day trip spotlight bryce canyon national park

Day Trip Spotlight: Bryce Canyon National Park

by | Aug 7, 2023

Bryce Canyon National Park isn’t as well-known as it’s neighbor to the South, Zion National Park. But this doesn’t mean that it’s any less worthy of a visit.

Located just two hours from our Torrey accommodations, Bryce Canyon is a great day trip to enjoy during your stay at Chuckwagon Lodge. If you have time during your next trip, keep reading to learn how to plan a day trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Getting to Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is around a two-hour drive from Chuckwagon Lodge and Torrey, Utah. To get to this national park from your Torrey accommodations, you’ll travel West on UT-24 before connecting with UT-62. You’ll travel South for just over 26 miles, then continue on UT-22 for another 34 miles to the town of Bryce Canyon City. 

You’ll need to pay an entrance fee or present a national park annual pass to enter the park. Without a pass, you’ll pay $35 per vehicle to enter.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Thanks in part to its proximity to Zion, Bryce Canyon National Park is the second most-visited of Utah’s national parks. It’s renowned for its unique geological formations and stunning landscapes. 

One of the park’s most popular features are its hoodoos. These formations look like precariously stacked rocks but are actually spires formed over millions of years of erosion and weathering. The park’s distinct climate, which includes a mix of freezing temperatures during the winter and arid conditions, have helped create the world’s largest collection of hoodoos. Over time, water seeps into cracks in the rocks. This water then freezes and expands, gradually breaking down the stone and creating the spires that litter the park.

The best place to see the hoodoos is in the park’s second best-known feature; the Bryce Amphitheater. This massive natural amphitheater provides an amazing view of the red hoodoos, and is a great spot to view the many different rock layers that make up the canyon. The main road through Bryce Canyon National Park will take you past the amphitheater, with several spots to pull off and take in the view and take pictures.

Many of the park’s most popular viewpoints, including Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, and Inspiration Point, are located on the rim of the amphitheater.

What to Do in Bryce Canyon

While taking in the panoramic views from the viewpoints and enjoying a scenic drive through the park is a must, Bryce Canyon’s best attractions are its network of hiking trails. These trails offer visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the hoodoos and the intricate geological formations that make the park so unique.

The Queen’s Garden Trail, for instance, leads hikers down into the amphitheater, allowing them to walk among the hoodoos and witness their grandeur from a new perspective. The Navajo Loop Trail is another popular choice. This trail takes hikers through towering rock walls and past iconic formations like Thor’s Hammer. The park offers a variety of trails of different difficulty levels and lengths, ranging from accessible trails that are stroller and wheelchair friendly to trails reserved for experienced and prepared backcountry hikers.

The wonder of Bryce Canyon National Park doesn’t end once the sun goes down. In fact, the park is one of the darkest places in the U.S., making stargazing one of its most popular activities. Bryce Canyon is a designated International Park Sky Park. This not only means that it’s located far from any major sources of artificial light, but also that the National Park Service takes measures to reduce light pollution within the park as well.

As night falls and the sky becomes filled with stars, the Bryce Amphitheater takes on a whole new aura. On a clear night, you can see the Milky Way and a variety of constellations you might not be able to see without a telescope back home.

Planning a Day Trip From Fruita Utah Hotels

If you want to take a day trip from your Torrey accommodations to Bryce Canyon National Park, you’ll want to start early. If you don’t mind waking up before the sun, getting to the park to see the sunset makes for an incredible experience. But if you need a little more sleep, plan to stick around to see the Bryce Amphitheater at sunset instead. 

Whether you’re hiking or sightseeing, make sure to pack plenty of water. The high elevation and dry desert landscape, coupled with hot temperatures during the summer, make it easy to get dehydrated. This is especially true on the park’s more challenging trails.

Bryce Canyon is relatively isolated, with just a few food options outside of the park’s main entrance. To make the most of your day in the park, consider packing a meal or two or snacks that you can enjoy throughout the day. The deli and store at Chuck Wagons is a great spot to stock up on all kinds of foods and snacks.

Finally, any time you plan to hike anywhere in Southern Utah, it’s important to check the weather and be aware of any approaching storms or rains before you hit the trail. You can always stop by the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to talk to a ranger about the trails you plan to hike and their conditions that day.

Creating the Perfect Itinerary for a Stay in Torrey Accommodations

A day trip to Bryce Canyon National Park is a great choice during your stay in our Torrey accommodations. Chuckwagon Lodge is centrally located in Torrey, Utah, which means that there are many more day trips you can enjoy during your stay.

For other day trip suggestions for your stay in Torrey Utah hotels, check out this list next.

The Chuckwagon Blog

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