National Park situated at a high elevation on the eastern slope of Utah's Paunsaguant Plateau. This park in renowned for its red rock geological structures, called hoodoos which were formed by wind, water, and ice erosion.
We went to a ranger program here right on the edge of the canyon and learned how these came to be. We took a horse trail ride here so didn't do much hiking - we walked around the rim and saw lots of little lizards that were very cool looking. For food there aren't many options - we ate in the main dining hall (expensive but good), and the coffee shot that's in an adjacent cabin. Stayed in the actual lodge - run down but huge room, a great experience overall. Would love to stay in one of the cabins next time!
We visited Bryce Canyon National Park in early April and really enjoyed it. We were surprised by cold weather dropping to 40 degrees, windy and snowing. The kids loved waking up to a couple of inches of snow so that they could throw snow balls all day. Our favorite activity in the park was hiking down the Queen's Garden trail (0.8 miles one way) because the hoodoos were amazing to see up close and when they towered above us, it was just majestic.
What we would recommend when visiting Bryce Canyon:
* Stop at the Visitor Center for Jr. Ranger books, a 20 minute movie on the park, and a gift shop.
* Use the newspaper given at the entrance station to find a hike that is suitable for your family. Hiking down into the canyon is the best way to experience Bryce and is a "must-do"
* Drive to Sunset, Sunrise, Inspiration Point or Bryce Point and walk to the look-outs. They are the best places to view the majestic canyon. The edges are well protected by guard rails that are safe for children, but keep a close eye or hand on them at all times.
* If you have more time, drive to the very end of the road (18 miles in) and stop at every (or ones you want) lookout on the way back north. All the pullouts will be on the right side of the street on your drive back. From the end of the road (9,000 feet) you can see for 100 miles in the distance on most days. Along the meadow sections of the road, drive slowly and look for deer and prairie dogs.
* If possible, attend a ranger talk at night to see the stars. Large telescopes are at the visitor center during certain evenings. The clear, dry air of Bryce is one of the best star viewing places in the US.
* I recommend eating dinner at the Lodge inside the park as the food is excellent and the service is great. Kids menus and many families eating there make it kid-friendly. Prices are high. The General Store inside the park is also a good place for cheap, fast food. Both are open seasonally.
This is a beautiful National Park. You can go on little mini hikes to the over views if you have young kids or you can take more extensive hikes if you have older kids that can tolerate a little more of a workout. Either way, it is a wonderful place to visit. Be sure to bring the camera!
Bryce Canyon is known for its bright orange sand and rocks, and there are a few really nice hikes if you are up for a challenge. We carried our toddler son in a backpack for most of them, because they can get pretty steep and scary along the ledges but it is definitely worth it for the views. You can spend a few hours hiking here, or days if you plan ahead. We went over a holiday weekend last spring, so it was fairly crowded along the trails, and there were times we had to completely stop while others went by, which was a little annoying at times but it wasn't too bad. Overall, a nice park with stunning views and some of the oldest rocks on earth.
Out of all the parks we have visited, Bryce Canyon is our favorite. It feels like being on another planet. The views are magnificent from anywhere in the park, there is no miss. The highlight was to ride mules into the canyon, it was out of this world and plain magnificent.
Bryce canyon is great for biking, hiking, camping, you name it! We went for memorial day weekend (and for the record, we didn't reserve a camping site in advance) we picked our campground and had no problem getting a camping spot (we got there around 5 PM or so) The trick is you can only stay for one night in that spot, you may have to move locations the next day depending on campground vacancies, which we did have to move locations but there were plenty to choose from. For a procrastinator like me, who NEVER reserves campsites well enough in advance, this was a small price to pay to get to camp in such a great area! I was 6 months pregnant when we went so we enjoyed the FREE bus tours they had available. We did go on a couple of hikes but the difficulty level put me at my max in the condition I was in! We will definitely go again!
Bryce Canyon is an amazing wonder. We stopped here quickly as we were traveling and were able to drive up and look over the Canyon to see the amazing "hoodoos" as they are called, these red rock formations. I would love to have more time to go check it out. But I can't imagine seeing beautiful rocks like that anywhere else.
We went here and viewed it from the lookouts. It is gorgeous to drive around, but can get very windy and cold. Be ready for the weather, since you are in the mountains. We didn't take any hikes because of time and little kids, but it sure was pretty!
Bryce Canyon National Park is different than Utah’s other national parks. It’s probably the higher elevation, ponderosa pines, hoodoos and the distinct reddish orange color that makes this park so unique. FYI – if you don’t know what a hoodoo is, you definitely will after visiting Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce Canyon does get crowded in peak season as Grand Canyon tour buses have made this one of their stops. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider traveling in the off season (winter through early spring). Not only is the park less crowded, but the contrast of snow on Bryce Canyon’s orange red rock is striking. Visitors that want direct access to the park usually stay at Ruby’s Inn, which is a resort right at the park’s entrance. This resort has a very nice souvenir shop and general store worth visiting. It also has a very busy, kind of pricey, and crowded dining area. Your family may want to consider packing a picnic and enjoying your meals at one of Bryce Canyon’s amazing viewpoints.
You know you’re going to arrive at a great place when the drive along the way is so picturesque. Highway 12, which takes visitors to the junction of the park’s main entrance, is as pretty as the park itself. There is a wonderful paved bike path that follows this road, perfect for families exploring the surrounding area. In fact, the entire highway 12 deserves a review of its own. In my opinion this drive is by far the most amazing strip of highway in the nation. FYI – see if you can find all of the misspelled road signs along highway 12 (unless they have been corrected by now). My family had a few laughs spotting a few of these funny signs.
There is plenty to keep families entertained at Bryce Canyon National Park. Enjoy all the viewpoints along the road to Rainbow Point and snap some amazing pictures. If your family likes to hike, there are some great family friendly trails. One of my family’s favorite hikes in Bryce Canyon is the Navajo Loop trail – a great place to fall in love with the park’s ponderosa pine trees. Although I haven’t tried it, horseback riding down into the canyon looks amazing. Finally, don't forget to sign your kids up for the junior ranger program and add to their badge collection.
In summary, if you are in the area at least take the time to drive through Bryce Canyon National Park and enjoy the views from the road. If your family does have more time, there is plenty within Bryce Canyon and the surrounding area to explore and enjoy.
We visited in mid-March during the off season, and really enjoyed being able to drive the whole 18 miles of canyon. While all the trails were either snowy or muddy, we were traveling with a 2-year-old, so we probably weren't going to go on many trails anyway. While the adults enjoyed the amazing views of the hoodoos from all the overlooks, our son busied himself throwing snowballs. The rangers at the visitor's center were very helpful and there was also a small museum highlighting the wildlife in the area. I loved the park and can't wait to return to do some hiking when the snow melts.
We had a long drive down there, even though we live in Utah. Right before you get to Bryce, there is a place I believe is called Devli's canyon and the ground is literally a red orange color and its fun to explore the rocks. Once you hit Bryce National Park it looks like there is alot of camping and other places to drive off but to go into the heart of Bryce its another long drive. Once you get there, you park and walk a ways, but you get to see great views. And once you get to the end there is now a awesome walkway that is see through! Very cool.
A must see if you visit this area. One of my kids said that she enjoyed this more than Grand Canyon. Stop at the visitors center on the way in. You can drive or ride shuttle. We opted to drive and had no problems parking in mid-June. There are lots of trails of various levels. The rock formations are unique and the legends that explain them are fascinating. Keep plenty of sunscreen handy. The sun blisters fast. Also, make sure you have food because there are no eating options along the way.
Bryce Canyon National Park is absolutely beautiful and is a must see! There are numerous scenic overlooks that offer different views of Bryce Canyon. Some of the hikes to these scenic overlooks are longer than others. I would recommend stopping at the visitor center to get a handout that gives information about the different trails and the distances, so you can choose a trail that is appropriate for you and your family. There are short trails for families with young children as well as longer and more strenuous trails for the experienced hiker. While visiting Bryce Canyon, keep your eyes open for wildlife. During our last visit, we saw numerous deer and antelope. It is always fun for the kids to spot these animals!
Of Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, I think Bryce is the most kid friendly. The park feels manageable and protected- small enough to wrap your head around. The crazy geological features are fun for anyone!
Not to be missed are the Nighttime Ranger Walks. No flashlights allowed!! It is an amazing educational experience that I would recommend for kids 6 and up.
Way more beautiful than the Grand Canyon. Four Stars only because it may be more difficult with babies and young toddlers. You can hike, bike, ride horses and 4 wheelers, take scenic drives, and more. This place will spark a child's imagination!! It's like nothing I have seen anywhere else.
Bryce Canyon exists to blow minds. I've been there during different times in my life and it's effect on me continues to expand. This is really one of those places that I'm dying to bring my son to. Watching him see new, amazing things is truly my favorite thing in the world. Bringing him to Mars on Earth is high on my list of can't-waits. I've said it before - Utah is the most visually stunning state. Four stars only because it can't really be enjoyed to the fullest by a 20 month old :)
The whole family had fun on the easy hiking trails. Those that were more adventurous went on the longer trails. Kids find interesting the unique textures of eroded sandstone and the interesting way the trail winds in and out of the formations. Bryce is a great place for hikers, bikers, and people who like riding horses. There are guides and equipment rentals for all kinds of visitors. The best pictures were taken between 10-11 a.m. when the light hit the canyon walls just right and the orange walls were complemented by the brilliant blue sky.
Utah is state just full of beautiful scenery and unique rock formations. Bryce Canyon is no exception, and just a short jaunt through an amazing tunnel from Zion National Park. The hoodoo mazes will delight your children, and they can earn another Junior Ranger badge by completing the Jr Ranger booklet. Plenty of hiking, camping, and interpretive programs led by rangers.