Your First Time in Bryce Canyon National Park

Description:

Bryce Canyon is an eye-feasting smörgåsbord of wildly-shaped red sandstone rocks called hoodoos. They're truly otherworldly and plenty of fun to explore. Located at high altitude (9,000 feet), Bryce Canyon achieved its National Park status back in 1928. Part of the Southwestern Grand Circle loop, it's a must-see when visiting southern Utah.

Outdoor activities are of course the name of the game here. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing in the winter (yep, plenty of snow here then!), and strenuous overnight backpacks for the serious adventurers out there can be tailored to all age groups and physical abilities. This is definitely not an urban area, so be prepared for lackluster dining options. But you didn't come here to go shopping, right?

Plan to spend several days in order to fully experience and enjoy the variety of treats Bryce Canyon holds. Besides hiking, the Park also offers excellent activities like world-class star-gazing, full moon hikes, geologic tours, and even special things to do just for kids. Plus, the rangers are super friendly and really knowledgeable about their Park.

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Author: Julie Trevelyan


Day 1 - Bryce Canyon National Park


THINGS TO DO
Some classic overlooks along the paved driving loop include Rainbow Point, Bryce Point, Sunrise Point, and Sunset Point. These all provide excellent photo opps! For hiking, try Navajo Loop. It's short (1.3 miles) and sweet. Peekaboo Loop is longer at 5.5 miles, and worth every step. If you're the fit outdoorsy type, tackle the Rim Trail. At 5.5 miles one way, it shows off that funky hoodoo scenery to its finest effect. Are you traveling with kids? Get them going in the Junior Ranger program. Details will be available at the visitors center.


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Bryce Point

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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Rainbow Point

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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Sunrise Point

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


4

Sunset Point

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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Inspiration Point

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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Rim Walk

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322


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Navajo Loop

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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Peekaboo Loop

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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Rim Trail

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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Under-the-Rim Trail

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


Day 2 - Bryce Canyon National Park


RESTAURANTS
The local dining selection around Bryce can be chancy. If you are okay with eating what can sometimes be decent diner food and other times...well, not so much, you'll do fine. Otherwise, bring your own food. The dining room at the Bryce Canyon Lodge (the only lodging inside the Park) has elegance and decent meals. Bryce Canyon Pines features way delicious pie. To really eat good food, you'll have to travel a ways outside the Park. Hell's Backbone is a world-class place. The Esca-latte Cafe is funky and fun, as are the Kiva Koffeehouse and Cowboy Blues. These last four places are best stopped at if you are continuing your journey east of Bryce.


1

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84717

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(435) 834-8760


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Bryce Canyon Pines

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12 Bryce
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(800) 892-7923


3

Canyon Diner

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1000 South Hwy 63
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84717

Phone:

(435) 834-5341


4

Cowboy Blues

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Location:

530 W Main St
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84726

Phone:

(435) 826-4577


5

Esca-Latte Internet Café

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310 West Main St.
In Escalante Outfitters
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84726

Phone:

435-826-4266


6

Kiva Koffeehouse

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Hwy 12, Mile marker 73.86
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84726

Phone:

(435)826-4550


7

Hell's Backbone Grill

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PO Box 1397, 20 N. Highway 12
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84716

Phone:

435-335-7464


Day 3 - Bryce Canyon National Park


NIGHTLIFE
What kind of nightlife can you find around Bryce? The outdoors kind, of course! First thing: if you planned your trip right, stop in the visitors center and sign up for that evening's Full Moon Hike. Alternatively, if it's pitch black at night, check out their truly excellent Astronomy Programs. Plan for either a picnic dinner at sunset or eating out somewhere like the Cowboy's Buffet and Steak Room.


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Astronomy Program: Night Sky Programs

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322


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Full Moon Hikes

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322


3

Cowboy's Buffet and Steak Room

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Location:

1000 South Hwy 63
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84717

Phone:

(435) 834-5341


Day 4 - Bryce Canyon National Park


LOCAL RECOMMENDATIONS: SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
Many people only afford Bryce a day or two at most. They're missing out on some of the cooler things to do! Try a geology talk led by a ranger. (Really, they're interesting, not at all dry.) Hike the Hat Shop Trail with its truly millinery-style rock configurations. The Tower Bridge and Fairyland Loop hikes are generally unpopulated...which means more room for you. And if you come in the wintertime, go for a snowshoe hike. Bryce under snow is a sublime experience.


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Snowshoe Hikes

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322


2

Geology Talks

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Location:

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322


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Geology Hike

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


4

Astronomy Program: Solar Viewing

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322


5

Canyon Trail Rides

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 679-8665


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Tower Bridge

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


7

Hat Shop

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


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