You all have to put Bryce Canyon National Park on your bucket list! This unique national park in Utah is one of the strangest and most gorgeous places. It is other worldly in its features. It looks like you are on a desert planet from Star Wars! I think I fell in love with Utah after visiting this national park. We camped in the campground and had the neatest experiences. We found Jupiter and rode a mule on the edge of a canyon! I’ll explain more details later in the post!
The campground itself was very clean. It was in a less “desert” part of Bryce. The campgrounds have a forest feel. They offer tent and RV sites. It only costs $20 for a tent site. There were bathrooms and dish washing sinks nearby every campsite. The campsites all included a standard picnic table and fire pit. There was no fire ban at the time (which can happen in the summer) so we had a lovely steak dinner cooked over an open fire. Mmm, delicious. Everything tastes better cooked over an open fire!
*Disclaimer* Campsites here get booked 6 months- 1 year in advance. If you plan to camp, book early! (we booked ours 8 months prior)
There is a lovely Visitors Center with exhibits that explain the uniqueness of Bryce Canyon and it’s infamous Hoodoos! There is also an information desk with a ranger who is willing to answer any questions about the national park.
Bryce Canyon is also a night sky sanctuary, it’s one of the best places to go star gazing in the world because of its elevation and lack of light pollution! We happened to go during an astronomy festival! But every summer on select nights they set up telescopes in the parking lot. Beside each telescope is an astronomer who calibrates the telescope every couple minutes and answers any questions you might have. This was a highlight of my visit honestly. I love star gazing and learning more about space. It’s so vast and unknown, it fascinates me. We were lucky enough to visit on a weekend where the moon was fully visible. We were also able to see Jupiter and the 3 orbiting moons! The astronomers there were so friendly and a wealth of knowledge. If you visit Bryce Canyon in the summer – this is a MUST DO!
If you are at the park, you need to hike the trails. There are 4 separate viewing points that are unbelievable. Each one has a different view. There is Sunrise Point that somehow captures the morning light into the canyon. Sunset point is beautiful due to the formation of the hoodoos that point alone in a certain way that reflects the setting sun. This area transforms to hues of red/orange/yellow when the sun is setting. Inspiration point and Bryce viewpoint is just as spectacular. It’s a bit overwhelming how rare these views are. There are only a few places in the world where hoodoos form and Bryce Canyon has the largest collection of formations in the entire world! Pictures don’t do it justice.
The coolest thing to do at Bryce National Park is to book a mule ride through the canyon. It’s not as unusual as it sounds. Settlers and builders used Mules to navigate all over these steep canyons, back in the day. The same company hosts mule rides throughout Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. BOOK A MULE RIDE HERE! The “rides” are more like an interactive tour. You are led by a local cowboy on his own mule. You will learn about the local history and the geology of these thousand year old canyons. You can see more of the canyon, quicker, on the back of a Mule. There is a 2 hour tour for $65 and a 3 hour tour for $90. Do the 3 hour! It is well worth the money to take you quickly to the heart of Bryce Canyon. It’s a ride of a lifetime.
*3 Disclaimers* 1. It helps to have ridden a horse in the past, if you haven’t – let your guide know and they will put you on an “easy going” obedient mule. 2. The Mules will walk on the very edge of the trail. You feel like you are going to slip off the ledges to a 800 ft drop of doom. But you won’t, the Mule won’t let it happen, it just feels that way. 3. Bring your camera, this is some of the most breathtaking footage you will ever get.
With plenty to do, you will want more than 1 day in Bryce Canyon.
Even if you have an hour – don’t skip this National Park.
You will be glad you can put this experience in your pocket and the memories in your heart.