sunset point

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in Utah, is one of the most unique parks in the United States because it is home to thousands of unique rock formations called hoodoos. Hoodoos are tall, skinny shafts of orange colored rocks that protrude from the bottom of the basin. 

What make Bryce Canyon so popular is the fact that it has the highest concentration of hoodoos than any other place in the world. 

As a relatively small national park, it is definitely possible to see most of the popular sights; however, I recommend spending at least 2 full days to see all that Bryce Canyon has to offer and so you aren’t rushed. 

In this post, I will share with you the 9 must do things while you’re at Bryce Canyon for an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting to come back.

COVID Update: Bryce Canyon National Park is currently open with precautions in place. View the full public health update here.

queens garden trail bryce canyon
Queens Garden Trail

Park Entrance Fee

There is a $35 entrance fee per vehicle with a 15 passenger capacity or less.

Bryce Canyon also offers a $40 annual pass, which allows unlimited access to Bryce Canyon park.

Alternatively, you can use the national park annual pass, which grants access to over 2,000 recreational sites and parks all over the U.S. At only $80 per pass, this one is the best bang for the buck! You can purchase your annual pass online to save time and skip the line.

How to Get Around

You can either drive your own car or take the Bryce Canyon Park Shuttle. During peak season, especially summer, parking can fill up fast so it’s best to get inside the park as early as possible. 

The Bryce Canyon Park Shuttle is free and stops at all the major stops including Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, the Visitor Center, Bryce Point and more. 

The park shuttle runs from 8 am – 8 pm and is a great option to reduce vehicle traffic and congestion within the park. To make sure you don’t miss the shuttle, you can visit the 2020 shuttle times here.

Bryce Canyon Park Shuttle Stops

bryce canyon shuttle map
Source: NPS

Bryce Canyon Amphitheater Map

Source: NPS

Bryce Amphitheater is the most visited section of Bryce Canyon National Park. 

The campgrounds, popular view points and trails are all located here. Additionally, the park shuttle will only stop within Bryce Canyon Amphitheater and will not travel deeper into the park. In order to access the deeper part of the park, you will have to drive your car. 

7 Things You Can't Miss At Bryce Canyon National Park

1) Walk From Bryce Point to Inspiration Point

Walking from Bryce point to Inspiration point, or vice versa, is one of the most underrated activities in all of Bryce Canyon. While you can drive to both Bryce point and Sunset point and take a short 5 minute walk to the main viewing areas, it’s worth it do the easy 1.2 mile walk that connects Bryce point and Sunset Point. Along the hike, you will find stunning views of the sunlight casting beautiful shadows on the hoodoos and the rest of Bryce Canyon that you will not easily forget.

In addition, there are a plethora of stops along this walk that are perfect for taking pictures, especially because it does not get crowded here. 

What You Should Know: This walk is friendly for all levels and is relatively flat with a few inclines. It is approximately 1.2 miles and takes 30-40 minutes to complete.

2) Visit Sunrise Point

bryce point

Sunrise Point is one of the most scenic vistas and it’s no surprise why. Here, you will find thousands of picturesque golden orange hoodoos situated perfectly next to one another. I recommend coming here during sunrise or sunset for the best ligthing. The parking area is spacious, a short distance to the multiple viewing areas, and is wheelchair accessible. 

What to Know: The beginning of the infamous Queens Garden trail is located at Sunrise point. 

3) Visit Sunset Point

sunset point

Sunset point is another popular viewpoint that offers breathtaking, panoramic views of the hoodoos. Many people agree that Sunset point is the best place to view the hoodoos as it showcases the colors and shapes of the hoodoos without having to hike down into the valley. Additionally, Sunset point is very large with many spots for viewing the valley, has a large parking lot, restrooms, and picnic tables.

What to Know: The Navajo Loop Trail starts at Sunset Point. 

4) Queens/Navajo Trail Loop

Wall Street Path
bryce canyon national park queens navajo loop trail

If you could only choose one thing to do in Bryce Canyon, I would suggest doing the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop trail. In my opinion, it is the best way to experience Bryce and see all it truly has to offer. 

What makes the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop trail so unique is that the trail descends into the hoodoos so you can see them up close! In addition, you also can go to the bottom of the canyon into the Dixie National forest full of lush, dark green pine trees.

The two trails are connected so you can start at either one to do the full loop. The beginning of Queens Garden trail is located at Sunrise point, whereas the beginning of Navajo Trail is located at Sunset point. 

Difficulty wise, this trail is considered to be moderate as it has many steep inclines. At at elevation of approximately 8,000 feet, altitude sickness is a possibility for some as the air is much thinner at Bryce Canyon. Thus, it is important to take short breaks so you can catch your breath and rest for a bit. 

When coming up or down Navajo Loop trail, you can go via Wall Street or Two bridges. I recommend going through Wall Street if you can only choose one as it’s one of the best stretches of the entire trail with it’s unique but steep zig zag path. 

Distance: 2.75 miles long (2-3 hours to complete) and moderate in difficulty. Not recommended for the elderly or individuals with knee problems.

5) See the Natural Bridge

natural bridge

The Natural Bridge is one of several natural bridges with a perfect arch that is still standing strong. From the viewpoint, the vibrant red rock that makes up the arch provides a stark contrast from the rich green pines in the background. The natural bridge formed over time due to water running through the rock, eroding it to become a “natural arch.” 

What to Know: There are no trails located at the Natural Bridge viewpoint. 

6) Two Bridges Trail

twin bridges bryce trail

Two Bridges is a popular site where two rock formations that look like bridges connect between two large rocks. To get there, head to Sunset point where the start of the Navajo Loop trail is located. Instead of going down Wall Street path, turn left and go down the Two Bridges path.

Although it is a short distance at a little less than 1 mile from the start of the trail to Two Bridges, the steep switchbacks are extremely strenuous and intense. Similar to the Wall Street path, you may find yourself needing short breaks to catch your breath.  

What to Know: Between Wall Street path and Two Bridges path, Two Bridges is definitely less crowded. Despite it being less crowded, it is still just as stunning and mesmerizing as Wall Street. Check it out and you won’t regret it!

7) Learn About the Stars on an Unforgettable Night Tour

Source: Zion Ponderosa

Bryce Canyon is one of the best places in the world to learn about the sky and stars because of its minimal light pollution and its prime location far away from any major cities.

While at Bryce Canyon National Park, you can stargaze from anywhere and see thousands of stars, planets, the moon, and even the milky way!

Bryce also offers ranger led 15-30 minute programs where they teach you about the different stars in the skies. This one is highly recommended as it’s short in length, informative, and free! You can make a reservation for one of the night star tours by signing up in person with a park ranger at the Bryce Canyon visitor center.

In the meantime, you can view the astronomy and night sky programs that are offered here

This concludes the 7 Things You Can’t Miss at Bryce Canyon National Park. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Feel free to comment below with any questions you have!

Other Places to Visit in Utah

  • Zion National Park (Check out my post on the 10 Must See Attractions in Zion National Park)
  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Salt Lake City
  • Grand Staircase – Escalante National
  • Monument Valley