Destination List > Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Photo by Jeff Hollett

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The history...

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce Canyon National Park is much smaller, and sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400 to 2,700 m).

The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874. The area around Bryce Canyon was originally designated as a national monument by President Warren G. Harding in 1923 and was redesignated as a national park by Congress in 1928. The park covers 35,835 acres (55.992 sq mi; 14,502 ha; 145.02 km2) and receives substantially fewer visitors than Zion National Park or Grand Canyon National Park, largely due to Bryce's more remote location.


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For the adventurous, you'll want to take the Queens Garden 1.8 mile trail down into the canyon to walk amongst the hoodoos.


Visit the viewpoints along the scenic drive. Plan for it to take at least 3 hours.


Get out early and enjoy the amazing sunrise at Bryce Point.


Stop for close-up view of the natural bridge arch.


Enjoy the 1 mile hike along the Mossy Cave Trail where you'll see hoodoos and a waterfall along the way.


Take in the panoramic views at Inspiration Point where you can see the main amphitheater and its rows of hoodoos.


Hike the 5.5 mile Rim Trail to see many of Bryce Canyons best spots including Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, Fairyland, and Bryce points.


Visit Yovimpa Point to see the Grand Staircase, a series of rock layers in different colors receding as steps to the horizon.


Go to the park at night for some spectacular stargazing. The clear air and lack of light pollution make this an ideal spot to see the stars like you've never seen before.


Grab some pics at the Fairyland Canyon overlook where you can see the hoodoos up close.

Did you know?



Bryce Canyon was designated as a national monument by President Harding in 1923. Five years later, Congress re-designated it as a national park on February 25, 1928.

36 k


The park is made up of about 36,000 acres along the southeastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

2.6 mil


Bryce Canyon is one of the most popular US national parks receiving about 2.6 million visitors each year.

Utah, let's explore...


Salt Lake City


January 4, 1896