Planet Earth is full of spectacular wonders that look like a product of an artistic imagination, yet they were created solely by the power of nature. One of these places is Bryce Canyon National Park. With its fantasy-like rock formations colored with shades of pink, orange, red, and white, it is a sculpture and a vibrant painting in one. Bright green juniper trees add to the image with contrasting accents. You will be lured to step into the scene to experience the magic.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Fall in Love with Bryce Canyon National Park

I visited Bryce Canyon National Park three times and most likely I will visit it again. It is my favorite national park anywhere in the world.

My first look at the canyon, over 20 years ago, literally swept me off my feet. This park remains one of the most moving experiences in my years of travel.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

My second visit took place in the winter. Once again, the park’s snow and enchanted beauty overwhelmed me.

Recently, I visited this natural wonder with a group of friends. Just like me, they cannot get enough of the park and beautiful state of Utah.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Visiting Bryce Canyon

When to visit

The park is open 24 – 7.  Visitor Center and fee booths are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Bryce is a popular park, receiving close to 1.75 million visitors annually. Best months to visit are June and September. Most visitors arrive in May through September. The Park’s high altitude provides relatively pleasant temperatures even during the summer months with 80°F average in July.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

In the summer, parking at most viewpoints is extremely congested. Your best chance of finding a parking space at Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, Bryce, and Paria Viewpoints is before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

In winter, the park is covered with snow. Most roads are plowed. Annual snowfall averages 95 inches, providing opportunities for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing.

Lodging

Bryce Canyon Lodge is the only accommodation available in the park. It needs to be reserved well in advance. There are also two campgrounds.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Park campsites are first-come-first-served, except for the group site which is by reservation only. If you’re willing to stay outside of the park’s borders, discover plenty of other lodging options, including two inviting hotels, Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn and Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Our group stayed at the more modern but still charming Grand Hotel. A great choice for me because I used points accumulated on my Best Western Credit Card for a free stay.

Making of Bryce Canyon National Park

Despite its name, Bryce Canyon is actually a cluster of amphitheaters, made of colorful pinnacles called hoodoos. The name given to the rock layer that forms hoodoos is the Claron Formation.

This layer has several rock types including siltstones and mudstones but is predominantly limestone. The stunning colors of the rock result from oxidized chemicals in the stone.

Dominating red, orange, and pink come from iron. Hoodoos range in size from that of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Hoodoos may resemble delicate ornamental sculptures, but they are being shaped by powerful elements – rushing water and ice.

Water from melting snow runs down crevices, rocks tumble, and gravel and pebbles shake loose from the sides of the canyon’s rock formations.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Each winter and spring, just like thousands of years before, another transformation of the canyons takes place. Nothing at the park remains the same for long.

Activities in Bryce Canyon

Visitors won’t lack for activities in Bryce Canyon National Park. Among these things to do in the park include hiking, camping, backpacking, photography, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and bird watching.
Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Junior Ranger Program

The Junior Ranger Program offers children ages 12 and under the opportunity to learn more about the park.

Hiking

With many easily accessible viewpoints, Bryce Canyon National Park could be easily enjoyed without breaking a sweat. But to truly get a feel of the park, experience it up close.

Discover Fantasy Land: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park – photo by Yvonne Jasinski Credit Card TravelingMom

Choose from several day-hiking trails. Because many of these are interconnected, their most popular hikes are combinations of two or more of these basic trails.
Most hikes start with a descent and end with an uphill climb. The terrain is not difficult, but it is steep and slippery at times. Hiking boots are recommended.