Bryce Canyon National Park used to only exist in photographs for me. It was a place I’ve always dreamed of visiting, and even if I’ve memorized how it looks from the pictures I have seen, seeing the real version with my own eyes was a completely different experience.
Bryce Canyon made me cry.
This place surpassed my expectation, and I was very much in awe when I set foot at the rim. There’s nothing quite like it, and I can’t believe this was nature’s work of art.
Bryce Canyon National Park was the first park we visited during our Utah’s Mighty 5 Trip, and we stayed at Sunset Campground for 2 nights. I really love how this campsite is so close to the rim, you can easily walk to get to several trailheads, plus they offer clean bathrooms with flush toilets!
During our first day, we decided to hike along the rim. We started off at Inspiration Point, and made our way through Sunset Point until we reached Sunrise Point. This gave us amazing views of Bryce Canyon from the top. It’s crazy how the hoodoos all looked the same, but each scenic point always gave a different view!
We were also able to catch the sunrise here at the rim, and I’d say it’s worth waking up early for. The place looked so magical as the sun lit the horizon!
Bryce Canyon is known for its dark skies, and that means it’s a perfect place to go stargazing. The moon was in its last few phases when we were there, and it didn’t rise until 3am, so we were lucky enough to see the Milky Way.
On our second day we hiked the Figure 8 Loop where we got to hike through the hoodoos. I think this is the best trail to take if you want to see most of Bryce Canyon in one trip. This trail took us from the Sunset Point trailhead through Wall Street in Navajo Loop, then the strenuous Peek-A-Boo Loop, then through the Queen’s Garden all the way back up to Sunset Point. It was a leg-beating 6 mile trail, but the views were totally worth it!
Wall Street in Navajo Loop
Wall of Windows
Another thing I like about doing this hike is the small prize you can get from their Visitor Center, at the end! They actually have what is called the “I Hiked the Hoodoos” Challenge where you’re supposed to find 3 (out of the 4) bench markers along the trail, take a photo with it or take rubbings of the metal disc, then bring it to the visitor center so they can reward you with a sticker or a decal which says “I Hiked The Hoodoos!”. It was a fun little scavenger hunt for us, and we’re proud to have found all 4 bench markers!
This was such a memorable experience for me, and I’m definitely looking forward to visiting this place again!
NEED TO KNOW
Location: Bryce Canyon National Park is located in the southern part of Utah, about northeast of Zion.
Highlights: Such an other-worldly place, famous for its orange hoodoos and spire shaped rock formations.
Camping North Campground & Sunset Campground ($20/night) – Some sites are available for reservation in advance, other sites are first-come first-served. Sunset Campground is CLOSED during winter, North Campground has one loop open in winter.
Lodging: Bryce Canyon Lodge – Rustic cabin style lodging, located right next to the canyon rim.
Fees: $30 to enter the park per vehicle. You can also purchase the America the Beautiful Pass for $80, which gives you, and everyone inside your vehicle, access to all National Parks and other federal recreation sites, for a whole year.
Other Notes: Bryce Canyon offers horse back riding tours in spring, summer, and fall. This is another great way to experience the trails and the views here.
Have you every visited Bryce Canyon in the past? What was your most memorable experience?
If you’re also planning to visit all of Utah’s National Parks, do check out my Mighty 5 Itinerary!