Located in southern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its crimson-colored spire-shaped rock formations, called hoodoos. Visitors to the park enjoy the dramatic views of the rocks’ red, orange, and white colors with a lot to explore throughout the Canyon.
About Death Valley
Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the magnificent landscape of Death Valley is characterized by miles of sand dunes, colorful rock formations, endemic wildlife, unique evaporative elements, and towering peaks that rise 11,000 feet above its neighboring valleys. Located on the border of the Great Basin Desert and the Mojave Desert, the desert valley is a fascinating feature of southern California. This national park covers 5,270 3.4 million acres, extending into Nevada, and is the largest in the Lower 48 states.
There’s no better time to visit Death Valley than on a new moon or during the Death Valley Astronomy Festival in February, which occurs each year.
Are Dogs Allowed in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Yes, the dogs are allowed in Bryce Canyon National Park but only to the limit of paved paths. Bryce Canyon is home to wildlife, including migrating birds, lizards, rabbits, and other wildlife. To protect them, it is advised that visitors must respect wildlife and keep their dogs at a distance. Therefore, pets can only be carried along the paved paths, roads within the park, campgrounds, and the Rim Trail which is between the Sunrise and Sunset points in Bryce Canyon National Park.
15 Things to Do at Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is simply huge. To explore the entire Canyon, you’ll probably need a couple of days. For an amazing experience in Bryce Canyon, here are some great things to do in Bryce Canyon.
1. The very first thing you should do is to visit the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center after 8 a.m. for a map and ask a park ranger any questions you might have. This would save you from any inconvenience during your trip.
2. Death Valley’s Sand Dunes and Salt Flats are worth exploring. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are within Death Valley’s borders and are one of the most famous sand dunes in the country. Do not miss out on catching up on the beauty of these sand dunes.
3. Enjoy Death Valley’s seasonally blooming wildflowers. It is renowned for stunning displays of wildflowers in spring, but not every year. Wildflowers cover the desert in purple, gold, pink, and white when ideal conditions are met.
4. Viewing the sunrise at Bryce Point is one of the best things to do there. The time of day is not exactly ideal, especially if you are on the road. However, the view will make it worthwhile. This is one of the highest points along the edge of the Bryce Amphitheatre where you can view hoodoos with a variety of shapes.
5. It’s hard to think of a better way to experience the otherworldly beauty of Bryce Canyon than hiking. Whether you are an avid hiker or not, you should take the time to explore one or two trails when you are in Bryce Canyon.
6. Explore the Navajo Loop Trail during your trip. One of the most popular hikes in Bryce Canyon is the Navajo Loop Trail, where you can see the towering hoodoos closely and take great photos among the towering hoodoos.
7. Take a drive up to Inspiration Point. The Inspiration Point overlook is just a short drive from Navajo Loop Trail. Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail are accessible from here as well as the stunning Bryce Amphitheater.
8. Check out the Natural Bridge. This natural arch can be seen up close by simply pulling off the trail. 125 feet high and 85 feet long, this arch is a remarkable sight.
9. Towards the North – There are bowl-shaped amphitheaters carved by rain and melting snow on the Paunsagunt Plateau, which drains to the Paria River and then the Colorado River. The sight is worth seeing!
10. Towards the East – Here, the Paria River valley exposes the marine shales of the Grey Cliffs and, to the south, the sandstones of the White Cliffs beneath the limey mudstones of the Pink Cliffs of Bryce Canyon.
11. Towards the West – Peaks of the Black Mountains can be seen here across the Paunsagunt Plateau, and further off can be seen the Tushar mountains. In this area, river waterfalls upon a forested plateau and instead drains north and west along the Sevier River, towards Nevada.
12. Towards the South – A good place to see the views to the south is on the Bristlecone Loop Trail or across the parking lot at Yovimpa Point.
13. A trip to Bryce Canyon isn’t complete without seeing the hoodoos along the Rim Trail. From the top of the amphitheater, a path winds its way along, with stunning views all around. With your admission fee to the park, you will have access to the Rim Trail.
14. Go for the Park’s Scenic Drive. There are 13 viewpoints along the park’s 38-mile scenic drive (round-trip). Along the way, you can enjoy hiking trails, ranger programs, and picnic areas.
15. Stargazing. Due to its high elevation, clear air, and lack of light pollution, Bryce Canyon National Park is an ideal place for stargazing. It is recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as an official International Dark Sky Park. Don’t forget to experience stargazing in Bryce Canyon while you are there.
Horseback Riding Bryce Canyon
After you arrive at Bryce Canyon, please find the horse corral between Sunrise Point and The Lodge at Bryce Canyon. When you arrive at the corral, some cowboys will welcome you and assign you the horse or mules that best suit your needs. As you leave Sunrise Point, your animal and you will make your way down into the Canyon. During the ride, you will be informed of Bryce Canyon’s history and geology by local cowboys. Take pictures as you ride and experience the Canyon up close.
This 2-hour tour will make a loop once it reaches the floor of Bryce Canyon and continues to wind its way up to the rim, taking in even more rock formations along the way. A three-hour horseback ride would be an even more joyful and unforgettable experience if this 2-hour trip sounds exciting to you. A three-hour drive takes you straight into the heart of Bryce Canyon.
Places to See in Bryce Canyon
Here are a few amazing places in Bryce Canyon you should definitely not miss out on visiting.
- Sunrise and Sunset Point
- Fairview Point
- Bryce Point
1. Sunrise and Sunset Point
Visitors can view well-known formations such as Silent City and Thor’s Hammer from Sunrise Point, located near the park visitor center. The Clarion Formation is vividly colored here, and hikers can reach Sunrise Point by taking the Navajo Loop Trail, which takes them to 700-year-old Douglas fir trees. Sunrise’s highlights are Boat Mesa and Sinking Ship, along with an exposed limber pine. There is a 1.1-mile trail connecting Sunrise Point and Sunset Point. It’s one of the few dog-friendly trails in national parks, but your pet must be leashed.
2. Fairview Point
Fairview’s overlook offers breathtaking views of many of the Grand Canyon’s most famous rock formations, including North Rim. The Grand Canyon offers spectacular views from the North Rim to the South Rim, from the Aquarius Plateau to the Kaiparowits Plateau to Molly’s Nipple, and even glimpses of the Kaibab Plateau near the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Explore the Grand Staircase and its numerous layers as you observe hoodoos, fins, and caps.
3. Bryce Point
Especially at sunrise, when the hoodoos are positioned to catch the morning light, this is the place to take in the views of the park’s amphitheater. This point marks the beginning of the Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail. Are you a hard-core backpacker? In its 23 miles, the Under-the-Rim trail crosses hoodoos, boulder fields, creeks, and scenic ridgelines from Bryce Point in the park’s northern end to Rainbow Point in its southern end. Hiking the entire trail requires a backcountry permit and three to four days.
Rainbow Point Bryce Canyon National Park
Rainbow Point offers visitors a clear view of the Pink Cliffs, which are the material from which the Hoodoos were created. In times of high water, small streams and tributaries of the Paria River erode inward, creating amphitheaters among the cliffs. A step on the much larger Grand Staircase is all that the Pink Cliffs of Bryce are.
As the park’s two highest viewpoints, Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point reach a height of 9,115 feet. Make sure you walk to Yovimpa Point before you leave Rainbow Point. The Grand Staircase sequence of rock layers can be seen here, one of the best places to view it. By visiting Rainbow and Yovimpa Points, visitors can develop an appreciation for Bryce Canyon National Park’s unique beauty and gain a deeper understanding of the park’s landscape and landforms.
How much time do you need at Bryce Canyon?
In spite of the small size of this park, you can see all the best viewpoints and hike one of the long trails if you stay for two days. Make sure to stay at least two to three nights if you want to hike.
Can I drive through Bryce Canyon?
Yes, you can. The All-American Road, Hwy 12, cuts across the northern part of Bryce Canyon National Park, providing access to the area. In addition to the visitor center, the campgrounds and all of the park’s scenic overlooks can be found on Highway 63, which drops south from Highway 12 and runs through the park’s main part.
What is the best time of year to visit Bryce Canyon?
May through September is the best time to visit Bryce National Park. This period not only offers the warmest weather of the year but also provides plenty of ranger-related activities. Also, October through April brings the best weather of the year. So, during this time too, the Canyon has its own charms.
Bryce Canyon National Park offers breathtaking views everywhere you look. Depending on the amount of time and the level of physical activity you have, you can explore hoodoo-filled areas deeply or observe them from above. You will see so many beautiful views, so make sure you take your camera wherever you go in Bryce Canyon.