In the great state of Utah, there is no lack of stunning canyons and breathtaking landscapes. Home of the world’s most famous canyons, Utah has been one of the states that M and I have always wanted to visit. We’ve got the chance to finally visit the state as part of our west coast road trip with our friends in summer 2018.
During the road trip, we stumbled onto this little known yet beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park which is just a short drive away from the otherwise more famous Zion National Park.
As compared to larger National Parks such as Zion, Bryce Canyon is a lot smaller and can be visited in just a few hours. The park itself is very easy to explore with most of its incredible viewpoints accessible by car. Due to time constraints and it being a very last minute decision, we did not have much of a plan when we visited.
The total time that we spent in the park was about 1.5 to 2 hours. Of course, if you have more time, you can explore the numerous hiking trails available or even camp there for a couple of days!
Driving through Highway 63
We first enter the National Park through the Visitor Center. At the center, we paid for our entry and continued driving along Highway 63.
The entire highway cuts through the park and end at a parking lot right at Rainbow Point. There are numerous trails that starts off from there. As we just came from our hikes at Zion National Park, we decided that we’ve had enough of hikes for the trip.
Bryce Point Rd split
Along the way on Highway 63, be sure to keep a lookout for the Bryce Point Rd. The road leads to the very famous Inspiration Point where you will be greeted with an unobstructed view of Bryce Canyon’s main amphitheatre. We spent almost an hour there just admiring the beauty of the canyons and the hoodoos.
There’s a very short walk from the carpark to the inspiration point (50 metres) with a slight elevation. I guess a little effort is still required to enjoy the beautiful nature.
Should you visit?
If you’re in the area, then definitely! We believe that Bryce Canyon is a very good side quest location if you’re doing a road trip or if you’re at Zion National Park as it does not require much effort to explore.
From Zion National Park, the drive is only 72 miles which translates to 1.5 hours of driving time. Along the drive, there are multiple small towns where you can grab a quick bite from the diners.
However, if you’re travelling specifically just for Bryce Canyon, then it’s tough to recommend. It is not near any major cities or airports and is therefore not very accessible. We will highly recommend you put a visit to this park as part of a larger itinerary.
Also, the hoodoos do get a little repetitive after some time. So we’re not sure if that justifies spending a significant amount of time there. If given a choice, we’d rather you spend more time at Zion.
With that said, there are plenty of epic hiking trails there that we might want to explore in the future if we’re ever in the area!
If you’re planning your own trip to the canyons or west coast, check out our article on hiking in Zion National Park! We’d really liked the park when we visited and highly recommend you to check it out as well.