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What’s the Best Season to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park?
Pack your sunscreen—or your snowshoes—and discover the best season to see the famed hoodoos of bryce canyon national park..
Located on a high plateau on the Grand Staircase in southern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is a prime spot to spend a weekend or plan a longer getaway. The park’s big claim to fame is that it’s home to the largest concentration of hoodoos (irregular rock columns) in the world, and the views of these colorful formations change with the seasons. Picking the best season to visit Bryce Canyon National Park often comes down to what type of experience you’re seeking—summer is the best time to enjoy the park’s many trails, seasonal programs and starry night skies. The shoulder seasons will treat you to fewer people and cooler temps. Winter poses some logistical challenges that aren’t for everyone, though you may find it’s still well worth a visit to see the hoodoos blanketed in snow. No matter when you visit, be aware that the park’s high elevation, which ranges from around 8,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level, means that the weather can be unpredictable and colder than you might expect.
Here’s what you need to know about planning your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park in any season.
Spring (March – May)
Springtime at Bryce Canyon National Park brings variable conditions that can change at the drop of a hat. A calm, sunny morning can quickly transform into a blustery afternoon gale, so you’ll want to plan accordingly and come prepared for a wide range of weather.
Spring blizzards with heavy snowfall are still possible in March and April. During these months, high temperatures typically hit the upper 40s and low 50s with nighttime lows regularly dipping back into the 20s. Be aware that trails can be icy during these months. Especially keep an eye on shady patches. Microspikes or other traction devices are a good idea in the spring so you’re prepared if you encounter a slippery section. By May, things start to warm up and become a bit more temperate, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s. May is a great time to visit if you want to catch a first glimpse of the area’s wildflowers and enjoy a hike in mild weather.
If you’re planning to pitch your tent or roll up in your RV, Sunset Campground normally opens around April 15. North Campground, which is open year round and operates on a first-come, first-served basis in the off-season, starts taking reservations in late May. Reservations can be made online at Recreation.gov , if you want to be certain you’ve got a site waiting for you. Or opt for a western-style cabin or cozy rustic room at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon which is open year round—you won’t find AC or WiFi at this historic lodge, but between the comfortable beds and on-site dining, it’ll feel like a splurge compared to tent camping.
Summer (June – August)
Summer days at Bryce Canyon National Park tend to be pleasant with warmer temperatures and sunny skies. Because of its higher elevation, this park sees much cooler year round temperatures than nearby Zion or Grand Staircase-Escalante , which is a welcome respite during a desert summer. In June, daytime highs usually range from the high 60s to the low 70s, while July and August, which are the hottest months in the park, see highs in the 70s to low 80s. If you’re planning to go for a hike, it’s best to get out early—afternoon thunderstorms are common during the rainy season in July and August. While the storms are typically brief, they frequently bring lightning and heavy rain that can cause flash flooding, so you’ll want to avoid being on the trails when the thunderheads let loose.
Summer is the best season to get out and explore all corners of the park. Day hiking from the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater area is one of the most popular summer activities, though you can also bicycle along the shared-use path which takes you past iconic views at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point and Inspiration Point. During the summer months, you can also book a guided trail ride to see the park from horseback. For more information and to schedule a ride, visit www.canyonrides.com/bryce-canyon-horseback-riding . Rock hounds and geology enthusiasts will enjoy hitting up the Bryce Canyon Geology Festival, or Geo Fest as it’s affectionately known. This annual festival is normally hosted on a weekend in July, with guided hikes, family friendly exhibits and evening programs. Dates and the event schedule can be found at www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/astrofest.htm . Booking a campsite at either of the park’s two campgrounds is a great way to experience the starry night skies of this International Dark Sky Park.
Park visitation peaks in the popular summer months so don’t plan on having the trails or campgrounds to yourself. In addition to being wary of the afternoon lightning storms, also be aware of the risk of sunburn, dehydration and altitude sickness, since you’ll be recreating at a relatively high elevation. Come prepared with sun protection and plenty of water if you’re heading out on the trails and give yourself a day to acclimatize before tackling any strenuous treks.
Fall (September – October)
September typically sees pleasant, drier weather with highs in the 60s to low 70s. This is one of the best months for a backpacking trip to find some of the area’s spectacular fall foliage. The 22.9-mile Under-the-Rim Trail, which follows the base of the plateau and connects Rainbow Point in the south to Bryce Point in the north, is a perennial favorite for backpackers who typically spend one to two nights along the route. Bryce Canyon’s forested backcountry and adjacent wilderness areas might not have the same concentration of hoodoos as the Amphitheater area, but the views are scenic nonetheless—and you’ll enjoy more solitude. Reservations for backcountry permits can be made online at Recreation.gov up to three months in advance.
The weather starts to cool off in October, with highs in the upper 50s. Snowstorms are not unusual this time of year, though they are usually interspersed between many sunny days. Starting in October, temperatures typically fall below freezing nearly every night—a trend that continues until May. It’s still a great month to plan an overnight camping trip or to get out on the trails—just be sure to bring your warm layers and toss an extra blanket in the tent. Sunset Campground closes for the winter at the end of October.
Winter (November – February)
While the winter months are typically the most inhospitable in the park, they’re some of the most beautiful.
“We always say Bryce Canyon looks like a cake. And a cake is always better with frosting on top,” says Lance Syrett, general manager of nearby Ruby’s Inn of the park dusted with snow.
With average highs in the 30s and lows in the teens, the park’s coldest and snowiest weather stretches from December through February. During these months blizzards blanket the plateau in deep snow. There may be temporary road closures during and right after storms until plow crews can get the roads cleared. You can check current conditions and closures at www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/conditions.htm . In the winter, the spur roads leading to Fairyland Point and Paria View are closed to vehicles, though you can still traverse them on foot.
In fact, if snowshoeing or cross-country skiing is your jam, winter in the park provides excellent opportunities for both. Most of the park’s trails are open for snowshoe or hiking use in the winter, except for the Wall Street side of the Navajo Loop Trail and the Rim Trail between Inspiration and Bryce points. Many of the well-traveled trails get packed down and icy enough in between snowfalls that all you’ll need is a pair of microspikes or traction devices to go for a hike. You can also rent cross-country skis from Ruby’s Inn, at the park entrance, and take advantage of groomed trails originating from the complex that lead into the park. Do note, skis are not allowed below the rim.
If you’d like to plan an overnight stay at the park, the North Campground is open year round, though for a unique (and decidedly warmer) overnight stay, you can also book one of the 114 rooms at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon. Staying at this historic building is a great option if you want to spend some time cruising around on the snow-covered trails—the contrast of a sparkling layer of fresh snow on the rust-colored hoodoos is a sight you won’t soon forget.
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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
When is the Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park?
August 10, 2023
Bryce Canyon is a beautiful place to visit regardless of the season, but depending on your interests and budget, certain times may be the best time for you! Here’s a seasonal breakdown of what's going on in Bryce Canyon National Park and when you should visit!
Bryce Canyon National Park in Summer: May-September
May through September is considered “peak season” at Bryce Canyon National Park. The weather stays consistent in the 60s and 70s, which means conditions are practically ideal for hiking, stargazing, and exploring. Obviously, this means that May through September are the busiest and most crowded months of the year. It’s also the most expensive time of year to visit.
On the plus side, Bryce Canyon National Park is expansive and offers a vast array of activities for the whole family, so the park doesn’t necessarily feel crowded. The Bryce Canyon park rangers offer a full schedule of daily geology talks and nature programs during this time, and the Bryce Shuttle runs on a regular schedule.
List of Events in Bryce Canyon: May to September
May: bryce canyon ultra marathons.
If you’re a runner and you’re looking for a challenge, Bryce Canyon hosts an annual Ultra Marathon throughout the hoodoos. There are actually a few races included in this two-day event, but prequalification is required.
June: Bryce Canyon Annual Astronomy Festival
This week-long celebration of Bryce’s Dark Sky Park status draws stargazers and professional astronomers from all over the world! The park offers a full schedule of events for the whole family, and you can enjoy the magic of a constellation tour when the sun goes down!
July: Bryce Canyon Annual Geological Festival
For two days in July, you can have the opportunity to learn the complex and fascinating history of the hoodoos! The rock formations at Bryce tell a unique story of their own, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore and ask questions of some of the country’s leading geologists.
May-August: Bryce Canyon Rodeo
Every Wednesday through Saturday evening, Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon City hosts an authentic Western rodeo! If you’re a fan of the Wild West, this is one not to miss. And, if you’re an experienced rider and have always wondered what it would be like to ride a buckin’ bronco, you can actually participate! As an added bonus, there’s usually prize money to be won!
RELATED: The Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park in Winter: November-March
This is considered the “winter” at Bryce Canyon National Park, and the park remains open throughout the snowy season. Bryce typically sees about 100” of snow per year on average, which means that it sees more snow than any other National Park in Southern Utah!
Even though services and programs inside the park are limited during winter, there are still plenty of things to do. Snowshoeing on the Navajo Loop and Riggs Loop Trails is a popular activity, and cross-country skiing across the Rim Trail provides a breathtaking view of the snowy amphitheater. Temperatures can range from 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit in the evenings and early mornings to the mid-30s in the afternoon.
If you don’t mind the cold weather - or even enjoy it - and that there are fewer activities being offered at this time. Winter might be the season for you to visit Bryce Canyon. You’ll still be able to hike most of the trails, room rates and flights will be less expensive, and the hoodoos might be covered in a blanket of snow.
There aren’t many annual events that happen in winter at Bryce Canyon, but in February you can check out the Annual Winter Festival .
The Winter Festival at Bryce Canyon National Park literally has something for everyone. This three-day event features winter sports clinics, yoga sessions, art classes, geology talks, kids’ activities, and much more!
Bryce Canyon National Park in Spring and Fall: April and October
These are probably the best months to visit the park if you’re looking for a quiet, reflective experience with mild weather. In April, temperatures fluctuate from freezing in the mornings to pleasant 50s and 60s in the afternoons, which means that you may be able to catch glimpses of snow-capped hoodoos in the Bryce Amphitheater and have ideal hiking weather by the afternoon. The same can be said in October, although you’ll have the added bonus of seeing the brilliant, vibrant colors of the autumn leaves!
This is considered the shoulder season, so crowds are not at their summer peak or their winter lull and prices are more moderate than the busy season.
Bryce Canyon Temperature
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We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at [email protected] .
For more detailed information to help you plan, check out our Bryce Canyon Itinerary and Know Before You Go article.
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The Ultimate Bryce Canyon National Park Travel Guide
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Know Before You Go: Shaka Guide's Bryce Canyon National Park Tour
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Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
Find out when to visit and what to do in Bryce Canyon (Written by Erin McCarthy)
If you’re planning a trip to Bryce Canyon, it is important to take into consideration your tolerance for crowds and unpredictable weather. By and large the busiest time to visit the park are the summer months (June through September). In fact, sixty percent of park visitors come during this time. If you do decide you want to visit in the summer, not to worry, we have tips below to help you see the sights and avoid the crowds.
The fall and spring in Bryce Canyon present unpredictable weather (think snowstorms in October!) due to its high elevation. However, there can still be beautiful, sunny and warm days dotted within the shoulder season months. A visit to the park in the winter months (December through February) will no doubt be chilly. However, if you are properly prepared for the elements, you will be rewarded. Miles of cross country ski trails offer a once in a lifetime chance to view frozen waterfalls, snow-covered hoodoos, and thousand year old Bristlecone pines.
Looking for more in-depth information about the best time to visit? Our comprehensive guide below will answer all your questions.
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weather and temperature
The rim of Bryce Canyon sits at 8,000 feet and reaches 9,100 feet at its height. The high elevation of the park leads to varying weather conditions throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures are at a pleasant range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, but afternoon thunderstorms are frequent. These storms, albeit usually brief, can bring with them heavy downpours and severe lightning. In the spring and fall, snowstorms are possible, but so are pleasant sunny days. Shoulder seasons are by far the biggest gamble weather-wise. Wintertime temperatures range from highs in the 30s to lows in the teens.
Below are the average temperatures and precipitation throughout the year in Bryce Canyon.
Best time of the year for Sightseeing
The best time of year for sightseeing in Bryce Canyon depends largely on your activity level and tolerance for variable weather. Summertime will be the most crowded, but it will also be the most pleasant weather-wise. Spring and fall are far less predictable but can offer fewer crowds if you’re willing to withstand the variable shoulder season weather. Wintertime in Bryce Canyon offers solitude, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and the annual Bryce Canyon Winter Festival featuring fun activities for the whole family.
best time of year for hiking and backpacking
The options for day hiking in Bryce Canyon are seemingly endless, but will vary depending on the season you visit. A hike in the springtime will be one amongst the wildflowers, autumn will have vibrant foliage, and summertime will be hot and dry with far more people on trail. If you’re planning on a summer hike, remember that bringing plenty of water is essential. In the fall and spring, be sure to bring extra warm layers and rain gear. For winter hiking, snowshoes or spikes for your sneakers are highly recommended to avoid slipping on the ice. Winter hiking offers solitude, miles of designated cross country ski trails, and less visitors. As always before you set foot on trail, is it essential to check the current conditions.
If you are a novice backpacker hoping to book a guided backcountry tour, unfortunately there is commercial backpacking allowed in the Park. However, there are plenty of options for booking a frontcountry hiking tour. Check out these choices for a day hiking tour , a camping tour , or a luxurious inn-based tour . If you’re an experienced backpacker, make sure to get a permit and plan out your route.
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best time of year to avoid the crowds
The best time of year to avoid the crowds at Bryce Canyon is the fall (October-November), winter (December-February), or spring (March-April). The weather is less predictable during these three seasons, but if you’re prepared for all conditions, you will be rewarded with significantly less visitors and ample opportunity for solitude. The views from the popular Rim Trail, which runs along the edge of Bryce Amphitheater, can be seen by snowshoe or cross country skis. Beware that one section of the Rim Trail (between Inspiration Point and Bryce Point) is closed during the winter due to the danger of snow cornices. If you don’t own snowshoes, nearby Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon City has rental equipment available . If you choose to participate in a ranger-led snowshoe adventure, snowshoes are provided at no cost. Registration for these hikes is done in-person only at the Visitor Center.
If you’re planning a trip to Bryce Canyon in the summer, here are a few ways to avoid the crowds:
- Use the free park shuttle . Park your vehicle outside the park and get the shuttle into the park from Bryce Canyon City. The shuttle stops at the Visitor Center and several viewpoints along Bryce Amphitheater.
- Check out other areas. The vast majority of visitors will be in the Bryce Amphitheater area, so it would be wise to travel south to see the remainder of the Park.
- Go off the beaten path. Sign up for a guided horse trip which takes you into Bryce Amphitheater and away from the crowds.
VISITING information by month
- VISITING IN JANUARY
- VISITING IN FEBRUARY
- VISITING IN MARCH
- VISITING IN APRIL
- VISITING IN MAY
- VISITING IN JUNE
- VISITING IN JULY
- VISITING IN AUGUST
- VISITING IN SEPTEMBER
- VISITING IN OCTOBER
- VISITING IN NOVEMBER
- VISITING IN DECEMBER
join a guided hiking adventure
Booking a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park is the opportunity to experience one of the most scenic hiking vacations in the United States. The biggest advantage to booking a guided tour is that it will allow you to focus your energy entirely on enjoying this iconic area. Permits, local transportation (excluded on some day tours), meals, and gear are all figured out for you on a Wildland Trekking tour.
Wildland Trekking offers several options for both inn-based and camping tours in the southern Utah area . You’ll have the chance to see magnificent rock formations, learn about the cultural and natural history of the area, and enjoy some solitude all while having the adventure of a lifetime.
Bryce Canyon Adventure Tours
- INN-BASED HIKING PACKAGES : these tours are all-inclusive packages with lodging, amazing daily hikes, expert guides, meals, transportation and more!
- BRYCE CAMPING TOURS : camping-based hiking vacations are an opportunity to experience Bryce on trail and under the stars.
- BRYCE DAY HIKE TOURS : maximize your day in Bryce on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour of one of the Park’s best trails.
- ALL UTAH HIKING TOURS : check out a full list of Utah offerings, which include Bryce Canyon, the North Rim, Arches, Canyonlands and more.
- UTAH BACKPACKING TRIPS : explore options for discovering Utah on an all-inclusive backpacking trip with expert guides and mind-blowing scenery.
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- 10 Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
- Best Bryce Canyon National Park Tours
- How to Hike the Under the Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon
- What To See in Bryce Canyon in One Day
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- US National Parks
One Perfect Day in Bryce Canyon National Park
Julie Last updated: September 8, 2023 United States 47 Comments
Bryce Canyon National Park …a fantasyland of hoodoos, bizarre rock formations, and sandstone pillars. This is a crazy beautiful place, and its unique landscape sets it apart from other national parks. Although Bryce may not have the same sweeping, expansive vistas as the Grand Canyon, it’s still a breathtaking experience the first time you see this view.
What Makes Bryce Canyon Such a Great Place to Visit?
Bryce Canyon is compact, at least for a National Park. One day is all you need to explore this park. With one day, you can hike through a garden of hoodoos, take in the view from multiple viewpoints, and thoroughly explore the park.
If you have less than one day, that’s OK too. We spent half a day here, which was just enough time for a 3 mile hike and stops at all of the popular viewpoints. We lay out our itinerary later in this post.
What is a Hoodoo, You Say?
Bryce Canyon is filled with hoodoos. So, what’s a hoodoo?
“Hoodoo” can be defined as witchcraft, a combination of voodoo and folk magic, usually used in the deep south of the United States.
“Hoodoo” can also be defined as a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin. Geologically, hoodoos are found all around the world, but they occur in the most abundance in Bryce Canyon. Here, hoodoos are the main ingredient of this unique landscape. The thousands of hoodoos in Bryce are what attracts so many visitors every year.
Hoodoos form where soft rock, like sandstone, is covered in a thin layer of harder rock. Weathering processes then erode these rocks into the pinnacles that we see today.
Around the world, hoodoos can also be found in Cappadocia, Turkey (the famous fairy chimneys), Devil’s Garden in Grand Staircase-Escalante, Goblin Valley State Park, Provence, France, and Wadi Rum , Jordan.
Best Things to do in Bryce Canyon
If you arrive in Bryce Canyon after 8 am, make this your first stop. Pick up a free map of the park, discuss your plans with the park rangers, and shop for souvenirs, if you wish.
Note: the Visitor Center does not open until 8 am, so if you are here early, you will be unable to pick up a copy of the map.
Enjoy the View
The main part of Bryce is shaped like an amphitheater. The viewpoints are along the upper rim of the amphitheater, looking down into the valley of hoodoos, forests, and hiking trails.
You can walk the Rim Trail to these viewpoints, or drive or take a shuttle to each of them, depending on your preference.
The viewpoints we recommend are Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, and Bryce Point.
Bryce is filled with short, incredibly scenic trails. The most popular trail is the Queens Garden Trail, but there are several other great trails to explore as well.
Bryce Canyon Itinerary
The best way to get the full Bryce Canyon experience is to mix short hikes with the scenic viewpoints.
Tim and I visited Bryce Canyon in early May as part of a road trip through Utah and Arizona. We spent only half a day here, leaving the afternoon free to explore nearby places ( Kodachrome Basin State Park and Willis Creek slot canyon ).
Here is our one day itinerary for touring Bryce Canyon. The first part of the day will include Bryce’s must-see spots. The afternoon is spent going off-the-beaten-path in Bryce Canyon, or you can do what we did…leave Bryce and visit a nearby destination.
Arriving in Bryce Canyon
Get here as early as you can. Bryce Canyon is open 24 hours per day, which means that you do not have to wait for the entrance to open in order to get into the park. Before sunrise, there will not be a ranger at the fee booth. You can drive right in, tour Bryce, and pay your fee later in the day.
By getting here early, you can walk some of the trails before they get crowded.
Park in the large parking lot labeled for Sunset Point. Enjoy the view!
From sunset point, walk north on the Rim Trail, towards Sunrise Point. This is a flat, easy to walk trail with an awesome view over Bryce.
Queens Garden/Navajo Loop Trail
After taking in the view from Sunrise Point, it’s time to go hiking. The Queens Garden Trail descends down into the valley amidst a garden of hoodoos and rock formations. It’s a gorgeous, relatively easy walk, perfect for all ages and ability levels.
After walking the Queens Garden Trail, you can turn around and retrace your steps back to Sunrise Point. But we recommend hiking further. At the end of the Queens Garden Trail, follow signs to the Navajo Loop Trail. This part of the trail is mostly flat and takes you through a forest, a different landscape than the world of hoodoos.
The Navajo Loop Trail ascends back up to the rim. It’s a bit strenuous but the views along the way are magnificent.
For full details on how to do this hike, as well as many more photos, read our post about hiking the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop Trails.
Hop back into your car and drive the short distance to Inspiration Point. Now that’s a lot of hoodoos!
Can you find Tim?
There are two viewpoints at Inspiration Point. Right next to the parking lot is the first view. This one is good, but walk uphill for about 5 minutes to upper Inspiration Point. It’s worth the walk and this may be the best view in park.
A little further down the road is Bryce Point. The view is similar to Inspiration Point.
By now, you have seen the the most popular sites in Bryce. However, if you haven’t gotten your fill of hiking trails and hoodoos yet, there is still more to see.
While in Bryce Canyon, please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.
With More Time
Rainbow point and yovimpa point.
Located as far south as you can drive in Bryce, this viewpoint is good, but not nearly as great as Inspiration Point or the views from the Rim Trail. To get here, it takes about 20 minutes of driving from Bryce Point. On the way here, you can also stop at Natural Bridge for a photo-op.
Peekaboo Loop Trail
The Peekaboo Loop Trail is a 4.8 mile trail through a valley filled with pink and orange hoodoos. We did not do this hike, since we left the park early, but it looks like a lot of fun.
The hike starts at Bryce Point. You will descend 1 mile down into the valley, walk the 3 mile loop through the hoodoos, and then climb the last mile back to Bryce Point. This trail tends to be less crowded than Queens Garden or the Navajo Loop Trails.
Fairyland Loop Trail
This is the longest hike on this list. It’s an 8 mile hike, starting and ending at Fairyland Point in the northern part of Bryce. This hike is labeled as strenuous because of its length and elevation changes. If you want to get away from the crowds, this is the hike for you.
Our One Day Bryce Canyon Itinerary
Here’s what we did. This was a very busy but awesome day in Utah.
We entered Bryce Canyon at sunrise. We hiked the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop Trails, and then visited Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, and Rainbow Point. After having lunch in the town of Bryce, we drove to Kodachrome Basin State Park and did two short hikes here. At 4 pm, we hiked Willis Creek slot canyon and had a fabulous experience!! We highly recommend this hike if you are looking for something else to do in the area. From Willis Creek, it was a 2-hour drive to Zion National Park.
Planning a trip to Utah’s national parks? Don’t miss our Mighty 5 travel guide. Learn how to plan a road trip through all five parks with details on the best things to do, where to stay, and more.
Utah’s Mighty 5: Travel Guide & Road Trip Itinerary
Helpful Tips for the Best Experience
Get here as early as possible.
Getting here early has its advantages. If you are here early, you can avoid a lot of tourist traffic on the trails and at the viewpoints. Most people arrive between 9 to 10 am. Before this time, the park is very quiet and therefore, a very nice experience for those who are here early.
Best Time for Photography
Sunrise is the best time to be in Bryce Canyon for photography. The landscape is awash in a soft, warm, reflective light. Later in the day, the sun casts long shadows, which makes photography challenging.
Each viewpoint offers something different, but for sunrise I would recommend Inspiration Point or Bryce Point (for wide vistas of the park) or Sunset Point, for a closer view of the hoodoos. Ironically, I would not recommend Sunrise Point because this spot does not offer those wide, expansive views of thousands of hoodoos like Inspiration Point.
Best Time of Year to Visit
Bryce Canyon makes a great destination all year long. In the winter months, the hoodoos get a dusting of snow, a magical time to be here. Spring and fall generally has pleasant weather and smaller crowds than the busy summer months. Since Bryce sits at such a high elevation (8,000 feet), this park stays cool, even during the summer months.
Where to Stay
There is only one lodge, the Bryce Canyon Lodge, available inside of the park, so if you want to stay here, reservations need to be made far in advance. There are also several campgrounds located inside of Bryce Canyon.
In the town of Bryce there are several hotels and restaurants, just a few miles from the entrance to the park. The top pick here is the Best Western Plus.
Tropic is a small town that is located 15 minutes away from the entrance into Bryce Canyon National Park. This town has a great selection of small properties where you can stay in a bed and breakfast, cabin, or motel. Bryce Country Cabins, Happy Trails BnB, and Bybee’s Steppingstone Motel all get very good reviews.
Have you been to Bryce Canyon? What was your favorite experience? Comment below!
More Information about Utah
UTAH’S MIGHTY 5: Utah’s Mighty 5 is a collection of five national parks in Utah. Learn more about the parks and how to plan your visit in our Guide to Utah’s Mighty 5.
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST ITINERARY: If you have 10 days, learn how to road trip through the American Southwest, visiting several national parks, state parks, and scenic spots in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.
GRAND STAIRCASE-ESCALANTE: In Grand Staircase-Escalante, hike Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Gulches, explore Devils Garden , and hike through Zebra Slot Canyon.
HIKES IN ZION: Observation Point , Angels Landing , Canyon Overlook , and the West Rim Trail are some of the top hiking trails in Zion. For the full list, read our Best Hikes in Zion guide.
UNITED STATES: We have TONS of information about places to visit in the United States in our USA Travel Guide. In our Guide to the US National Parks, get the full list of national parks with important travel planning information, such as things to do in the parks and sample itineraries.
Read all of our articles about Utah in our Utah Travel Guide.
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We visited Bryce canyon last September with your recommendations in mind and it was amazing! On our arrival day, we started hiking around 5pm and did the Peekaboo-loop trail which was one of our favorites hikes in Utah (visiting all 5 national parks there). So we highly recommend doing this hike, especially in the evening when the light is beautiful and it’s a little less warm! We also did the Fairyland loop the day after, but we liked it less than the Peekaboo. The circumstances weren’t ideal with temperatures still hitting +100F and this hike offers zero shade. The hardest part of the hike is at the end, when you have to climb out of the canyon again and in our case the heat, the sunshine and the elevation were not helping at all.
If you have to choose between the 2, we’d definitely recommend Peekaboo over Fairyland. If you have time for both, the fairyland is still a very nice hike but a little less enjoyable if the weather is tough 😉
Thanks for writing in with your experience and these suggestions! Cheers, Julie
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Bryce Canyon National Park Travel Guide
15 Best Things To Do in Bryce Canyon National Park
Updated August 11, 2021
Everywhere you turn in Bryce Canyon National Park, a gorgeous and fascinating view awaits. Depending on how much time you have and how much physical activity you're up for, you can explore deep into hoodoo-filled areas or gaze at them from above.
- All Things To Do
Inspiration Point Inspiration Point free
For diverse perspectives of the main amphitheater, head to Inspiration Point, which is home to three levels of viewpoints. From here, visitors can look toward the Silent City (near Sunset Point ) with rows and rows of incomprable hoodoos. Recent visitors called the view breathtaking and noted that this is a great way for people with mobility issues to see the incredible sight, as there's a ramp available.
There are no trails that lead into the canyon, and the park says that the cliffs of Inspiration Point are quite dangerous, with crumbly rocks, drop-offs and slick slopes. Visitors should remain behind the railing at all times. However, you can walk to Sunset Point from here along an easy path that extends for less than a mile. Inspiration Point is the No. 9 stop on the park's free shuttle. Check out the NPS website to find out more about Inspiration Point's geology.
Rim Trail Rim Trail free
If sweeping views of the hoodoos is all you want from a Bryce Canyon adventure, hit the Rim Trail. The path winds its way along the top of the amphitheater, with great views everywhere you look. The path stretches 5.5 miles one-way and passes by favorite spots like Inspiration , Sunrise and Sunset points as well as Fairyland and Bryce points (which bookend the trail).
Past visitors described the Rim Trail as a relatively easy walk, and appreciated the paved section between Sunset and Sunrise points. They also enjoyed the plentiful – and inescapable – scenery. Additionally, they noted you can walk this trail as much or as little as you want.
Bryce Canyon National Park Stargazing Bryce Canyon National Park Stargazing free
Bryce Canyon National Park's clear air, high elevation and lack of light pollution make it a prime stargazing spot. In fact, the park is an official International Dark Sky Park. It's a designation from the International Dark-Sky Association, which promotes and protects locations with great nighttime environments. On a clear night in Bryce Canyon, the National Park Service reports you can see all the way to the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2.2 million light-years away.
While you can easily go stargazing on your own, the park offers several ranger programs to take advantage of the nighttime scenery. During the summer season, rangers lead 20-minute constellation tours that point out constellations and discuss the field of astronomy. These tours generally run Thursday through Saturday at 10, 10:30 and 11 p.m. You can also sign up for a Full Moon hike, which take place year-round during the full moon (one to two consecutive nights each month). Hikes traverse up to 2 miles and there's usually an option for an easy or strenuous hike. (Note: You must have a ticket to attend this hike and tickets are distributed via a lottery system. Full instructions for getting tickets are on the hike's webpage .)
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Bryce Point Bryce Point free
One of the most popular viewpoints in the park, Bryce Point offers stunning sunrises for those willing to get up early. As the sun rises, it looks like the tops of the hoodoos are on fire, and then they rapidly and almost magically change colors. But if you don't want to get up early, don't worry: past visitors said the views are stunning any time of day.
There are two trails that start at Bryce Point, including the strenuous 5 ½-mile Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail, which steeply drops to the canyon floor. From here, travelers can also tackle the 23-mile Under-the-Rim trail, which descends from Bryce Point toward Rainbow Point. If you're up for the challenge, keep in mind that overnight hikes through Bryce Canyon's backcountry require a permit.
Queens Garden & Navajo Loop Trails Queens Garden & Navajo Loop Trails free
Beginning at Sunrise Point , Queens Garden is a 1.8-mile out-and-back trail that takes travelers 320 feet down into the canyon amongst hoodoos. For an extra treat, take a short spur trail to spot Queen Victoria, a hoodoo that looks like a statue of the famous British queen.
Meanwhile, the 1.3-mile Navajo Loop Trail departs from Sunset Point . Using a series of switchbacks, the moderate trail winds its way down into the canyon. The main sights are Thor's Hammer (a large hoodoo on the Two Bridges side of the hike) and Wall Street, the second half of the loop, which is a slot canyon filled with Douglas firs. Keep in mind: Wall Street closes when there's both precipitation and freezing temperatures, so plan a trek for spring or summer to increase your chances of doing the full hike.
Sunrise Point Sunrise Point free
This scenic point offers not only amazing views, but some of the more fancifully named formations in the park. Visitors have views of the Boat Mesa and the Sinking Ship, which are set against the Pink Cliffs of the Aquarius Plateau. Boat Mesa is topped by the resistant rock called "The Conglomerate at Boat Mesa" and rises above the hoodoos of Fairyland Canyon to 8,073 feet. Don't worry; these names make sense when you see the formations.
Sunrise Point is the trailhead for the 1.8-mile Queens Garden Trail that descends into a section of hoodoos, which are naturally ruled by the Queen Victoria hoodoo (hence the name). Sunrise is also the end point of the Navajo Loop and Queen Victoria combination, a beloved hike. Past visitors said this is a superb lookout with spectacular sunrises. However, if you can't make it for sunrise, rest assured the beauty and colors are incredible at all hours of the day, according to recent travelers.
Sunset Point Sunset Point free
Sunset Point is home to some of Bryce Canyon's most famous hoodoos, including the Silent City, a maze of hoodoos and fins concentrated in a tight formation, and Thor's Hammer, located just below the overlook on the northern edge. Because Thor's Hammer stands alone, it's easy to spot. The colors of the rock at Sunset Point are quite striking, with iron oxide minerals making the bright reds, oranges and yellows stand out. Want to learn more about the stunning hoodoos? Attend a ranger-led geology talk . These 20-minute talks take place at Sunset Point and run daily year-round.
If you want to hike, the 1.3-mile Navajo Loop Trail is one of the most popular in the park and leads down into a slot canyon called Wall Street that's populated with 500- to 700-year-old Douglas firs. The trail is often combined with the Queens Garden Trail, which leads through the Queens Garden and ends at the rim at Sunrise Point .
Bryce Canyon National Park Scenic Drive Bryce Canyon National Park Scenic Drive free
The park's 38-mile (round-trip) scenic drive features 13 viewpoints along the route. The northern overlooks have the most hoodoos, but the southern overlooks offer the most expansive views. If you've got time, you'll find plenty of hiking trails, ranger programs and picnic areas to take advantage of along the way.
Previous visitors used words like "awesome" and "fantastic" to describe the route, recommending future travelers set aside several hours for the drive to allow for frequent stops. Keep in mind: Park rangers estimate that the drive takes a minimum of three hours.
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Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point free
Located at the southern end of the park, Rainbow Point offers expansive views of the entire park back to the north. Yovimpa Point, which is also located here, is where you can look at the Grand Staircase: a layered rock formation. Each layer is a different color and named as such. The top (where visitors stand) is known as the Pink Cliffs. Just below are the Grey Cliffs, then in the distance are the White Cliffs, the Vermilion Cliffs and hidden from sight, the Chocolate Cliffs. Visitors call the views "spectacular" and well worth the drive to this part of the park.
If you're planning to take the Scenic Drive , the park recommends you drive all the way to Rainbow Point to start your journey, which is less than 20 miles south of the visitor center . Once at Rainbow Point, you'll have access to restrooms and several trails, including the mile-long Bristlecone Loop trail, which leads through a forest with bristlecone pines that are up to 1,800 years old. Keep in mind: Since this is the highest region of the park, elevations can reach more than 9,100 feet, meaning you'll want to pack layers to deal with the variations in climate.
Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail free
One of the park's strenuous hikes, the 5.5-mile Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail is a favorite among past visitors for its stellar views and challenging terrain. The most famous sight along this hike is the Wall of Windows, a sandstone formation of hoodoos and arches. As you wander the trail, you'll walk amongst the hoodoos to see the unique formation up-close.
The beginning of the trail makes a steep 1,555-foot drop into the canyon. Hikers noted that many portions of the trail are uphill and in direct sunlight. Make sure you pack plenty of water and snacks, use sunscreen and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Know that you'll be sharing the trail with horseback riders; the park advises giving them right-of-way. Additionally, you can only hike this trail clockwise.
Fairyland Canyon Fairyland Canyon free
This scenic overlook, which sits 1 mile north of the park entrance station, is a great place to see hoodoos up close. The trailhead for the strenuous 8-mile Fairyland Loop is located at this viewpoint and descends into the Fairyland, takes you around Boat Mesa and eventually ascends to meet the Rim Trail at Sunrise Point . You can follow the Rim Trail back north to the Fairyland Canyon overlook.
Recent visitors who made the trek called it "absolutely stunning" and a great option if you're looking for a daylong hike in the park. Since you'll likely be making frequent stops for photo-ops, you'll want to allot several hours to complete the trek. According to reviewers, the hike can take more than four hours.
Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center free
According to recent travelers, starting your Bryce Canyon experience at the visitor center is a must. Here, you'll find a ranger help desk, exhibits on the area, interactive consoles and a prairie dog maze. There is also a 20-minute award-winning film, which plays every 30 minutes, plus publications, maps and souvenirs. You'll also want to check the ranger program board for current locations and times of hikes and tours, which range from geology talks to full moon walks.
Along with the friendly staff, recent visitors also appreciated the center's large maps, which many said made it easy to plan their hikes. Others praised the restrooms and large parking lot.
Mossy Cave Trail Mossy Cave Trail free
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Natural Bridge Natural Bridge
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When To Visit
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When Is The Best Time To Visit Bryce Canyon And Zion National Parks?
- August 3, 2023
If you’re visiting Las Vegas with hopes of exploring nearby national parks, the Grand Canyon may be the first place that comes to mind. And while we’re all for seeing the Grand Canyon, there are a number of lesser-known but equally splendid national parks to explore that are also within driving distance of Vegas, including Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park—two iconic national parks known for their unique and breathtaking landscapes.
Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park showcase diverse elevation changes and offer visitors distinct (and equally as beautiful) landscapes to explore. And with only about 72 miles separating the parks, you could even visit them both on the same day if you’re feeling adventurous!
Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks Tour
Enjoy a day trip to bryce canyon and zion national parks.
Hop aboard this one-day trip to two of Utah’s most famous national parks from the Las Vegas Strip. Take in the sights at Zion National Park before continuing on to the spectacular spire “hoodoos” at Bryce Canyon National Park.
Reserve Tour Now
Like the Grand Canyon, both Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park are open year-round. If you’ve got one (or both) of these parks on your bucket list but you’re wondering “when is the best time to visit?”, we’ve got you covered. There are advantages and disadvantages to visiting in every season, and our guide will help you choose the best time to visit Bryce Canyon and Zion based on your priorities and interests.
Let’s get started with Bryce Canyon.
The Best Time To Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is a National Park that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It’s home to a landscape that many people don’t realize exists on the planet, and houses the greatest number of hoodoos on earth with 12 hoodoo amphitheaters spread across the park. Some people say it’s even better than the Grand Canyon, which says a lot.
WHAT IS A HOODOO? A hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock formed by erosion. At Bryce Canyon, the hoodoos are primarily formed through a process called frost wedging. In the winter when snow melts, the water seeps into cracks in the rock, where it then freezes at night. When it freezes it expands and pries the cracks open bit by bit, allowing more water to seep in during the next freeze-thaw cycle. The hoodoos at Bryce Canyon experience more than 200 freeze-thaw cycles each year, ultimately causing the rock to break apart and form a spire.
If you’re wondering when you should visit, the answer is ultimately up to you and what kind of adventure you’re hoping to have. The best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park depends on what you’d like to do while you’re there, and your tolerance for variable weather. Whatever your preference, our guide can help you decide.
Similar to other popular tourist destinations, spring and fall are considered the “shoulder seasons”, meaning the crowds are smaller and the temperatures are lower. If you have a flexible schedule and are more interested in sightseeing than hiking, this is arguably the best time to visit.
- Mild temperatures in April and May are perfect for hiking Bryce Canyon. Typical daytime highs in these months range between 55°-65°.
- Crowds are smaller , but will start to increase as the peak summer season approaches in May.
- Wildflowers begin to bloom during the spring, adding a beautiful splash of color to the rocky landscape.
- In March, temperatures are still quite low , with highs around 45°. Snow is also quite common. If you’re planning your visit in March, make sure to dress accordingly.
- Some roads and trails may still be closed due to snow, even into April. You can always check the Bryce Canyon website for updates regarding any closures.
- Muddy trails can be expected in the spring as the snow will begin melting throughout April.
Families are better able to plan their vacations freely when school is out, so it’s no surprise that summer is the most popular time to visit Bryce Canyon. This means it’s also the most crowded, and the temperatures are the highest.
- All trails and roads are open for summer , so you won’t be restricted to certain areas of the park while you’re exploring.
- Warm weather and long days are ideal for activities like hiking and horseback riding through Bryce Canyon.
- The bulk of park ranger programs occur in the summer months , including the annual Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival in June, and the Geology festival in July. You can visit Bryce Canyon’s Ranger Program page for more information on the programs they offer.
- Summer is the most popular time to visit, making it the busiest and most crowded time of the year at Bryce Canyon. If you are only able to visit in the summer and plan to stay overnight, we recommend booking accommodations for your trip well in advance. You could also opt to stay in nearby Las Vegas (where accommodation is almost always plentiful) and hop on a Bryce Canyon day tour .
- Rainy season is in July and August, with frequent (but brief) afternoon thunderstorms. Always keep an eye on the weather if you’re planning your visit during these months, and be prepared to pull out your rain jacket and find shelter should you get caught in a storm.
- During the day, temperatures can be very high , often reaching 80°-100° in July. Be sure to pack lots of water and take breaks out of the sun as much as possible, especially if you’re hiking.
Like spring, many people deem fall the best time to visit Bryce Canyon because of the cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
- Daytime temperatures are still warm in September with highs around 68°.
- Class is back in session, so you’ll miss the summer vacation crowds , and you can take advantage of end-of-season rates.
- October and November offer cooler temperatures if you’re looking to escape the heat, plus you get to experience the beautiful fall foliage and wildflowers .
- Guided horseback trail rides are available until October 31st, depending on the weather.
- In October and November, nighttime temperatures often fall below freezing , and you may even experience some snow in October. Make sure to wear layers if you’re visiting overnight during these months.
- Some trails and roads may be closed due to autumn’s unpredictable weather conditions.
Winter weather often deters travelers from planning their trips in the colder months; however, winter brings many benefits that are hard to ignore.
- The crowds are much smaller , which makes it easier to navigate the park. Accommodation prices are also at their lowest.
- Winter activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and hiking are available. You can even sign up for ranger-led snowshoe hikes where the snowshoe rental is free.
- Popular Bryce Canyon events take place, like the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival and the annual Christmas Bird Count —the longest running citizen science survey in the world.
- You get a unique opportunity to see the park and its winter scenery in solitude. Some say Bryce Canyon is even more beautiful in the winter with snow resting on the innumerable hoodoo spires.
- Because of the high elevation, the weather can be quite variable with snow, rain, and extreme cold all possible. It’s best to check the current conditions right before your visit.
- Some park amenities and facilities are closed (the shuttle, for example) or reduce their operating hours, so make sure to check the park website if you plan on using them.
- Seasonal road and trail closures occur each winter, so you’ll want to avoid these routes. You can find out what’s closed in the winter on their website.
The Best Time To Visit Zion National Park
Despite being just a 90-minute drive apart, Zion and Bryce Canyon have major variations in scenery, temperature, wildlife and vegetation. Zion’s elevation ranges dramatically from 3,700 to 8,700 feet while Bryce Canyon is nestled between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, which means Zion visitors can expect to see a landscape of pastel coloured sandstone layers and a wide range of elevations.
While some of the advantages and disadvantages of visiting Zion during each season resemble those of Bryce Canyon, there are also some unique factors to consider when planning your trip. We’ve outlined everything for you below.
Spring in Zion means melting snow, cooler temperatures, and quieter trails. However, the lower elevation also brings some challenges in the spring that are worth considering.
- Many trails will open throughout the season as the snow melts, giving you plenty of options for hiking.
- Moderate spring temperatures allow you to hike longer distances and explore the landscape without extreme heat limiting your plans.
- It’s the ideal time for sightseeing , with smaller crowds and vibrant green scenery, wildflowers, rushing rivers, and waterfalls.
- Temperatures still drop very low at night and can prevent you from camping comfortably in the park.
- Even though a lot of the trails will be open at the beginning of spring, one of the most famous trails, the Narrows, will likely be closed due to high water levels from snow melt.
- Flash floods are most likely to occur in the spring because of the melting snow on the canyons. Be aware of the warning signs of flash flooding if you plan to visit in the spring.
Summer is the busiest time at Zion, just like most National Parks. Hour-long lines form at park entrances by 10am, so it’s advised you arrive at the park early to avoid the rush.
- More time for sightseeing and hiking during the long, sunny days. There are water filling stations at every shuttle stop on the trails, so don’t worry about running out of water during your hikes.
- Zion’s free ranger-led activities are in full swing in the summer. Find out what programs they offer here .
- Witnessing a thunderstorm or flash flood (from a safe distance) descend over Zion’s red cliffs is one of the many spectacular sights of the summer. Monsoon season can have its perks (if you’re prepared).
- It’s the busiest time of year , which means long lines and more people on the trails.
- It can be very hot , with temperatures often reaching the triple digits. Be mindful of heat exhaustion and stay hydrated if you’re visiting Zion in the summer.
- Afternoon rain showers and flash floods are common during the late summer. Flash flooding is a real safety risk in Zion during monsoon season, so be aware of the warning signs.
Many people enjoy Zion in the fall for its cooler temperatures and stunning display of fall colors. There are many benefits to visiting in the fall, but there are also drawbacks:
- Crowds begin to thin , and hiking is more enjoyable. Plus, almost all of the trails are open this time of year so you aren’t limited in your hiking plans.
- Temperatures begin to cool , but are still warm enough to hike the Narrows without the wet or dry suit you would need in the winter.
- Beautiful fall colors start to take over the park starting at the highest elevations.
- Temperatures can vary by 30°F each day in the fall, which can make it difficult to pack and dress appropriately.
- Shuttle buses run less frequently , and for fewer hours each day, but are still required to get around the park.
- Less daylight to enjoy the park , and less time to spend in the sun. The sun sets early between 5:15-6:30 pm during the fall months.
Visiting during the winter months will give you an appreciation for the solitude and beauty of winter in the park—a feeling many travelers don’t get to experience.
- Due to its relatively low elevation, the park experiences limited snowfall . So if you’re not a fan of snow, don’t worry, winter weather shouldn’t deter you from visiting Zion.
- You can drive yourself into the park and follow your own schedule. During the other seasons, the only way around Zion is by shuttle bus.
- Better chance to observe the diverse wildlife that inhabit Zion. With fewer tourists crowding the trails, the animals are more likely to roam freely.
- Many trails will be closed at high elevations due to ice and snow, so you will be more limited in your hiking options.
- Ice is very common in Zion during the winter because the sun melts any snow that has fallen, which then freezes overnight. This can be dangerous if you are not careful on the trails. Be sure to check the trail conditions before hiking in the winter. Traction devices are recommended if you plan on hiking through Zion in the winter.
- Rain is also common during the winter.
Deciding the best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park, and the best time to visit Zion National Park boils down to your personal preferences:
- Spring offers beautiful wildflowers and milder temperatures, both of which are perfect for hiking and taking in the scenery. It’s part of the shoulder season, so crowds will also be thinner during the spring.
- Summer welcomes bigger crowds during summer break, but also has longer days, warmer weather, and is the ideal time to take part in the free activities the parks offer.
- Fall brings beautiful foliage as the leaves turn in the parks, along with fewer crowds. Temperatures are cooler if you’re looking to escape the heat; however, the nights are very cold.
- Winter enthusiasts will love visiting in the colder months because of the quiet atmosphere, the fun winter activities, and the chance to see the parks coated in snow. However, many trails and amenities close down for the winter.
No matter the time of year you choose for your visit to Bryce Canyon or Zion, expect breathtaking landscapes, unrivaled photo ops, and unforgettable memories.
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Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park in 2022
- Last Updated : August 22, 2022
The best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is May to September.
This period brings the warmest weather and allows access to the widest variety of activities. Daytime temperatures can reach a high of mid-80s and nighttime lows of mid-40s in July
May to september.
Average maximum temperatures in May are in the 60s. In July and August, the daytime temperatures hover between the high 70s to low 80s. These two months are also the wettest, with a brief but heavy afternoon thunderstorms and occasional lightning.
If you’re visiting in summer, remember to pack your rain gear and be ready to seek refuge during heavy rain.
What’s on :
- Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival (June)
- Bryce Canyon Geology Festival (July)
October to April
There are usually plenty of beautiful fall days in October. In some years, it can snow as early as October.
The best snowshoeing conditions are available between December and March, when most snow falls. Those who register for ranger-led activities are given free snowshoes. Cross-country skiing, hiking, guided full moon snowshoe treks, and winter astronomy programs are other winter activities you can enjoy.
- Annual Christmas Bird Count (December)
- Bryce Canyon Winter Festival (February)
Best time for good weather
The best time for good weather in Bryce Canyon National Park is the months of May through September.
You will experience the best weather patterns in May and September since it is slightly cooler during the evenings and not hot during the summer.
The heat during the summer can limit the amount of activity you can do in the park in the middle of the day and early evening. During June through August, it is best to get started very early in the morning.
Utah does not experience much of a rainy season, although they do get thunderstorms during early spring and fall months. It does start to snow in November as well. It can snow until March during a long winter.
Best time for camping
The best time to camp in Bryce Canyon National Park is March through September. These are the months you get the best temperatures.
Again, to avoid the heat, it is better to camp on the edges of time surrounding the peak season instead of right in the middle of summer. If you decide to go in the middle months of the year, try to camp in higher elevations . These areas will get cooler during the night time and will allow you to sleep a little easier.
The ground can be very hard since it gets baked down during the summer. Bring tent stakes that can drive through solid layers to firmly anchor your tent.
Read More :
- Best campgrounds in Bryce Canyon National Park
- The best free campsites in Utah
Best time for hiking
The best time to hike in Bryce Canyon National Park is from April through September.
It is better to go for hikes in April, and September, than in June, July, and August. That way, you can use more of the day for hiking without getting caught in dangerous heat.
If you go during the hottest season of the year, try to get started hiking very early in the morning. Most people are rising at 4 am to get on the trails by 5 am. The sun rises early enough to allow this with enough light to be safe. Bring a flashlight or headlamp if you plan to depart earlier.
Read More : Hiking Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park
Best time to avoid crowds
The best time to avoid crowds in Bryce Canyon National Park is later in the season, the from August to October.
These months can be quite hot, and thus people try to avoid them. The busiest months are May, June, and then April.
If you get up very early in the morning, you have a higher likelihood of avoiding crowds even in a peak month. Most people do not get up and onto the trails or overlook until around 10 AM.
If you are out earlier, you can avoid congestion in the most popular areas and trailheads.
Best time for scenic drives
The best time for scenic drives in Bryce Canyon is in the morning to see the sunrise and in the evening for the sunset.
Specific overlooks are stunning during these times of day, seeing the sun liven up the already bright reds in the stone.
Although you can view these instances every day of the year, there are some months in which it is more unique. For example, during the winter months of November to February, there is snow on the hoodoos, and the landscape is even more awe-inspiring.
Best time for snowsports
The best time for snowsports in Bryce Canyon is during the winter months of November to February.
During these months, the Canyon fills with feet of snow and becomes an entirely different type of landscape.
The National Park staff manages the park differently during these times of the year. The Fairyland Road and the Paria View road are left unplowed throughout the whole winter intentionally. These surfaces then provide fantastic areas to lace up your winter boots and snowshoe or cross-country ski.
Best time for horseback riding
The best time for horseback riding in Bryce Canyon National Park is April through October.
Out of these, it is safest to go during June, July, and August. These are the hottest months of the year, but they are also the driest.
It reduces the likelihood you could be caught in a thunderstorm or a mudslide, although these aren’t common. September is one of the best months in terms of more pleasant temperatures.
April through October are generally the opening season months for guided horseback tours, although you can take your horse in throughout the year.
Best time for mountain biking
The best time for mountain biking in Bryce Canyon is from May through October.
These months have the best temperatures, and you have a low chance of encountering ice.
Arguably, the best months for mountain biking in Utah are October, November in Fall, and then February and March in the spring. These months offer fewer crowds and much cooler temperatures. You might need to avoid higher elevation trails due to ice, though.
Although mountain biking is not typically permitted inside the National Park since it can greatly disrupt the delicate fauna, there are many trails that run around the park.
Best time for ATV rides
The best time for ATV rides in Bryce Canyon National Park is August and September.
These months are prime since they are a little cooler than the middle of the summer, but the snow in high elevations has gotten enough time to melt.
If you want to try it out, these are also the months that guided tours will be the most available for visitors. Book yours to go along a certain route or experience a specific section of Bryce Canyon.
Best time for stargazing
The best time for stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park is in June, although this activity can be successfully enjoyed all year-round.
The staff at the park takes advantage of the supreme stargazing season during the dry summers by hosting and running stargazing programs throughout June. The time of day that is best for stargazing changes depending on when the sun sets and rises throughout the year.
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Alerts in effect, operating hours & seasons.
Last updated: March 7, 2022
Contact info, mailing address:.
P.O Box 640201 Bryce, UT 84764
435 834-5322 Phones are answered and messages returned as soon as possible as staffing allows.
14 Practical BRYCE CANYON TIPS for First Visit (Important: Read Before Going)
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Bryce Canyon National Park is simply amazing! When you will first see Bryce Canyon Main Amphitheatre, it will take your breath away. There is no place like Bryce Canyon anywhere else in the world.
Here are 14 practical Bryce Canyon tips to know before you head out. Not only, you will have a more enjoyable experience, but also, you will make the most of your first visit to Bryce Canyon!
Learn More About Bryce Canyon National Park:
Perfect ONE DAY in BRYCE CANYON (5 Things You Can’t-Miss)
10 Best Stops on SCENIC DRIVE in BRYCE CANYON (with Stunning Views)
11 Most Scenic HIKES in BRYCE CANYON You Need to Explore
Here Are Some Road Trip Ideas That You Might Like As Well:
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- 1. What is Bryce Canyon Known For
- 2. Where is Bryce Canyon National Park
- 3. How to Get to Bryce Canyon National Park
- 4. What Is the Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
- 5. Where Should You Stay on Your First Visit to Bryce Canyon
- 6. What You Need to Know About Bryce Canyon National Park (Cool Facts)
- 7. 14 Must-Read Tips for First Visit in Bryce Canyon National Park
- 7.1. Make Reservations for Your Accommodations Way in Advance
- 7.2. Buy America the Beautiful Pass Instead of a Single Entrance Ticket
- 7.3. Use Bryce Canyon Shuttle Service
- 7.4. Reserve Rainbow Point Shuttle Tour (Free)
- 7.5. Take Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive Along Epic Viewpoints
- 7.6. Hike Below the Rim to See Hoodoos Up-Close
- 7.7. Go Horseback Riding in Bryce Canyon
- 7.8. Go Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park
- 7.9. Check Out Bryce Canyon Ranger Programs
- 7.10. Watch Sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park
- 7.11. Start Your Day As Early As Possible in Bryce Canyon
- 7.12. Dress in Layers When You are Visiting Bryce Canyon
- 7.13. Be Aware of High Elevations in Bryce Canyon
- 7.14. Get Crampons and Hiking Poles If You are Hiking in Winter
- 8. Intrepid Scout's Tips for First Visit to Bryce Canyon National Park
What is Bryce Canyon Known For
What makes Bryce Canyon National Park famous are geological formations called hoodoos.
Hoodoos are thin spires of rock protruding from the bottom of Bryce Canyon. And, you have to see these rock formations for yourself to understand how nature can be so incredibly fantastic.
All I can tell you is that when you look at the fascinating landscape of Bryce Canyon, you see thousands of chiseled pinnacles, delicate spires, and intricately carved rock formations molded by the endless cycles of rain, freeze, and thaw, by the capriciousness of wind and water.
Main Amphitheatre in Bryce Canyon National Park / Bryce Canyon Tips
Where is Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah, USA.
Specifically, it is situated about midway between Zion National Park (Bryce Canyon to Zion distance is about 50 miles) to the southwest and Capital Reef National Park to the northwest.
The closest city to Bryce Canyon National Park is Tropic (14 miles, 21 min). Also, I need to mention Panguitch (27 miles, 34 min).
How to Get to Bryce Canyon National Park
The closest major airports to Bryce Canyon National Park are in Las Vegas (LAS), Nevada, and Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah.
There are smaller airports in Cedar City (CDC), Utah, and St. George (SGU), Utah .
If you fly into any of the airports around Bryce Canyon National Park, you will have to rent a car and then drive.
- Driving from Las Vegas, Nevada – 260 miles, 4 h 30 min
- Driving from Salt Lake City, Utah – 270 miles, 4 h 14 min
- Driving from Cedar City, Utah – 75 miles, 1 h 30 min
- Driving from St. George, Utah – 141 miles, 2 h 15 min
What Is the Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
Hands down, Bryce Canyon National Park is a great destination to visit at any time of the year .
I have visited Bryce Canyon so many times at different times of the year and I have to honestly say that it is an awesome place to see no matter what month you visit!
What you need to keep in mind is that Bryce Canyon National Park sits at a high elevation of 8,000 to 9.000 feet. With this being the case, the temperatures are much lower compared to any other National Park in Utah.
So, no matter when you are visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, pack some warm clothes and dress in layers. Even in the summer, the evenings can be chilly.
- Summer (May through September)is the high season. Needless to say, expect a lot of companionship on the trails and everywhere throughout the park. However, summer temperatures are pleasant and mild, ranging from 65F to 80F.
- Spring (April) and Fall (October) are two of my favorite months to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. Temperatures are cooler at about 55F, so it is perfect for some hiking. By the same token, you will see fewer crowds and have some serene experiences.
- Winter (November through March) is the coldest time with plenty of snowfall. The temperatures range from about 36F to 44F. Likewise, winter is a magical time in Bryce Canyon National Park with snow covering the hoodoos. If you can visit Bryce Canyon National Park in winter, you will be amazed at how beautiful the hoodoos are covered up in the snow.
Hoodoos covered in snow in Bryce Canyon National Park / Bryce Canyon Tips
Where Should You Stay on Your First Visit to Bryce Canyon
- The Lodge at Bryce Canyon
Hands down, nothing beats staying inside the park! However, accommodations are very limited and you should make reservations well ahead of your visit.
There is only one lodge, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon , available inside the park .
Reservations must be made well in advance.
It is a great place to stay since it is situated just steps from the rim. You will be able to access most of the trails without driving. And, what a perfect location to just go out and watch the sunrise or sunset.
Several different types of accommodations are offered at the lodge. My recommendation is to rent one of the Western Cabins. They are super cozy with gas fireplaces and cute rustic decor.
- Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn
I have stayed at Best Western Ruby’s Inn numerous times and it is comfortable and convenient located only 1 mile from the entrance to the park. Also, if you are heading to Escalante National Monument, then this is a good place to spend the night since it is next to Scenic Byway 12. If you are flying into Bryce Canyon Airport, then the hotel offers a free transfer service from the airport to the property.
- Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Another place that I am recommending is Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel . It is also conveniently located right next to the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. The rooms are spacious, clean, and comfortable. What you might like is that the hotel offers free breakfast and there is an outdoor swimming pool as well. Also, there is a restaurant next to the hotel which makes it convenient to grab a bite to eat while you are traveling. it’s Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill, offering a cowboy-themed atmosphere and meals.
- Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge
If you are traveling from Zion to Bryce Canyon , then my recommendation is to check out Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge . It is conveniently located between Zion and Bryce in Mount Carmel. The rooms are a good size with comfy beds!
Western Cabin at the Lodge in Bryce Canyon National Park / Bryce Canyon Tips
Inside the Western Cabin at the Lodge in Bryce Canyon National Park / Bryce Canyon Tips
Bryce Canyon National Park has two campgrounds, North and Sunset , located near the Visitor Center, Bryce Canyon Lodge, and the main Bryce Amphitheater.
- North Campground is first-come, first-served. It has 99 sites open from Spring through Fall and 30 sites in Loop A are open year-round.
- Sunset Campground accepts reservations on a 6-month rolling basis during peak season. It has 100 sites and it is open from April through October.
What You Need to Know About Bryce Canyon National Park (Cool Facts)
- Bryce Canyon National Park is compact compared to other national parks. It encompasses and protects 36,000 acres (56 sq mi) of the high Colorado Plateau.
- The area around Bryce Canyon became a National Monument in 1923 and was designated as a National Park in 1928 .
- A single paved road , built by the CCC in the 1930s runs 17 miles through the heart of the park and provides access to most of the major natural attractions and wonders.
- The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce , who homesteaded in the area in 1874.
- Rainbow Point is the highest part of the park at 9,105 feet and Yellow Creek is the lowest part of the park at 6,620 feet.
- Bryce Canyon offers world-class stargazing due to its exceptionally high air quality and long distance from sources of light pollution.
14 Must-Read Tips for First Visit in Bryce Canyon National Park
Make reservations for your accommodations way in advance.
I think that this is one of the most important tips for visiting Bryce Canyon!
If you would like to stay at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon, then you need to make reservations 6 months to one year in advance.
The same situation is with the campgrounds. They are booked solid months in advance.
Ok, so if everything is booked up in Bryce Canyon National Park, then you need to start looking at some places that are near Bryce Canyon National Park .
If you are visiting during the summer months, then make your reservations fast, because these places will be booked up as well.
Buy America the Beautiful Pass Instead of a Single Entrance Ticket
I don’t even know how many America the Beautiful Passes I bought over the years! Hands down, it is a great deal!
If you are visiting several national parks during your vacation (or during the entire year), you should need to buy an annual pass and save some money.
The cost of the annual pass is $80. However, the annual pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, such as national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and grasslands.
You can purchase the pass online at America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass
If you are just visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, then what you need to know is that all visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park need to purchase a recreational use pass .
You can purchase the pass at the entrance to Bryce Canyon Park or you can buy it online . It costs $35 per vehicle.
Use Bryce Canyon Shuttle Service
If you are visiting Bryce Canyon National Park during the high season (summer) , then the best way to get around the park is by using Bryce Canyon Shuttle System .
All in all, whenever I visited during the winter months, I have to honestly say, that I never had any problems driving in the park (no traffic jams) or finding a parking spot. However, summertime is a different story altogether!
Now, the shuttle is not mandatory, however, it is highly recommended especially during the summer months, since finding a parking spot could be very challenging.
The bottom line! Bryce Canyon Shuttle System is great and easy to use. You can hop on (with proof of park admission) and hop off at any of the shuttles stops.
In the spring and fall, the shuttle runs from 8 am to 6 pm. During the summer months (May through September), shuttle service is available from 8 am to 8 pm. Buses typically come by each stop every 15 minutes. You can time the next bus with Shuttle Tracker .
Bryce Canyon Map of the Shuttle System / Bryce Canyon Tips
Reserve Rainbow Point Shuttle Tour (Free)
Beginning around April 13, and occurring twice daily at 9 am and 1:30 pm, Bryce Canyon National Park offers Rainbow Point Shuttle Tour.
It is a guided and free-of-charge tour that lasts about 3.5 hours and covers 40 miles of scenic vistas in the park.
Reservations for this tour are required and can be made in person at the shuttle office at Ruby’s Inn, Ruby’s Inn Campground, the Shuttle Parking and Boarding Area, or by calling 435-834-5290.
Reservations should be made well in advance as buses only hold 40 passengers.
Take Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive Along Epic Viewpoints
Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive winds south for 17 miles and roughly parallels the canyon rim, climbing from 7,894 feet at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to 9,115 feet at Rainbow Point, the plateau’s southern tip at the end of the road.
If you have only one day in Bryce Canyon National Park , and you have never experienced the hoodoos protruding from this vast landscape, then my recommendation is to start at the end of the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive and work your way back .
You will gradually get to appreciate the scenery and eventually get to the ‘WOW’ viewpoints in Bryce Canyon . So, drive to the end of Bryce Canyon Scenic Road and then, start gradually making your way back.
So, hands down, make sure to add Scenic Drive to your Bryce Canyon day itinerary.
Map of Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive / Bryce Canyon Tips
READ: Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon Along Epic Viewpoints
My favorite stop along Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park is Natural Bridge . It is one of the best-known natural arches in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Natural Bridge is a massive formation of eroded, deep red-hued limestone jutting from the edge of the overlook.
I have to say that it looks absolutely amazing during wintertime!
Natural Bridge along Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive / Bryce Canyon Tips
Hike Below the Rim to See Hoodoos Up-Close
Here is another one of my Bryce Canyon tips for your first visit!
So the bottom line is that you simply cannot leave Bryce Canyon National Park if you do not hike below the rim and see hoodoos up close .
There are many easy, short, moderate, long, or challenging trails in Bryce Canyon National Park. Simply put, Bryce Canyon National Park is a hiker’s paradise.
First of all, check out my two posts. The first one is all about easy hikes in Bryce Canyon , and the second one pretty much lists all the best hikes in Bryce Canyon .
In my opinion, for your first visit to Bryce Canyon Park, I would suggest one of Bryce Canyon’s classic hikes which are the Navajo Loop Trail and the Queens Garden Trail .
It is one of my favorite trails in Bryce Canyon!
Navajo Loop Trail and Queens Garden Trail will take you 550 feet below the rim and you will get to see some of the most famous hoodoo formations in Bryce Canyon: Wall Street, Thor’s Hammer, and Queens Garden. But, no matter which trails you select, hiking is one of the top things to do in Bryce Canyon.
Navajo Loop Trail / Bryce Canyon Tips
Go Horseback Riding in Bryce Canyon
Go horseback riding in Bryce Canyon National Park. I promise you that you will love it!
The concessionary horseback ride provider in Bryce Canyon National Park is Canyon Trail Rides .
Once you arrive at Bryce Canyon go to the lobby of the Bryce Canyon Lodge and locate the trail ride desk . They will give you all the information and instructions and direct you to their corral located at Bryce Canyon Sunrise Point .
Canyon Trail Rides offers a 2-hour ride to the floor of the canyon and back as well as a 3-hour ride along Peek-A-Boo Trail.
By the way, they operate from March through October.
Do not miss it! You will love it! Add horseback riding to your Bryce Canyon National Park itinerary.
Horseback riding in Bryce Canyon / Bryce Canyon Tips
Go Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is the ultimate place to learn about and enjoy the views of the night sky . Because Bryce Canyon is far from the light pollution of civilization, it is a sanctuary for natural darkness.
The night sky at Bryce is so dark that you will be able to see thousands of stars on a moonless night!
Bryce Canyon is the ultimate place to learn about and enjoy the views of the night sky / Bryce Canyon Tips
Check Out Bryce Canyon Ranger Programs
No visit to Bryce Canyon is complete without joining the Astronomy Rangers for one of their educational and entertaining celebrations of natural darkness.
Check out Ranger Programs or go to the Visitor Center to find out when and how you can join.
Hands down, the Full Moon Hikes Program is one of the best Ranger Programs that I have attended.
Tickets for the Full Moon Hike are distributed via lottery on the day of the hike. Visit the Full Moon Hike page for details. I know that it is not easy to get the tickets, but my recommendation is to give it a try. It will be a great addition to your Bryce Canyon itinerary.
Full Moon Hike is one of the best Ranger Programs / Bryce Canyon Tips
Watch Sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park
If you want to see an awesome sunrise in Bryce Canyon, then make sure to head to Sunset Point. Yes! You are reading this correctly. I think you can catch the best sunrises from Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon.
Sunset Point sits at 8,000 feet and offers the most dramatic views of Bryce Canyon’s main amphitheater. Plus, you get a fantastic view of Thor’s Hammer, which towers over Silent City from Sunset Point’s vista.
Intrepid Scout’s Tip:
READ : Best Photography Locations in Bryce Canyon National Park
Make sure to arrive well before sunrise, because the light is warmer and softer during that time. It is known as the Golden Hour.
Next, wait for the first sun rays to appear on the horizon and make the hoodoos glow.
During this time use a tripod and remote shutter release . However, be quick because the rising sun will make the light too intense to take pictures.
Also, a reminder! Since you will be arriving well before sunrise, make sure to have a headlamp or a flashlight to help you navigate from the parking lot to Sunset Point.
Another great location for sunrise is Inspiration Point Bryce Canyon. The views are off the charts!
Sunset Point sits at 8,000 feet and offers the most dramatic views of Bryce Canyon’s main amphitheater / Bryce Canyon Tips
Start Your Day As Early As Possible in Bryce Canyon
You will see people start arriving at the park around 10 am. I recommend that you get to Bryce Canyon way before 10 am .
First, you will be able to find some solitude on the trails and at viewpoints .
Second, there is only one scenic drive and it gets very congested during the high season. Getting there early ensures that you have the road to yourself.
Next, there is limited parking , so needless to say, if you are at the park early you do not have to waste precious time waiting for a vacant parking spot.
Dress in Layers When You are Visiting Bryce Canyon
Being that Bryce Canyon National Park sits at a high elevation of 8,000 to 9.000 feet, the temperatures are much lower compared to any other National Park in Utah.
No matter when you are visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, pack warm clothes and dress in layers . Even in the summer, the evenings can be very chilly.
Since Bryce Canyon National Park sits at higher elevations than any other national park in Utah / Bryce Canyon Tips
Be Aware of High Elevations in Bryce Canyon
Elevations in Bryce Canyon National Park Park reach over 9,000 feet. Even mild exertion may leave you feeling completely out of breath, light-headed and nauseated.
When you are hiking, take your time and take frequent breaks. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Get Crampons and Hiking Poles If You are Hiking in Winter
If you are planning on doing some hiking in winter, then I highly recommend that you get crampons and hiking poles for extra support.
Most of the trails will be covered with ice and packed snow. It is very hard to get sufficient traction if you are only wearing hiking boots. With crampons, you will be able to safely and securely transverse through Bryce Canyon trails.
Intrepid Scout's Tips for First Visit to Bryce Canyon National Park
- What you need to know is that the two roads that are closed to vehicle traffic for the entire winter season are the 1-mile road leading to Fairyland Point and the 0.3-mile road leading to Paria View . However, they remain accessible for hikers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers.
- Following snowstorms, the main park road closes temporarily at mile marker 3 to allow snow plow crews to clear the snow . Closures typically last a day or more, depending on snowstorm durations.
- However, along the first three miles of the main road, the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater area (which includes Bryce Point , Inspiration Point , Sunset Point , and Sunrise Point Bryce Canyon) is the first area to be plowed, so it remains accessible even during temporary closures of the scenic southern drive.
- In addition, two trails are closed for the entire winter season: the Wall Street side of the Navajo Loop Trail and the Rim Trail between Inspiration and Bryce Points.
- Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm during summer (May through September); 8 am to 6 pm during spring and fall (April and October), and 8 am to 4:30 pm in winter (November through March). It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. All in all, make sure to stop by the Visitor Center and pick up some maps and the Bryce Canyon visitor guide.
A trip to Bryce Canyon is perfectly paired with a road trip to Zion National Park , Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, Canyonlands, or Capitol Reef National Parks.
Check out my post: Zion to Bryce Canyon: 3-Day Adventure (with Maps and Photos)
Did you know that Utah has five national parks known as ‘ The Mighty 5 ‘? Have you visited any of them? Which is your favorite Utah National Park? Arches National Park, Bryce National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Zion National Park.
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I appreciate your posts so much! This information is invaluable. Just wanted to update that the rainbow point shuttle is no longer operating, so you might want to update that bit.
Hi Molly, Thank you! It is very kind of you to take time and send me this message. I hope you enjoyed Bryce. Is it just the most spectacular place? Thank you for letting me know about rainbow point shuttle. I will update the info. Take care!
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Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park in 2023
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Bryce Canyon is a spectacular, naturally built piece of land that unlike its name is not actually a canyon. Rather, it is a collection of uneven structures known as hoodoos. These hoodoos are white, orange, and red in color and provide amazingly spectacular views for visitors. According to geological research, water erosion and frost weathering caused these sedimentary rocks to form several years ago.
There is not one canyon in Bryce Canyon; instead, there are a series of natural bowls carved into the edge of a high plateau. The Bryce Amphitheater is famous for its hoodoos, which are spires of rock eroded into irregular shapes.
The most famous and certainly most attractive parts of the national park are Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. The Park has several viewpoints and hiking trails to explore. Many tourists from around the world visit Bryce Canyon every year and explore the beauty of nature.
The best time to visit the park is May through September. During this time, the weather is slightly warm yet pleasant making it pretty much suitable for visitors to enjoy their trip. Also, there are many fun activities going on during all this time.
While during the extreme winter months, the weather gets extremely cold and makes camping or hiking nearly impossible. So, to get the best out of your entire trip, make sure you visit during pleasant days and enjoy stargazing on a chilly evening in Bryce Canyon.
Table of Contents
When does it snow in Bryce Canyon?
It typically snows during December in Bryce Canyon. However, the snowstorms continue from October until April. During the months of October through May, freezing temperatures are common, along with the possibility of snow. The coldest temperatures and most snow are usually found from December through February, though snowstorms are also common in March and April.
The winter temperatures have dropped as low as -26 degrees Fahrenheit in Bryce Canyon, and temperatures below zero are common throughout the winter months. Plan for a snowy visit. The Park typically receives nearly 100 inches of snow a year. But in one year, it recorded 82 inches of snow in January alone.
During the snowy days in Bryce Canyon, you’ll see literally no one or only a few people visiting the park. That’s because the extreme cold weather gets unbearable and so camping or hiking trips aren’t possible.
Best Times to Visit Bryce Canyon, National Park
If you ask us, we will say May through September is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon if you’re planning a trip. That’s because the weather is amazingly pleasant, neither too cold nor too hot.
You can say the weather remains pleasantly warm during these months and you can easily explore the maximum parts of the park. Also, there are many ranger activities for the visitors during these months which keep them busy and entertained during their trip.
Autumn offers its own charms from October through April. Fewer people, cooler temperatures, and gorgeous fall foliage are all reasons to visit in the fall. For people who love the fall season and enjoy the stunning colors of nature, Autumn would be the best time to visit Bryce Canyon.
What is the best time of day to visit Bryce Canyon?
We would say early morning between 8 and 9 AM is the most suitable time of the day to start your visit to Bryce Canyon. Early in the morning, the park is less crowded, and you easily get to park your vehicle in the parking lot of the park. Also, during the early hours of the day, you’ll be able to enjoy the sunrise and see the spectacular colors of the Canyon along with the rising sun.
What is a busy season for Bryce Canyon?
June till August is usually busy in Bryce Canyon. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the evenings are pretty much chilly. So, the tourists usually head over to the park during the early summer season and hence the park remains crowded during these months.
What Time Does Bryce Canyon Open?
The Park remains open throughout the year. From January till December, you can visit the park mostly at any time. But if the weather conditions get unbearable, the park might not welcome visitors during extreme winter days. In the event of winter snowstorms, some roads may be closed temporarily. Traffic will be restricted until the roads are plowed and the conditions are safe for visitors.
So, before you confirm your trip to Bryce Canyon, do check out the weather conditions. Because the weather sometimes changes drastically and unexpectedly.
Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center Hours
While you’re in Bryce Canyon, be sure to check out the visitor center. For all the information that would be needed on your incredible adventure, visitors are encouraged to stop by the local visitor center which is open from 8 in the morning till 4:30 in the evening. Stopping by a visitor center is a great way to check road conditions, plan your itinerary, pick up souvenirs, and get some local tips.
Best Time to Hike Bryce Canyon
For hikers, the best time to hike Bryce Canyon is when the weather is moderately cold, neither hot nor cold. Hikers can visit from May through September. That’s when the temperature isn’t high but remains pleasantly warm during the day and a bit chilly during the night.
For the best hiking experience, do not visit during extreme summer days or extreme winter days. That’s because, in extreme summers, you’ll be sweating all day and won’t be able to hike. While during extreme winters, it would nearly be impossible to hike because of extreme cold and snowstorms.
How crowded is Bryce National Park?
During early summer days, or during the spring, the park is pretty much crowded. You’ll see a lot of couples, families, and groups of friends exploring the park and hiking the trails. But because of many famous viewpoints in the Bryce Canyon instead of just one point, the crowd doesn’t get gathered up in one place. You’ll definitely see many people around but scattered in different parts of the Canyon.
Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon – Final Sey
If you’re somebody who loves to travel, explore new places, and want to have a closer and clearer insight into nature, Bryce Canyon is a MUST visit. It is definitely one of the best places you’ll visit. We suggest you arrive early in the morning and stay till late in the evening.
Enjoy sunrise in the morning and sunset views in the evening. Although you can explore the Bryce Canyon in one day if you arrive early, we would want you to also gaze at the wide sky full of stars at night. You’ll surely love every bit of your trip to Bryce Canyon!
Hi There! Welcome to my Traveling blog. My name is Arik Trysker and I love to explore amazing destinations. It’s amazing to have you here. I have written this traveling blog to share my experience with all of you. I will share here unconventional destinations, urban landscapes, and hidden spots that will attract you more than anything else. Have look at the blog and get inspired to find your own dream destination!
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- Places To Go
- Parks & Outdoors
- Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon Hikes
Hiking through Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to see the park’s famous hoodoos, spires and sandstone fins. An interconnected network of trails makes it easy to keep hiking all day, where trails branch off toward new landmarks and discoveries, all without ever straying too far from the park’s main road. Whether you’re a family of adventurers, or venturing into a solo backpacking expedition, Bryce Canyon’s trails won’t disappoint.
The 5 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Bryce canyon fairyland loop.
An enjoyable day hike, this route loops through the Fairyland amphitheater just north of Bryce Canyon past many interesting rock formations.
Bryce Canyon Mossy Cave Trail
A short stroll into the reddish pinnacles of Bryce Canyon from UT 12 that ends at a mossy, seeping cave, offering a smaller-scale sampler of Bryce grandeur for travelers unable to travel into the main area of the park.
Bryce Canyon Navajo Loop Trail
Explore the Bryce Canyon Navajo Loop Trail for unbelievable sights. See hoodoo formations such as Wall Street, Twin Bridges, and Thor's Hammer.
Bryce Canyon Queens Garden Trail
Add this moderate hike to your Bryce Canyon itinerary. Enjoy unique formations such as Gulliver's Castle, the Queen's Castle, and Queen Elizabeth on the Queen's Garden Trail.
Bryce Canyon Rim Trail
A popular trail above Bryce Canyon that connects all the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point.
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Bristlecone loop trail | 1 mile.
A short loop that stays entirely above the canyon rim as it traverses a subalpine fir forest. The trail is named after the bristlecone pine trees, the oldest tree species in the world, which is found more frequently along this trail than along other trails in Bryce Canyon National Park Utah.
Mossy Cave Trail | 0.8 mile
A short stroll into the reddish pinnacles of Bryce Canyon from S.R. 12 that ends at a mossy, seeping cave, offering a smaller-scale sampler of Bryce grandeur. As parking is limited at the trailhead, consider visiting before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to avoid peak visitation and only park in designated areas. Additional tips on the Mossy Cave page.
Navajo Loop Trail | 1.4 miles
A popular trail that makes a short 1- to 2-hour loop from the rim at Sunset Point down to the floor of Bryce Canyon. The trail visits favorite hoodoo formations such as Wall Street, Twin Bridges and Thor’s Hammer.
Queens Garden Trail | 1.8 miles
A short trail descending below the canyon rim that takes hikers to fascinating rock formations including Gulliver’s Castle, the Queen’s Castle and Queen Elizabeth herself.
Rim Trail | .5 to 5.5 miles one way
A popular trail above Bryce Canyon that connects all the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point. The 0.5 mile section between Sunrise and Sunset points is paved and accessible to those with wheelchairs.
Moderate Day Hikes + Backpacking Routes
Connector trails | 2 to 4 miles.
A series of short “connector” trails that take hikers from the canyon rim to various points along the Under the Rim Trail.
Fairyland Loop Trail | 8 miles
Peek-a-boo loop trail | 5.5 miles.
A hiker and horse trail that winds around hoodoo formations below Inspiration Point and Bryce Point, offering views of the popular Wall of Windows, the Three Wisemen, The Organ and The Cathedral.
Riggs Spring Loop | 8.8 miles
A day hike or leisurely backpacking loop that traverses above and below the famous Pink Cliffs at the southern edge of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Under the Rim Trail | 23 miles one way (shuttle available)
The premier backpacking route in Bryce Canyon National Park that follows the foot of the Pink Cliffs through the southern reaches of the park.
Things to Know
Pack your daypack.
It’s very important that you’re well prepared before setting out for a day on Bryce Canyon’s hiking trails. Be sure to pack adequate clothing, sun protection, snacks and more than enough water. Some trails traverse steep and rocky slopes, so you’ll want to wear sturdy hiking boots.
Connect Bryce Canyon’s Trails
One of the advantages of hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park is that many of the trails intersect each other and can be connected to form loops of varying distances and difficulties. For instance, the Navajo Loop, Peekaboo Loop and Queen’s Garden trails can all be combined with short excursions along connecting trails.
Winter Is A Great Time To Visit
When you imagine yourself on a Bryce Canyon getaway, you may not envision yourself wrapped up in a scarf. We don’t blame you; winter hiking is one of Bryce’s best kept secrets. For a vacation with more snow-capped views and less crowded trails, learn more about winter hiking in Bryce Canyon.
Have Your Camera Ready
While adventurous hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and canyoneers have plenty to explore in the Bryce Canyon region, the park is known for its incredible viewpoints. There is nothing quite like winding your way through the bizarre fins and hoodoos and viewing this amazing geology close up. You’ll want to have a camera at the ready on this trip.
Explore The Bryce Canyon Region
Year after year, thousands of visitors flock to Bryce Canyon National Park, unknowingly missing out on the hidden gems that are just outside the park’s borders. Whether it’s your first time visiting the park, or you’re practically a local at this point, there are new adventures in the Bryce region waiting to brighten your trip. For more inspiration, build out your itinerary with the complete Bryce Canyon trip.
Bryce Canyon Travel Tips
What’s the best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park? What should I bring? Can I camp? Read our Bryce Canyon travel tips to find out.
Dark Skies of Bryce Canyon
Utah has several certified Dark Sky Parks, with Bryce Canyon being Utah's fourth national park, and 13th location altogether, to receive dark sky certification from the International Dark-Sky Association.
Things To Do in Bryce Canyon National Park
Camp, hike, dine, stargaze, snowshoe and ski among Bryce’s notable hoodoos. With so many things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park year-round, narrowing down your itinerary will be hard.
Well-prepared travel is responsible travel.
Do your part by planning ahead
10 Best Hikes In Utah's Scenic Bryce Canyon National Park
Posted: July 8, 2023 | Last updated: July 8, 2023
Utah is home to five National Parks and over 43 state parks (but not all are worthy of being named among the top parks in Utah ). Unsurprisingly, it has become the ultimate destination for adventurous travelers aiming to discover natural wonders, such as Bryce Canyon, often described as a geological masterpiece that can rival the otherworldly landscapes in adventurous spots like Death Valley National Park and its epic hikes .
Bryce Canyon National Park spans an area of over 35,000 acres. While it may not be as extensive as some other national parks, it compensates with its unique geological formations, including towering hoodoos, eroded rock formations, and vibrant hues. Visitors can expect countless viewpoints and an array of hikes open year-round perfect for amateurs and experienced hikers. Out of all the things to expect when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park , these hikes come top of the list.
Related: This State Offers The Best Hiking In The Country
The Rim Trail
Travelers aiming to have an experience that combines an easy hike and stunning views should consider the Rim Trail, one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Bryce Canyon National Park. It starts in the south at Bryce Point, stretching 5.5 miles towards the north to Fairyland Point. This path is filled with impressive geological formations, including iconic hoodoos and amphitheaters.
Travelers can expect a leisurely stroll, numerous viewpoints, and opportunities to capture memorable photographs. Whether admiring the sunrise or sunset, the Rim Trail is one of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park, as it showcases the park's breathtaking beauty, making it an accessible and rewarding adventure for visitors of all ages.
- Length: 5.5 miles
- Duration: 1-3 hours
- Difficulty : Easy
RELATED: These Are 10 Of The Best Spots To Explore In The Greater Grand Canyon Area
Sunset Point To Sunrise Point Hike
National Parks are often excellent places to enjoy the sunset or the sunrise. The Sunset Point to Sunrise hike is an easy trail leading to prominent viewpoints within the park and is widely considered to be one of the best hikes in the US for catching the sunset or sunrise.
The path is paved, making it easy for people with children, and it’s also dog-friendly, but pets must walk only on paved surfaces. This short tail gives hikers a glimpse of impressive rock formations and contrasting colors within the national park. It’s also an interesting option for visitors that don’t have much time to explore the region.
- Length: 1 mile
- Duration: One hour
The Navajo Loop Trail
The Navajo Nation is an extensive area stretching over the states of New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Within Bryce National Park, travelers can explore the Navajo Loop Trail, which starts and ends at Sunset Point. This moderated trail goes through narrow walls, and hikers can also access important landmarks in the region, including Douglas-fir trees and Thor's hammer.
Navajo Loops Trail has two sides. While the Two Bridges side remains open year-round, the Wall Street side is often closed during the winter.
- Length: 1.5 mile
- Duration: 2 hour
- Difficulty : Moderated
The Queen's Garden Trail
The Queen's Garden Trail is the most popular hiking trail in Bryce Canyon National Park for first time visitors. The path features a combination of unique rock formations and expansive views.
This hike starts at Sunrise Point, where hikers descend into the Queen's Garden. It is considered an easy trail and is commonly combined with the Navajo Loop Trail , resulting in a total distance of 2.9 miles. The hike concludes at Sunset Point.
The highlight of this hike is the sight of the Queen Victoria Hoodoo, named after the queen herself. However, the path is also adorned with other majestic rock formations.
- Length: 1.4 mile
- Duration: 2 hours
RELATED: Destination Utah: 10 Incredible Things To Experience During The Summer At Park City
The Fairyland Loop Trail
Experienced hikers seeking a challenge should consider the captivating Fairyland Loop Trail, which could perhaps rival the toughest and most rewarding hikes in the world .
This 8-mile hike commences at Fairyland Point, the northernmost viewpoint within Bryce Canyon. Since no transportation is available, travelers need to walk to the starting point. Alternatively, hikers can also start the hike at the rim trail near the Tower Bridge trailhead.
The Fairyland Loop Trail presents a moderate-to-hard level of difficulty due to its length and elevation changes. It typically takes around five hours to complete, making it essential to bring water and snacks for the journey. To optimize the hiking experience , it is recommended to follow counterclockwise.
- Length: 8 miles
- Duration: 5 hours
- Difficulty : Moderated to Hard
The Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail
Hikers can begin the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail from Bryce Point, which is considered among the top hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park. This 5.5-mile loop trail showcases stunning rock formations, including the famous Wall of Windows. Descending 670 feet within Bryce Canyon, visitors hiking during the summer may also have the chance to see horses wandering around.
The trail starts and ends at Bryce Point, featuring a descent into the canyon with steep switchbacks and rewarding views. To avoid crowds and high temperatures, hikers should begin the trail early in the morning. It is important to carry sufficient water and wear sturdy footwear throughout the hike.
- Difficulty: Strenuous
Mossy Cave Trail
The Mossy Cave Trail is a unique and accessible hiking experience. This 0.9-mile trail is suitable for all skill levels and showcases a picturesque waterfall and a mossy overhang. Starting at the trailhead near the parking area, hikers can enjoy the serene beauty of the area while exploring the geological formations and the moss-covered walls.
The trail is among the most beautiful hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park and provides a refreshing escape during the hot summer months. Plus, it offers a glimpse into the park's diverse ecosystem. Remember to bring water and wear comfortable shoes.
- Length: 0.9 mile
- Duration: 1 hour
- Difficulty: Easy
RELATED: 10 Best Attractions To Explore While Visiting The Navajo Nation
The Bristlecone Loop Trail
Hikers looking for a relaxing trail should consider the Bristlecone Loop Trail. This one-mile trail goes through ancient bristlecone pine forests (some of which are over 1,800 years old) and impressive viewpoints to the Four Corners area.
The trailhead is conveniently located near Rainbow Point, the southernmost point of the park. Along the way, informative signs provide fascinating insights into the unique ecosystem and the resilience of the bristlecone pines. It's an ideal trail for a leisurely stroll, photography, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the park's natural wonders. Remember to bring water, sunscreen, and a camera.
Tower Bridge Trail
The Tower Bridge Trail is one of the best hikes Bryce Canyon National Park has in store for sightseers. It's a moderate 3.4-mile round trip trail that leads to the impressive Tower Bridge, a natural rock formation resembling a bridge. The trail offers striking views of the surrounding canyon and opportunities for exploration.
The best time to visit is during the cooler months of spring and fall, avoiding the peak summer heat. Travelers should wear sturdy shoes, carry water, and use sunscreen. The trail provides an enjoyable and memorable adventure, showcasing the unique geological features of Bryce Canyon.
- Length: 3.4 mile
- Difficulty: Moderate
The Under The Rim Trail
The Under-the-Rim Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Bryce Canyon National Park, but it is a challenging and immersive hiking experience. This hike spans approximately 23 miles, and travelers often sleep one or two nights on the trail . Hikers will encounter varying terrains and elevations, providing a true wilderness adventure.
It's important to plan and prepare accordingly, as this trail requires adequate hiking and camping gear and ample food and water supplies. The Under-the-Rim Trail allows hikers to explore the park's hidden gems and offers a more remote and rewarding journey for experienced trekkers seeking an unforgettable backcountry experience.
- Length: 23 mile
- Duration: Up to three days
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Skip the crowds: These 7 epic national parks offer wintertime fun
November 7, 2023 // By Kara Williams
By Kara Williams November 7, 2023
If you're looking to escape the crowds and peak road-trip season at one of our national parks, don't go right when school lets out for the summer. Whether you're looking for snow-capped mountains or desert glory, winter is a fabulous time to visit the parks for up-close-and-personal nature encounters. Fewer crowds can mean more meaningful experiences on the trails, in the lodges, and at the visitor centers.
In the national parks that receive bountiful snow, thrilling outdoor adventures abound. If you don't mind bundling up, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing amid pristine wilderness are awe-inspiring. On the flip side, if you're seeking an escape from wintry weather, a visit to one of the national parks in a climate that's warm year-round might fit the bill.
Here's why you should check out any of these U.S. national parks on your next winter vacation.
Yellowstone National Park
Located mainly in the northwest corner of Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park comes close to hibernating like its resident grizzlies in the winter months. With major roads closed, the best way to see Old Faithful and the park's other key geothermal features is with a guided snowmobile or snowcoach tour. Snowcoaches are heated shuttles with giant rugged tires or snowmobile tracks that can navigate the snowy terrain with ease.
Bears will likely be sleeping, but you could spot resident wolves, foxes, and bison. Don't forget binoculars! Cozy lodging options, like Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins , are great for kicking back after a day of adventuring in the snow.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Due to its high elevation, Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is a winter wonderland once the snow begins to fly in the late fall. The curvy Trail Ridge Road, which traverses the park and peaks at 12,183 feet, is closed in the winter . However, visitors can still reach dramatic scenery via snowplowed roads in Estes Park on the eastern side of the park and the Grand Lake west entrance.
Rent cross-country skis or snowshoes in either gateway town to traipse around wooded or lakeside trails while keeping eyes open for moose, elk, coyote, and bighorn sheep. You can also make a reservation for a ranger-led snowshoe walk .
Hot Springs National Park
In Arkansas, Hot Springs National Park is one of America's most accessible national parks. There's no entry fee, and its main attraction — Bathhouse Row, composed of eight restored bathing facilities originally built between 1892 and 1923 — sits on the tree-lined main avenue in downtown Hot Springs.
Don't miss the highly informative museum with fascinating artifacts and exhibits at the visitor center. Then take a relaxing and rejuvenating soak in the Buckstaff Bathhouse mineral waters just like travelers did a century ago. The steamy indoor experience is particularly inviting in the winter when it's not so sultry outside.
Bryce Canyon National Park
The rock pinnacles in Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park are magical all year round, but the orange pillars, or hoodoos, are especially otherworldly with a dusting of fresh snow under bluebird skies. Paved roads are open through the winter , so you can drive from the visitor center to viewing areas, such as Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, or Inspiration Point.
Trails can be icy with snowmelt after a winter storm, so be sure to pack traction devices for your waterproof shoes if you plan to hike. Consider the moderate 3-mile Queen's/Navajo Combination Loop for a variety of stunning canyon vistas.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
On the tropical island of Hawaii (aka "the Big Island"), Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a brilliant place to learn not only how the volcanic islands were formed millions of years ago, but also how more recent lava flows have changed the landscape of the island. Two volcanoes are still active, and if you're lucky you might even witness an eruption during your visit.
You'll need a car to efficiently take in the 523-square-mile park's rugged scenery. Stop along Crater Rim Drive for dramatic views of massive Kilauea Caldera. You also can get close to steamy vents, walk through verdant Thurston Lava Tube, and hike to petroglyphs.
Saguaro National Park
If your winter travels take you to toasty Tucson, Arizona, it's easy to dip into Saguaro National Park , which has two distinct districts on either side of the city. In either you have plenty of opportunities to see the giant saguaro cactus.
Handy hiking guides spell out options for short, easy nature walks in cactus groves as well as longer, steep treks in the wilderness. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated in the dry climate. Also watch for rattlesnakes along the trail, as well as honeybees that build their hives in cactus cavities.
Joshua Tree National Park
Temperatures at California's Joshua Tree National Park can soar to 100 degrees in the summer. Winter temps are cooler and better suited for daytime exploration of the desert landscape. The park is named for the funky-looking yucca tree with gnarled branches and leaves that look fuzzy from afar but are actually quite sharp and spiky.
Joshua Tree is wildly popular among rock climbers, with more than 8,000 climbing routes and 2,000 boulder problems. If you prefer not to leave the ground, consider a scenic drive through the park, a ranger-led tour of historic Keys Ranch, or hiking in the Black Rock Area . The remote area is also a magnificent place to stargaze .
About Kara Williams
Kara Williams aims to visit all the continental U.S. national parks. As of this writing, her goal is two-thirds complete.
Read more about Kara Williams here.
Connect with Kara via: Website | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn
The 10 Most Instagrammed National Parks In the US, Ranked
The most Instagrammed national parks in the US have been posted the most and are loved for their fun adventures.
- Gateway Arch National Park is the most Instagrammed national park in the US, with 11,221 hashtagged posts and 123 hashtags per acre.
- Bryce Canyon National Park is ranked among the most Instagrammed national parks, with 728,221 hashtagged posts and 20.3 hashtags per acre.
- Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the US, with 579,344 hashtagged posts and 12.1 hashtags per acre.
The United States National Parks System is the most celebrated globally, and with 62 spaces to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to go. The country is home to some of the most beautiful national parks to visit around the world . Places like Yosemite National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the best U.S. national parks to visit this winter , are among the most popular, visited by travelers and influencers. The most Instagrammed national parks in the US have been posted the most and are loved for their fun adventures. Here are the bucket-list spots not to miss.
This list of the USA’s most Instagrammed national parks is based on recent research by Places to Travel , whose findings are based on hashtags per acre. The travel website put each park’s size to come up with the results.
Related: 10 Underrated US National Parks To Visit In 2023
10 Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri, A National Monument
11,221 hash-tagged instagram posts, 123 hashtags per acre.
Initially referred to as “The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial,” the Gateway Arch National Park dates back to 1935 when the National Park Service dedicated it to honoring Thomas Jefferson’s vision to unify the continental United States. Situated near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the park comprises the Gateway Arch, the St. Louis’ Old Courthouse, and the Museum of Westward Expansion. With 123 hashtags per acre, the new study revealed that Gateway Arch National Park is the most Instagrammed national park in the US.
- Number Of Hashtags: 11,221
- Space covered: 90.9 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 123
- Dating back to 1935
- When construction started and completed: 1963 and 1965, respectively
- Best time to visit: Winter (January and February are the best months to visit)
9 Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Is Known For Its Endless Vistas
Boasts 728,221 hash-tagged instagram posts and 20.3 hashtags per acre.
Stretching over 35,835-acre of space, Bryce Canyon National Park is ranked among the most Instagrammed national parks in the US , thanks to a higher value of hashtags per acre that surpasses some of the most popular destinations like Yellowstone National Park, one of America's oldest national parks to visit in the summer . The park is loved for its breathtaking natural scenery and multiple adventure opportunities, including hiking and rock climbing. There are numerous scenic overlooks to take in the spectacular views of the park: Bryce Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point.
- Number of hashtagged Instagram posts: 728,221
- Size of the park: 35,835
- Hashtags per acre: 20.3
- Best time to visit: Summer, but winter and fall are the best seasons to avoid crowds
8 Acadia National Park, Maine, Dubbed The Crown Jewel Of The North Atlantic Coast
Has 579,344 hashtagged posts on instagram, 12.1 hashtags per acre.
Covering a space of 47,748 acres, Acadia National Park is dubbed by the National Park Service “North Atlantic Coast’s Crown Jewel,” and it’s not so hard to see why. One of the most beautiful national parks in the US , the park’s over half a million hashtagged posts and 12.1 hashtags per acre made it to the list of America’s most Instagrammed national parks. Famous for its majestic mountains and amazing wildlife, Acadia gives access to numerous outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, biking, and more.
- Number of hashtagged posts on Instagram: 579,344
- Hashtags per acre: 12.1
- Space covered: 47,748 acres
- Best time to visit: Fall and Winter
7 Zion National Park, Utah, Famous For Remarkable Hiking And Rock-Climbing Trails
Has 1,428,038 hashtagged instagram posts and 9.7 hashtags per acre.
Home to Zion Canyon, which stretches for 15 miles, Zion National Park is home to some of the most incredible hiking trails in the country, and whether a beginner or looking for a more challenging route to explore, there are plenty of options to choose from. Covering 146,597 acres, Zion is incredibly stunning; it’s no wonder so many people have Instagrammed its natural scenery. Rock climbing is also a major activity here, with many areas to experience. One can also take a helicopter tour of the park and try its scenic drives.
- Number of hashtagged Instagram posts: 1,428, 038
- Space covered: 146,597 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 9.7
- Best time to visit: Late spring and early fall
6 Arches National Park, Utah, Home To The World’s Highest Concentration Of Natural Stone Arches
Has 669,062 hashtagged posts on instagram, 8.7 hashtags per acre.
Covering a space of 76,519 acres, it boasts some unique and magnificent rock formations, including more than 2,000 natural stone arches, balanced rocks, and hoodoos, among others; Arches National Park is a site to behold. There are plenty of fun activities, such as biking, hiking, rock climbing, and camping. Its elevation ranges between 4,085 and 5,653 feet. This is an incredible destination for families who want to enjoy various outdoor adventures that come with magnificent views.
- Number of hashtagged Instagram posts: 669,062
- Space covered: 76,519 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 8.7
- Best time to visit: April and May, September and October
Related: Utah's Rare Double Arch Is Also The Highest Arch In The State (Here's How Best To See It)
5 Haleakala National Park, Hawaii, Also Known As The “House Of The Sun”
Boasts 261,253 hash-tagged instagram posts, and 8.65 hashtags per acre.
With 261,253 hashtagged Instagram posts and 8.65 hashtags per acre, Haleakala National Park is one of the most Instagrammed national parks in the U.S. It comes with plenty of sightseeing and fun adventures, including watching sunrises and sunsets above the clouds, hiking to Haleakala Crater, backcountry camping, stargazing, or enjoying the view of the crater from some of the park’s most scenic overlooks, including Kalahaku and Leleiwi Overlooks. This park is also brimming with impressive waterfalls and lush forests to explore.
- Number of hashtagged posts: 261,253
- Space covered: 30,183 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 8.65
- Best time to visit: Late fall and winter
4 Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, Boasts An Incredible Blend Of History And Nature
Has a total of 47,815 hash-tagged posts on instagram and 8.61 hashtags per acre.
Stretching over 5,550 acres of space, Hot Springs National Park has 47,815 hashtagged posts and 8.61 hashtags per acre and comes with unique experiences that tourists wouldn’t want to miss. The park is home to some of the natural hot springs in the U.S. to visit in summer , which have attracted people for several centuries. Whether a lover of mountain vistas, incredible hikes through forests, waterfalls, or other amazing geological features, this park has it all and guarantees memorable experiences.
- Number of hashtags: 47,815
- Space covered: 5,550 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 8.61
- Best time to visit: August to October and February to April
3 Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana, A Unique US Destination With Amazing Adventures, No Matter The Season
Boasts 92,337 hashtagged posts on instagram and 6 hashtags per acre.
Indiana Dunes National Park is loved for its multiple outdoor opportunities, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the cold season and hiking and swimming in the hot season. Want to spend some time relaxing on the dunes? Try fishing or camping. Vacationers will never fall short of exciting things to do in the park, no matter the time of the year. It’s no wonder it’s among the most Instagrammed national parks in the US. Indiana Dunes National Park boasts 92,337 hashtagged posts on Instagram and 6 hashtags per acre.
- Number of hash-ragged Instagram posts: 92,337
- Space covered: 15,349 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 6
- Best Time to visit: Spring and Fall
2 Yosemite National Park, California, A Perfect Outdoor Retreat
Over 3,404,670 hashtags on instagram, 4.5 hashtags per acre.
Whether visiting California in summer, winter, fall, or spring, Yosemite National Park will never disappoint, and the 3,404,670 hashtagged posts on Instagram prove how popular and loved it is among many adventurers. The number of Instagram posts also makes it California’s most Instagram-able tourist destination. The park has numerous must-see sites, Yosemite Valley being the most visited. The valley boasts incredibly attractive features of the park, including the El-Capitan, which is among the reasons the park is considered one of the top rock-climbing destinations in the U.S. The valley is also home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in the park. Other sites to visit include Wawona and Hetch-Hetchy.
- Number of Instagram Hashtags: 3,404,670
- Size: 759,620 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 4.5
- Best time to visit: Summer (for the most splendid weather and attractions)
- Top attractions in the park: El-Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls
Related: Here's How Busy Yosemite Is In Winter (& Why You Should Visit)
1 National Park Of American Samoa, American Samoa, Stretches Over 13,500 Acres
Has a total of 59,542 hash-tagged instagram posts, 4.4 hashtags per acre.
Located about 2,600 air miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is one of the most Instagrammed national parks in the US, based on hashtags per acre. The park’s 4,000 acres are underwater, which is why it is a popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers who come to explore its impressive underwater world. Situated right in the heart of the South Pacific, this unique tropical destination might have the facilities found in other national parks but is worth exploring.
- Number of hashtagged posts: 59,453
- Total amount of space: 13,500 acres
- Hashtags per acre: 4.4
- Fun activities: Snorkeling, Scuba diving
- Best time to visit: Between April and October