Recommended Stay: 4 to 7 days
Distance from Salt Lake 270 miles/Drive Time: 4 hours
The Bryce Canyon area is a great Destination starting in May and going through the fall. There is a campground right near the entrance of the park that is perfect for camping with your Wandervan campervan. There are extensive miles of hiking trails inside of the park and then you will find the Thunder Mountain trail just outside of the park which is an amazing mountain bike ride. No matter your adventure you are sure to find satisfaction in the Bryce Canyon area.
Hiking Trail Suggestions
1) Navajo Loop: This is one of the more popular loops in the park, but it is certainly worth checking out if you have never been. The views down in the canyon are spectacular.
2)Fairyland Loop: Right near the North Campground you will find a trail as amazing as the Navajo Loop, but slightly less crowded. This is likely due to the fact that the loop is 8 miles long so you are fairly committed once you get down into the canyons. Part of the hike is along the rim and you only end up climbing about 1500ft.
Biking Trail Suggestions
1) Thunder Mountain Trail: This trail is the must do ride in the Bryce Canyon area and sits just outside of the national park. The trail is very fast and flowy; you will have a blast. The last section is wide open and fast so hold on and enjoy. There is a nice paved path that will lead you back to the start if you don't have a shuttle setup.
2) Virgin River Rim: This trail is a little south of Bryce, but worth the drive. The entire trail is almost 32 miles long and can take a strong rider 7 to 10 hours to complete. So most people will simply do a section or two of the trail. Strawberry Point to Cascade Falls provides the most stunning vistas while Te-ah to Woods Ranch provides amazing fall colors.
Bryce Canyon National Park Camping:
Bryce has come excellent campgrounds inside the park. These are North Campground and Sunset. There are also campgrounds on the way to the park along the main highway that are great options. The two campgrounds at Bryce have plenty of trees in contrast to the other Utah National Parks. North Campground has 101 sites and Sunset Campground has 102 sites. Sunset Campground is open mainly during the busy season from late spring through early fall only, but part of North Campground is open year-round snow dependent. Both campgrounds are nice, but North Campground is our first choice because it's closer to the Rim Trail, you can easily catch amazing sunrises and sunsets. Arrive early if you don't have a reservation since they tend to fill by 2pm in the busy months. Reservations are available from early May through late September for North Campground.
There are Showers for $2 and laundry, open from 7am to 8pm at the General Store, which are a little ways from either campground.
Outside the Park
Just outside of the entrance to the park is Ruby's Inn RV Park & Campground, which is just outside the park and next to the shuttle bus route. Most RV and tent sites are shaded. The campground contains an outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, barbecue grills, coin-operated laundry, and a store with groceries, RV supplies, and propane.
King Creek Campground, in the Dixie National Forest, above Tropic Reservoir, offers a quiet, peaceful forest camping experience relatively close to the national park. Stop at the Red Canyon Visitor Center on the way to Bryce for more information. The campground has gravel roads and sites are tall trees. To get to the campground from the park, drive north 3 miles on Utah 63, then west on Utah 12 about 2 1/2 miles to the access road, turn south (left) and follow signs to Tropic Reservoir for about 7 miles to the campground.
Red Canyon Campground is about 9 miles from the park. Tucked in among the trees along the south side of Utah 12, the sites offer great views of the red rock formations across the highway, there is a bit of road noise. There is a nice bike path nearby and many trails. Showers cost $2 whether you're staying in the campground or not.
Kodachrome Basin State Park, about 22 miles southeast of the park there are nice sites set among rock chimneys and piñon and juniper trees.
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