Central to this pine, fir and meadow-rich National Park in southwest Utah is Bryce Canyon, which is not actually a canyon at all. Rather, the geological formation comprises fascinating horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres of endless limestone fins and hoodoos, resulting from centuries of headward water erosion.
Things to do in this National Park
Elevation at Bryce Canyon National Park begins at 6,620ft and rises to 9,115ft above sea level. This sees the park favoured by both amateur and experienced hikers, as well as rock climbing aficionados. The park features 13 viewpoints reached via an enjoyable scenic drive, eight marked and maintained ‘day trails’ and two overnight hiking routes (a permit is required to embark on these). A number of ungroomed skiing trails can also be found off of the Fairyland, Paria and Rim trails.
Activities favoured by visitors include horseback riding, biking, off-road all-terrain vehicle driving, fishing and camping. Unsurprisingly, landscape photography is also popular amongst visitors to the park, as is enjoying the night sky –gazers can enjoy the sight of 7,500 stars with their naked eye, thanks to a lack of light pollution. Informative sessions on astronomy and nocturnal wildlife are available from a number of the park’s rangers.
Bryce Canyon National Park highlights
Navajo/Queens Garden Loop: Advertised as the world’s best three mile hike, this trail sees visitors enter at the ridge and descend into the field of magnificent sandstone hoodoos below for an up-close perspective
Peek-A-Boo Loop: A hiking trail favoured by horse riders due to its long completion time (around six hours) and the many steep inclines the route features. A picnicking spot can be found at the trail’s end
Thor’s Hammer: Perhaps the most iconic geological formation in the park, shaped like an oversized sledgehammer
Inspiration Point: One of the park’s busiest driving lookouts, Inspiration Point provides truly spectacular views of the vast orange Bryce Canyon below
Sunrise Point and Sunset Point: As the respective names suggest, these are the perfect lookout spots to enjoy sunrise and sunset moments with friends, loved ones or alone
When to visit Bryce Canyon
The park is open year-round and each season offers different advantages for visitors. Early June to mid-August is peak tourist season due to school holidays and the brilliant sunshine which often beams into the site. While winter sees far less park activities organised, on-duty rangers will likely have more time to answer any questions you may have about the remarkable area and its landmarks. Winter scenery is starkly different to that of summer as Bryce Canyon is transformed into a magnificent snowy wonderland, making hiking particularly difficult at this time.
Touring in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon can be visited as part of many American Sky tour itineraries, including our self-drive ‘Canyon Adventure’, ‘Rocky Mountain Frontiers’, ‘Western Landscapes’ and ‘The Trailblazer’ tours. For other routes featuring this attraction, please scroll further down this page.
Planning a holiday to this National Park in 2016 or 2017?
The American Sky Team has the experience and know-how to help organise perfect Bryce Canyon holidays. Call our Nevada specialists and start planning your trip of a lifetime.