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  • Writer's pictureElaine Sison

How to see Bryce Canyon in half a day

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the Mighty Five parks in Utah alongside Zion, Canyonlands, Arches, and Capitol Reef National Park. Most people combine Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park on their trip due to their proximity of being 1.5 hours apart, so it’s a no-brainer to see it. The drive from Zion is gorgeous through the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway with many photo-worthy pit stops that may take you longer to get to your destination, especially if you get stuck behind slow driving vehicles so plan accordingly.

How much time do you need to see Bryce Canyon National Park?

You can see the top highlights of Bryce Canyon Np in half a day by hiking one short trail and driving to the popular viewpoints.

Best time to visit:

Spring and Fall is the best time to visit with manageable weather and fewer crowds. I came in mid-October and it happened to be 40 degrees but the weather can vary throughout the week. Expect to see snow in December and certain trail closures.

Now onto the good stuff of what to do:

Stop by the visitors center

Before you start your exploration, stop by the visitors center to get your final questions answered by the friendly park rangers. They are very resourceful and provide great tips.

Tip: Always grab a map in case you get lost. There is no signal on the trails.

Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail

Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail is the most popular trail at Bryce Canyon that can be completed in 70 minutes without stopping, but I already know you will stop because the views are out of this world. Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail are connecting trails that take you through the bottom of the pink canyons. Start counter-clockwise on Navajo Loop to see Wall Street instead of clockwise like the park ranger suggests because you’ll avoid the steep incline and the switchbacks at the start of the trail. There’s amazing scenery throughout the hike, but the switchbacks through the canyon are stunning. If you decide to go counter-clockwise, be careful of the descent because most of the injuries happen when people walk down (instead of up). You’ll want to slap on plenty of sunscreen and bring water because most of the trail is exposed to the sun. I came at the end of October, so I imagine it’s blistering hot during the summertime.

  • Length: 2.9 miles

  • Difficulty rating: Easy

Sunrise Point

No hiking is necessary to see the vista point at the start of Queen Gardens Trail. You can easily walk to Sunset Point within 5-10 minutes along the Rim Trail. A great place to see the sunrise with the name and all.

Sunset Point

Vista point at the start of Wall Street/Navajo Loop that connects to Sunrise Point within a short walk along the Rim Trail.

Bryce Point

The highest viewpoint of Bryce Canyon at 8,296 feet elevation. No hiking is necessary to see Bryce Point.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen

  • Disposable bag. Leave no trace of your trash by packing in and packing out what you bring.

  • Snacks and water. They have a small convenience store, with limited food options.

  • Proper hiking shoes. Your regular sneakers won’t do you any favors.

  • Sweater or jacket (for Fall or Winter)

Comment if you have any more questions about Bryce Canyon National Park, or simply say hi! :)

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Elaine is a California Bay Area native who now lives in San Diego, CA as a remote marketing project manager by day and a travel content creator.

Elaine created PureTrips for adventurers who are looking for travel guides and hiking tips to create memorable experiences.

Keep exploring.

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