The state of Utah in the United States is home to many beautiful National Parks, and Bryce Canyon National Park ranks as one of the most magnificent and awe inspiring.
The rock in Bryce Canyon is composed of layer after layer of sediment deposits, deposited millions of years ago when the area was at the bottom of a lake. Now the Paria River has exposed the layers, allowing a detailed history of the lake to be determined.
Bryce Canyon is not a canyon. It is the spectacular edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, a place where intricately carved towers and archways of stone shimmer in a dazzling array of color under the bright sun.
Bryce Canyon National Park is acknowledged as having the most stunning sandstone scenery in the American West and is especially famous for its pink and orange spires and hoodoos. A visitor center, campgrounds, scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and the most extraordinarily sculpted landscape on Earth are hallmarks of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce National Park is open 24 hours a day, year-round, but from October through May, some roads, campgrounds and other visitor facilities are closed or operate on reduced hours. It’s a good idea to check the current conditions on the National Weather Service website before your visit.
The best time to visit Bryce National Park is May through September. Not only does this period offer the warmest weather of the year, it also yields plenty of ranger activities. October through April offers its own charms, too. There are fewer people, cooler temperatures and the fall foliage and wildflowers can be stunning. In the winter, the park is transformed by snow and visitors can go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. But keep in mind: Because of its high elevation, the weather at Bryce Canyon in the fall, winter and spring can be quite variable.
Traveling gives you some perspective of what the rest of the world is like. I think that having the courage to step out of the norm is the most important thing.
360° view of Bryce Canyon City
Credit: Michael Gohl
Bryce Canyon is a hidden jewel, thoroughly deserving to be as well known as its southern neighbor, the Grand Canyon. Include it on your itinerary, and you definitely won’t be disappointed.
There is plenty of interest to explore in the park, apart from the marvelous scenery of the ‘silent city’, as the hoodoos are sometimes called. The park also contains a large variety of plants and wildlife, including meadows and forests. If you want a slightly different view of the park, it is possible to explore the park in a 1930 limousine. Alternatively, you can rent a horse on an hourly basis to trek some of the better trails.
In the warmer months, there are plenty of trails for the visitor to explore, ranging from easy strolls to hard hikes. Some of the best trails are located in the Bryce Amphitheatre, located near the entry to the park. Walkers can also follow the Fairyland, Riggs Spring and Under-the-Rim trails, which are longer but allow more opportunities to see the different elements of the park at close quarters.
Summer months can cause temperatures in the base of the canyon to soar, so it is very important to be prepared for the heat and carry plenty of water.
In winter the roads are opened between snowfalls, allowing a totally different perspective of the park. Snow-capped pinnacles stand out sharply against the background of white snow and dark green trees. The air is also cleaner, allowing visitors to see great distances.
You can find more detail information and travel tips about Bryce Canyon at Visit Utah’s website.
It’s important to be prepared any time you leave the car and head off on a hiking trail. A stop at the visitor center to discuss your hike plans with a park ranger is always a good idea. It’s also important to have the proper supplies with you so that you can enjoy your hike in comfort and also be ready to handle an emergency, should one arise. You may find some—or all—of these items useful on your hike in Bryce Canyon National Park:
- day pack
- water and water bottles or hydration system
- food; high-energy snacks
- first-aid kit
- map, compass, and GPS unit
- sunscreen and sunglasses; wide-brimmed hat or ball cap
- rain gear
- warm coat, hat, and gloves
- backpacker’s trowel, toilet paper, and resealable plastic bags
- flashlight or headlamp
- camera and/or smartphone
Watch this stunning, out-of-this-world beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park, video in 4K Ultra HD.