Imagine your mornings in white carpet of snow-covered hoodoos and Christmas trees glittering in beautiful sun-rays and nights under the sky brightened up in millions of stars. If you want to experience this, your next winter trip has to be to Bryce Canyon National Park; a natural wonder in Utah. Checkout this video to sneak a peek into what to expect.
Do you know Bryce Canyon is not actually Canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters of hoodoos. Hoodoos are tall, thin spire of rock forming within sedimentary rock formations.
Bryce Canyon is on the border of Utah and Arizona. It’s 2 hours drive from Zion National Park. Just keep your travel songs in loop and enjoy the journey which you will wish never to end. The best time to enjoy Bryce canyon is Winter when cliff tops are wrapped in snow and park is less crowded but some roads in the park might be closed; you will get information on road closures at visitor center. Park rangers arrange many events like hiking, stargazing, geology talks, snowshoeing in the park. It is recommended to pre-book your events at visitor center.
3-hours Scenic drive in Bryce canyon takes you to 13 viewpoints along the park’s 38-mile (round-trip). Free shuttle operates in the park during summer. There are exceptional landscapes across the park but some viewpoints are so magnificent that they are not to miss if you are on short visit.
1. Sunrise Point and Sunset Point
It is best and nearest viewpoint from visitor center to start your day. From nearest parking lot it’s a small walk to Sunrise point. Sunset point is 15 minutes walk by Rim trail from Sunrise point.
2. Bryce Point
This is a beautiful viewpoint at 8,300 feet in the park which gives one of the most scenic landscape of full amphitheater. Visitors get amazed with its extraordinary sunrises. This is on 15 minutes drive from visitor center.
3. Inspiration Point
Inspiration Point is one of my favorite and truly dazzling part of National Park. The best feature of this viewpoint is unobstructed and infinite view of hoodoos. It is on 7 minutes drive from Sunrise point and small walk from parking lot.
These three viewpoints are must visit in Bryce Canyon.
If you have enough time to explore hoodoos from different perspective don’t miss visiting Farview, Rainbow and Yovimpa Point.
4. Farview point
Farview Point gives spectacular views of famous landmarks that make up the Grand Staircase. From north to south you can see: the Aquarius Plateau (Pink Cliffs), the Kaiparowits Plateau (Grey Cliffs), Molly’s Nipple (White Cliffs). Fairview point is at 8,819 ft. It is on 15 minutes drive from Inspiration point.
5. Rainbow Point & Yovimpa Point
Rainbow point is the highest and farthest part of the park at 9,115 feet. From there, Aquarius Plateau, Bryce Amphitheater, the Henry Mountains, the Vermilion Cliffs and the White Cliffs can be seen. Rainbow point is on 15 minutes drive from Farview point. Yovimpa Point is on 5 minutes walk from Rainbow point which gives view in opposite direction to the hoodoos.
Hiking in Bryce Canyon
Looking at hoodoos from viewpoints is like striking trailer of the movie. You will know it in detail when you get closer outlook. Hiking down to Hoodoos will give you different perspective.
1. Hike to Queen’s garden trail (1.8 miles round trip)
This is least difficult trail in Bryce canyon. If you are not short on time, this trail is best for you to enjoy splendid beauty of hoodoos closer. It starts from Sunrise point and goes down. There are many picture perfect locations you will see on the trail. The trail is paved and easy to hike. In Winter it is recommended to wear snowshoes though we did it comfortably with good quality hiking Shoes and pole.
2. Thor’s Hammer, Wall street and Two bridges on Navajo Trail
Thor’s hammer is one of the famous tourist attraction in the park. You can see it from Sunset point. The Navajo loop trail of 2.75 miles starts from Sunset point. The popular attractions on this trail are Thor’s Hammer, Wall Street and Two Bridges. Even if you don’t intend to complete the hike, you can see these attractions in first 30-45 minutes of the trail. Other trails in the park are Mossy cave (0.8 miles), Fairyland loop (8 miles), Peek-a-boo loop (5.5 miles).
Best time to visit: November-February to enjoy winter wonderland. Busy tourist season is May-September.
Stay: There are many accommodations near Bryce Canyon. One of the oldest and my favorite lodge is Ruby’s Inn. If you book in advance you will get affordable stays with amazing views.
Budget: $300-$500 depending on your accommodation.
How to reach here: It is 4 hours drive from Las Vegas. Read my article Places to visit on budget trip to Nevada – Travel2Spirit to get itinerary for 2 days in Las Vegas.
Enjoy this incredible national park with minimum 2 days stay. One day to explore viewpoints, Horseback rides and another day for Hiking, Stargazing. Click on below map to get driving directions in the Park.
Hope this article helps to plan your trip to Bryce Canyon. Comment below to get itinerary for 2 weeks road trip to Utah, Arizona, California and Nevada.