Plan a Trip Zion to Bryce Canyon: Complete Guide to Utah

If you want to enjoy the hike in Utah’s national parks and visit the USA, then the two national parks, Zion national park and Bryce canyon national parks the best thing for you. This is the largest place for hoodoos in the world. It is a type of erosion that occurs when rainfall dissolves a particular rock type, and something called frost wedging causes it to grow vertically.

The distance between Zion and Bryce Canyon is 75 miles and it would take you around one hour and 30 minutes to get there. So if you are planning a trip to Utah, you should surely visit Zion and Bryce national park and experience the best hikes in the world here.

Where to stay between Zion National park?

There is a wide variety of accommodation in these two national parks for you. If you are an adventurous person who loves camping, you can do it, or if you are someone who likes to have a comfortable time, then there are resorts too, so you can stay there and enjoy your vacations.

Zion National Park

Most of the national parks are in very remote areas where you won’t find any population, but Zion national park has a town near it so, you won’t have to worry about accommodations here. But if you are planning to come here, book the hotels three months before; otherwise, you might not get any hotel free.

Some accommodations inside the park, but you need to book them 6 months before your arrival.

Zion National Park

Places to Stay in Zion national park

  • If you want to live in the Zion national park, then Zion lodge is the only hotel in this national park.
  • The other accommodation for the visitors of Zion national park is the Watchman campground at the southern entrance of the park, but if you want to stay here, you have to book your accommodation 6 months before your trip.
  • The third place to live near Zion national park is the South campground. It is the other best place to live near Springdale, Utah. You can reserve your place here 14 days in advance.

Hotel Outside the Zion National Park

  • If you are looking for a luxurious place to live in Springdale, then Cliffrose Lodge is the best place for you.
  • If your priority is to save the amount and look for a budget resort, you should stay in the driftwood lodge. 

Places to Stay in the Bryce National Park

There is a very small town near Bryce national park, which provides you with places to stay near Bryce national park, but the thing to look carefully here is that it is very crowded and if you want to stay here you have to book your trip for one year in advance.

  • If you want to live in Bryce national park, the most convenient accommodation will be the lodge at Bryce national park.
  • The other place to live in the Bryce national park is the North campground, and it is open all year for visitors. The places are allocated based on the first-come, first-serve rule.
  • The third place and the most romantic place to live in the Bryce national park is the Sunset campground, but you have to book the place six months before your visit.

Places to stay outside Bryce national park.

Zion to Bryce Canyon

Zion to Bryce Canyon

If you are in Utah and want to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon, then you should know what the distance between these two parks is and how much time it will take to be from one park to the other because after knowing these details, you will be able to plan your trip more efficiently.

If you are driving from Zion national park to Bryce national park, it will take almost two hours to reach you at your destination, and the distance between these two parks is approximately 85 miles. But I am sure that the scenes you will see in this ride will not be forgotten in your life.

Why Visit Zion National Park?

If you want to know why you should visit Zion National park, you should know that this is the most scenic place in the USA, and millions of people come to see the star gaze and look at the Milkyway in this national park. In this area, there are the most scenic views in the world.

This mountain range has hoodoos, some special formations of the rocks, creating beautiful sceneries for visitors. In Utah, these are the largest Hoodoos you won’t find in any other place in the world. We assure you that you won’t forget this experience your whole life once you visit this place.

Zion National Park Factfile

  • During the late 1800s, Mormon pioneers were among the first Anglo-European settlers. The area was named Zion, which means refuge or sanctuary in ancient Hebrew.
  • In 1909, President William Howard Taft protected Mukuntuweap National Monument, the predecessor of Zion National Park. Zion was the name given to the park after its expansion after 10 years. Featuring spectacular red rock scenery, the park today covers 229 square miles.
  • Zion Canyon was initially inhabited by the Anasazi civilization, which flourished around 1,500 B.C. Throughout the park, you can still see rock art and sandstone villages.
  • It is approximately 2,000 feet deep and was carved by the Virgin River over millions of years. The Narrows is 20 to 30 feet wide and has many hiking opportunities along its floor.
  • Its varied terrain and elevations make Zion National Park a diverse and abundant wildlife habitat. There are 79 mammal species within the park and 32 amphibian and reptile species, 8 fish species, and 289 bird species. Some rare animals are Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Mexican Spotted Owl, Mojave Desert Tortoise, and Mojave Desert Tortoise.

Why Visit Bryce Canyon National Park?

Why Visit Bryce Canyon National Park

Its unique rock formations, known as hoodoos, distinguish Bryce Canyon National Park from other national parks. Millions of years of erosion have created these gravity-defying rocks. Eventually, hoodoos are formed by frozen water expanding to chip away at plateaus. A Hoodoo can be found in arid climates across the globe, including Cappadocia in Turkey and the southwestern United States.

The largest concentration in the world can be found in Bryce Canyon National Park. These hoodoos attract millions of tourists every year to witness their glow in the morning sun. The hoodoos of Bryce can be seen from above on a scenic drive. The Bryce Amphitheater, the park’s main canyon, is also accessible via hikes to see up close.

Bryce Canyon National Park Factlife

  • Bryce Canyon, although named after a canyon, is an area of land. The formations are essentially amphitheaters that can be found on the Paunsaugunt plateau’s eastern side.
  • The canyon is said to have been named after Bryce because of the desert terrain that proved to be a tough place to raise cattle. His cows often roamed and got lost in the canyon’s rock formations, making it difficult to find food. Thus, Bryce Canyon entered history as Bryce’s canyon and was later formally named Bryce Canyon.
  • Bryce Canyon was damaged and turned into a national park by logging, overgrazing, and unregulated visitor tours. As a result, it now falls under the National Park Service.
  • Publications by railroad magazines were among the first to promote the park in 1916. Through this and enterprising individuals’ efforts to offer tours, the park drew more visitors than ever before.
  • A variety of temperatures can be found within the park, ranging from 13°C to 28°C. It is also important to remember that extreme weather can cause the temperature to drop to as low as 34 °C or rise as high as 36 °C. To ensure visitors’ safety, they should be aware of the surroundings and ensure they are properly protected.

Zion to Bryce Canyon drive

There is a bit more winding on Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Route 9) from the south entrance of Zion National Park or Springdale. However, traveling from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon is incredibly scenic, and you should make it part of your Zion National Park bucket list.

According to the tourists and other people who visited these national parks, the drive from Zion to the Bryce national park is the most scenic and romantic long drive you would ever have in your life.

Zion to Bryce Canyon drive

Are 4 days enough to visit Bryce and Zion?

You should aim to visit Zion National Park for two to three days. If you like, you can also hike a few shorter, easier trails, such as Riverside Walk and Canyon Overlook, as well as the longer, more popular trails such as Angels Landing and the Narrows. You can spend more time if you want to live here for a long time, but if you are short of time, you should visit at least for four days.

In less than four days you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the hikes and scenes of these both parks so, only visit if you have four days to enjoy the nature.

Should I Spend More Time in Zion or Bryce?

If you are planning to spend equal time in both Zion national park and the Bryce National park, then you might be wrong because these two are the big parks, and you would need more time, but the Zion national park is big as compared to the Bryce so, you would need to spend more time in the Zion than Bryce.

There are many big hikes in the zion that you can’t cover in a limited time, but you can cover Bryce national park in a very limited time, that means you can cover the Bryce in little time, but you can’t cover the Zion in three to four days so, it means if you want to enjoy fully in these two national parks, then you should have more than four days in your pocket.

Enjoy the beauty of the Zion National Park under the stars.

In these parks, you can find the brightest night sky in the nation, and Zion National Park is no exception. To help keep skies clear for viewing at night, Zion has even installed lighting within its buildings, including Zion Canyon Visitor Center and Zion Lodge.

Summertime features telescopes, ranger-led programs, and astronomy lessons for visitors to observe stars, planets, and the Milky Way when conditions are optimal. If you are in Zion national park, this is the best way to enjoy your trip, and you will not forget this unique stargazing experience.

Best Tips for Visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon

Best Tips for Visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon

Check weather conditions

If you are planning to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon, then you should check the weather conditions before going for the hikes because the hikes of these parks are very narrow, and it is recommended to go only when the weather conditions are clear otherwise in the rain it might be challenging for you.

Zion South Entrance Webcam

When you are planning to visit these two national parks, you should first see the Zion south entrance webcam, so you know the exact condition of the park. It is also advised that you make sure you check the Twitter handles of both national parks so you can get the traffic updates about these two parks, and you will not get in any kind of trouble, and your time will not be wasted.

Visit early Morning

There is no doubt that both Zion and Bryce Canyon are highly popular national parks. However, when the park opens, arrive at the entrance gate, the shuttle stops, and the visitor center at the earliest possible time.

Pack Charger and Earbuds

Ensure that your phone/camera has enough power to last all day by keeping a backup charger in your daypack. You should also bring earbuds so that you can continue listening to the tour on the shuttles.

Best Hikes in Zion and Bryce National Park

There are many hikes in the Zion and Bryce national parks, but the best ones are five, and those five hikes are full of scenic that you would love so, let’s see which ones are those five hikes.

Best Hikes in Zion and Bryce National Park

Narrows of Zion National Park

Take a walk along the Narrows trail along the Virgin River itself as you begin your Zion experience. Trekking through a slot canyon in a certain season of the year involves passing through the water. The canyon walls are about 2.5 miles away.

Now that you’ve surrounded Wall Street, you can now proceed to the next section. A local outfitter charges around $25 for renting hiking shoes, neoprene socks, and a hiking stick. Hiking is strenuous; you need to wear special shoes, neoprene socks, and carry a hiking stick.

Navajo Loop Trail of Bryce Canyon National Park

If you have limited time, Bryce National Park’s otherworldly landscape is the best option. Hike down switchbacks to the canyon bottom on the Navajo Loop Trail, and then climb up through Wall Street for a 1.3-mile hike.

Here, a 750-year-old Douglas fir stands atop 100-foot-tall canyon walls. You can extend your hike by cutting off halfway along the Peek-a-boo loop trail.

Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail of Bryce Canyon National Park

There is a loop trail called Peek-a-boo Loop Trail that offers hikes that are both surprising and have an eye-catching view of the red rock formations all around. The three-mile trail traverses several types of terrain and showcases some beautiful vistas such as the Wall of Windows and Silent City. You’ll make around four trips to the Navajo Loop Trail after a short trip to the Navajo Loop Trail.

Watchman Trail of Zion National Park

Watchman Trail of Zion National Park

The 2.7-mile trail is one of the best introductions to Zion National Park. Watchman Trails are 2.7 miles roundtrip from the visitor center and can be done in either direction. Once you pass the ranger station, ascend the trail to a plateau and enjoy the sweeping views of Springdale and the park. The path is filled with wildlife; you might even come across deer mules.

Observation Point of Zion National Park

There is no better place to get away from the crowds than Zion’s Angel’s Landing, an 8-mile round-trip hike to Observation Point, 2,150 feet above the canyon floor. You are rewarded with spectacular views of the amazing landscape below as you are rewarded with your efforts.

Weeping Rock is a quarter-mile walk away from the park shuttle bus. With its largest hanging garden in the park, this cool alcove teems with a constant curtain of “weeping” water, using its elbows to rub against these rocks for 1,200 years.

How Do I Get from Zion to Bryce Canyon?

If you plan to visit Bryce national park, visiting the Zion national park would also be your plan because they are your neighbors. You can reach Bryce Canyon most quickly from the east entrance to Zion National Park along US-89. You will drive approximately 74 miles and will need approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.

There is a bit more winding on Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Route 9) from the south entrance of Zion National Park or Springdale. You should include this part of your Zion National Park bucket list to travel from Zion to Bryce Canyon.

Driving through sandstone tunnels, admiring the Checkerboard Mesa’s cross-cut design, and perhaps spotting Desert Bighorn Sheep are all things you’ll do on your journey. It is common for them to spend time in the mountains between the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel and the East Entrance. All told, the drive takes at least one and a half hours.

How Do I Get from Zion to Bryce Canyon

Crowds and wildlife at Zion National Park

The warm climate of Zion National Park makes it possible to visit it all year round. Most people, however, prefer to visit from March to November. This is because the busiest times of the year are holidays and whenever kids are away from school. Likewise, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is heavily traveled as well.

The 68 species of animals and plants living in Zion range from cute kangaroo rats to extra-large bighorn sheep. The most commonly sighted mammals in the area are mule deer, bats, bighorn sheep, and rock squirrels. Mule deer and rock squirrels will spend the day grazing on the canyon floor.

Zion’s Gateway towns and nearby state parks

The closest city near Zion national park in Springdale, Utah. It is 1.4 miles away from Zion national park, and you will reach the park in five minutes from this town.

The other near the city of Zion’s national park is the Hurricane. It is 24 miles away from Zion national park, and it would take approx 35 minutes to reach the park from this city.

The third near the city from this national park is St George which is 48 miles away from the park, and you would need 1 hour to be in the park from this city.

The last city near this zion national park is Cedar city, which is approximately 60 miles away from this park, and if you are staying in this city, you will be in the park in an hour.

These are the four cities close to zion national park. If you are coming from other states and want to live outside the park, the hotels in Springdale would be the best option for you. You will find both luxury and budget hotels there according to your requirements.

Bryce Canyon’s gateway towns and nearby state parks

Bryce Canyon's gateway towns and nearby state parks

There were only four cities near Zion’s national park path, but this isn’t the case with the Bryce national park. Instead, it has many cities in its surroundings, and we will tell you about all of them and how much time you need to be in the park from every town.

The nearest city to Bryce national park is the Tropic, which is 14 miles away from the Bryce national park, and if you live here, you will reach the park in 20 to 25 minutes.

The other nearest city is Panguitch which is 27 miles away from the park, and you would be in the park 35 to 40 minutes from this city.

The other close city to live near the Bryce national park is the Hatch. The distance between the park and this city is 28 miles, and you would need 40 minutes to reach the park from this city.

Panguitch Lake-town is the other town near Bryce national park, and if you are here, then the park is 45 miles away from you, and you have to drive one hour to reach the park.

The other nearest city from the Bryce national park is Escalante, and the distance of this city from the park is 58 miles, and you will need approx 1 hour to reach the Bryce National park from this city.

If you are planning to visit the Bryce national park and want to stay outside the park, then the best town for you is the Tropic because it is the nearest city to the park and in this city, you will get good accommodation according to your requirements.  If you want to find some places near Bryce national park, we have mentioned some hotels and motels above to stay and enjoy visiting these parks.

What do You need To Know Before You Visit?

If you are someone who is visiting the Bryce and Zion national park for the first time, then there are some important things that you need to know if you want to enjoy your trip; otherwise, there are chances that you might not get the full benefit from your visit and your time and money will be wasted so, we compiled a list of the things that you need to know before you visit these parks. So, keep reading.

Best time to visit is Summers.

ZION TO BRYCE CANYON - best Time to visit in Summers.

Between June and September, temperatures range from the mid-60s to the low 80s, making this the ideal time to visit Bryce Canyon, National Park. Summer is also the peak season in Bryce Canyon National Park due to the pleasant weather. Book in advance and prepare for crowds if you plan on visiting at this time. Thunderstorms tend to happen more frequently in July and August, but they don’t last very long.

May and October are also good months in which you can visit even they are a bit cooler, but still, you will enjoy the cool nights of the national park. You can also visit in April or November if you don’t mind colder temperatures. It’s generally warm during the day and reaches the high 60s at times, but it’s colder at night – temperatures usually in the 50s during this time.

Different Types of Accommodations

The historic Lodge at Bryce Canyon is the best place to stay in the park. It was built in 1925 between Sunset Point and Sunrise Point. There is no need to make reservations for the lodge’s restaurant. However, booking your room at the lodge well in advance is recommended, at least a month in advance.

Two campgrounds are available for those who prefer to camp, both of which offer plenty of space for tents and RVs, but neither has hookups. The park doesn’t require reserving a spot, but you should arrive early as they may fill up by the afternoon. Campsites with accessible amenities are available, but you’ll need to reserve them in advance.

First Stop is the visitor center

The best place to start your visit in Bryce Canyon is the visitor center, where you’ll find out about the park’s geology, flora, and fauna. In addition to learning about the formation of hoodoos and the layers of life in Bryce Canyon, the museum and exhibits provide hands-on experiences. In the visitor center, you can find out what ranger programs are being offered and pick up a park map.

Ranger Programs

There are ranger programs every day, including rim walks, geology talks, and evening programs at the lodge and campgrounds. You can find more information about ranger programs at the visitor center. While most programs are open to walk-in participants, some require participants to sign up ahead of time.

Take Shuttle Service

The scenic drive stretches 18 miles from the park’s north entrance to the highest elevations along the rim’s south entrance. Driving into the park and stopping at viewpoints is possible, or you can leave your car at the visitor center or lodge and take a shuttle during heavier traffic periods. Avoid congestion and other traffic headaches by taking the shuttle instead of driving into the park.

Stop at every Viewpoint

Stop at every Viewpoint - ZION TO BRYCE CANYON

Several viewpoints are worth a visit, as each shows a different aspect of the canyon. The entire park can be seen from Rainbow Point to the north. In addition, you will find the Grand Staircase at Yovimpa Point, which shows off its different layers of rock.

View a large red-rock arch in the canyon from the Natural Bridge Viewpoint, visible from the parking lot. Located at the edge of the Grand Staircase, Farview Point offers stunning vistas of the Kaibab Plateau at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, as well as famous landmarks that make up the Grand Staircase.

Take Mule Rides

You can ride a horse or a mule into the canyon on a guided 2- or 3-hour ride from the lodge’s stables. You will then ride along the Peek-a-Boo Trail and horse trails in the Bryce Amphitheater. Reservations are available at the visitor center or lodge. You can book your ride from April 1 to October 31.

Spend at least One day

To get the most out of your time at Bryce Canyon National Park, stay at the lodge (or at one of the campsites) for two days or more. You can most likely see deer grazing by the lodge if you walk out early in the morning or at dusk. In addition, you can witness sunrises, sunsets, or moonrises on the rim, as well as the dark skies.

You should know these things before you visit the Bryce and Zion national park, and we hope that now you will enjoy your trip without any worry.

FAQ’s

Can you see Zion and Bryce in one day?
YES! Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks can be visited together on the same day. There is usually not more than 1.5 hours’ drive between these two National Parks, so it is possible to travel between them quickly. But we won’t recommend you do so because you will not be able to enjoy your trip and most of the time you will be traveling.
Which park is better, Zion or Bryce Canyon?
There are plenty of outdoor activities for people of all ages in both of these parks. However, a better canyoneering and rappelling destination than Bryce is Zion. The hiking is astounding in either Park, but Zion is one of the scariest, where you hike through streams or over sandstone ledges. If we talk about the most popular park, Bryce Canyon park is the most popular park in the USA, with 2.6 million visitors in 2019.
Is the drive from Zion to Bryce scary?
No need to be frightened of driving. You need not be afraid by the Zion switchbacks; it’s the only place where your fear chart even begins to qualify. You will lose plenty of time taking the detour to Bryce Canyon. In addition, you will not see the entirety of east Zion.
Can you drive through Zion National Park to get to Bryce Canyon?
How long of a drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon? To get to Bryce Canyon National Park from Zion National Park, one must drive 85 miles and just two hours. Checkerboard Mesa and Red Canyon are some scenic sights along the way.
How long is the scenic drive in Bryce Canyon?
The scenic drive through the park’s 38 miles round-trip will take you at least 3 hours to reach the 13 viewpoints. Additionally, you can enjoy hiking trails, ranger programs, horseback rides, campgrounds, and picnic areas to make your experience more enjoyable and longer.

 

Verdict

If you are planning to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National park, this article will help you plan a perfect trip that you will enjoy without any worries. It does not matter if you are planning to visit both national parks in one day or have a long plan it would help you in every case. But we would recommend you to plan a trip for at least more than three to four days this way you will be able to enjoy the nature and beautiful hikes of both national parks.

If this article helps you to plan a successful trip, then please share it with your friends and family members who are planning to visit the Zion and Bryce Canyon national park and if you think something is missing in this article, then don’t hesitate to tell us in the comment section below we are always open to the constructive criticism.

Thank you for reading.

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