• Basecamp Outdoor Gear Team

Favorite things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park

Updated: Sep 6

Bryce Canyon National Park is a breathtaking marvel that is hard to put into words! The park is famous for its orange-hued hoodoos, pillars of stone in various shapes and sizes. Though the park is small, it is worth spending a night or two in the vicinity to truly appreciate it. Don't forget to browse our inventory for camping gear rentals for Bryce.

Below is a list of our favorite things to do and see in Bryce Canyon National Park. For more detail, download our free DetourOn Roadbook.

Wondering where to stay? Check out this list of places to camp in or near Bryce Canyon National Park.


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Shuttle information

Best day hikes in Bryce

Worthwhile activities in Bryce

Where to camp in or near Bryce

amphitheater of orange-colored rock pillars at sunset
Bryce Canyon National Park in winter

Important Bryce Canyon Shuttle Information

The Bryce Canyon shuttle is a free courtesy shuttle provided by the National Park Service in an effort to reduce congestion in the park. Use of the shuttle is optional, but we highly recommend it if you're trying to visit Sunrise or Sunset Points. Those are the most popular areas and offer limited parking. If you take the shuttle, you should familiarize yourself with all the shuttle stops and info before heading out. Here are the most important things to know about the Bryce Canyon Shuttle:

  • The shuttle is free and optional. You can enter the park with your private vehicle. Purchase or show your park pass at the entrance gate. You can also purchase a park pass at Ruby's Inn. If you take the shuttle from Ruby's Inn (outside the park), you'll need to show your park pass to the driver prior to boarding the shuttle.

  • You can get on and off the shuttle at each stop as many times as you'd like while in the park.

  • The Bryce Canyon shuttle only serves the most popular viewpoints in the park between April-October. You can reach the remainder of the park viewpoints in your own vehicle.

Check out the park website for more details about the Bryce Canyon Shuttle.

orange-colored rock pillars
Queen's Garden and Fairyland Loops in one shot

Best day hikes in Bryce

Honestly, as far as I'm concerned, there are only two day hikes worth mentioning here. But don't get me wrong: These hikes are the reason you want to visit Bryce!


Fairyland Loop

The aptly named Fairyland Loop definitely makes you feel like you're in a fairytale. There aren't as many hoodoos on this trail as you would expect, but rather a bunch of rolling hills of various colors. It's magical.

The total length of this loop is about 8 miles. You can combine it with the 7-mile Figure 8 for a mega long day.

orange-hued rolling hills
Rolling painted hills of Fairyland

Figure 8

The Figure 8 is actually a combination of a few of the most famous trails in the park: Wall Street, Queen's Garden/Navajo Loop, and Peekaboo. This is where you'll find most of the hoodoos that make Bryce Canyon so popular.

As the name implies, the combo of trails forms a figure 8. Once completing one loop, you can choose to keep going to the next one or take a shortcut back out to your car. You can also choose to exit at Bryce Point and take the free park shuttle back to your starting point. Some trails may close temporarily due to rockfall so check conditions before setting out.

The total length of all the trails put together comes to around 7 miles. It may not sound like much, but there are a lot of ups and downs on this path. There is also very little shade, which makes it very tiring.

trail meandering under orange cliffs
One short portion of the Figure 8

Other Things To Do In and Around Bryce Canyon National Park

There is a gorgeous paved bike path between Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon that I highly recommend if you're traveling with a road bike.

If you're into mountain biking, check out the up and coming trails at Red Canyon.

You can rent mountain bikes, road bikes, and/or e-bikes from these vendors.

Instead of hiking, sign up for a horseback ride of the Peekaboo Trail.

Check out the various ranger-led programs at the visitor center and the park website. I recommend them all but my favorite is the nighttime astrology tour.

In winter, join a ranger-led snowshoe full moon hike. Bring your own snowshoes or rent them at the visitor center or at Ruby's Inn.

3 people riding horses looking at orange-colored rocks
Horse and mule rides at Bryce Canyon National Park

Camping in or around Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is surrounded by RV parks, all of which offer similar quality. Only stay at RV parks if you're traveling in an RV! Otherwise, for tent or car camping, check out the following options. Remember to rent a tent and other outdoor gear for Bryce from us in Las Vegas prior to departing on your trip.


North and Sunset Campgrounds

The only campgrounds in the park. These are beautiful campgrounds, spacious, in a thick ponderosa pine forest. They offer limited amenities, making for a true camping experience. Both campgrounds have flush toilets and potable water, some spotty cell phone reception, but no showers.

North Campground is open year-round, but you'll be camping in snow if you visit in winter! Make reservations if you visit in summer. Sunset Campground is first-come first-serve and only open between April-October.


Ruby's Inn RV Park and Campground

Although advertised as an RV Park, Ruby's Inn Campground has really nice spaces for tent camping. It is a bit expensive, but you get free unlimited access to the pool, wifi, and showers. It is also just a walk away from Ruby's Inn amenities, and a 2-minute drive to the park entrance. For all of these reasons, I think this is the best location to spend the night when visiting Bryce.


Kodachrome Basin State Park Campground

It's nearly 1 hour away from Bryce, off Scenic Byway 12. Stay here only if you plan to continue to Escalante or Capitol Reef after Bryce. Kodachrome Basin has three small campgrounds for a fair price and wonderful amenities. Flush toilets, running water, hot showers, picnic tables, grills, and beautiful surroundings abound.

signed trail junction
Trail junction at the Bryce amphitheater

Conclusion

Bryce Canyon National Park is a year-round destination with breathtaking rock formations, panoramic views, and fun activities for all ages. Don't forget to reserve your camping gear rental with us.

Try planning your next trip to Bryce using DetourOn! You can edit this template and download the free roadbook. If you'd like more information on any of the destinations mentioned please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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