The Perfect 72 Hours Near Bryce Canyon National Park

Despite its name, Bryce Canyon is not really a canyon,but rather a playground of a dozen sprawling, crimson-colored amphitheaters lined with towering spires waiting to be explored. Bryce Canyon is home to the largest collection of hoodoos or “fairy chimneys” in the world and deserves a spot on every nature lover’s must-see list.

Even though Bryce Canyon National Park covers less ground than its neighbor, Zion National Park, there is plenty to see and do around Bryce Canyon Country. This itinerary covers the best things to do in Bryce Canyon including hiking, points of interest, and nearby restaurants.

Day One: Bryce Canyon National Park, Hike Queen’s Garden/Navajo Loop, Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive, Stargazing Tour

Morning:

Rise and shine after your first night in your safari-inspired tent at Under Canvas Bryce Canyon. Step outside onto your private deck and you’ll be greeted by expansive views of the valley below and Utah’s high desert landscape. After a tasty and nutritious breakfast at Under Canvas, it’s time for adventure! Under Canvas is located just 15 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park so you can make the most of your time outside together.

Start your day at Sunrise Point for one of the most breathtaking views in Bryce Canyon. This viewing point is just off the scenic road, along the canyon rim, about a mile from the Visitor Center. Along the rim, it’s just a half-mile walk to Sunset Point and 0.7-miles to Inspiration Point. Beginning at Sunrise Point, hit the trail to explore Queen’s Garden Navajo Loop. This popular 2.9-mile loop trail is rated as moderate and boasts outstanding views from the rim, and offers the chance to spot wild elk, antelope, and other wildlife.

Afternoon:

Continue along the 38-mile scenic drive to get a lay of the land and enjoy spectacular vistas. Plan on roughly three hours for the journey plus additional time to stop for photos at the 13 viewpoints along the way. Hit some of the trails on this route and experience some of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon. Enjoy a Grab-and-Go lunch prepared for you by Under Canvas to fuel your adventure. A great spot to picnic is Rainbow Point where you’ll find picnic tables, restrooms, and refreshing temperatures since it’s the highest point in the park.

Evening:

After an adventure-filled day, you’ll be rewarded with the splendor of Bryce Canyon stargazing. Far from city lights and protected by park rangers and astronomers alike, it’s a sanctuary for dark skies where you can see countless stars, glowing planets, and the Milky Way. Head to the Visitors Center in Bryce Canyon National Park to find out when and how you can join an educational astronomy experience.

Day Two: Boulder Mountain, Magnolia’s Street Food, Anasazi State Park

Morning:

After a restful night in your plush, king-size bed you’ll feel recharged and ready for more exploration. Grab your premium coffee or matcha beverage to go with your locally-sourced breakfast from Under Canvas and hit the road for Boulder Mountain. This mountain oasis in southern Utah is renowned for alpine lakes, epic scenery, and outdoor activities including fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and ATVing. Boulder Mountain is the highest wooded plateau in North America at roughly 11,000-feet, so venture to the top for stunning panoramic views.

Afternoon:

Locally-sourced breakfast, lunch, and kids menu options prepared in a charming 1993 aqua-colored Chevy Bluebird Bus awaits you at Magnolia’s Street Food. After your food truck dining experience, it’s time to explore Anasazi State Park. Here, you can explore an Ancestral Puebloan village home to Anasazi Indian ruins. A perfect activity for the family, you can tour a replica of an ancient dwelling, view artifacts, and learn about what life was like between A.D. 1050 to 1200 in the region at the Anasazi State Park Museum.

Evening:

Back at Under Canvas, enjoy al fresco dining surrounded by an incredible juniper forest and valley views. For dessert, put your s’more making skills to the test at the nightly campfire. Our Guest Experience Coordinators can tell you what complimentary activities are taking place in the evenings including live music, kids’ activities, and more.

Day Three: Bryce Canyon Pines, Widtsoe Ghost Town, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Morning:

A favorite among locals and visitors alike, Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant offers delicious, down-home cooking around a Ponderosa fire. Be sure to try one of their famous pies recognized as being among the “Best of America.” After breakfast, make a quick stop at the nearby Widtsoe Ghost Town for a look around this late-19th century settlement. Residents left Widtsoe in the 1930s during a severe drought, leaving a church/school building, a few homes, and a cemetery behind to become what’s now a ghost town.

Afternoon:

Drive 30-miles to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument where you can explore a unique region of canyons, arches, plateaus, and cliffs. While you’re there we recommend checking out Grosvenor Arch, Calf Creek Falls, Devil’s Garden Trail, and Peek-a-boo Gulch Slot Canyon.

If you’re looking for more tips or activities, our on-site Guest Experience Coordinators are here to help you plan a memorable trip to our newest camp, Under Canvas Bryce Canyon. Known for exceptional hiking and biking, beautiful landscapes, and ready access to multiple national parks and monuments, there are plenty of reasons to make Bryce Canyon your next destination.

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