Road Trip: Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park

This post will be about the second leg of our road trip from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park. If you want to go back, you can read about the first leg of our road  from LA to Zion National Park.

After spending 3 nights in Zion we headed to Bryce Canyon National Park. Since we were staying in nearby Hurricane and not Springdale, it took us a bit longer to get to Bryce Canyon. The drive from Zion to Bryce is usually about 2 hours but it took us nearly 3 hours to get to Bryce Canyon from Hurricane.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon isn’t as crowded as Zion so finding a place to stay near the park was a lot easier and the crowds were much more manageable than at Zion. Just like Zion, Bryce also provides a free shuttle to the park as well as within the park. The difference though is that you can drive inside Bryce Canyon and park your car. At Zion, you must take the shuttle within the park. This reduces the impact that visitors have at the park but it also means lines to get on a shuttle can be long since everyone has to take the shuttle at Zion. At Bryce, while there were lines for the shuttle, they weren’t long so the wait time was a little shorter to get around the park.

Staying in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park has two campgrounds within the park and one lodge. Of course, you must make reservations well in advance during the summer months to get a spot. If you don’t find a spot within the park there are plenty of places to stay right outside the park.

We would only be staying one night in Bryce and stayed at Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground. We opted for one of their cabins. A two person cabin is $65/night. I thought the cabins were pretty nice and while they don’t provide bedding there were mattresses and sheets on the mattresses. The room had a bunk bed, picnic style table and benches, and plenty of outlets for us to charge our electronics. If you’re looking for something in between camping and a hotel room, these cabins were a good option. Ruby’s Inn also had showers and flush toilets that were clean and a welcome treat after hiking all day. If you’re looking for a campground, I thought the prices at Ruby’s were reasonable compared to other private campgrounds I came across when we were researching places to stay for our trip.

Hiking in Bryce Canyon

Shuttle service to the park runs along the main road outside of the park along the main hotels and accommodations. There was a shuttle stop right outside of Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground which was really convenient. We were able to buy our national park entrance tickets at a little kiosk right by our shuttle stop and then hopped on the shuttle to Bryce Canyon. Since we only had one day in Bryce and arrived in the afternoon we only had time for one hike.

Some roads were closed in Bryce Canyon so we ended up combining the Navajo Loop Trail with the Peekaboo Loop Trail.

Navajo Loop Trail. The Navajo Loop Trail is 1.3 miles round trip and is considered moderate. It’s a loop trail that with The Peekaboo trail at the bottom before it loops back up. If you’re doing only this hike expect it to be downhill on the way down and uphill the way back. This hike starts at the Sunrise and Sunset points of the park.

Peekaboo Loop Trail. The start of this trail starts at Bryce Point. Since the road was closed to Bryce Point when we were there, the other option was to take the Navajo Loop until it connects with the Peekaboo loop. This hike is 5.5 miles round trip and is considered strenuous. In total, I think the entire hike from Navajo to Peekaboo and back took us around 4 hours. This hike is hard. There’s a lot of descents and ascents throughout the entire hike. It’s also an equestrian trail so you might come across horses during this trail. We came across a couple of rattlesnakes on this hike and some thunder and ominous clouds. Luckily, the storm was moving away from us so we were able to complete our hike. If you ever see lightning though, while hiking in Bryce, be sure to make you make your way inside immediately. As for rattlesnakes, keep an eye out. We saw one off the trail that actually rattled at us. We quickly ran past as to not be considered a threat. The second one we saw was crossing the trail. If you see a rattlesnake, stay back and allow the rattlesnake to pass a ways before proceeding.

Bryce Canyon is stunning but most of the park looks similar to each other so I think spending one day there is more than enough if you don’t have time for a longer stay. If we had more time I would’ve loved to explore the area more. The Grand Escalante Staircase Monument is near Bryce as well which I’ve never been to. But we’ll leave that for a future adventure.

In my next post I will cover the final leg of our road trip. The infamous Pacific Coast Highway.

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