park, you might just feel like never leaving.

Offering its visitors a homelike ambiance yet an adventure of a lifetime, here’s how you can plan a successful trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park.


The Best Season

Depending on the time of the year you’re visiting, each season will have its unique draws. The park receives visitors all year round. However, summers are the best time to visit the national park, especially if you’re planning a hiking trip or camping trip.

However, some days can get extremely hot. The park can also get really crowded during summers, because the temperature at the rim of the canyon is the most favorable at that time. However, the weather can drastically vary throughout the day.

For example, in June, the temperature may start off with 50 Degree F, but it can increase up to 90 Degree F during the day. On the other hand, if you’re someone who likes snowy peaks, you will definitely love the stunning view of the rock formations in winters.

Although the weather can be quite extreme and might not allow hiking or camping, the Bryce Canyon is simply magical during the winter season. You might just want to spend a few weeks doing nothing but admire the scenic view from your hotel window. If you’re truly prepared for the snow and low temperature, then don’t miss the opportunity.

The least crowded time to visit the park is during spring and fall. However, you may catch yourself in the midst of light snow showers and cold temperatures. Depending on your seasonal preferences and how you’ve been planning your activities, visiting the Bryce Canyon National park is always going to be an unforgettable escapade.


The Best View-Points and Hikes at Bryce Canyon National Park

When it comes to hiking trails and viewpoints to catch the breathtaking sun rising or setting, this national park will never disappoint you. Here are some of the best places to include in your trip.

  1. Bryce Point: As a great sunset spot, the Bryce Point offers an iconic view of the entire landscape. Brace yourself for the best of both worlds at this viewpoint. To savor the scenic view of the park’s amphitheater, this is where you need to be. The hoodoos are beautifully positioned to catch the morning light, especially when it’s time for sunrise. Backpackers, who are looking for a challenging trail, will love the 23-mile long Under-the-Rim backcountry trail that begins from the Bryce Point, located in the northern end all the way to the Rainbow Point. Brace yourself for creeks, boulder fields, scenic ridgelines, and passing hoodoos during your journey. You will need a backcountry permit as the entire hike requires 3-4 days to complete. Dayhikers, therefore, can divide their trails into different portions to cover the entire trip. All in all, this is a great place to begin your tour to the Bryce Canyon National Park.
  2. Sunset and Sunrise Point: This might just be the best 3-mile hike of your life. Start your journey at the Sunrise Point that beautifully captures the Boat Mesa and the Sinking Ship. Go down into the canyon and climb back up to Sunset Point to catch a beautiful sunset before you call it a day.
  3. Peek-A-Boo Loop Hike: The peek-a-boo loop hike is a 5.1 mile roundtrip that will take you about 3-4 hours. The hike stands at a staggering elevation of 1300 feet. The hike may be strenuous and not meant for the faint of heart, however, if you have time and energy, it will definitely be a worthwhile experience. You’ll get to see the breathtakingly magnificent Wall of Windows and the spectacular hoodoos.

While these three attractions are the top of our list, in this book, you will find a collection of some of the most gorgeous hikes, hoodoos, and spires. There is the Navajo Loop Trail, the Aqua Canyon, and the Black Birch Canyon that are heavenly-sent wonders on this earth.


What to pack for the trip

Whether you’re packing for a hiking trip or camping night, here are the most crucial essentials you will need:

  • A good pair of shoes for hiking (keep an extra pair with you during the trip)
  • A hat for shade
  • Sunscreen
  • A camera
  • Picnic lunch and water bottles (You can also fetch your water supply from the Visitor Center before you set on your trip)

With that, let’s get on to the top attractions at the Bryce Canyon National Park for you and your family!


Top Attractions at Bryce Canyon National Park


1. Bryce Canyon Visitor Center:

Your trip should ideally begin by visiting the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center. Offering insightful sessions on the natural topography and geology of the national park, the Visitor Center is a wonderful opportunity to learn for both you and your kids. The place is usually open from 8 am to 8 pm during the summers; however, it closes down earlier during the winters.

The Visitor Center offers interesting programs where the rangers explain and talk about the topography of the national park. They also feature their new award-winning film called the “Shadows of Time”. The film’s duration is 20-minutes long and plays throughout the day for tourists and locals to catch it. The center is also a good place to enjoy Junior Ranger booklets, Park Ranger guided programs, and important information for tourists on area services that include major attractions, famous dining areas, and recommended lodgings.

The Center also features museum exhibits that will offer a fun learning experience for the kids. There’s also a bookstore nearby that stores the best reads on the national park’s interesting history. You can buy a few short books to keep you company along the trip.

The Visitor Center is open every day of the week, except Christmas Day. It offers drinking water facilities and restrooms. There’s also a Ranger Help Desk 24/7 for travelers and tourists in case they need any help or a professional guide to accompany them during the trip. With exciting exhibits, first aid facilities, and many other amenities, the Visitor Center should definitely be the first place on your tour list.

2. Bryce Point:

For anyone who is willing to get up early, the Bryce Point is the best place to witness extraordinary sunrises. As it is one of the most scenic vistas, from here, you can admire the top of the hoodoos as they blaze up from the first rays of the sunrise. The light quickly spreads around, driving shadows from all the rocky formations. It almost looks like the landscape is magically changing colors.

Once you have the park admission, the Bryce Point can be freely accessed. Located 3 ½ miles south of the Visitor Center, there are two trails that begin from this point. The strenuous and challenging Peek-a-boo Loop Trail runs 5 ½ miles from the Bryce Point. Beware, this one drops steeply into the canyon floor.

Along the trail, you might just spot some of the rarest wildflowers like Platy Penstemon, Maguire Catchfly, and the Bryce Canyon Paintbrush. Anyone who nurtures the love for floriculture will adore this trail.

From here onwards, hikers and travelers can also take on the 23-mile long Under-the-Rim trail, which leads towards the Rainbow Point. If you’re exploring the national park through a free shuttle, the Bryce Point will be your third stop.

However, the shuttle doesn’t run before dawn, so if you want to enjoy the sunrise, you will need your own transportation. If you’re looking to travel overnight, you and your family will require a permit from the Visitor Center.

3. Peek-A-Boo Trail:

The name “Peek-A-Boo” comes from the naturally-occurring arch “windows” in the rocks. As mentioned above, the Peek-A-Boo trail begins at the Bryce Point and descends into a steep fall that leads to the canyon floor. The elevation and length of the trail rapidly change, which makes the Peek-A-Boo hike one of the most strenuous to date. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the thrill is unmatched.

Peek-A-Boo trail is a loop trail that stretches across 5.2 miles and features a beautiful river and rare wild flowers. Land here for a relaxing picnic and bird watching. Hiking and horse riding through the canyon are popular pursuits, but the trail is also a gorgeous place to just sit and admire.

The total mileage may be short, but the climb is arduous and demanding. You can also access this trail from the Sunrise and Sunset Point, but the Bryce Point offers the quickest and easiest route. Brace yourself for an unforgettable journey as you contour below rock walls, cross bluffs and ridges while slowly losing elevation.

The variety of colorful hoodoo towers will be the highlight of your trip. As you plunge down the canyon, the Peek-a-Boo Loop Connector finishes at a “T-shaped” intersection. If you’re up for a greater challenge, take the left half of the trail from the intersection. Tackle rough ridges, steep descents, and colorful spires for an intrepid experience. And, while you’re at it, stay cautious of mule and horse riders.

4. Navajo Loop Trail:

Bryce Canyon is every hiker’s dream place to be. Each and every stop is just another stunning trail to take on. The best thing about the trails here is that almost all of them are clustered around one main area.

The Navajo Trail starts at the Sunset Point and descends down into the main amphitheater. As a popular trail, it can be combined with the 2.5-mile long Queens Garden Trail. If you’re a fast hiker, the journey will last you for an hour.

Otherwise, two hours are all you need to traverse through the ridges and steep rock formations. However, be careful while hiking as there are many loose rocks that can fall from the cliffs above you, or come rolling down beneath your feet. There have been major rockslides in the region, which is why the Navajo Trail is mostly recommended for professional hikers.

5. Inspiration Point:

The Inspiration Point primarily consists of three elevation levels, each offering a spectacular view of the main amphitheater. The Lower, Mid, and Upper Inspiration Points are ideal for different skill levels. From here, you can admire the Silent City located near the Sunset Point. The colorful, frozen hoodoos set against the beautiful Boat Mesa are one of the reasons why the place is known as the “Inspiration Point”.

The hoodoos are incredibly intricate in their formation. Even when there are no trails that lead down into the canyon, the Inspiration Point is worth seeing. However, you have to be extra cautious, as there are many slippery slopes, crumbly rocks, and sheer drop-offs.

From the Inspiration Point, you also get a chance to hike north 0.7 miles at the Bryce Canyon Rim Trail. From there, you can head south to the equally beautiful Bryce Point.

6. Fairyland Canyon:

The Fairyland Loop is yet another spectacular hiking trail. The hike is called “Fairyland” for the extravagantly colorful scenery that surrounds it. Looking over at unique shapes from the canyon rim is a surreal experience. However, if you truly want to savor the beauty of this fantasyland, you need to venture down below the rim for an unrivaled hiking experience.

Strolling amongst the eccentric-shaped hoodoos, which date back to 60 million years, truly makes for an awestruck adventure. This loop hike isn’t as crowded as other trails at the national park, which is another reason why it’s appealing. The trail is well-maintained, making it easy to navigate through the hoodoos and cliffs.

For an average hiker, the entire 8-mile long route may take 3 ½ hours to complete and includes a short side-trip to the magnificent Tower Bridge. As it drops to its lowest, the trail will lose 950 ft. of elevation and then rises back to 950 ft. again as it returns to the rim. The trail is usually covered in snow during winters; therefore, October and September are the best times to hike.

The trails are marked and signed, so you won’t need a map. It’s better to begin your hike along the Rim Trail if you’re camping in Bryce Canyon. All in all, the Fairyland Canyon is a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing stroll, hiking, camping, and day picnics. Stay on the lookout for rare wildlife and make sure to take pictures!

7. Sunrise and Sunset Point:

The Sunrise and the Sunset Point are beloved tourist attractions and the two famous viewpoints that perfectly capture the brilliant sun as it rises and dips into the horizon. Many people have claimed that they stayed back until dawn to catch the sunrise. The gentle transition from the soft, golden rays to blazing, amber sunbeams shining from the hoodoos was an experience that they simply couldn’t put into words.

The Sunset point overlooks the Sinking Ship and the Boat Mesa set against the breathtaking Pink Cliffs of the Aquarius Plateau. Here you will find the resistant rock “The Conglomerate at Boat Mesa” standing at a staggering elevation of 8073 ft. rising above the hoodoos of Fairland Canyon. The Sinking Ship is the result of a tectonic activity that started some 15 million years ago. It caused the Paunsaugunt Plateau to rise into an elevation, while some sections of its rocks were dragged away, resulting in the tilt we see at present.

The Sunrise Point serves as the beginning of Queen’s Garden trail, which is about 0.5 miles away from the Visitor Center. Here you will find wild shrubs of Blue Elderberry and unique flowers. Since vegetation is sparse, you will mostly find rodents and reptiles in this region.

The Sunset Point, on the other hand, offers spectacular vistas of some of Bryce Canyon’s most famous and breathtaking hoodoos. Towards the south and right below this point is the majestic Silent City that rises from the Canyon floor.

From a distant glance, the picturesque scene looks unreal – a beautiful maze of hoodoos, fins, and rocky peaks tightly standing against one another. Here, you will also find Thor’s Hammer – a one-of-a-kind hoodoo that is known for its striking features.

According to many tourists, if you really want to enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view of the Bryce Canyon rocks, then the Sunset Point is the only place. Look for the rock called Claron – a unique formation made of limestone deposits around 50 million years ago.

8. Black Birch Canyon:

The Black Birch Canyon, Just North of Mile 16, is a collection of gorgeous cliffs that drop from the road. You will come across this trail during your Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive. The Viewpoint also offers an up-close look at the colorful hoodoos. At a height of 8750 ft., this is also one of the lesser-known scenic overlooks at the Bryce Canyon National Park.

Enjoy a view of the Rainbow Point and the Yovimpa Point towards the south from the Black Birch Canyon. The majestic pink, white, and orange cliffs will stop you dead on your tracks and impel you to think, could anything really be as beautiful as this?

Admiring the hoodoos so closely in their phantom-like formation while enjoying the stroll is an experience you’ll never forget. The journey is almost hypnotic. If you stare long enough, you might just see eccentric shapes frozen into the rock. This is certainly not for the faint hearted, but the journey is worth it!

9. The Natural Bridge:

Next up is the Natural Bridge, which is one of the best-known lofty natural arches of the Bryce Canyon National Park. The massive rock formation spans across 85 ft. of land and is beautifully sculpted out of red sedimentary rocks. The vibrant red hue comes from the rich content of iron oxide present in them. Part of the great Claron Formation – the Natural Bridge is a live proof of the incredible power of nature.

Chemical weathering, frost wedging, and the overwhelming forces of gravity have come together to carve this bridge. You can view the arch right from the Natural Bridge viewpoint, located about three-quarters of your way towards the scenic drive.

10. Other Natural Arches:

Apart from the Natural Bridge, there are many other bridges and arches at the Bryce Canyon National Park. The Twin Bridges towards the Navojo Loop Trail, the Farview Natural Bridge, and the Bryce Point Arch near the Wall of Windows are some of the best places for sight-seeing, bird-watching, and of course, star-gazing.

11. Agua Canyon:

The Agua Canyon is a magnificent place where two of the most popular hoodoos deserve your attention. These hoodoos are known as the “Hunter”, which is taller of the two and located towards the left. The “Backpacker” or the “Rabbit” is the other hoodoo, towards the right. Through the national park’s history, there were countless efforts made to sign and preserve the natural hoodoos. However, many of them either fell and crumbled or are at risk of falling. Therefore, most hoodoos look nothing like they did originally.

However, the Hunter and the Backpacker are two extremely famous hoodoos that are known for their unique, creative formations. From here, you can see the Navajo Mountain in its all glory and enchanting beauty. The mountain is referred to as a batholithic – a volcano that never happened – which is what the appearance looks like.

A typical volcano begins with molten rocks rising up from inside the mountain, swelling up and then bursting forth. However, with Navajo mountain, the volcano didn’t quite happen. It never blew up, so the plume of molten rock cooled up without bursting, giving the mountain a swelled-up appearance that we see today.

This is also a place to witness the ever-rare and spell-binding bird called the California condor. From a distance, it might resemble an eagle, but up-close, this large bird is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. With its pink and purple mouth and a unique-shaped, protruding beak, the bird looks other-worldly.

You’ll be surprised to know that these large-winged animals haven’t been spotted as frequently as during the time of Ebenezer Bryce. When in flight, a condor’s wings span across 9 ft. in the air, casting an awe-struck shadow over the landscape.

However, the regulatory bodies realized their dying presence and soon initiated a bunch of breeding programs to reintroduce the birds’ natural habitats. Even when the program is still certain, the scientists involved have a lot of hope that the birds will return to their natural habitat.

12. An Exciting Ranger’s Program:

The Bryce National Park also has an exciting Ranger’s Program that offers a wonderful learning opportunity for kids and adults alike. While you are trekking, find out why the rocks are red, orange, and white.

The best thing about a ranger-guided program is that you can enjoy a complete tour with a professional. If you or your kids are shying away from visiting a Viewpoint or Trail because of lack of hiking skills or experience, a Ranger’s Program is the best way to make the most out of your trip at the Bryce Canyon National Park.

You will get to learn the unique geology and find all the answers to your questions. Certainly, the magical, phantom-like hoodoos in all their color and wonder pique everyone’s curiosity. Whether you spend a few minutes or a few good hours in the Ranger’s Program, you will learn a lot.

The program’s main intent is for travelers and tourists to understand the importance of natural heritage sites. The cliffs, spires, fins, and the hoodoos at this park are testament to the magnificent work of God. The rangers will share fascinating facts about the park and explain the wonders of the night sky as you tour each place with them. And, the best part? These programs are absolutely free for everyone!

You should definitely bring the kids here to spend an entire day and expand their knowledge. The programs begin from late Spring and continue all the way to October— you can check their schedules online. Each day, the rangers will teach you and take you to a different location of the park.

Featuring a “Geology Talk” – the program typically takes place at the Sunset Point during the summers and the Visitor Center during the winters. Here, you will meet expert geologists who have spent years studying the Bryce Canyon. Find out the science behind each rock formation and how scientists use the geology to predict the fate of hoodoos.

The program also features the “Rim Walk”, which happens daily at the Sunset Point throughout the year, except during winters. The rangers will take you and your family out to see fascinating wildlife, plants, and luscious views of the mountains. With intense cultural history and amazing geology waiting for you, the Ranger’s program simply can’t be missed.

Join the rangers as they stroll around the Main Amphitheater and enthusiastically explain the spectacular landscape to you! You will definitely go back home humbled and appreciative of the natural wonders around us!



The Best Lodgings

Many hotels offer a great view of the Bryce Canyon National Park. Whether you are looking for a good hotel package, a comfortable family retreat, or want to crash the coolest neighborhood in the area, here are some of the best places to stay around the park!

1. Bryce Canyon Lodge:

This retreat has a rustic feel to it and is safely the best place to enjoy a spectacular view of the Bryce Canyon. Note that this hotel is just a minute away from all the main attractions of the national park. Whether you want to go to the Bryce Point, the Navajo Trail, or the Fairyland Canyon – all the places are an easy drive away. With 114 super-comfy and spacious rooms, each unit has contemporary amenities, and of course, an on-site restaurant that serves delicious meals.

2. Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel:

Located along the Scenic Byway 12, this hotel offers one of the most affordable yet luxurious lodgings. With two 4-storey hotel towers, the place offers 164 guest rooms that include deluxe, king, and queen suites. Now, that’s an offer you can’t miss! With an indoor pool, a complimentary breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, hair dryers, and coffee makers – the place has everything you could ever dream of! And, the best part? You can easily get a shuttle service to the Bryce Canyon National Park from here!

3. Bryce Canyon Inn:

The Bryce Canyon Inn is a comfy, clean, and cozy accommodation that is ideal for large families. The guest cabins are huge and luxurious with full-family suites as well as king and queen bed cabins. Each unit offers a beautiful view of the Bryce Canyon National Park. There’s also a Pizza Place located right next to the cabin, serving hand-tossed, piping hot pizza upon ordering.

4. Foster’s Bryce Canyon Motel:

Offering a family-friendly environment with top-notch suites, Foster’s Bryce Canyon Motel is super-affordable for families who are traveling on a budget. You can enjoy breakfasts, lunch, and dinner at the onsite Bryce Canyon restaurant after your visit to the nearby attractions. There’s also a Full-service Foster’s Supermarket that sells fishing gear, camping, and groceries! These are our top picks, but there are many cool and affordable places in Utah that you can stay at during your visit to the Bryce Canyon National Park.


Parting Words

Your trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park will definitely be one to remember. This is a place where nature expressed itself in a way you’ve never witnessed before. Its otherworldly magic, colorful hoodoos, majestic spires, and rosy cliffs are wonders you simply can’t miss.

Save up and put your money in a cause you won’t regret. Plan an exciting trip to this amazing national park and enjoy its scenic views, picturesque rocky formations, and fun hiking adventures. A trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park is a journey your friends and family will remember for a lifetime.

Safe Travels!