Bryce Canyon is a bucket list location. Everyone absolutely must see it at least once in his or her respective lifetime. It’s almost like nature used wind, water and time to make a cathedral for itself. If you can’t tell by now, we were amazed by what we saw at Bryce Canyon. We’re excited that you’re reading this because it means you’re likely going there and that’s awesome. To help you plan, this Bryce Canyon 1 Day guide will tackle what active adventurers should do to make the most out of their chance to visit!
Disclaimer: This is not your typical relaxing, I-have-all-the-time-in-the-world travel guide. Ya it would be awesome to spend 2-3 days in each Utah National Park, but let’s be honest, no American traveler has the time to do that and see them all! So this guide and all our National Park Travel Guide are written to the frugal and practical American traveler who has squeezed this adventure into a long weekend or around a holiday. It will be short on park descriptions (you’ll learn all the same fun facts about the park while you’re there) and heavy on the hiking and efficient time planning. Little to no time is set aside for restaurants. It is assumed you’ll make one stop at a grocery store to pick up everything you need to eat on the trail or at your campsite. Our goal is to help you pack as many (usually free) fun-filled things into your cherished vacation time and make the most of potentially a once in a lifetime visit to these spectacular places. If you’re looking for something more relaxed, their are plenty of other awesome travel guides out there for you!
We’re just going to dive right into it. This itinerary assumes you have 1 full day to spend at Bryce Canyon. It assumes that you’re driving to the park in the morning and camping in or around the park that night. Be sure to grab a park map at the entrance or download one in advance and get ready to explore!
- Aim to arrive at the park around 10AM.
- Drive out to the far end of the park to Rainbow Point and walk the short (~1 mile roundtrip) Bristlecone Loop Trail being sure to stop by Yovimpa Point.
- Check out some of the viewpoints on the drive back to the main amphitheater area.
- Park at Inspiration Point to start your hike down into the canyon. Walk from Inspiration Point to Bryce Point along the Rim Trail then down into the canyon. Take the path closer to the canyon rim of Peekaboo Loop Trail and then hike up the Wall Street Side of the Navajo loop and head towards Inspiration Point. The round trip is 8-10 miles. Definitely bring your lunch and eat it at a shady spot down in the canyon!
- Go to Sunrise or Sunset Point for sunset. Expect plenty of crowds but the view is worth it!
- If you want to see sunrise at the canyon the next morning (would recommend), come back and go to Sunset Point. Sunset and Sunrise both face east looking out over the canyon. The view is the same, however since one is called Sunrise Point like 90% of the sunrise crowd goes to Sunrise Point!
Total Miles: ~12 miles
Bryce Canyon has a great shuttle system. If you cannot find a park spot near where you want to hike, you can park near the visitor center where there is much more parking!
How to Get There
Bryce Canyon National Park is roughly 1.5 hours east from Zion National Park and about 2.5 hours west from Capital Reef National Park. You can rent a small, fuel efficient sedan and be just fine. There are no dirt/gravel roads in this itinerary!
Where To Stay
Bryce Canyon National Park has plenty of campsite options in and around the park.
In The Park
For being the smallest National Park that you will visit in Utah, Bryce Canyon has a surprisely high amount of in-park campsites. Even traveling during high season, we were able to show up at Bryce Canyon around 10:30AM and get a campsite in the park. A campsite in the park costs $20 per night.
Around The Park
There are numerous campsite just outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon. One is a popular hotel/campground called Ruby’s Inn which also has a shuttle stop so you wouldn’t have to drive your car into Bryce Canyon and worry about parking during high season!
Where To Go Next
The Other Utah National Parks
You’re in luck, we’ve also put together adventure-packed 1 Day American Traveler Itineraries for Canyonlands – The Needles, Canyonlands – Island In The Sky, Arches, Capital Reef, and Zion National Park.
If you’re looking to plan a week long trip to Utah to see them all, then be sure to check out our epic 10 Day Utah National Park American Traveler Guide!
Wishing these travel guides included a little more information and fun facts about the park? No worries, we left that up to the experts. GyPSy is a location based guide service that will provide you with awesome fun facts and park navigation directions as you drive. It costs a total of $10 to download both Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park guides and it is 100% worth it. We named the guide Roger, he sounds like a Roger. So say hi to him for us!
Probably our favorite travel app ever made. It has all the hiking trails and walking paths clearly marked and has easy to download offline maps. Whether we are in Colombia or Glacier National park, we know we’ll never be lost with Maps.me. Plus, it’s completely free!
Be sure to open the app and download the map when you have WiFi. You download regional maps by zooming in on a certain area. There’s nothing worse than opening up Maps.Me once you’re on trail and realizing you forgot to download your map!
An app that gives you trail distances and recent reviews for hiking trails. It’s worth checking AllTrails a day or two before you do a longer hike as it is updated frequently for hikers. It’s basically Yelp for hiking. Plus, it’s free too!
You’re good to go for Bryce Canyon National Park. You’ve got an itinerary broken down into a power-packed yet manageable day. Plus you’ve got all our lessons learned!
So there you have it, our Bryce Canyon 1 Day itinerary. From us to you, happy adventuring!
All prices and information are current as of September 2020.