At dawn and dusk, mule deer graze the forested plateau along the road into Bryce Canyon. The alpine environment is home to dozens of species of mammals and birds, all acquainted with a spectacular truth: this is no ordinary forest. Water and wind over millions of years of freezes and thaws have carved into the plateau endless fields of the park's distinctive red rock pillars, called hoodoos, into the park's series of natural amphitheaters. Seek out the canyon floor on foot or stick to the overlooks by car. Bryce Canyon invites discovery.
Bryce Canyon National Park Weather
Bryce Canyon combines mountain and desert climates. Summer visitation peaks during July's "monsoon" season where afternoon lightning storms are interspersed with generally dry, warm weather reaching the low 80s F, with significant nighttime dips into the 40s or 30s. November through March are the coldest, with daytime temperatures peaking in the 30s and 40s and dropping below freezing at night. Learn more about Utah's weather and climate.
Gateways to Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon City, Panguitch, Tropic, Cannonville and Henrieville offer a range of accommodations on Highway 12 with easy access to Bryce Canyon, Dixie National Forest and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Take your mountain bike to the Thunder Mountain Trail at Red Canyon or hike through Kodachrome Basin State Park. The Bryce Canyon visitor center is open year-round. Bryce Canyon Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, is open April through November.
Reserve your Bryce Canyon campsite right away! There is plenty of area lodging too, from economy-style motels to luxury hotels. Ruby's Inn is the closest lodge to the canyon rim and offers private access to the national park but you can also set up camp in the surrounding Dixie National Forest or Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. You can even stay at a working Old West dude ranch in Antimony as part of your complete outdoor adventure at Bryce Canyon.
Build an Itinerary
Bryce Canyon is equally perfect for auto tourists looking for short walks to viewpoints as it is for backcountry hikers seeking solitude. The 37-mile scenic drive accesses multiple overlooks where you'll capture your own memories of the park's famous vistas. The Rim Trail offers near-continuous looks deep into the main amphitheater while Rainbow, Yovimpa and Inspiration Points access wildly different perspectives. Return at different times of day and night and discover the park's ever-changing personality. If you only have a few hours, you can easily complete the drive and stop at every overlook. Some of the park's iconic hoodoos stand 10 stories tall, something you'll have to hike into the canyon to fully appreciate.
The most brilliant colors of the park come alive with the rising and setting of the sun, and the show continues into the night with dark sky astronomy programs. Summertime offers myriad walking and hiking trails along the rim and toward the bottom of the canyon. Many visitors think it's even better seen by horseback. In the winter, layer up for cold-weather hiking and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing when conditions permit.
All told, the otherworldly beauty of this Mighty 5® national park is the backdrop for incredible hiking, camping, horseback riding and even bicycle riding on the paved road.
35,835 acres (56.2 square miles, 145 square kilometers). You can stick to the road, try a few short hikes or disappear for a couple of days into Bryce Canyon's backcountry.
Named for late 19th-century homesteader Ebenezer Bryce, Bryce Canyon was established as a national park in 1928. Evidence of hunting and gathering in the area by indigenous tribes such as the Paiute culture dates back several hundred years, if not longer.
Bryce Canyon National Park | Bryce Canyon Lodge | Visit Utah
Unnamed Road, Bryce
Bryce, Utah 84764