Bryce Canyon National Park

Practicalities
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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park (Photodisc/Getty)

Transportation

From north or south on U.S. 89, turn east on Utah 12 (seven miles south of Panguitch, Utah) and travel to the junction of Utah 12 and 63. Turn south (right) on Utah 63 and travel three miles to reach the park entrance. (Utah 12 continues east through the northern portion of the park.)

From the east, travel west on Utah 12 to the intersection of Utah 63. Turn south (left) to reach the park entrance.

To Park:
Regular commercial flights serve Cedar City (87 miles), St George (150 miles), and Salt Lake City (270 miles), Utah, as well as Las Vegas, Nevada (270 miles).

Bryce Canyon Airport (4 miles), operated by Garfield County, has commercial flights from Las Vegas. Phone 435-834-5239 for current carriers and schedules. Private planes are welcome at this uncontrolled airport: Altitude: 7,586 ft; runway length: 7,400 ft; runway width: 75 ft. A shuttle service is available from the airport to local motels and recreational opportunities.

Sightseeing bus tours are available from St. George, Cedar City, and Kanab, Utah.

In Park:
Private vehicle rentals and bus tours originate outside the park. In spring and summer, concession-operated horseback tours are offered in the park. Biking is permitted on paved roads only; there are no bike lanes. Bikes are not allowed on park trails (see section on adjacent attractions).

Marked bus parking spaces are available at all parking lots, which can accommodate buses. Bus engines should be turned off while parked. Motorhomes and trailers are not permitted in spaces designated for buses.

Due to steep grades and limited parking, trailers are not allowed beyond Sunset Campground. Campers should leave trailers at their campsite. Day visitors should leave trailers at their overnight campground, at Ruby's Inn free shuttle parking area just outside the park, at the park visitor center, or at the trailer turnaround south of Sunset Campground.

No vehicles over 25 feet in length are allowed at Paria View, where the parking area is too small for large vehicles to turn around.

Camping & Lodging

The park has two campgrounds, North and Sunset, with 218 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites fill by early afternoon during the summer months. Loop A of North Campground has a heated restroom and remains open through the winter. One group site is available by reservation only. Call 435-834-4801 for current fees.

Private, Utah State Parks, and U.S. Forest Service campgrounds are located throughout the area.

Tent and trailer camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis at North and Sunset Campgrounds. Campsites have picnic tables, fireplaces, and nearby water and restrooms. No hookups are provided, but a sanitary dump station is available just south of North Campground in the summer. Some campsites are available year-round. Camping is limited to 14 days in any calendar year. A fee is charged. Arrive early to be sure of getting a campsite. Buy or bring your own firewood: No wood gathering is allowed.

Cabins are available from May to mid-October at Bryce Canyon Lodge, which has a dining room and gift shop. Call 303-297-2757 for reservations. Lodging is available year-round near the park entrance.

Disabled Access: Most park buildings, restrooms, and viewpoints are accessible to persons in wheelchairs, as is the paved, fairly level trail between Sunrise and Sunset Points. In the summer, two campsites are held in North Campground until 6 p.m. each day for handicapped campers.

The Park can be reached from the west by automobile, using U.S 89 from Bryce Junction, 11 kilometers (7 miles) south of Panguitch. Turn east at this junction and follow Utah 12 and 63 for 27 kilometers (17 miles) to the park entrance.

Weather

Pleasant days and cool nights prevail April through October. Thunderstorms are common in summer. Winter, with many bright and crisp days, lasts from November to March. The main viewpoints of the park are kept open in winter, when snow transforms the scenery.

Visitors can enjoy Bryce Canyon during any season. Summer days are pleasant and nights are cool at 8,000 to 9,000 feet. July is the warmest month with an average daytime high temperature of 83 degrees and a nighttime low of 47 degrees. Much of the area's precipitation comes as afternoon thundershowers during mid- to late summer. Spring and fall weather is highly variable.

Cold winter days are offset by high altitude sun and dry climate. Winter nights are sub-freezing. During some winters, Alaskan cold fronts descend on the Colorado Plateau, bringing temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero. The area can have snowstorms from October through April; annual snowfall averages 100 inches.

The high altitude sun can burn in any season—hats and sunscreen are recommended year-round. Layered clothing is good preparation for the plateau's temperature extremes and frequent strong winds. Boots with good tread and ankle support are strongly recommended for hikes into the canyons.

Accessibility

Most park facilities were constructed between 1930 and 1960. Some have been upgraded for accessibility, while others can be used with assistance.

Because of the park's natural terrain, only a half-mile section of Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points is wheelchair accessible. The one-mile Bristlecone Loop Trail at Rainbow Point has a hard surface and can be used with assistance, but several grades do not meet standards.

Parking is marked at all overlooks and public facilities. Accessible campsites are available in Sunset Campground.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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