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How to Spend 2 Perfect Days in Bryce Canyon National Park

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Did you know you can see the best of Bryce Canyon National Park in just two days? This small but mighty Utah park is perfect for a weekend getaway or a stop on a Utah National Park road trip.

We’ll never forget the first time we visited in January 2021, all the orange hoodoos covered in snow. It was absolutely magical!

In this guide to how to spend 2 perfect days in Bryce Canyon, we cover exactly how you should prioritize your time to get the most out of your visit. We break down the best things to see and do, where to stay, and when you should visit.

Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles: plan your hike in advance, stick to designated trails, carry out all your belongings, dispose of waste properly, leave natural areas untouched, minimize the impact of campfires, show consideration for fellow hikers, and avoid approaching or feeding wildlife.

2 Days in Bryce Canyon National Park At-A-Glance

Day 1

  • Drive the Scenic Drive
  • Hike the Queen’s Garden, Navajo Loop Trail
  • Sunset at Sunrise Point

Day 2

  • Hike Fairyland Loop
  • Hike Mossy Cave
Bryce Canyon Thors Hammer

2-Day Bryce Canyon Map

The map below includes every hike and stop on the scenic drive included in this itinerary!

2 Days in Bryce Canyon Itinerary

Day 1

Today you are arriving to Bryce Canyon National Park, one of the most iconic and beautiful parks in the world! We recommend arriving in the morning or around lunch time to have time for everything on the itinerary for Day 1.

Views on the Navajo and Queens Garden Loop trail in Bryce Canyon National Park

Drive the Scenic Drive

Start your day with awe-inspiring views along the Scenic Drive. This winding road offers stunning vistas of the Bryce Amphitheater and its intricate hoodoos. Stop at must-see overlooks like Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, and Sunset Point, where you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking panorama of the park’s iconic rock formations.

If you start the scenic drive in the morning, you should have plenty of time to stop at as many of the viewpoints as you wish. But, if you want to prioritize which stops you MUST visit, check out our blog post about the best stops on the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive.

Rainbow Point in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Viewpoint

>>> Read more about the best stops on the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive here

Hike the Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden Trail

The Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden Trail showcases some of the best hiking views in the park. Think cool rock tunnels, hoodoos galore, aesthetic switchbacks, and total immersion in the orange sandstone that makes Bryce so iconic.

You’ll descend into the heart of the canyon, passing by towering hoodoos and geological wonders like Thor’s Hammer and Wall Street.

Views on the Navajo and Queens Garden Loop trail in Bryce Canyon National Park

This trail is moderately difficult, in large part due to the park’s elevation. Being at about 8,500 feet of altitude, the air has less oxygen than at lower elevations. This can make you feel out of breath more easily, especially while hiking. Make sure to drink water with electrolytes to stay hydrated and bring salty snacks on the trail!

Tip: Give yourself 2-3 hours to complete this hike and time your return for shortly before sunset to cap off your day!

Sunset at Sunrise Point

Wrap up your day with a mesmerizing sunset at Sunrise Point. As the sun dips below the horizon, watch in awe as the vibrant hues paint the sky and cast a warm glow over the hoodoos below. It’s a magical moment you won’t soon forget.

Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park
Sunset in Bryce Canyon

Day 2

Today you’re going to explore a lesser-visited area of Bryce Canyon National Park, and tick off two unique hikes!

Hike Fairyland Loop

Start your day hiking the Fairyland Loop. This is considered one of the best hikes in the park. It delivers epic hoodoo views, has fewer crowds, and is a pleasant length.

This challenging yet rewarding trek takes you on a journey through Fairyland Canyon, where you’ll encounter towering hoodoos, expansive vistas, and hidden arches.

Hike Mossy Cave

After completing the Fairyland Loop Trail, venture to Mossy Cave for a refreshing change of scenery.

This short and scenic hike leads to a picturesque waterfall and moss-covered alcove, providing a serene oasis amidst the desert landscape.

Depart Bryce Canyon National Park

Wondering where to go next? Here are some places to consider for your next stop:

How to get to Bryce Canyon National Park

To get to Bryce Canyon National Park, we recommend flying to Las Vegas, St. George, or Salt Lake City.

Red Canyon Arch near Bryce Canyon National Park

You can search for flights using the box below or click here.

Then, rent a car and drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. You can search rental cars in the box below or click here.

From St. George, Utah

  1. Get on I-15 N
    • Approximate Time: 5 minutes
    • Distance: 1.8 miles
  2. Follow I-15 N to UT-20 E in Iron County
    • Take exit 95 from I-15 N
    • Approximate Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
    • Distance: 85.7 miles
  3. Follow UT-20 E, US-89 S, and UT-12 E to UT-63 S in Garfield County
    • Approximate Time: 59 minutes
    • Distance: 53.5 miles

Total Drive: 2 hr 10 min (141 miles)

From Salt Lake City, Utah

  1. Get on I-15 S/I-80 E from 500 S/5th S/Cesar E. Chavez Blvd
    • Approximate Time: 4 minutes
    • Distance: 1.6 miles
  2. Follow I-15 S to UT-20 E in Iron County
    • Take exit 95 from I-15 S
    • Approximate Time: 2 hours 56 minutes
    • Distance: 213 miles
  3. Follow UT-20 E, US-89 S, and UT-12 E to UT-63 S in Garfield County
    • Approximate Time: 1 hour
    • Distance: 53.7 miles

Total Drive: 3 hours 51 minutes (268 miles)

From Las Vegas, Nevada

  1. Get on I-515 N/US-95 N from N 4th St and Exit I-15 N
    • Approximate Time: 2 minutes
    • Distance: 0.5 miles
  2. Follow I-15 N to UT-20 E in Iron County
    • Take exit 95 from I-15 N
    • Approximate Time: 2 hours 54 minutes
    • Distance: 205 miles
  3. Follow UT-20 E, US-89 S, and UT-12 E to UT-63 S in Garfield County
    • Approximate Time: 59 minutes
    • Distance: 53.5 miles

Total Drive: 3 hr 46 min (259 miles)

Bryce Canyon National Park Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to Bryce Canyon National Park is $35 per vehicle, or free if you have the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass.

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America The Beautiful National Parks Pass at REI

How to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park on a Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip

Bryce Canyon National Park is a fantastic part of a road trip through Utah’s Mighty 5. Each park offers unique landscapes and experiences, and Bryce Canyon’s stunning hoodoos and vibrant amphitheaters make it a highlight of the journey.

By planning your trip to include Bryce Canyon along with Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion, you can enjoy the full spectrum of Utah’s breathtaking natural beauty.

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon City is the closest town to Bryce Canyon National Park, however there are many options in nearby towns as well. Use the map below to find the stay for you!

What to Pack for Bryce Canyon National Park

Essential Gear:

  1. Hiking Backpack: A comfortable, appropriately sized backpack to carry your gear.
  2. Water Bottles or Hydration System: Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout your hike.
  3. Map and Compass/GPS: Ensure you have a reliable navigation system to stay on course.
  4. Sun Protection: Sunglassessunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), and a wide-brimmed hat to shield from the sun.
  5. First Aid Kit: Include essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and blister treatment.

Clothing:

  1. Moisture-Wicking Clothing: Lightweight, breathable clothing to keep you cool and dry.
  2. Sturdy Hiking Boots or Shoes: Comfortable footwear with good traction for navigating varied terrain.
  3. Socks: Moisture-wicking socks to prevent blisters.
  4. Layered Clothing: Bring layers to adjust to changing weather conditions, including a lightweight jacket or fleece.
  5. Rain Gear: Pack a waterproof jacket or poncho in case of rain showers.
  6. Hat and Gloves: Extra warmth for cooler temperatures at higher elevations.

Food and Snacks:

  1. Trail Snacks: High-energy snacks like trail mix, energy bars, nuts, and dried fruit.
  2. Electrolyte Drinks: Consider bringing electrolyte-replenishing drinks or tablets for longer hikes.

Miscellaneous Items:

  1. Camera: Capture memories of your hike and the stunning scenery. We shoot with the Sony a7iii and absolutely love it! Check out all of our camera gear here.
  2. Trash Bag: Pack out all trash to help preserve the beauty of the park.
  3. Ziplock Bags: Useful for storing snacks, trash, or protecting electronics from moisture.
  4. Headlamp or Flashlight: Essential for early morning or late afternoon hikes, or in case of emergencies. Donโ€™t forget batteries!

Optional Extras:

  1. Trekking Poles: Provide stability and reduce strain on knees during steep ascents or descents.
  2. Insect Repellent: Protect against mosquitoes and other biting insects, especially in warmer months.

Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park

Spring (March to May): Spring is an excellent time to visit Bryce Canyon as the temperatures are mild. The crowds are still manageable, making it easier to enjoy the trails and viewpoints. The trail might be muddy from snow melt, so keep that in mind when hiking!

Summer (June to August): Summer is the busiest time in Bryce Canyon, with hot temperatures and long daylight hours. While the park is bustling with activity during this time, it’s also the best time for stargazing and attending ranger-led programs. That said, I don’t really recommend visiting in summer due to the extreme heat.

Fall (September to November): Fall is another fantastic time to visit Bryce Canyon. The temperatures start to cool down, and the crowds begin to thin out, especially towards the end of the season. The changing colors of the foliage add an extra layer of beauty to the already stunning landscape.

Winter (December to February): Winter is the least crowded time to visit Bryce Canyon, making it perfect for those seeking solitude and tranquility. While it can be cold, and some trails may be closed due to snow, the park takes on a magical quality when blanketed in white. Plus, winter is an excellent time for photography enthusiasts to capture unique shots of the snow-covered hoodoos.

I visited in winter, and although it was cold, I highly recommend it. The park’s iconic hoodoos look magical covered in snow, and the peaceful, less crowded trails make for a truly unique and serene experience.

Unique Tours in Bryce Canyon National Park

If you want a guided experience in Bryce Canyon National Park during your 2 day visit, check out these unique tours!

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