Bryce Canyon National Park is quite popular for its spectacular beauty, hikes, and camping. Locals of the country, as well as tourists, love to explore the Bryce Canyon National Park and camp here for days. Bryce Canyon National Park is a wide sea of hoodoos, spread through the entire park and naturally colored in red, orange, and gold. People specially visit the place to take views of sunrise and sunsets.
One question that is often asked about Bryce Canyon is about camping. People are often interested to know “Is camping allowed in Bryce Canyon?”. Here’s the answer. Yes. Bryce Canyon National Park, being an amazing piece of beauty and holding lots to explore welcomes its visitors and campers to stay, camp, and praise the beauty. There are two main campgrounds; North Campground and Sunset Campground, which are to be covered further in this article.
In this very article, we’re going to help our readers know the most about camping in Bryce Canyon. The campgrounds, their locations and things to do near and outside of Bryce canyon are all to be mentioned ahead.
What is Backcountry Camping?
Backcountry camping involves camping in isolated or remote places, or more specifically, where camping isn’t much common and groups who plan for backcountry camping have to be self-sufficient. In short, camping in the backcountry usually involves hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, or paddling your equipment into a remote campsite.
The best way to explore the outdoors is by camping in the backcountry, where you get off the beaten path, away from traffic and people, and closer to wild animals and nature.
However, in case of weather or emergency, you must be prepared to use only what you have in your backpack.
Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park
The North and Sunset campgrounds are the two main campgrounds located in Bryce Canyon National Park. Located near the Bryce Canyon Lodge, Visitor Center, and the main Bryce Amphitheater, they are ideally positioned. During peak season, North Campground accepts first-come, first-serve reservations and Sunset Campground accepts six-months rolling reservations.
Bryce Canyon’s most famous hikes and hoodoos can be found on the Rim Trail within walking distance from the Sunset Campground. As well as being able to camp along the rim, you will also enjoy a bit of privacy, as the site is laid out in a loop and lots of vegetation separates the sites.
Having a summer dump station, water access, restrooms, and a summer dump station makes camping here easy and convenient. During peak season, you can expect the camping area to be full of RVs, tents, and walk-ins and that might be the reason you’ll enjoy it even more. The place leaves you jaw-dropped with its amazing views and colors.
Sunset Point makes it easy to watch the sunset behind the hoodoos. And the best part, you can grab some ice cream from North Campground’s general store and enjoy! There are also some shade trees, restrooms, and firepits available for RV wranglers, tent campers, and groups.
If you’re planning your camping trip to the North campground of Bryce Canyon, we would say don’t forget to enjoy the famous Bryce Canyon night sky by putting out your fire a bit before you retire at a spot along the rim.
Campgrounds Near Bryce Canyon National Park
Here are a few campgrounds near Bryce Canyon Park that you must check out for an amazing camping experience.
- Bryce Canyon National Park North Campground
- Bryce National Park Sunset Campground
- Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground
- Bryce Canyon Pines Campground
- King Creek Campground in Dixie National Forest
- Kodachrome Basin State Park
- Red Canyon Campground
1. Bryce Canyon National Park North Campground
About – The very best option is to camp in Bryce Canyon National Park in the North Campground. This campground gives you easy access to the Rim Trail, which is the most popular hiking trail in the Canyon. To get the most out of Bryce Canyon, the best place to stay is preferably the North Campground.
The campground sits at 8,900 feet above sea level, so the temperature up here is much cooler than in some of the nearby areas. The Bryce Canyon National Park can experience snow through late April or even into May, with overnight temperatures often plunging below freezing even in summers.
Located near rolling hills and surrounded by pine trees, the North Campground has a woodsy, almost backcountry feel. Sites here are pretty much spacious and are well separated from each other. Even though the large trees don’t provide much privacy on the ground, the hills separate the property.
Tips for Camping Here:
- Make sure you arrive here as early as possible because the sites in this campground are all first-come, first served.
- There’s almost no internet connection and cell phones often have weak signals. Make sure you come prepared.
- Do not forget your winter wears. The campground is at a great height, so the temperature often remains cold.
Exact Address – Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764, United States
- The campground has 99 sites.
- Toilets and showers are available, as well as laundry facilities.
- Nearby is a small grocery store and snack bar.
Current Situation – Open. Remains open year-round.
2. Bryce National Park Sunset Campground
About – Sunset Campground has a similar setting to North Campground, minus the hills, and is centrally located within the park and close to trailheads at Sunset Point. In addition, the location is closer to the main road, but since that is a park road, traffic isn’t an issue after sunset, when all of the tourists have finished sightseeing.
Located 1.5 miles from the park’s Visitor Center, the campground is situated at an elevation of 8,000 feet. There are many hiking and photography opportunities at Bryce Amphitheater’s Sunrise and Sunset Points, located at the heart of this geologic wonder. Furthermore, the campground has a total of 110 sites which are available from May 20th to October 15th, and reservations are made on a six-month rolling basis.
Tips for Camping Here:
- Arrive as early as possible because this campground also provides sites on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Visit ‘Sunset Point’ while you’re staying at this campground and enjoy the beautiful views of the sunset.
Exact Address – Located in the west of Sunset Point, about 1.5 miles on south of the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
- The campground has a central location in the park.
- A total of 4 loops are available.
- A shuttle stop is located at the entrance to increase accessibility.
Current Situation – Opens from mid of April till November.
3. Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground
About – The closest community to the park, Bryce Canyon City, is the Ruby’s Inn, located less than three miles from the park entrance. This is the next best place to set up camp if you cannot find one in the park. The property backs up to a natural area despite being close to the city. Large, well-spaced campsites are available mainly in forests with tall pine trees at their bases. The best thing, is there is plenty of space for RVs to park.
One thing that is most appreciated is that there are a variety of camping options available at Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground. Their camping facilities can accommodate tents and RVs, but they also offer teepee rentals and cabin rentals. They also operate the Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn in addition to the campground. So, you have a lot of options for camping and the amazing Ruby’s Inn as well.
Tips for Camping Here:
- Arrive early to camp at the best site out of 250 total campsites.
- Wake up early to enjoy the best views.
Exact Address – 300 S Main St, Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764, United States
- In addition to the restrooms and showers, there is a heated outdoor swimming pool as well.
- There is also an on-site general store.
- There are 250 camping spots at Ruby’s, with electric, water, and full hookups. Tent campsites and group sites are also available.
Current Situation – Open. Opens from 1st April till 31st October.
4. Bryce Canyon Pines Campground
About – Another good camping option near the park is Bryce Canyon Pines Campground. On one side of the highway is Bryce Canyon Pines, which includes a campground, a store, and a restaurant. On the other side is Bryce Canyon Pines Motel.
Everything you need is right there, despite it being on its own. At a height of 7,600 feet, the elevation here is considerably lower than in the park, yet still high and with cool temperatures at night.
There are plenty of large sites spread out between enormous pine trees at the campground. There are full hookup sites for RVs as well. You can rough it out in Bryce Canyon Pines if you like sleeping under the stars or in a tent.
Tips for Camping Here:
- Find a site under the pine trees. You’ll enjoy the real beauty of tall pines, the night sky, and the stars.
- Enjoy food at the restaurant across the street.
Exact Address – UT-12, Bryce, UT 84764, USA
- Group sites are available for tent campers.
- A swimming pool, hot tub, restrooms, and laundry are available.
Current Situation – Open. Opens from late May till late October.
5. King Creek Campground in Dixie National Forest
About – Camping is available at King Creek Campground, located near the East Fork of the Sevier River and the Tropic Reservoir, in a ponderosa pine forest. You might want to check out King Creek Campground in Dixie National Forest if you want to be close to Bryce Canyon National Park but not too far.
It offers a great opportunity to see wildlife and enjoy peace and quiet in the midst of a forest of ponderosa pines behind the lovely Tropic Reservoir. It is a popular destination for boating, canoeing, fishing for trout, and access to nearby ATV trails.
The campground is located about nine miles west of Bryce Canyon National Park. The road leading to the campground is improved now and hence, easily accessible. Certain sites in this campground are also accessible by paved sidewalks.
Tips for Camping Here:
- Make sure you go fishing and boating to get the most out of your trip
- Pack out all your garbage because you won’t find any garbage disposal.
Exact Address – The East Fork Road No. 087 leads to the campground. At the King Creek Campground sign, turn right on road 572. Travel around Tropic Reservoir following this road. You will find the campground on the west side.
- There are large, private campsites here.
- The individual campsites are first-come, first-served.
- Two isolated group campsites are available for advance reservations.
- Several amenities are available on-site, including flush toilets and a host.
Current Situation – Closed. Opens from late May till early September.
6. Kodachrome Basin State Park
About – A high alpine plateau east of Bryce National Park gives way to the classic Great Basin Desert: rolling hills covered by various trees and framed by colorful cliffs, the result of Jurassic geology. This section of Utah’s canyon country is home to the little-known Kodachrome Basin State Park. This little park is worth a stay all on its own, with its orange and cream-colored stone spires.
Bryce Canyon gets a fraction of a national park’s traffic while still maintaining its wow factor because the majority of the tourists stop here at the end of exploring the country and never venture further east. The Park consists of vast campsites surrounded by spectacular rocky peaks and towering fossilized “spring pipes.” There are even cozy cabins available for rent if you prefer to stay in one. This site is only 30 minutes away from the Bryce Canyon National Park.
Tips for Camping Here:
- Visit all three campgrounds here.
- It’s best if you could come first and serve first, but if you plan an evening arrival, and make an advance reservation.
- Because this park is so popular, it’s best to reserve a site in advance.
Exact Address – Fifteen miles to the east of Bryce Canyon National Park, US.
- There are 47 campsites including grills, picnic tables, and fire pits
- Divided into three campgrounds: Basin, Bryce View, and Arch. In total, there are 48 campsites, plus one group site with full hookups.
- There are standard and full hookup sites available at the campground in the basin, the largest of the three campgrounds.
Current Situation – Open. Opens in early March till the end of November.
7. Red Canyon Campground
About – Red Canyon Campground is located outside of Bryce Canyon in the Dixie National Forest, just a short drive away from the National Park. The town is located at the bottom of Red Canyon, whose cliffs are dotted with rocky pinnacles like its neighbor, Bryce Canyon.
A number of amenities are available at the campground, with a quieter atmosphere than one found at a front-country camping area. Many trails in the National Forest can be accessed from the campground. Even guided ATV tours are available in the canyons’ wider areas, which are covered with packed gravel.
Red Canyon offers a unique beauty that campers can enjoy when exploring Bryce Canyon. Several trails leave from this campground, and this is a popular campground for hiking and enjoying the surrounding scenery. Just two minutes west of the campground is the Red Canyon Visitor Center, which offers information about the area. So, you may visit if the need be.
Tips for Camping Here:
- Do explore the campground on your visit. You’ll find a lot of scenery and sites to explore.
- If you’re a biker, go mountain biking. If you’re a hiker, go hiking through this campground.
Exact Address – On SR12, about 4 miles east of US 89.
- The campground offers 35 sites with flush toilets as well as coin-operated showers.
- Picnic tables and grills are also available, but no hookups.
Current Situation – Closed. Opens from May 1st till October 1st.
How much does it cost to camp in Bryce Canyon?
Generally, in Bryce Canyon National Park, RV campsites cost around $30 per night for one site. While Tents cost around $20 per night for one site.
Can you camp for free in Bryce Canyon?
Yes. You can also camp for free in Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon National Park has four popular FREE camping areas within an easy drive. These are:
- East Fork Road
- Dave’s Hollow
- Tom’s Best Spring Road
- Corral hollow
Bryce Canyon North or Sunset Campground?
Both the campgrounds are equally popular and have a lot to offer to their visitors. Also, both the campgrounds provide camping sites on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, make sure you come first and grab the best site available.
For North Campground, 13 RV sites are available on reservation policy while 86 RV and tent sites can be accessed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For Sunset Campground, one group site and 21 tent sites are available for reservations while 80 RV and tent sites can be grabbed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Things to Do Outside of Bryce Canyon
In addition to a lot to be explored inside of Bryce Canyon, there’s a lot more outside as well. Here’s a quick review of things you shouldn’t miss out on if you have time while you’re on your trip to Bryce Canyon.
- Scenic Byway 12 is a beautiful drive. Do take a long drive. On the way, you will see red and grey canyons, orange tunnels, and scary drop-offs that will definitely frighten you. Considering how impressive it is, you’ll probably want to drive again.
- View Bryce’s hoodoos at night. It’s one thing to see Bryce during the day. However, seeing it at night is even eerier, especially when the moon is full. During the day, hoodoos look like human-like rocks but come alive in the near-dark when long lunar shadows make them feel like they’re moving.
- Nearby Angel’s Palace makes for a great hike. There are breathtaking views of the surrounding park and ledges along with the 1.5-mile Angel’s Palace of Kodachrome trail that will keep you on your toes.
- Test your skills on Bull Valley Gorge. The deep and technical slot is all but impossible without a rope, ideal conditions, and a hiking partner. There is a one-mile round trip, but it is extremely difficult. It is five miles from Willis Creek.
- Take a swim in Lower Calf Creek Falls. You’ll enjoy a picnic in the shade of canyon walls and swim in this 126-foot waterfall and swimming hole for as long as possible.
Things You Need to Bring for Camping
For a camping trip, you must have all the essentials with you. They must include emergency tools, first aids, different types of clothing layers, food, water, and a lot more. Here’s a quick list of things you MUST and SHOULD carry along on a camping trip.
- Sleeping bags and sleeping pillows
- Food and water
- Charged mobile phones and power-banks
- Camp rugs
- First aid box
There could be hundreds of things you would need on your camping trips, depending upon where you plan to camp and in what way. So, decide accordingly.
Bryce Canyon Camping – Final Words
Your Bryce Canyon vacation wouldn’t be complete without a camping trip. The campgrounds at Bryce Canyon offer RV hookups and are surrounded by Ponderosa Pine forests. You can enjoy an incredible view of Red Canyons and Bryce Canyon Park every morning as you wake up to the scent of pine. Get a true sense of Bryce Canyon’s beauty!