When you make Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort your home base for your southern Utah vacation, it’s easy to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. Located just 75 minutes from Zion Ponderosa, Bryce Canyon is one of the great scenic wonders of the world. We’re sharing our top 10 favorite things to do at Bryce Canyon.
1. Walk the rim of the main canyon
The main canyon—actually an amphitheater—is the scenic heart of Bryce Canyon. Encompassing six square miles, mystical red rock hoodoos rise from the canyon floor, creating a sight like no other. The Rim Trail offers visitors a chance to view Bryce Canyon from the top.
2. Check out key overlooks on the rim trail
The Rim Trail stretches from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point, with several elevation changes. Early birds can watch the sun rise in breathtaking color at Sunrise Point or Bryce Point, while Inspiration Point and Sunset Point are best viewed in the later parts of the day. The infamous Thor’s Hammer can also be viewed from Sunset Point.
4. Hike down into main canyon
Navajo Loop is the most popular hike into the main amphitheater. The trailhead is at Sunset Point and leads below the rim through Wall Street to the intersection with Queens Garden Trail, then loops back up to the rim.
5. Drive the 18-mile scenic drive to the end of the park
The scenic drive through the park gives a great overview of Bryce Canyon’s scenic highlights. Catch major sights such as Natural Bridge, Ponderosa Canyon, and Yovimpa Point. The scenic drive ascends 1,000+ feet to the park’s highest elevation of 9,115 feet at Rainbow Point.
6.Identify shapes in hoodoo formations
Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos are some of the most unique rock formations in the world. Ancient Native Americans believed these fiery pinnacles were ‘Evil Legend People’ turned to stone by the omnipotent Coyote. Frozen in time, they seem to stand at attention in the amphitheater. What shapes do you see?
7. Stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort and visit both Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks in one trip
Zion Ponderosa is a great home base for exploring southern Utah, centrally located between two of the most beautiful national parks in Utah. We’re just seven miles from the east gate of Zion National Park, and a 75-minute drive to Bryce Canyon. (P.S. We’re only two hours from Grand Canyon North Rim, too!). From camping to luxury vacation homes and everything in between, there’s lodging for every budget.
8. Shoot photos in early morning or later afternoon
Bring your “good” camera, or make sure there’s plenty of room on your phone, because you’ll be taking A LOT of photos at Bryce Canyon. Capture Bryce Point and Sunrise Point in the early morning light, then head to Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, and Yovimpa Point later in the day for stunning sunset shots. Navajo Loop Trail is ideal for midday photography.
9. Watch for wildlife
Early morning and dusk are the best time for wildlife sightings in Bryce Canyon National Park. Wildlife watchers are likely to catch a glimpse of small mammals such as squirrels, chipmunks, and jackrabbits scampering along the Bryce Canyon rim trail. Also keep an eye out for Utah Prairie Dogs and deer. View animals at a safe distance and never feed or touch wild animals.
10. Visit nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park is just 20 miles southeast of Bryce Canyon National Park, and since you’ve traveled here it’s worth the extra trip. Best known for the 67 towering sand pipes that tower over the desert landscape, Kodachrome Basin has a well-deserved reputation as a photographer’s paradise. The small, 2,240-acre park can be explored in just a couple of hours.
Click here to learn more about Bryce Canyon National Park, or give us call at 435-648-2700 so we can help you plan your visit!