Are you thinking about camping at Bryce Canyon this summer? The boys and I snuck away for a weekend last year to explore the area with a few friends of mine — and we had the best time!
Bryce Canyon is located in Southern Utah, and the canyon is full of the largest concentration of Hoodoos anywhere in the world. The views are spectacular from the canyon overlooks, which are easily accessible, but I highly recommend hiking down into the canyon if you’re able.
What to Expect At Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is a National Park, and there are fees to visit the park. The National Park Service is currently experiencing some unprecedented number of visitors to many areas of their parks, and additional restrictions might be in place.
We visited in August, and while it was cooler than at home in Phoenix, it was still really hot. It was in the upper 90’s when we visited, which definitely adds an additional element to the hikes. If you are visiting in the summer, be prepared for heat and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and hats for your entire crew. The park is also at higher elevations and some areas are upwards of 9,000 feet above sea level. Be prepared for these higher elevations and be aware of altitude-related illnesses.
For more information about current fees, pets, and other current information, be sure to check out the National Park Service’s website before your visit.
Hiking at Bryce Canyon
We hiked through the canyon on a loop that was about five miles. As a mentioned earlier, it was really hot, but the hike was so worth it to experience the hoodoos from a different perspective.
We started our hike at Sunrise Point, and then walked into the canyon down near Wall Street, and exited the canyon at Sunset Point. At the end of our hike there were lots of switchbacks going up to Sunset Point, and my son who was four at the time was feeling pretty hot and tired. If we were to visit again, I would hike down at Sunset and come up through Sunrise.
There is a paved trail that runs along the top of the Canyon between Sunrise and Sunset points, and it is just about 1.0 mile between the two. If you’re pressed on time or low on energy, this would be a great little hike to tackle and still get to see the amazing hoodoos.
The NPS website also lists a few other hikes like Bristlecone Loop or Mossy Cave that sound like fun, and that I think we will explore on our next visit to the park.
Camping At Bryce Canyon
There are many campgrounds within the park. Some operate on a first-come, first-served basis and others utilize a reservation system. There is also backcountry camping permitted throughout the park, but it does require a permit. More information about their campground can be found on their website.
During our visit, we decided to setup a dispersed campsite at the nearby Dixie National Forest. Our family typical prefers the dispersed camping setting, when the option is around. The weather was beautiful and my boys loved running around the National Forest between our visits to Bryce Canyon. More information about dispersed camping in the Dixie National Forest can be found here. If your family hasn’t previously done any dispersed camping, please take some time to educate yourself about the responsibilities of dispersed camping to protect yourselves and the environment.