"Land of Hoodoos and Queens" Top 5 Page for this destination Bryce Canyon National Park by goingsolo

Bryce Canyon National Park Travel Guide: 621 reviews and 1,622 photos

Bryce Canyon is one of the most striking and unusual National Parks. Here, several wide canyons expose colorful rock formations known as hoodoos, sandstone cliffs of pink and gold stretch out across views that extend for nearly 100 miles. The air is pure here and the scenery is purely magical.

Bryce Canyon is also one of the most accessible National Parks for the casual or time constrained visitor. There's an 18 mile scenic drive with several overlooks providing a peek at some of the park's most famous views. Numerous short trails start at the overlooks, leading to even grander vistas. For the more interpid or the just plain curious, there are two routes leading to the bottom of the canyon Both are a bit steep, but they're easy to follow and do not require any special hiking experience.

Bryce is located at almost twice the elevation as Zion, so the temperatures are cooler in the summer, at least at the rim. Descending below the rim, temperatures get hotter and hotter. Still, most people visit the park in the summer, which makes the off season months of October through April the ideal time to go.
This park is definitely a must see, and given its layout and easy accessibility, it one that many people can explore. The unique scenery of Bryce makes even a quick visit worthwhile.

Bryce Canyon is my second favorite national park. Some of the most striking and unique scenery can be found within Bryce's borders, ranging from the red/orange hues of erratically carved hoodoos to the Silent City tucked deep within the vast canyon itself.

The canyon was carved from sediment from a prehistoric lake which rose above sea level then eroded into the sculptures called hoodoos. The hoodoos are found in a series of ampitheatres throughout the canyon.

Words such as "spectacular" and "striking" are often used to describe Bryce Canyon, in a failed attempt to do this park justice by capturing its landscape with words. No written discourse, no matter how artfully crafted, can inspire the reader to visualize the magnificent landscape that is Bryce Canyon. As you may have guessed though, I really like this park a lot!

The scenery is what makes Bryce so special. The rocks were formed by wind and water erosion and the result is a mass of uneven structures rising erratically from Bryce's canyon and ampitheatre. A closer look at these curious rock formations known as hoodoos reveals that some appear to resemble the form of ordinary objects, such as hammers. Its almost as if they were sculpted by the hand of man. But every rock and crag is purely the work of nature.

On my first visit, I spent only a few hours in Bryce Canyon. I managed to see the views from the top and to hike a bit below the Rim. I left feeling unsatisfied by this brief stay and intrigued enough to want to return.

My second visit in November was greeted by an unexpected snow storm that closed most of Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive on day one of my visit and kept a portion of the road closed for day two. But despite sub zero temperatures and shivering, I managed to see Bryce Canyon as it was meant to be seen: virtually empty and covered in powdery white snow. it was 2 days of pure magic. For anyone who thinks this park is beautiful in the summer, you must return in the winter as Bryce is a dazzling fairyland during this time of year. And, best of all. you'll probably be one of the few people around to see the winter wonderland of hoodoos and gardens of Queens.

On this page, I'm attempting to show the summer and winter scenery of Bryce and to share with you some of my opinions on the pluses and minuses of visiting during these times of the year. Its no secret what my preference is, but I'll let you judge for yourself.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The most incredible, unusual scenery of any national park
  • Cons:Many people come to see the most incredible, unusual scenery of any national park
  • In a nutshell:A magical place
  • Last visit to Bryce Canyon National Park: Nov 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (66)

Comments (13)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2009 at 4:18 PM

    Thanks for the tips to where to stay reasonable-Ruby Inn is booked though. The SUV sounds like a chice soon. Great pictures/comments

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    great page!

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2007 at 3:20 PM

    Enticing photos and illuminating script, just the sort of thing I hope to find on VT.

  • clintg61's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2006 at 11:04 PM

    My mother lives 50 miles north of Bryce. I never knew they kept it open in the winter, very pretty. Been there in summer. Enjoyed hiking the trails.

  • johanl's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2006 at 2:01 PM

    thanks for sharing all the information. I plan on visiting in january 07

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2006 at 2:45 PM

    Bryce Canyon looks very beautiful! I like your summer/winter comparisons. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit someday...

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2005 at 1:54 PM

    Wow what a page loved the hoodoos - spectacular nature - your photos & tips are presented with excellence = Summer & Winter - will revisit again

  • Andraf's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2005 at 6:47 PM

    Really great page. I've been there in the summer but I had no idea the park looks so beautiful in the winter. Nice photos.

  • ferdnbean's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 9:24 PM

    Yours is definitely a brain to pick when it comes to my own southwest adventure to Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion!!! Thanks for all the details. Wayne

  • Mind&Soul_Travels's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2005 at 7:22 AM

    You had the great luck to go to Bryce also during winter!! It must be really beatiful during winter! I loved this comparison with and without snow! A beatiful page! My compliments! Stefano


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