Adventure in Bryce Canyon National Park
Norma Jean Kuhr
Bryce Canyon is entirely unique. I know exactly where people are in pictures even if they don't include it. The geography of the land and its utterly breathtaking views are something you'll never forget. It almost looks fake but it's the power of erosion putting on a spectacular display.
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Where to stay in Bryce Canyon National Park
Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn
Experience the natural wonders of Bryce Canyon National Park at Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn, where comfortable accommodations, convenient access to the park and warm Western hospitality come together to offer a memorable stay in Utah's stunning landscapes.
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Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park
Sunset Point to Sunset Point trail: One of the easy hikes in the park, as it follows the viewpoints without hiking down into the Hoodoos.
Rim Trail: Another fairly easy hike that stays along the high ground to give panoramic views of the valley below.
Bristlecone Loop Trail: Bristlecone Trees are long lived and some in the park along this trail have been dated to 1,800 years old.
Queen's Garden Trail: This is the easiest of the hikes that descend into the hoodoos, it takes you through to the Queen Victoria Hoodoo. Many of the trails that enter the valley of Hoodoo's can be combined.
Navajo Loop Trail: This is probably the most photographed trail in the park because it takes you through Wall Street, which switchbacks through two walls of hoodoos, and even has a small hole in one section you have to pass through.
Tower Bridge Trail: This is a short hike, but there is some elevation gain, that leads to the Tower Bridge Hoodoo. Many people may refer to it as an arch in the landscape, but it classified as a natural bridge.
Hat Shop: This is a difficult hike, due to the distance and the near 1,400 feet elevation difference. It's an out and back hike that will take you to the Balanced Rock Hoodoo's. When the landscape was flat here, large boulders were left on the surface, as erosion wore away the softer sedimentary rock below the boulders, they were left balancing onto of the hoodoo's looking like dark flat hats.
Peekaboo Loop: This trail is also strenuous, but it takes hikers through a maze of hoodoos into the thickest collection of formations in the park.
Horseback Riding: There are Trail Riding Tours available in the area if you want to take a break from hiking.
Just east of Bryce Canyon National Park, about 58 miles is a dirt road turnoff named Hole in the Rock Road. The road is rough, so small cars are not advisable, but it may be my favorite area in all of Utah. And I'm from Utah and have lived here for 35 years. The first 18-mile stretch of this dirt road is one of the best kept secrets in Utah. Here you'll find, the Cosmic Ashtray, Devils Garden, Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch, Zebra Slot Canyon, Spooky Slot Canyon, Peekaboo Slot canyon, Dance Hall Rock, Cedar Wash Arch, Covered Wagon Natural Bridge, Big Horn Canyon, 20 Mile Wash Dinosaur Tracks, Garden Cathedral, and Egypt 3; which is for serious Canyoneering only. The entire road is about 55 miles long and goes all the way to Lake Powell but it's the first section that has the most to offer. The last services for fuel and public restrooms are in Escalante, and cell phone service is unreliable but this road alone is worth a couple days to explore all its wonderful little secrets. Plus its public land, no charge for hiking, camping or any recreational activity. The only rule, leave it better than you found it.
Places to eat & drink in Bryce Canyon National Park
Stone Hearth Grille: A local favorite, the food is delicious. Reservations recommended, though not required.
Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant: Classic American Diner with great steak and fish options.
The Lodge at Bryce Canyon Restaurant: The chef is brilliant, classy and set in a rustic mountain lodge. Reservations recommended.
Bryce Canyon Coffee Co: A great choice for a quick lunch in between hikes. Cafe style American. Get the banana bread, you'll thank me later.
Valhalla Pizza: Seriously good pizza. I don't know what it is about hiking off all those calories and then craving pizza, but this is the place to go. The ricotta stuffed manicotti is pretty good too but seriously... Pizza.
Rustlers: This is the local breakfast place, but the burgers are definitely worth a revisit.
Ebenezer's Barn & Grill: The name alone.. and there's live musicians on the barn stage. It's a very simple menu; steak, salmon, chicken or BBQ. They may not offer a lot of options but what they do, they do well.
Need to Know
There are five National Parks and eight National Monuments in Utah. If you'd like to plan an extended stay, I can plan a two week to one month itinerary that will make you want to move here.
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park.
This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Utah.
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