Bryce Canyon National Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located in the majestic rocky landscape of Southwestern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is a beautiful, rugged landscape filled with natural bowls and breathtaking spires of red rocks called hoodoos just waiting to be explored on your next RV adventure. First settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s, this national treasure covers over 35,000 acres of amazing natural rock formations from jagged cliffs to smooth arches. With more than 400 native plant species through the park, it’s lowest levels are dominated by lush forests, streams, and billowing meadows.

You can soak in all of this jaw-dropping landscape from four main viewpoints near the entrance of the park: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. For a closeup look at the marvelous scenery around you, this national park offers numerous hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. An easy hike along the Mossy Cave Trail will lead you to a gorgeous natural grotto and waterfall. For more serious hikers you can explore Fairyland Loop, where you can discover spectacular hoodoos and the wondrous Tower Bridge.

Bryce Canyon National Park is home to some of the most amazing natural attractions in the West that you can access right from your RV. Along the Navajo Trail you can soak in the sight of the Three Wise Men, a collection of eye-popping hoodoos. Nearby you can catch a glimpse of Thor’s Hammer, a natural formation that looks like a hammer built for the gods, perched on a large rock pedestal.

This one-of-a-kind national park is haven for all sorts of outdoor activities. With the freedom of RV travel, you can try it all. Whether you want to take an all-night hike or go snowshoeing amidst rugged landscapes and tranquil forest, this park has it all. You can stargaze like no place else on Earth or horseback ride in an unforgettable setting. From mountain biking to off-roading, Bryce Canyon National Park has something for all RVers to enjoy.

Park Alerts (3)

[Information] Campgrounds Status

Due to planned construction all sites are first-come-first-serve (no reservations) for 2019. Currently North Campground is open until Sunset Campground construction is complete, at which time (likely late summer) North will close and Sunset will reopen.

[Information] Vehicle Length Restrictions [+ Info]

During Shuttle operating hours, visitors with vehicles over 20ft/6m in length are restricted from parking in the Bryce Amphitheater. No length restrictions apply to the southern scenic drive to Rainbow Point.

[Information] Trails Status

All front country trails are now open. Current trail closures: The back country Agua Canyon Connector Trail due to severe trail damage from a slide.

RV Rentals in Bryce Canyon National Park

Transportation in Bryce Canyon National Park

Driving

The park is very easy to get to whether you’re in a large RV or a small sedan. The park is accessible off US-89 and US-15, whether you’re coming from the South or the North. The park is open year-round, 24/7, meaning you can visit on the hottest summer days or snowy winter nights. In the winter, the roads are plowed after snow storms, but some roads may be temporarily closed until plowing is complete. Route 12 takes you directly into the park and intersects with Route 63, where you can stop at the Visitor Center, campsites, and all the major viewpoints. Route 63 is an 18-mile one-way road that serves as a scenic drive you can explore with your own vehicle or by shuttle.

Parking

There are numerous options for parking at Bryce Canyon National Park. Recommended areas for parking your RV or trailer are at one of the park’s campsites, the overflow parking lot, or the Shuttle Station. If you visit the park during its busiest months, from April to October, you will face more limited parking than at other times of the year. During this time certain areas are off limits to RV parking, including the Visitor Center and main viewpoints. However, you can still park at the Shuttle Station, the overflow parking lot, campsites, Sunrise Point Loop Road, and all viewpoints and lots South of mile marker 3.

Public Transport

There is a free shuttle service that will take you to the 15 stops at park’s most popular facilities, trails, and viewpoints. Shuttles run every 15 minutes from 8:00am to 6:00pm from April to October. You can ride the shuttles for unlimited service to numerous areas including the Visitor Center, the main viewpoints, and the Shuttle Station. From April to October, the park provides a free shuttle tour of Rainbow Point. Biking is allowed on paved roads inside the park and on several scenic trails just outside the park.

Campgrounds and parking in Bryce Canyon National Park

Campsites in Bryce Canyon National Park

Reservations camping

Panguitch KOA

The Panguitch KOA is the heart of an outdoor adventureland. This campground is central to many of Southern Utah’s popular destinations and natural wonders including Panguitch Lake, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. The campground provides access to several trails for hikers, bikers and ATV buffs to explore. Campers may enjoy a dip in the pool, play a game of horseshoes or volleyball and let Fido run free at KOA’s Kamp K-9 dog park. For your convenience and pleasure, each RV site is equipped with full hookups, over the air TV and Wi-Fi connection.

Cannonville / Bryce Valley KOA

See the sun set over the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument when you stay at Cannonville/Bryce Valley KOA. Only 12 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park, and also close to Kodachrome Basin State Park, there are nearly endless terrains to explore. At Cannonville/Bryce Valley KOA you’ll get plenty of treats with in-season pancake breakfasts, ice cream socials, and s’mores socials. On-site amenities include Wi-Fi, a Kamping Kitchen, a dog park for the pups, and a seasonal pool. Firewood and propane are available on-site for purchase and pull-through sites can accommodate rigs up to 65 feet.

Beaver KOA

Enjoy the multiple award-winning Beaver KOA campground nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and songbirds. Sites feature full hookups with gravel pads, fire pits, cable, and Wi-Fi. The campground offers restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, a dump station, a seasonal pool, a pond, a fish cleaning station, horse corrals, a game room with table games and arcade games, a playground, a book exchange, a dog run, and a well-stocked store with a coffee bar.

Sunset Group Site

For large groups that range in size from 7 to 30 people, you can reserve access to the Sunset Campground Group Site. Up to eight vehicles are permitted at the site, with a max vehicle length of 28’. The site is open from April to October and you can make reservations from two days to up to six months in advance. You can enjoy all the services available at the Sunset Campground including drinking water, restrooms, picnic tables, and fire grates. While there are no sewer, water, or electric hookups at this location during the summer months you can use the General Store and dump station available at the North Campground.

North Campground

Located right near the Visitor Center, the North Campground offers 13 RV sites that are available by reservation. This campground has a number of amenities including restrooms, picnic tables, fire grates, and drinking water. During the summer months, the General Store is open right next store, where you can stock up on supplies and do some laundry. A dump station is also available for use during the summer months.

First-come first-served

Sunset Campground

The Sunset Campground, located just west of Sunset Point and 1.5 miles from the Visitor Center, offers 80 RV and tent sites and 20 tent-only sites that are available on a first-come first-served basis. This campground not only provides easy access to the best hiking trails off Sunset Point, but it offers restrooms, picnic tables, drinking water, and fire grates. The Sunset Campground is open from April to October. There are no sewer, water, or electric hookups available at this location.

North Campground FCFS

The North Campground, which is conveniently located near the Visitor Center, also offers 86 first-come-first-served RV and tent sites. This campsite provides drinking water, picnic tables, fire grates, and restrooms. You can also gain quick access to the Shared-Use Path. During the summer you will be right next to the General Store where you can stock up on food, use the shower facilities, and do your laundry. While there are no sewer, water, or electricity hookups available, you can use a dump station for a fee during the summer months. This campground is open year-round, but space may be limited during the off-season.

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

There are several private campgrounds to choose from that are either just outside the park or within a 45-minute drive to the park. Whether you want to sleep in a tipi or enjoy resort amenities, each site offers services to fit your personality. Some RV campgrounds offer full hookups and other modern conveniences that you’ll enjoy during your visit to the Bryce Canyon area.

Backcountry Camping

If you want the ultimate experience to get away from it all during your RV escape, you might enjoy the backcountry camping opportunities available at Bryce Canyon National Park. There are eight campsites available at the 22.9-mile Under-the-Rim Trail and four campsites available on the 8.8-mile Riggs Spring Loop. A Backcountry Permit is required for all overnight stays and you should bring your own water to stay hydrated. Backcountry camping at the park is an amazing way to get up close and personal with this red-rock oasis.

Seasonal activities in Bryce Canyon National Park

Spring

Navajo Loop Trail

The Navajo Loop Trail is one of the most popular at this national park due to its proximity to Sunset Point and the amazing sites it passes through. You can walk or hike along the narrow corridors of Wall Street or take in the scenic views of Silent City, which is a metropolis of spirals and hoodoos made up of colorful limestone. This moderate hike is 1.3 miles round trip with easy access to the route from the Sunset Point parking lot.

Aerial Tours

If you want to get a bird’s eye view of Bryce Canyon National Park during your RV vacation, hire a private company for an aerial tour. Whether you want to fly in a helicopter or an open-cockpit biplane, this is an unforgettable way to enjoy one-of-a-kind views of Rainbow Points, the Natural Bridge, and the amazing colorful hoodoos that dot this serene landscape.

Picnic at Yovimpa Point

If you want to enjoy a relaxing spring picnic in one of the most scenic areas of the park, head to Yovimpa Point. In a secluded setting under shady trees, you can enjoy a rustic meal on picnic tables with incredible views of canyons and evergreen forests. On a clear day, you can see Arizona from 50 miles away at the peak of Yovimpa Point.

Birdwatching

You may not know that Bryce National Canyon is the natural habitat of more than 175 species of birds, making it a prime destination for birdwatchers. You can catch glimpses of ravens, peregrine falcons, and violet-green swallows in this enchanting landscape. If you have your binoculars and cameras ready, you are in for a treat to discover the fabulous native birds that can be spotted all around the park.

Rim Walk

Running daily, the Rim Walk is a ranger-led interpretive tour that will take you around breathtaking views as you walk along the rim of the Bryce Amphitheatre. You’ll learn about the majestic history and habitat of Bryce Canyon including the native plants and wildlife and cultural stories of the area. If you want to soak in the beauty of the park, while gaining valuable knowledge about its rich heritage, this free 1.5-hour long tour is for you.

Summer

Fairyland Loop Trail

For serious hikers, the Fairyland Loop Trail is a must. This 8.3-mile trek will take you through some of the most amazing natural attractions the park has to offer. You can soak in the wonder of the Tower Bridge, which is a large hoodoo made from two large natural arches. You’ll also enjoy picturesque views of the China Wall, which is a large hedge of hoodoos that are reminiscent of the Great Wall of China. The Fairyland Loop Trail is a memorable route that you won’t want to miss if you’re up for a steep hike.

Mountain Biking

If you’re an RV and cycling enthusiast you’ll be blown away by the natural splendor of the park that you can ride through on your bike. While biking is only allowed on paved roads in the park, the winding main road to Rainbow Point is a 17-mile route that takes you through charming meadows and lush forests to the top of Paunsaugunt Plateau. While on your bike you can soak in splendid views of colorful spires and pinnacles that are out of this world. There are also a number of bike trails you can explore right outside of the park.

Horseback Riding

You can follow the tracks of Western outlaws and take in miles of remote countryside while horseback riding through Bryce Canyon National Park. The Peekaboo Loop trail is a popular equestrian route that takes you through majestic vistas and zigzags above and in the canyon. There are several companies that provide horseback riding tours on a variety of routes so you can choose how you want to explore this one-of-a-kind landscape on horseback.

Hiking

Bryce Canyon National Park is a haven for summer hikers with a plethora of trails to choose from which range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. Each hiking trail has its own unique attractions and marvelous views. The Mossy Cave trail is an easy hike that will take you to intimate views of hoodoos and a charming natural grotto. The Queen Gardens Loop is a moderate 1.8-mile route where you can get up close to canyons and natural amphitheaters. No matter what your level of ability is this national park offers speculator trails that will provide you with unforgettable views.

Astronomy Programs

You may not be able to enjoy the enchantment of brilliant night skies anywhere like at Bryce Canyon National Park. You’ll start the program with an educational multimedia show and stargaze with telescopes under a night sky that is unlike most places on Earth. On a starry summer moonless night here you can see more than 7500 stars and soak in amazing views of the Milky Way. No reservations are required to enjoy the tranquility of the night sky at the park where Venus and Jupiter are bright enough to cast a shadow.

Fall

Scenic Drive on Route 63

The autumn is one of the best times to take the scenic drive along Route 63 through the park. You can soak in the changing fall colors as aspens next to the red-orange hoodoos and lush green bristlecone pines. This picturesque route takes you through has the most stunning views at the parks where you can stop at the main viewpoints for amazing pictures and sightseeing right from your RV or car.

Bristlecone Loop

If you want to discover the incredible forest and 1800-year-old Bristlecone Pines of the park you’ll love a hike along the Bristlecone Loop. The 1-mile trek will take you through groves of Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir and White Fir where you can spot the native wildlife from owls to chipmunks. With stunning views of the grassy meadows below, this loop is the perfect route to explore the outer region of this majestic park.

Geology Talks

While Bryce Canyon National Parks has some fantastic views, it also has some amazing history. These free ranger-led talks will teach you all about the unique geological history and secrets of the park, such as ancient lakes and frost-wedging. You can get the inside scoop from the experts and learn about how Bryce Canyon came to be. These half-hour talks run daily at Sunset Point with no reservation required.

Off-Roading

If you want to hit the road outside of your RV and on your ATV, the Bryce Canyon region is an unforgettable setting to ride amidst canyons and red-rock formations. While motorized vehicles are not allowed on trails in the park, there are numerous off-roading trails just outside the park and in the surrounding area just waiting to be explored. You can hire a private company to take a guided scheduled or customized tour to discover the beauty of the Bryce Canyon region in a thrilling way.

Full Moon Hikes

Held two or three times a month under the gaze of the full moon, you can hike under the swirling shadows of hoodoos into the canyon. These 1 to 2-mile moonlight hikes are led by a ranger so you’ll learn about the amazing natural history of the park while taking in jaw-dropping views of the canyon at night. Reservations for the full moon hike are distributed by a lottery system on the day of the hike so if you get to go on this tour you’re one of a lucky few.

Winter

Snowmobiling

While snowmobiling is not allowed in the park, it’s a popular winter pastime just outside the grounds. Whether you want to cruise on your own or take a guided snowmobile tour, there are plenty of trails close to the park just waiting to be explored. You can take a ride through this winter wonderland in style and easily rent a snowmobile from private businesses in the area.

Sledding

At any age, sledding is a thrill and there is no greater thrill than sledding down above the rim at Bryce Canyon National Park. While sledding off the canyon rim is prohibited, you can still enjoy snowy slopes in an unforgettable setting amidst the hoodoos and red-rock terrain. You can also join the locals and sled outside of the park at the nearby Red Canyon.

Cross-Country Skiing

One unique way to explore Bryce Canyon National Park during the snowy months is via cross-country skiing. While you’re not allowed to ski off of the rim into the canyon, you can enjoy a variety of routes above the rim including Bristlecone Loop and Paria Ski Loop. If the snow is deep enough you can ski amongst the hoodoos on the Red Canyon Bike Path. Whether you have your own cross-country skis or want to rent them, this is an incredible way to explore the tranquility of the park during the winter.

Snowshoe Hikes

There is no better way to enjoy the enchanting views Bryce Canyon has to offer during the winter months than during a ranger-led snowshoe hike over its rugged landscape. You’ll learn about the ecology of the park and the formation of hoodoos as you take in the park’s breathtaking natural splendor. This moderately strenuous tour runs 1 to 2 miles through some of the park’s most amazing sites that you might not be able to see any other way. You can easily make reservations for this tour at the Visitor Center.

Bryce Canyon Winter Festival

If you’re in town during this festival, you won’t want to miss this winter wonderland bonanza with celebrations all of the snowfall delights of Bryce Canyon. You can go on a snowshoe tour, take a yoga class, or boogie with the family at the family dance. You can have fun with arts and crafts and make-your-own-pottery. You can enjoy all sorts of winter activities too like sled racing, ice skating, and snowshoeing.

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