Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

  • Published 2022/07/04

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of Southern Utah’s most famous and beautiful tourist destinations.

Every year, this place welcomes more than a million visitors who soak up the area’s beauty.

The canyon offers various adventurous activities that are suitable for solo as well as group travelers.

It is one of the most fascinating and charming places to visit, especially with its many colorful hoodoos and rock formations.

Bryce Canyon is an unbelievably beautiful place in Utah, from the beautiful Sunset Point and the Natural Bridge to the Rim Trail and the Tower Bridge.

Various events and festivals are regularly organized in this park, providing visitors with knowledge and adventure.

This national park is a serene and breathtaking place worth adding to your bucket list.

Here are the best things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah:

View the Natural Bridge

Daytime view of the beautiful Natural Bridge

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The bridge is hidden behind wooden barricades that prevent you from seeing it from the road.

A dirt road 13.5 miles (22 kilometers) south of CA-190 leads to the Natural Bridge parking lot and trailhead.

Elevation sign of Natural Bridge

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Although the road is usually well-kept and accessible to most vehicles, washouts and deep ruts occasionally occur.

So check with a ranger for the most up-to-date information.

Stunning view of Natural Bridge

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Hike the Queens Garden Trail

Queen’s Garden Trail

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The Queens Garden Trail is only 1.8 miles long.

It is also the most accessible trail that leads to Bryce Canyon’s main amphitheater.

However, the ease of this hike does not disregard its beauty and the adventure it offers visitors.

Sign board of Queens Garden Trail

The trail is stunning and perfect for hiking.

If you are not an expert or are trying hiking for the first time, the Queens Garden Trail is perfect for you.

A tourish walking through a natural rock tunnel along the Queens Garden Trail

Andriy Blokhin /

Enjoy the Sights along the Navajo Loop Trail

Stunning view of the Navajo Loop Trail

Andriy Blokhin /

The Navajo Loop Trail is perfect for those who want to indulge in Bryce Canyon’s natural beauty.

Located at the deep end of the canyon’s base, the Navajo Loop trail is only 1.4 miles long.

Even though this trail is relatively short, it offers some breathtaking views, just like other places in the canyon.

Hikers exploring the Navajo Loop

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You can also enjoy picnicking in this area and capture some mesmerizing pictures here.

This hike presents an excellent opportunity to sport some incredible hoodoos at different angles.

Tall trees along Navajo Loop

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Observe Local Wildlife in Their Natural Habitat

Mule deer at Bryce Canyon

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Bryce Canyon is a place where you can spot a lot of wild animals.

The major wildlife species that can be spotted in this area are elk, mules, pronghorn, rattlesnakes, prairie dogs, and so forth.

Squirrel standing on its legs at Bryce Canyon

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The animals have adapted to the environment around them and blend in quite nicely.

However, you must be alert and active to ensure you do not hurt the animals and vice versa.

Young girls feeding a crow at Bryce Canyon National Park

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Explore the Peek-a-Boo

Stone arch at Peekaboo Loop

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The Peekaboo Loop path drops almost 1,000 feet (305 meters).

Take the Bryce Amphitheater’s bottom before heading north into one of the park’s most densely forested sections.

Wall of windows along Peekaboo Loop

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Shaded north-facing slopes conserve moisture and produce a varied forest among the colorful rock spires.

The trail’s name comes from the numerous curves and elevation changes.

Horse and mule riders may be among the surprises in the summer.

Iconic dried tree roots at Peekaboo Loop

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Take Photos at Inspiration Point

Scenic view from Inspiration Point

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Inspiration Point is between mile marks 2 and 3 along the Scenic Drive.

This viewpoint differs from the others.

Bryce amphitheater rock formations as seen from Inspiration Point

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It has three levels that allow amazing views of the park’s central part, the Bryce Amphitheater.

It is also a fantastic and attractive spot to see “Silent City,” a giant hoodoo maze.

Hikers enjoying the stunning view from Inspiration Point

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You can also see this vast collection of hoodoos from Sunset Point.

People like to visit this place because of the lovely photography due to the best views of the sunrise and sunset.

Winter view of the Inspiration Point

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Go to Bristlecone Loop

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One Bryce Canyon National Park trail is the 8.5-mile loop to Riggs Spring.

People don’t generally make the trail because it takes two days to finish, with a night spent at one of three basic campsites.

The other is the one-mile Bristlecone Loop Trail.

The view from Bristlecone Loop

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You’ll wind through a dense spruce forest and fir to multiple overlooks of cliffs, canyons, and hoodoos on the Paunsaugunt Plateau’s south end.

Here, you can find some bristlecone pine trees that can bear weather, some around 2,000 years old.

Narrow trail in Bristlecone Loop

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You can return to the path with a short walk to Yovimpa Point for a 40-minute round trip.

Witness the Jaw-Dropping Fairyland Loop Trail

Dusty trail along the Fairyland Loop

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The Fairyland Loop Trail is a place that offers breathtaking views of the canyon.

This place is accessible only after hitting the trails.

However, the efforts will be worth it because you will experience nothing less than a fairyland at the end of the hike.

Landscape of the Fairyland Loop

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The towering rock formations in the place look like they have come alive from a storybook.

This hike is a bit challenging and stretches across a total length of eight miles.

A man hiking through the Fairyland Loop Trail

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However, this place is gorgeous and one of the most famous spots in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Keep yourself well-equipped with water and good hiking shoes to make the hike easier.

Hiking trail of Fairyland Loop

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Admire the Rock Formations at the Bryce Amphitheater

Aerial view of Bryce Amphitheater

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The Bryce Amphitheater offers the park’s largest and most beautiful hoodoo rock formations.

It covers most of the viewing points of the park.

Camping at Bryce Canyon National Park

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This park area is also famously known as the Pink Cliffs, owing to its dramatic and colorful rock formations.

The amphitheater is perfect for capturing pictures at all spots.

Natural rock formation at Bryce Canyon National Park

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It is pretty popular among visitors, so it can also be an excellent spot for getting in touch with people of different cultures and mingling with them.

Spot Amazing Views along the Rim Trail

View from Rim Trail

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Another beautiful and scenic trail, the Rim Trail, is spread over a five-and-a-half-mile area.

This trail is located on the edge of the Bryce Amphitheater.

This trail is unique because it is the connecting point of all the spots that overlook the amphitheater.

A signage along the Rim Trail

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You can also enjoy the shuttle service from the Rim Trail to all other points in the park.

This place is beautiful and has a remarkable elevation of almost 1,700 feet.

The work can be completed within two to three hours, depending on your experience and walking speed.

Apart from some steep sections, the trail is safe and enjoyable, with unbelievable views.

People walking along the Rim Trail

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Ride a Horse around Bryce Canyon

Horseback riding in Bryce Canyon

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Bryce Canyon is a perfect place for hiking on foot, but it does not make other activities in the area formidable.

The place is a great adventure spot if you are interested in horseback riding.

Horseback riding at Bryce Canyon

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It will likely result in some of the most memorable moments as you enjoy the beautiful spring vibes.

There are multiple horse and mule rides available in the amphitheater area.

A woman riding horse in a dusty trail at Bryce Canyon

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Canyon Trail Rides is the most famous service provider, allowing you to make the most of your horseback riding experience.

Some requirements have to be complied with before you can start riding in the canyon, and these can be easily found on the Bryce Canyon website.

A couple riding on the horse at Bryce Canyon National Park

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Stargaze at the Astronomy Festival

 Stargazing night sky at Bryce Canyon

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Bryce Canyon is a place that is located a little ways away from the cities and bright lights.

This makes the area around the park relatively low in light pollution.

As a result, the area has a clear night sky, which makes it ideal for stargazing and spotting celestial bodies.

Milky way at Bryce Canyon during winter

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The rangers present at the park are always happy to help visitors with the astronomy formations and presentations.

You can also spot the Milky Way easily while at this park.

In addition to the regular stargazing and appreciation of the beautiful sky, the park also organizes an annual Astronomy Festival.

Mesmerizing view of the night sky at Bryce Canyon

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This festival does not require special reservations; visitors must reach the park by sundown.

During the festival, various speakers from the Salt Lake Astronomical Society are invited for guest lectures, allowing visitors to learn more about stars and other night wonders.

If you are interested in attending this festival, schedule your visit for the summer.

Milky way galaxy at Bryce Canyon National Park

Kristi Blokhin /

Go Snowshoe Hiking across the Paria View

Snow-covered trails of Paria View

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Take a pair of snowshoes and go into the Catinaccio and Latemar regions during the depths of the Dolomite winter.

Rather than sinking into it, you’ll walk on the snow, striding over gleaming snow sheets.

Snowshoe hiking is the gentlest of all winter sports, just like winter hiking.

Elevation sign of Paria View

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When snowshoeing, however, extra caution is essential.

You need to bring an emergency kit if you enter open terrain.

Use regular situation reports in planning your tours.

A river flowing in Paria View

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Be mindful of your surroundings and put yourselves in their shoes when traveling through the winter landscape.

You’ll discover vital information on enjoying the Val d’Ega’s natural beauty without endangering wildlife!

Cute little boy hiking Bryce Canyon National Park during winter

My Good Images /

Join the Festivities at the Annual Utah Prairie Dog Day

Bryce Canyon Park’s Annual Utah Prairie Dog Day is organized during National Park Week every April.

Prairie dogs are pretty standard and are considered an essential species in Utah.

They are critical in maintaining the area’s ecological health and balanced ecosystem.

These animals are found exclusively in the west of the United States.

The best location for spotting the prairie dogs is the top of the park’s ranges, making it a pretty photogenic and fantastic experience.

Be Awed by the Scenes on the Mossy Cave Trail

A stream flowing along the Mossy Cave Trail

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A straightforward and accessible train in the area, the Mossy Cave Trail is only a mile long both ways.

This cave trail at the northern end of Bryce Canyon National Park is less crowded and can be called a hidden gem.

It’s perfect for spotting hoodoos, a small waterfall, and a mossy cave.

A waterfall at Mossy Cave Trail

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This area was made in the 1890s when local pioneers dug an irrigation pit.

The best time to walk this trail is during the winter months.

During this time, you can also spot icicles hanging off the mouth of the waterfall and the cave, making it relatively pristine and beautiful.

The hills of Mossy Cave Trail

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Explore the Queen’s Garden Loop

Hiking trail of Queen’s Garden Loop

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The Queens Garden Trail starts at Sunrise Point and descends 320 feet (98m).

The easiest way to access the canyon is from the rim.

Along this trail, you can find many hoodoos resembling garden elements.

People exploring the Queen’s Garden Loop

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You might glimpse Queen Victoria at the end of a short spur trail.

Surveying the garden ahead of her, use your imagination, and you’ll find her.

You must visit this Queen’s Garden Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Scenic view of the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop

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Watch the Sun Go Down at Sunset Point

View from Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon

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Sunset Point is the perfect spot for people looking forward to watching beautiful sunsets in the park.

In addition to the sunsets, this point also offers the most distinct views of some hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.

Signage of Sunset Point

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You can also look at the breathtaking views of the city and spot the spire of Thor’s hammer.

This area is the most popular area for sunset photography.

View of rock formations from Sunset Point

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During the golden hour, it is pretty common to see many photographers.

Being wheelchair accessible and only a half-mile walk, this is one of the best places you should check out in Bryce Canyon.

Mesmerizing sunset at Sunset Point

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Visit Thor’s Hammer

Daytime view of the famous Thor’s Hammer

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The real Thor’s Hammer is in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park.

Thor can fly by flinging the hammer and gripping the lanyard.

Close view of Thor’s Hammer

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The holder can control the storm’s elements (lightning, wind, and rain) by stomping the handle twice on the ground.

Mjolnir’s wielder can travel to other dimensions by opening interdimensional portals (such as from Earth to Asgard).

View of the Thor’s Hammer

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Enjoy an Overnight Adventure under the Sky

Night view of the super moon at Bryce Canyon

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Who would not enjoy spending a whole night under beautiful open skies?

Bryce Canyon was recognized as an International Dark Sky Park in 2019, which makes spending a night in the park worth it.

The full moon hikes are a unique experience led by the rangers in the area.

These hikes will allow you to explore the canyon once the sun goes down.

Full Moon at Bryce Canyon

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Completely overshadowed by the unbelievable beauty of hoodoos in the charming moonlight, this experience is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

To ensure maximum comfort, do not forget to bring your warm jacket, the most comfortable shoes, and a warm heart for welcoming adventures.

A hiker exploring the Bryce Canyon National Park at night

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Book a Stay at the Lodges in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon Lodge

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The accommodations at Bryce Canyon National Park are equally beautiful and luxurious.

If you are planning to spend a few nights or stay over the weekend, it is always advisable to reserve a private cabin or a hotel room.

Bryce Canyon Resort

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The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is exceptionally charming and located only a short walk from the amphitheater.

Lodges in Bryce Canyon

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Have a Fun and Educational Experience at the Bryce Canyon Geology Festival

If you are interested in geology and rock formations, visiting the canyon during the Bryce Canyon Geology Festival could be the cherry on top.

Also known as the GeoFest, these annual festival features activities like guided treks and hikes, geology programs, bus tours, lectures by guest speakers, rock exhibitions, and group activities.

The festival also welcomes people who might not be into geology.

Learning more about the history of the formation of hoodoos is always interesting.

Enjoy Physical Activities in Bryce Canyon’s Every Corner

Cycling in Bryce Canyon

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Bryce Canyon is a highly adventurous area that offers natural sightings and other ways of exploring the place.

The trails in the park are perfect for various activities, such as roller-skating, longboarding, cycling, jogging, and more.

Most of the trails are pet-friendly and offer some breathtaking scenery.

These physical activities not only allow you to explore all the park’s nooks and crannies, but they also allow you to keep yourself fit and fine even while you are on vacation.

The best part is that these activities never feel like a burden when the place is as beautiful as Bryce Canyon.

Go Camping at North Campground

By now, you should know that the skies in Bryce Canyon Park are unbelievably beautiful.

Another way to enjoy and make the most out of these beautiful skies is to go camping at North Campground.

This campground is an excellent place for an extended stay.

The place is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

You can enjoy camping in both RVs and tents.

The campground also has seasonal features like firewood sales, camp stores, and more.

A perfect place to bid farewell to regular stays during vacations, North Campground could become your favorite camping location.

Enjoy a Meal and a View at Stone Hearth Grille

Stone Hearth Grille might be the best restaurant near Bryce Canyon National Park.

This mountainside restaurant specializes in upscale dining, perfect for romantic dates and lovely family dinners.

Enjoy amazing views from the outdoor area, particularly during the sunset.

Their menu also doesn’t disappoint; Stone Hearth Grille is known for savory ribeye steaks, juicy halibut, and French onion soup, a crowd favorite.

You can find the restaurant along West Stone Cyn Lane.

See the Displays at Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center

Signage of Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center

Adam Kliczek, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Before entering the national park, visit the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center.

This place is an excellent source of valuable information and doubles as an attraction due to its exciting exhibits.

The Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center has incredible life-sized wildlife dioramas, fossil replicas, and several reading materials.

Exterior view of the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center


Besides the exhibits, the center has a bookstore, making it a haven for geeky outdoor enthusiasts.

Don’t forget to talk to the rangers to learn about the park because they’ll give a lot of valuable information to help you plan better.

The visitor center is along Highway 63 in Bryce Canyon City.

Solar generators at Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center

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Ride a Mountain Bike along Thunder Mountain Trail

The Thunder Mountain Trail is an excellent addition to your itinerary if you bring a mountain bike.

As one of the most challenging trails near Bryce Canyon National Park, the Thunder Mountain Trail is perfect for veteran bikers.

Inexperienced bikers can try the trail so long as they’re with seasoned cyclists.

You can still hike along the trail if you don’t have a mountain bike.

The trail is along Forest Road 113.

Drive through Red Canyon Arch

Winter view of the Red Canyon Arch

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The Red Canyon Arch is one of the most hassle-free activities at Bryce Canyon National Park.

You only need to drive to appreciate this natural wonder located along Highway 12.

Park your car in the layby area and take photos of the Red Canyon Arch before driving through it.

Moreover, the arch glows a brilliant red in the late afternoon.

You can also find reading material about the Red Canyon Tunnels there, enhancing the experience.

Try Landscape Photography at Ponderosa Canyons

Signage of Ponderosa Canyons

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Ponderosa Canyon is one of the most scenic overlooks at Bryce Canyon National Park.

The canyon was named after the numerous Ponderosa pine trees in the far valley below, creating a unique aesthetic.

Giant red rocks form the canyon, and you’ll also see the surrounding forests covered in clouds.

View of Ponderosa Canyons

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The breathtaking view will make you want to pull out your camera for landscape and nature photography.

Ponderosa Canyon is an unmissable hike in Bryce Canyon National Park.

You can find an access point along North Bryce Canyon Np Road in Kanab, Utah.

A hiker enjoying the view of Ponderosa Canyons

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Final Thoughts

Bryce Canyon National Park is a stunning wonderland of geological formations, forests, and wildlife.

There are many different things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park, from hiking to biking to fishing.

The views are unique; there’s nothing like spending time in this special place.

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