An alpine forest with as many red rock hoodoos as trees. 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 distinctive red rock pillars, called hoodoos, as well as into the park's series of natural amphitheaters. And because Bryce Canyon National Park is at an elevation of 8,000 to 9,000 feet, there are even opportunities for winter sports like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Look to Bryce Canyon City, Tropic, Cannonville, and Henrieville for a variety of hotels and lodging accommodations. Check out the Bryce Canyon Lodge, a National Historic Landmark offering cabin rentals just outside the park.
Bryce Canyon National Park has two established campgrounds (North Campground and Sunset Campground) offering nearly 200 total campsites for tents, trailers, and RVs. Some backcountry camp areas are available as well (permits required). For travelers looking to camp outside the park, the gorgeous Kodachrome Basin State Park offers 52 additional sites less than 30 minutes away.
Travelers will experience the best of Southern Utah’s mountain and desert climates at Bryce Canyon. Summer visitation peaks during July’s “monsoon” season where travelers will encounter generally dry, warm weather around 80°F interspersed with dramatic afternoon lightning storms. Night dips into the 30–40°F’s. November–March are the coldest, with temperatures peaking in the 30–40°F’s and freezing at night. Because of its higher elevation, Bryce is cooler than the other national parks and carries snow longer into spring.
Red Rock & Dark Skies: Stargazing the National Parks
This road trip through southwest Utah takes you to four of Utah’s best places to see the Milky Way — Capitol Reef National Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument.