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Bryce Canyon National Park

Should I visit?

I think this is the question everyone is asking themselves when it comes to Bryce Canyon National Park.  It's about 2 hours away from Zion National Park, and pretty far from Arches National Park and the Grand Canyon.  It's kind of a side thought to anyone's Utah or Arizona Parks trip.

The fact that very few people actually go here is probably the coolest part about visiting Bryce Canyon.  When I showed up, late in the afternoon after my day spent at Zion, there was no ranger at the road-side check-in booth, everyone just got in for free.  I drove up to one of the lookout points, parked right in the front and center of the trail head, and wandered to the cliff edges, only seeing a couple people on my way.  There were five people hanging out at the lookout point, it was about an hour or two before sunset and I decided to start hiking the trail.  I got down to the bottom of the canyon in an hour or two, exploring and taking pictures on the way.  I only passed a few people here and there, and eventually I was literally the only one inside the canyon!  This feeling was special, in comparison to the crowded feeling you can get at other, more popular national park attractions. 

You can climb around and explore the canyon at your leisure, and it really looks like an alien planet.  This would be a perfect place to take your kids, or to tool around with your group of friends.  I don't know if I could spend more than a day here, but if you're in the area anyway or you have a cool camping spot, it's probably worth a stop.  It's not as impressive as the Grand Canyon obviously, but it's definitely more approachable and exciting in its own right.

 

FAQ:

Is Bryce Canyon worth visiting?

  • Yeah if you're in the area anyway.

How long can you spend at Bryce Canyon?

  • I would probably be bored after a day, but if you're with a group of people you're hanging out with, and have a cool camping setup, it would be fun to stay longer. 

How much does Bryce Canyon cost to enter?

  • I think the going rate for national park day passes is 30 bucks, however, this park is really relaxed and there was no one at the front entrance so I guess it's free?

Are the trails at Bryce Canyon easy for older or less experienced hikers?

  • Yeah, the trails are nice and relaxed, you can definitely walk at your leisure on this one. 

How long does it take to hike down Bryce Canyon?

  • I hiked down to the bottom in something like an hour, but there are a few different trails to chose from, and many are as long or as short as you want to make them. 

How far is Bryce Canyon from Zion National Park?

  • A little less than 2 hours.

What should I watch out for?

  • The speed limits in Nevada and Utah are around 80 in some places, and there is a ton of wildlife once you get into the boonies (especially between Zion and Bryce)  So definitely pay attention to the road while you're driving.  I had to slam on the brakes for a family of Elk that was hanging out in the middle of the highway around a curve.  I can't imagine how much worse it is to hit a full grown elk compared to a Wisconsin deer. 

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