- Published: Friday, 15 May 2015 10:00
- Written by Dan
Bryce Canyon National Park: The Adventurer’s Guide
Dispatch by Simon Vaughan
Intro Photo by Jimmy Martinello
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is a popular year-round destination that served as the base of our second View From Here expedition. Here's our guide to the essential information that you need to know to make the best of your Bryce Canyon experience.
How to get there?
Whether you’re heading to Bryce Canyon National Park for some day trekking, backcountry hiking or simple sightseeing, it’s probably easiest to start your visit in Las Vegas. The park is located about 270 miles from either Sin City or Salt Lake City, but given the ease of grabbing flights to Vegas, it’s likely just easier to take a gamble and head for The Strip.
Alternatively, there are also smaller airports located 80 miles away in Cedar City, Utah and 125 miles away in St. George, Utah, although both offer less frequent service and entail multiple connections to reach.
Unfortunately, there is no public transport to the park itself from anywhere, but from Las Vegas it’s an easy drive north on I-15, with the opportunity to stop at Zion National Park along the way. Even the Grand Canyon is only 150 miles south of Bryce Canyon, making it possible to see three of the U.S.’s most iconic parks in one trip.
How to get around?
Once at the park, from May through October, the Park Service offers the Bryce Canyon Shuttle between all of the park’s major sites, including lodges and main campsites. Although visitors are permitted to use their own vehicles, the shuttle is free and is designed to help alleviate traffic and reduce pollution.
Where to stay?
Bryce Canyon offers two main campsites located near the visitor centre and 12 backcountry campsites, as well as the Bryce Canyon Lodge, with its 114 rooms. Other accommodation can be found outside the park boundary in neighbouring communities.
When to go?
Bryce Canyon National Park is open year-round, though its elevation means it can get some rough weather during winter and even in the fall and spring. However, the sight of pristine white snow on the coloured rocks makes it worth any inclement inconvenience.
From October to May, the temperature dips below freezing most nights, with the coldest time being from December to February. July and August see the region’s greatest rainfall, while June and September offer what is arguably the best weather of the year.
What to hoodoo?
In addition to taking in the great views, visitors can take advantage of Bryce Canyon’s ranger-guided tours and teaching programs that include Geology Talks, Rim Walks and Snowshoe Hikes as well as Astronomy, Evening, Full Moon and Kids Programs. During winter there’s the opportunity for skiing, while summer offers horseback and muleback riding.
There are almost a dozen day-hikes that range from easy to strenuous and cover from 0.8 to 8.5 miles, and backcountry trails as long as 22.9 miles that reach altitudes of over 9,000 feet.
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