Located in the heart of Utah’s Canyon Country, Bryce Canyon National Park protects a massive natural amphitheatre which was created by erosion over millions of years. Offering spectacular scenery, it’s no question why Bryce Canyon National Park is among the most popular national parks in Utah. Visitors to the park should take the necessary safety precautions to ensure a smooth trip.
Weather in Bryce Canyon National Park can be extreme and change rapidly without warning. Bring plenty of water with you and wear proper sun protection and layers to easily adapt to changing conditions. In case of a thunderstorm, stay away from tall trees and wide open areas and seek shelter or return to your vehicle to avoid lightning strikes.
Mountain lions call Bryce Canyon National Park home, so in the unlikely event that you encounter one, stay calm, do not run, and make yourself seem as large as possible to avoid confrontation. Never feed or approach wildlife in the park and make sure to always keep a safe distance.
Bryce Canyon National Park has an abundance of steep drop-offs, cliffs, and canyon edges that are not protected by railings. Make sure to stay on the designated trails, watch your step, and keep a safe distance from the edge at all times. Do not climb or slide down the cliffs. The gravel and terrain in the area can be slippery and crumbly, so pass with care and wear sturdy hiking shoes with good traction.
Parts of the park lie at extremely high altitudes which can cause visitors to experience altitude sickness. Take the proper time for your body to acclimate and don’t push yourself too hard. Bring plenty of water and altitude sickness medication just in case.
Situated in the heart of Utah’s Canyon Country, Bryce Canyon National Park consists of an enormous natural amphitheater and is among the most popular national parks in the United States. Visitors from all over come to take in this magnificent scenery and the unique rock formations left behind by erosion. If this is your first time to the park, there are some top sights you definitely won’t want to miss!
Bryce Point is one of Bryce Canyon National Park’s top viewpoints. Head here to watch a breathtaking sunrise or enjoy the view at any time of day. This overlook offers the quintessential Bryce Canyon view, with sweeping vistas over the amphitheatre and red rock formations that define it.
With three distinct levels of viewpoints, Inspiration Point offers visitors spectacular views over Bryce Canyon from varying perspectives. There is no hiking required to visit Inspiration Point, making this a popular overlook for the majority of park visitors.
As its name suggests, Sunrise Point is one of the best places in the park to watch the sunrise. Sunrise Point is located at the trailhead of the Queens Garden Trail and at the end point of the Navajo Loop and Queen Victoria trail combination, one of Bryce Canyon National Park’s most iconic hikes.
From Sunset Point, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Bryce Canyon National Park’s iconic hoodoos. Prepare to be amazed by the vibrant colors of these rock formations at sunset, which are particularly striking. Sunset Point offers visitors phenomenal views without needing to take a strenuous hike.
Head to Fairyland Canyon for a dramatic overlook of Bryce Canyon and get up close and personal with the park’s incredible hoodoos. This is the trailhead for the Fairyland Loop trail, a challenging eight-mile scenic hike which offers a great way to spend the day to thoroughly explore the park.
Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point
Rainbow Point and neighboring Yovimpa Point are two of the park’s most scenic overlooks that should not be missed on any trip to Bryce Canyon National Park! Here you will take in awe-inspiring views over the entire park. You’ll be able to view the varying rock layers, each yielding their own unique colors.
The Canyon Quest road trip will take you across Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, where you will visit the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Natural Bridges, and Glen Canyon!
If you are looking for a retreat from Spring through Fall, this road trip can be the perfect itinerary. Although the trip traditionally takes about two weeks to complete, we recommend more time if you want to camp and hike in every park. If you’re flying in, we recommend booking flights through Las Vegas in Nevada, Salt Lake City in Utah, or Phoenix in Arizona.
Grand Canyon National Park
If you have not heard about this National park, then you might well have been living under a rock. The Grand Canyon National Park is the most iconic natural treasures of the United States.
The Grand Canyon is widely admired for the extensive range of colorful rocks that vary in shape, size and depth. The lookout points across the park provide you with stellar views. We recommend hiking on your own or joining a ranger-led tour, which will often detail the full natural history of the Canyon.
Zion National Park
Follow the paths where ancient native people and pioneers walked. Gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Experience wilderness in a narrow slot canyon. Zion’s unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures.
Bryce CanyonNational Park
Hoodoos, yes you read that correctly, are what make this national park a site to see. The national park is home to the largest cluster of hoodoos or more descriptively, irregular columns of rock, that are situated across the high plateau of the Grand Staircase. During your visit, explore one of the countless trails that exist in the park to discover the true beauty of the location. Like the Grand Canyon National Park, you can take part in ranger programs and camp in the outdoors. You can also take guided horseback rides or book ahead for a private horsing experience within the park.
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is famous for its renowned orchards that stem over 2,000 trees including apricots, cherries, apples, peaches, mulberries, pears, walnuts, and almonds.
This park provides you with the unique experience of harvesting fruit. The staff at the park thoroughly maintain the large variety of orchard trees using traditional farming practices so that you can have the ideal fruit picking session during your visit. Familiarize yourself with the rules of the park so you can help preserve the orchards in the same manner they have been for decades.
Arches National Park
This park boasts vivid, abstract, and contrasting landscapes with formations that include massive balanced rocks and colossal fins. The most recognizable features of this park are stone arches that have been photographed countless times during the edge of dawn and dusk.
Canyonlands National Park
Although we have been discussing about the many daytime activities and places to go, the Canyonlands National Park has something for you during the night: stargazing. Canyonlands has preserved the night sky by keeping the light pollution levels low and the great air quality ensures that the stars are vibrantly on display during the night.
Natural Bridges National Monument
Three majestic natural bridges invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. Declared a National Monument in 1908, the bridges are named “Kachina,” “Owachomo” and “Sipapu” in honor of the ancestral Puebloans who once made this place their home.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon has many sights, but perhaps the most iconic is Horseshoe Bend. Below the rim, the Colorado River makes a wide sweep around a sandstone escarpment. On its long downward journey to the sea, the river meandered, sometimes making wide bends, but always seeking the path of least resistance. Over 5 million years the unique twists of Glen Canyon are poignantly summarized by photos of Horseshoe Bend.
The Grand Circle Road Trip can be enjoyed throughout the year. Ideally, it is better to experience these parks during Spring or Fall. The summertime heat may be overwhelming, especially when you are doing physically straining activities such as hiking. Springtime also provides you with the opportunity to harvest certain fruits, such as apricots and cherries, in Capitol Reef National Park.