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day trip spotlight bryce canyon national park

Day Trip Spotlight: Bryce Canyon National Park

by | Jul 20, 2023

As our name suggests, Zion Wildflower is one of the best hotels near Virgin Utah for exploring Zion National Park. But while this incredible park is certainly one of the region’s most popular attractions, its far from the only one. 

There are a variety of fun day trips you can enjoy while camping Zion or staying in one of our beautiful bungalows. One of the best day trips is to Bryce Canyon National Park. This often-overlooked park is just over two hours from Zion Wildflower Resort.

If you’re looking for a great day trip during your next stay in hotels near Virgin Utah, keep reading. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is unlike any other national park. It’s best known for the incredible and peculiar rock formations that it’s home to. These rock formations are called hoodoos, and are towering spires, pillars, and fins carved by millions of years of erosion from wind and water. Hoodoos appear to be precariously stacked, and also allow guests to view the vibrant colors, ranging from deep red to bright orange, of the different layers of stone.

The best place to see the hoodoos is Byrce Canyon’s crowing feature; Byrce Amphithetaer. This natural amphiteater spans over 12 square miles, and is home to the park’s largest collection of hoods. There are a variety of spots where you can view the aphitheater, including Inspiration Point and Sunset Point.

While it might be the park’s most popular feature, it’s far from the only thing to see, as Bryce Canyon National Park covers more than 35,000 acres.

Getting to the Park

Getting to Bryce Canyon National Park is part of the adventure! From hotels near Virgin Utah, you’ll first make your way to Springdale, and enter Zion National Park. Heading towards Zion’s Upper Canyon, you’ll get to pass through the famous, historic Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. After enjoying the views of the Upper Canyon, including rock formations like Checkerboard Mesa, you’ll exit the park and head north to Bryce Canyon.

LIke many national parks, including Zion, all visitors must pay an entrance fee. At Bryce Canyon, that fee is $35 per vehicle with up to 15 passengers, or $20 per person for anyone over the age of 16 entering the park on foot.

If you’re planning to visit just one more national park besides Zion and Bryce Canyon during your visit or within the next year, you can save money by purchasing an annual pass. The America the Beautiful Pass is $80, and provides access to all National Park Service sites for one year. Certain individuals, such as members of the military, may be eligible for discounted or free passes.

What to Do in Bryce Canyon National Park

There are plenty of ways to explore Bryce Canyon National Park. One of the most popular ways is by hiking.

There are many trails of various lengths and difficulty levels throughout the park. If you want to experience some of the best views of the Bryce Amphitheater, the Rim Trail is a great choice. In total, this trail is five miles each way, though you can hike sections of it if you’re short on time or looking for an easier hike. The section that runs between Sunset Point and Sunrise Point, two popular overlooks on the rim of the amphitheater, is paved and takes as little as 20 minutes to hike each way. 

The Bryce Canyon Shuttle is similar to Zion’s shuttle system in that it transports guests to some of the park’s most popular overlooks and trails. Unlike in Zion, the roads in the park don’t close to personal vehicle traffic. But the shuttle is great for getting around without worrying about finding parking.

Another great way to experience the park is to enjoy a scenic drive. The main road through the park is called the Southern Scenic Drive, and it meanders 18 miles through the park, passing the Bryce Amphitheater and other highlights.

Planning Your Stay in Hotels Near Virgin Utah

Ready to start planning your own Southern Utah adventure? First, you’ll need to narrow down your search for where to stay in Zion National Park.

Zion Wildflower Resort offers a unique, family-friendly base camp for your vacation. From our range of room options, including canvas tents for camping Zion, covered wagons, and modern bungalows, to our incredible on-site amenities, like our brand-new resort-style pool, there’s no shortage of reasons to plan a stay. Plus, hotels near Virgin Utah allow you to explore all that the region has to offer with ease.

Looking for another reason to plan a stay at Zion Wildflower Resort? From now until September 30, when you book a stay of two or more nights, you’ll enjoy a 20 percent discount on your stay. Book your stay today to take advantage of these savings.

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