Bryce Canyon National Park Itinerary
Bryce Canyon is one the most unique of the five Utah national parks. Bryce can be toured in a single day if you aren’t planning to do major hiking. For Bryce Canyon allow one or two days if you plan to hike the several trails such as the Fairyland Loop or Peek-a-boo Loop trails, or venture into the back country. You can easily begin your visit at the Bryce Canyon visitor center and museum, near the park entrance, where you’ll find information about the park’s history and geology, including a large display illustrating a cross-section of the nearby Grand Staircase. The visitor center is also the place to inquire about trails and back country permits.
If you only have a few hours in Bryce Canyon, then you may prefer to drive to Sunrise, Sunset, and Inspiration Points. Check out the view, then attempt to do all or part of the moderate Navajo Loop trail, which takes you down into the canyon. If you have a full day, drive the 18-mile scenic road to the south end of the park. Begin at Rainbow Point, the highest point in the park at 9,115 feet, and work your way back to other scenic viewpoints, such as Ponderosa Point, Black Birch Canyon, Paria View, Bryce Point, and Natural Bridge. On a clear day, visibility can be 100 miles or more across the vast expanse of the Grand Staircase. Mossy Cave, Bristlecone Loop, and Queens Garden are easy trails under two miles round trip with outstanding views of Bryce Canyon National Park.
After spending the day at Bryce Canyon, a stop at nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park and Grosvenor Arch makes an interesting side excursion.
Then drive the scenic Cottonwood Canyon Road and head west on US89 toward Kanab, or loop around to Johnson Canyon/Skutumpah Road and head to Glendale, Mt. Carmel Junction, or Kanab.
Bryce Canyon can be reached in under an hour from most communities in East Zion, and you will be conveniently positioned to visit other attractions and parks. Be sure to check road conditions prior to traveling on Cottonwood Canyon Road or Johnson Canyon/Skutumpah Road, as wet conditions can make these roads impassable. Visitors to the Bryce Canyon National Park area have also enjoyed Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, and the Grand Staircase.