Year Established: 1928
Annual Visitors: 2.10 Million
Size: 35,835 Acres
Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
April to October
If you are planning to visit more national parks, check out our complete list of all US National Parks here.
Best Experiences in Bryce Canyon National Park
- Scenic Drive
- Navajo Hike
- Queen’s Garden Loop
- See sunrise along the Rim Trail
- Visit the park’s Astronomy Festival
- Hike the park’s serene backcountry paths
- Fly over the hoodoos on a helicopter tour
A Brief History
The rows of red, yellow, and orange hoodoos are called “red rocks standing like men” by the Paiutes. The local tribe thinks that these thin, 150-foot-tall sandstone towers were once the Legend People, who the coyote trickster god turned into stone as a punishment for being bad.
There are many more of these strange rock formations in Bryce Canyon than anywhere else on Earth.
The park has three different climate zones, and visitors can climb from the dry desert with its yucca and cacti to the alpine meadows and forests of white firs, spruces, and aspens at higher elevations. On the trails in Bryce, birdwatchers might see the majestic California condor, which has wings that are 10 feet wide.
In 1982, there were only 22 left in the world. Now, thanks to breeding programs, there are more than 500. Geology and astronomy festivals are held in the park, and Utah Prairie Dog Day is held every year.
About Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce is not actually a canyon, but rather a group of large natural amphitheaters. The granite in western Utah split open around 15 million years ago due to movement of tectonic plates. The soft stone was destroyed from the inside out when water seeped in. The water in the rock froze and expanded throughout the cold nights, turning the previously tiny fractures into massive ravines. The ice eventually wore away at the granite completely, leaving behind the beautiful columnar forms that attract tourists today.
Layers of red, orange, and white can be seen in the rocks of Bryce Canyon. These are the sedimentary strata that were deposited at various times over millions of years. Loads of stones and minerals were washed down from rivers and lakes, and they eventually became compressed into a solid mass. From the park’s picturesque drive, visitors can take in the breathtaking natural gradations. There are 13 vantage spots over lively amphitheaters, and 8 hiking trails that are easy enough to finish in a day.
Wildlife including elk, bobcats, and black bears find safe haven in the park’s enormous fir woods and wide meadows. Bryce Canyon is also home to several endangered animals, including the magnificent California condor. In order to avoid injury and deter animals from associating with humans in the future, campers should be cautious not to attract wildlife.
Experience Bryce Canyon in any of these three ways: by automobile, on foot, or on horseback. With its free shuttle service, the park does its part to cut down on emissions during the warm summer months.
You can spend a day there or spend more time at one of the hotels, lodges, or campgrounds in the area. To see some of the about 7,500 stars visible to the naked eye in the sky above Bryce Canyon, visitors should stick around after dark.
Bryce RV Camping
If you are looking for nearby RV camping options for Bryce National Park or Utah in general, consider checking out our other post:
Weekly Park Passes
$20.00 per person/cyclist
$35.00 per vehicle
$30.00 per motorcycle
All passes valid for 7 days
Annual Park Pass
Bryce Canyon National Park Annual Pass – $70
Lifetime Park Passes
Interagency Senior (Age 62+) – $80
Interagency Access (Permanently Disabled) – Free
Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
When you go to the park, the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center might be one of the first places you go. Here, you can find driving and hiking directions that aren’t on this website, as well as weather forecasts, the current schedule of Park Ranger-led programs, Junior Ranger booklets, and information about services in the area, such as places to stay, eat, and other attractions.
You should watch our new award-winning film, “A Song of Seasons,” while you are at the Visitor Center. The film is 24 minutes long and plays every hour and half hour throughout the day. Also, take the time to look at the things in our museum and in our bookstore.
Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764
Hours of Operation
- Sunday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
- Monday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
- Tuesday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
- Wednesday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
- Thursday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
- Friday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
- Saturday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
Be sure to check for seasonal hours and closures.