Ultimate Guide: Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park

Not a large park by any means, but hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park punches above its weight for what you get when you visit. Sitting in the middle of southern Utah, Bryce Canyon is full of hoodoos, colorful rocks, and stunning starry skies.

Established in 1928 as the 16th National Park, it gets much less fanfare than its brother to the west, Zion National Park. However, with fewer crowds and cooler temperatures, Bryce is just as great. Plus, the hiking in Bryce Canyon is phenomenal!

Most people who come to the West will hit Zion and the Grand Canyon, but I’d recommend adding two more days to any trip and spending the time hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Nearly all Bryce Canyon trails are family-friendly and offer rare views of formations not found elsewhere in the United States.

Your Hiking Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park

What you need to know before visiting Utah’s Bryce Canyon

Is Bryce Canyon worth visiting?

Absolutely, Bryce Canyon National Park is worth visiting. While you might not need more than a day or two, you should 100% plan on stopping to check out this unique and majestic national park.

Driving to Bryce Canyon National Park: 

  • Zion – West entrance: 2 hours
  • Page, AZ: 2.5 hours
  • Salt Lake City: 4 hours
  • Las Vegas: 4 hours
  • Grand Canyon South Rim: 5 hours

Average Weather at Bryce Canyon National Park

Winter (December to February):

  • Average High Temperature: 36°F (2°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 9°F (-13°C)
  • Snowfall: Bryce Canyon is known for its winter snow, and the park can receive significant snowfall during the winter months.

Spring (March to May):

  • Average High Temperature: 47°F (8°C) to 60°F (16°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 20°F (-6°C) to 31°F (-1°C)
  • Spring is a transitional season with gradually warming temperatures and potential for rain.

Summer (June to August):

  • Average High Temperature: 72°F (22°C) to 80°F (27°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 37°F (3°C) to 46°F (8°C)
  • Summer is the warmest season with generally pleasant temperatures, although it can still get cool at night.

Fall (September to November):

  • Average High Temperature: 50°F (10°C) to 63°F (17°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 24°F (-4°C) to 32°F (0°C)
  • Fall sees a gradual cooling, with colorful foliage in the surrounding areas.

Where to Stay Around Bryce Canyon


North Campground (Inside Bryce Canyon National Park):

  • Located within the park.
  • RV and tent camping available.
  • Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.
  • Facilities include restrooms and a dump station.

Sunset Campground (Inside Bryce Canyon National Park):

  • Within the park.
  • RV and tent sites available.
  • Reservations are advisable, especially during busy times.
  • Facilities include restrooms and a dump station.

Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground:

  • Located just outside the park near the town of Bryce.
  • RV and tent sites available.
  • Offers amenities like showers, laundry, and a general store.

Bryce Canyon Pines Campground:

  • About 5 miles from the park.
  • RV and tent sites available.
  • Facilities include restrooms and a general store.

KOA Cannonville/Bryce Valley:

  • Located about 15 miles from Bryce Canyon.
  • RV and tent sites available.
  • Offers amenities like a pool, showers, and a camp store.

Lava Point Campground:

  • A primitive campground in the park (higher elevation).
  • Tent camping only.
  • No reservations, and it’s usually first-come, first-served.
  • Generally open in the summer and early fall.

Before planning your trip, check the current status of campgrounds, make reservations if necessary, and be aware of any park regulations or restrictions. Keep in mind that Bryce Canyon is a popular destination, and campgrounds can fill up quickly during peak seasons.

Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park

Below you’ll find six activities to do while visiting, including hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park. You honestly don’t need more than two days here if you are active throughout your trip. Plus, the Bryce Canyon National Park photos you’ll get will be unique.

Hike Queens Garden and Navajo Loop

The preeminent trail in Bryce Canyon National Park is crowded during the middle of the day but offers so much unique exploring below the hoodoos. At three-miles round trip and less than 700 feet of elevation gain, it’s a perfect hike for the entire family.

I’d recommend starting at Sunset Point and coming back up at Sunrise. This route has a more gradual uphill to save your legs and lungs. Overall, this is my favorite of the Bryce Canyon trails.

Bryce Canyon National Park hiking
Bryce Canyon National Park hiking
Bryce Canyon Queen Garden Loop bryce canyon hikes
Stunning landscapes | bryce canyon hikes

Hike down Wall Street

Wanting to see Wall Street without the interest in visiting NYC? Just come to Bryce! The Wall Street route down into the canyon is a stunning array of switchbacks below towering orange hoodoos. To nail the perfect photo, get here bright and early to have the place to yourself.

You can add this to the above hike for about a four-mile trek. My suggestions are to hike down Wall Street a bit up the Navajo Trail to Two Bridges, then come back down and complete the Queens Garden Loop.

You’ll love these Bryce Canyon hikes!

Wall Street Hike Bryce Canyon National Park hiking
Bryce Canyon National Park Wall Street Hike bryce canyon trails
Bryce Canyon National Park hiking wall street bryce canyon trails
Wall Street | bryce canyon hikes

Enjoy the views from Sunrise and Sunset Points

Aptly named for the best features, these two vista overlooks are beautiful and worth visiting even if you’re short on time. Sunset Point is closest to the parking lot, while Sunrise Point is a quarter-mile from Bryce Canyon Lodge.

Lastly, it won’t surprise you that the best times to visit these two spots are sunset and sunrise. Whether you’re here for a long stop or just a quick peek, these short Bryce Canyon hikes are must-dos.

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Bryce Canyon National park Photos bryce canyon hikes
Bryce Canyon National Park hiking

Take the Scenic Drive to the end of the road

Wherever you look in Bryce, it’s beautiful, and the drive to Rainbow Point is mesmerizing as you traverse higher and higher above the canyon floor below. In total, the drive to the highest point in the park is 17 miles, and I’d give it close to an hour, with frequent stops along the way.

One place to pull over is the famous Bryce Natural Bridge. The geological formation is viewable from the pull-off. The Bryce Canyon National Park photos from here are gorgeous.

Bryce Canyon National Park hiking

Soak up the cool air at Rainbow Point

At 9,115 feet, hiking Bryce Canyon at Rainbow Point can be anywhere from 5-10 degrees cooler than other park favorites. Be aware of this, especially if you’re going there for sunrise or sunset. Most people go for the view, but I’d suggest setting aside a couple of hours and hiking in Bryce Canyon.

The Bristlecone Loop Trail (easy) or the Riggs Spring Loop Trail (strenuous) are good options. If you’re not looking to do the entire eight-mile Riggs loop, just going down a mile or so is a great view and not too strenuous.

Rainbow Point Bryce Canyon National Park Utah Bryce Canyon National Park hiking
bryce canyon trails
Rainbow Point Bryce Canyon National Park Utah bryce canyon hikes

Stare up at starry skies

Bryce Canyon National Park is an international dark sky spot meaning you will have some of the darkest skies you’ve ever seen. Plus, at over 7,000 feet in elevation, you’re closer to the stars than in most other locations in the United States – or the world.

Whether or not you’re into photography, take a moment at night to go outside and soak up the view.

bryce canyon trails

What to wear hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park?

If you’re hiking in Bryce Canyon in the summer months, all you need are some trail runners or hiking shoes, a medium-sized backpack, 2-3L of water, snacks, a hat, hiking clothes, and maybe a light jacket if you’re planning to stay out late.

Most of the popular hikes are less than six miles, so you won’t have tremendously long days (or at least you won’t have long hikes, but you can combine hikes to still get to 10 miles in a day.)

Need hiking gear? Get it here!

Bryce Canyon Hiking FAQ

Which is better for hiking Bryce or Zion?

I would say that Zion National Park is better for hiking only because there’s a great area to explore. Bryce is pretty constrained, and you’re limited to just a few of the popular hikes. (That being said, there is a long network of trails on the bottom that you can backpack around.) Still, hiking in Bryce Canyon is electric, and you’ll love every second!

The most popular hike in Bryce Canyon National Park is the Wall Street Trail and/or the Queens Garden Trail. Both off wild views and really give you a good understanding of what makes Bryce special.

Can you hike Bryce Canyon at night?

Sure! It’s going to be incredibly dark, so make sure you bring a headlamp and extra batteries. But there are no rules against doing so, and thankfully, there are not really any predators to worry about in the canyon.

Can you visit Bryce Canyon National Park in the winter?

Yes, you can visit Bryce Canyon in the winter, but you will need a car suitable for snowy conditions. With the road sitting between 7,500 and 9,000 feet, this area can get frigid in the winter. That said, this area with snow on the red rocks looks mesmerizing, and it is one of those things I’m still hoping to experience firsthand.

Final Thoughts: Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park

This part of the country is such a gem. You honestly will not want to leave as it’s incredibly picturesque everywhere you look. Plus, hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park will blow you away with the colors, views, and wild formations.

However you do your Bryce Canyon hiking, just make sure to do it. You won’t regret it on bit!

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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