Find Your Park in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park, huh?

Good choice!

Below are a few things to know and think about when you #findyourpark in the land of the hoodoos.

Thor's Hammer in Bryce Canyon

WHAT’S A HOODOO?

First off it’s time to figure out what a hoodoo is. I’m gonna take a quote directly from the source, Bryce Canyon National Park’s website:

“Hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and “broken” lands. Hoodoos are most commonly found in the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau and in the Badlands regions of the Northern Great Plains.” – Bryce Canyon NPS

Bryce Canyon National Park

In the case of Bryce Canyon the hoodoos formed from the receding edge of the Clarion Formation, the pink cliffs of the Colorado Plateau. The Clarion Formation is a layer of stone on the top of the Colorado Plateau. It was likely a warm, shallow sea that covered the region. After the millions of years went by it is now this pinkish stone and as the rain and snow break it apart we get to see the beautiful hoodoos. Everything that falls off is carried down the amphitheater toward the Paria River.

MUST-DOS

Visit the Viewpoints: Bryce Canyon is a really good viewpoint park. There are some adventures (hiking, backpacking, etc.), but the all the viewpoints offer something amazing. Be sure that while you’re in Bryce to go down the road and stop at each pullout and see the sights.

Navajo Loop Trail: It may be a short trail, but it has a lot of bang for its buck. You’ll get to see some of the more prominent formations in the park, like Thor’s Hammer. It can be a really busy trail though so don’t expect to have it to yourself. I’ve walked down this trail with about 400 other people.

Keith Howells standing on the Navajo Loop in Bryce Canyon overlooking Thor's Hammer

Look at the Stars: Bryce Canyon National Park is world renowned for the lack of light pollution. This causes one of the best night sky viewing opportunities. Park Rangers lead trips and lectures on the night sky regularly; check at the Visitor Center for details.

Horseback Rides: There are trails all over the area made for guided horseback rides and they take you to some amazing view points. Take the time to go on a horseback ride when you visit Bryce, it’s worth it!

LOCAL TIPS AND TRICKS

  1. Wake Up Early!
    • Most people visiting the National Parks don’t start moving until about 9 am. If you get up early (7 am) you’ll get about 2 to 3 hours of bliss.Wake up early!
  2. Drive to the End.
    • Drive all the way to the end of HWY 63 before pulling off to see anything. This way you’ll only have to take right turns to get into the parking areas. Making a left on HWY 63 can be a nightmare.
  3. Some Good Hiking Loops.
    1. Fairyland Loop
    2. Queens Garden Loop

Fairyland Loop of Bryce Canyon

  1. Long Adventures in the Park
    • Above the Rim:
    • Under the Rim:
  2. Winter is the Best at Bryce
    • Head to Bryce Canyon in the winter. The park service, forest service, and Ruby’s Inn work really hard to turn the area into a wonderful destination in the winter. There’s some amazing XC ski trails and some ice skating. Big Bonus: NOBODY IS THERE.
  3. Mossy Cave is a hidden treasure
    • A short hike on the underside of Bryce offers a view of the canyon rim that is unparalleled to the others. Also the waterfall at the cave is a gorgeous site to see.

4 Replies to “Find Your Park in Bryce Canyon”

  1. Jami Tumlin

    Hi,

    I’m looking to plan a trip Aug 20-24th and would love to canyoneer the grand canyon. Do you have any trips planned during that time? If so, how much?

    Thanks,
    Jami Tumlin

    Reply
    • Keith Howells Post author

      Hi Jami,

      I don’t offer guided trips to people. Thanks for asking. I’m just a person who loves getting outside and helping others find their next adventure.
      I’m also not aware of any commercial outfitters operating in the Grand Canyon doing canyoneering.

      Keith

      Reply
  2. Michele Becker

    Loved all of this great info. Do you have the same for Zion & Grand? We’re heading there in June & are so excited. We’ve visited Arches & Canyonlands & wish we had time to head back there too! We are hikers & know our hikes will be short, sweet & beautiful & want to get the best bang for our buck. Staying at Arrowhead B&B for 3 nights & then for one at Bright Angel before we head to Alb. to head home (Atlanta).Thanks & have a great day.

    Reply
    • Keith Howells Post author

      Awesome!

      Glad you found this helpful. I have a post on Zion: http://www.howellsoutdoors.com/findyourparkzion/ but nothing yet for Grand Canyon. It’s such a huge park that it is taking me some time to figure out what the must-dos are of visiting the giant.
      If you want any more info on Zion feel free to ask. If you want some Grand Canyon info I could give you what I have.

      Have a great adventure!

      Keith

      Reply

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