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Bryce Canyon National Park 'Bryce Canyon' © Ed Heaton
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USA Parks
Utah
Southern Region
Bryce Canyon National Park
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
PO Box 170001
Bryce Canyon, Utah   84717-0001

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Bryce Canyon National Park
'Bryce Canyon'
© Ed Heaton

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Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park
'Bryce Canyon National Park'

first day of spring.

Bryce Canyon National Park
'Bryce Canyon National Park'

Early Spring

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

At Bryce Canyon National Park, erosion has shaped colorful Claron limestones, sandstones, and mudstones into thousands of spires, fins, pinnacles, and mazes. Collectively called "hoodoos," these colorful and whimsical formations stand in horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters along the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in Southern Utah.
Nature of the Area
Bryce Canyon National Park is a scientist's laboratory and a child's playground. Because Bryce transcends 2000 ft. (650 m) of elevation, the park exists in three distinct climatic zones: spruce/fir forest, Ponderosa Pine forest, and Pinyon Pine/juniper forest. This diversity of habitat provides for high biodiversity. Here at Bryce, you can enjoy over 100 species of birds, dozens of mammals, and more than a thousand plant species.

It is the uniqueness of the rocks that caused Bryce Canyon to be designated as a national park. These famous spires called "hoodoos" are formed when ice and rainwater wear away the weak limestone that makes up the Claron Formation. However the "hoodoos" geologic story is also closely tied to the rest of the Grand Staircase region and the Cedar and Black Mountains volcanic complex. In short, Bryce has enough fascinating geology to fill a textbook.

We invite you to surf this section of our website to learn about some of the highlights of Bryce Canyon's natural world, and hope that one day you'll come and see the real thing in person.
History of the Area
One of the first questions people ask when visiting the rugged wilds of southern Utah is, "Who would live here?" The answer is, "Many different cultures over thousands of years."

A recent archaeological survey of Bryce Canyon National Park and the Paunsaugunt Plateau shows that people have been marveling at Bryce's hoodoos for at least 10,000 years. It is suspected that throughout history, just as today, most people were just passing through. Bryce Canyon winters are so harsh that even modern year-round habitation is difficult. Yet Paleoindians hunted huge mammals here at the end of the Ice Age. Pueblo peoples hunted game in the forests and meadows of the plateau. Paiutes frequented the plateau to harvest pine nuts and conduct broad scale rabbit hunts called rabbit drives. Mormon pioneers diverted water from the plateau top into the valley below by digging a 10-mile (16 km) long irrigation ditch through the forests and rocky cliffs of what would later become the park. Their efforts made the dry valleys below the cliffs of Bryce suitable for agriculture, and gave them reason to name the town of Tropic, Utah.

Later in 1924, designation as a national park put Bryce Canyon on the map. But it was the Union Pacific Railroad and the Civilian Conservation Corps that made Bryce accessible to modern day travelers. Such improvements quickly made Bryce Canyon first a national attraction, and later an international "must see." Today 1.5 million people come each year to see this little park with enormous appeal.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseHiking Trailyes
 Picnickingyes
Camping
Bryce Canyon National Park has two campgrounds located in close proximity to the Visitor Center, Bryce Canyon Lodge and the geologic wonder that is the Bryce Amphitheater. Both have restrooms with flush toilets, and drinking water. During the summer months token operated laundry and shower facilities are available at the general store nearby. A fee-for-use dump-station is available for RV users at the south end of North Campground. NOTE: Dump-station is closed during winter because of freezing temperatures.

Both campgrounds have a very similar appearance being located in Ponderosa Pine forest habitat with equal amounts of shade and sun. Neither campground has hook-ups, but a fee-for-use sanitary dump station is available seasonally near North Campground. All sites are limited to 6 people, 3 tents and 2 vehicles and cost $10 per night. Holders of special Park Passes such as the Golden Age and Golden Access get a 50% discount. Sites fill by early afternoon during the summer months.

NORTH CAMPGROUND (Open year round):

May 15 - Sept. 30, 32 sites RESERVATION ONLY (2-days in advance), 75 sites first-come, first served.

North Camprgound is located opposite the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center and has 107 sites in 4 loops. North Campground is closest to the general store. Loops A & B are for RV campers. Loops C & D are for tent campers. Call (877) 444-6777 or click www.ReserveUSA.com to make reservations. Reservations for 32 sites can be made 240 days to 2 days in advance for May 15 - September 30. NOTE: an extra booking fee of $9 is charged per reservation (i.e., a reservation for 2 nights stay would cost $10 + $10 + $9 = $29). NOTE: Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks use a different reservation system for their campgrounds. For more information call 1-800-365-2267.

SUNSET CAMPGROUND (Closed in winter)

Sunset Campground has 101 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis; NO RESERVATIONS ARE ACCEPTED. Located opposite Sunset Point approximately 1.5 miles south of the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, Sunset Campground has 3 loops. Sunset Campground is closest to the best hiking trails which begin and end at Sunset Point. Loop A is for RV campers. Loop B & C are for tent campers. Two wheelchair-accessible sites are located in Loop A. Sunset Campground also has a group site. RV and trailer combinations over 45 feet are discouraged, but not prohibited.

Sunset Group Campsite:

Group size is limited to 7-30 people and 8 vehicles. The cost is $3 person >age 6, with a minimum of $30 per night. Call (877) 444-6777.

BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING

A $5 backcountry permit is required for overnight backcountry camping. Permits must be obtained in person and are issued at the park visitor center from 8:00 a.m. until two hours before sunset or one hour before the Visitor Center closes. No phone or email reservations will be accepted. In person reservation can be made up to 48 hrs. in advance. Park staff reserves the right to refuse permits to parties that fail to demonstrate the necessary preparedness that Bryce Canyon's high and dry backcountry demands.

Bryce Canyon's backcountry is a primitive area and managed according to regulations that protect its wilderness values. Backcountry camping is allowed on a limited basis and ONLY at designated campsites. Download the Backcountry brochure in PDF for more information, regulations, and preparedness guidelines.


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Trails
HIKING IN BRYCE AMPITHEATER:

The easiest trail is the 1/2-mile (one way) section of Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points. Other sections of the Rim Trail (which extends 5.5 miles / 9.2 km between Fairyland and Bryce Points) have steeper terrain.

Trails inside the park include:

Upper Inspiration Point (.3 miles / .5 km round trip)

Mossy Cave (.9 miles / 1.5 km round trip)

Bristlecone Loop (1.0 miles / 1.6 km round trip)

Navajo Loop (1.3 miles / 2.2 km round trip)

Queen's Garden/Navajo Loop Combination (2.9 miles / 4.6 km round trip)

Tower Bridge (3 miles / 4.8 km round trip)

Hat Shop (4 miles / 6.5 km round trip)

Swamp Canyon Loop (4.3 miles / 7.2 km round trip)

Peekaboo Loop (5.5 miles / 8.8 km round trip)

Fairyland Loop (8 miles / 12.9 km round trip)

Riggs Spring Loop (8.5 miles / 14.2 km round trip)

The Peekaboo Loop Trail also serves as a horse trail.

Keep in mind that all trails below the rim involve steep climbs out of the canyon. Wear hiking boots with good traction and ankle support. Drink plenty of water. Know and respect your own physical limitations.

BACKCOUNRY HIKES:

The Under-the-Rim Trail extends 23 miles from Bryce Point to Rainbow Point and has eight backcountry campsites. The Riggs Spring Loop Trail (8.8 miles round trip) from Yovimpa Point has four backcountry sites. Both trails drop below the rim of the plateau and lead through forested areas. A backcountry permit is required for all overnight hiking. Permits are available at the Visitor Center for $5.

Permits must be obtained in person and are issued at the park visitor center from 8:00 a.m. until two hours before sunset or one hour before the Visitor Center closes. No phone or email reservations will be accepted. In person reservation can be made up to 48 hrs. in advance. Park staff reserves the right to refuse permits to parties that fail to demonstrate the necessary preparedness that Bryce Canyon's high and dry backcountry demands.

Bryce Canyon's backcountry is a primitive area and managed according to regulations that protect its wilderness values. Backcountry camping is allowed on a limited basis and ONLY at designated campsites. Download the Backcountry brochure (603K) in PDF for more information, regulations, and preparedness guidelines.

HORSEBACK RIDING:

Looking for an exciting way to view Bryce Canyon? How about from the back of a horse? In spring, summer and fall, Canyon Trail Rides wranglers lead 2-hour and 4-hour horse and mule rides into Bryce Amphitheater along a dedicated horse trail and the Peekaboo Loop Trail.

For information, visit their web site at www.canyonrides.com. For reservations, write or call Canyon Trail Rides, P.O. Box 128, Tropic, UT 84776, 435/679-8665 or 435/834-5500.
Nature Programs
Ever wonder why the rocks are red? Where we got the name Hoodoo? What's a deer's favorite food? Well, you're not alone! The magic of Bryce Canyon sparks the imagination and wonder in Park Rangers as well as visitors. Spend a few minutes or a few hours with us as we share what we've learned about your National Park. Ranger programs are a great way to expand your exploration of Bryce Canyon. They're free too!

Our summer schedule is packed! Check our Ranger Program board in the park's visitor center for current locations and times.

Geology Talk: Hoodoos, ancient lakes and something called frost wedging? Geologists have spent years studying the unique story of Bryce Canyon. Spend a half hour with a Ranger as we discuss the current scientific explanation behind Bryce Canyon. 30 minutes

Rim Walk: Great views, fascinating plant and wildlife - what more could you want? This ranger-led walk is your opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonder of Bryce Canyon. Open to everyone. No reservations required.1 mile roundtrip on a level, paved trail ; 1.5 hours

Family Programs: Each ranger has their own, and they are as unique as we are! From Bryce Canyon "Olympics" to pretend dino digs to the wonders of scat, we've developed activity-driven programs for children and families alike. Some are "Just for Kids" and some for the entire family. Check at the visitor center for that day's program topic and age requirements. Sign up required. 1 hour

Ranger's Choice: Just what it says! Offering alternatives to the regularly scheduled programs, this is our chance to be creative. A ranger's personal choice of walk, talk or "who knows what" with a focus on what we are passionate about at Bryce Canyon. Topics, times, and locations available, by the week, at our Visitor Center.

Evening Programs: Presented in one of Bryce's four venues (Lodge, Visitor Center, North or Sunset campground), evening programs offer an opportunity to look in-depth at some of the compelling stories and interesting resources that Bryce Canyon was established to preserve. 45-60 minutes

This year's programs include:

"What the Raven Sees." Corvids, trees and rocks! All here at Bryce Canyon! What do they have in common? Find out at this program presented by Park Ranger Jean Novicki.

"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" by Park Ranger Jan Stock. Change is the predominant force which has shaped Bryce Canyon into what we see today. Come on a journey spanning 200 million years to examine changes in Bryce Canyon's landscapes, life zones, history and park management.

"What's in a Name?" by Park Ranger Jennifer Heroux. Isolation, struggle, survival, and celebration - these are just a few of the words in Bryce Canyon's human story. Come find out "What's in a Name."

"School of Rocks" Join Park Ranger and amateur geologist Randy Dunning for a geologic presentation for the lay person. Discover how the spires of Bryce Canyon were formed and what they can tell us about this area's history.

"Doing Battle with the great One" by Park Ranger and Firefighter Kevin Poe. Through slideshow and demonstration learn about American Indian use of fire, Smokey Bear, and the modern, controversial technique of fighting fire with fire. It's an "insider's look" at forest fires.

Special presentations by visiting researchers and artists occur throughout the summer. Check at visitor center for these special opportunities.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
January 29 Bryce Canyon National Park by Ponting
The Bryce Canyon National Park will leave you standing at its rims over the red, brown, orange, yellow and white hoodoos with a fallen bottom jaw. There are many oddly shaped pinnacles of rock which make up the canyon's walls and floor make Bryce Canyon so unique and beautiful. The hoodoos found in Bryce are smaller and on a more human scale than the larger rocks of Zion and Canyonlands National Parks and are much easier to explore than the huge and intimidating Grand Canyon.


Area Campgrounds

Ruby's Inn RV Park & Campground
1280 South Highway 63
Bryce, UT
435-834-5301


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Directions
Plane - Regular commercial flights serve Cedar City (87 miles), St. George (150 miles), Salt Lake City (270 miles), as well as Las Vegas, Nevada (270 miles). The Bryce Canyon Airport (4 miles), operated by Garfield Country, has commercial flights from Las Vegas. Phone: (435)834-5239 for current carriers and schedules Private planes are welcome at this uncontrolled airport.

Car - From the north or south on US Hwy 89: Turn east on Utah Hwy 12 (seven miles south of Panguitch, Utah) and travel to the junction of Utah 12 and 63. Turn south (right) onto Utah 63 and travel three miles to reach the park entrance.

From the east: Travel west on Utah 12 to the intersection with Utah 63. Turn south (left) to reach the park entrance.

Bus - Grey Hound bus service only comes as close as Parawon, Utah approximately 80 miles west of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Public Transportation - Upon arriving at Bryce Canyon, Utah, you can use our Bryce Canyon Shuttle to enter and visit Bryce Canyon National Park. The shuttle operational season is from May 15 - September 20.

Although not required, your use of the Bryce Canyon Shuttle help us protect this world class resource, minimizing vehicle congestion and emissions. Before entering the park, please leave your car at the Shuttle Parking and Boarding Area at the intersection of Hwy 12 & Hwy 63. For the Summer of 2004 the entire park will accessible by shuttle service.

USA Parks
Utah
Southern Region
Bryce Canyon National Park
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