Bryce Canyon National Park with Kids
Adventure to Bryce Canyon National Park with your kids! This awe inspiring park with its red and white hoodoos and green pines will create memories that last a lifetime. From hiking to exploring the western themed shops at Old Bryce Town there is something that everyone will enjoy on your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Fun: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (out of 5)
Difficulty: VERY EASY Easy Moderate Hard VERY HARD
(Very easy to very hard depending on what you are doing)
Distance: Varies depending on what you are doing
Elevation Gain: Flat to steep
Terrain: Dirt, rocks, forest, exposed trails
Time: A few hours to several days
When to Go: Spring, Summer, Fall
$35 per vehicle for a 7 day pass
Free if you have a 4th grader with Every Kid Outdoors program
Food and Lodging in Bryce City. These three hotels are the closest to Bryce Canyon National Park and offer great access to activities and restaurants:
Campgrounds within Bryce Canyon National Park
THINGS TO BRING
Camping gear if camping
Good hiking shoes
Weather appropriate outdoor attire
Bryce Canyon National Park has the largest collection in the world of irregular rock formations called Hoodoos. The Hoodoos create a backdrop of beauty that is one of a kind. No where else in the world can you see these types of views.
Bryce Canyon National Park and Bryce City offers gorgeous views, unique hiking, scenic drives, rodeo, bike paths, horse back riding, ATV trails and more.
THINGS TO DO
There are many hiking options within Bryce Canyon National Park from very easy to very hard. We were able to do several hikes with an 11, 10, 7 and 2 year old listed below. We enjoyed each unique hike.
Wall Street & Queens Garden Loop: 3.2 miles, 640 feet elevation gain, loop trail. Probably the most iconic Bryce Canyon hike. If you only have time for one hike this is the one to do. Do this hike counterclockwise taking Wall Street first. The Wall Street area is so much better hiking the switch-backs down instead of up.
Navajo Loop Trail (Thor's Hammer): 1.5 miles, 500 feet elevation gain, loop trail. This loop also includes Wall Street but is a shorter loop without Queens Garden. You will see Thor's hammer on this loop. I recommend hiking the Wall Street portion first.
Mossy Cave: 1 mile, 100 feet elevation gain, out and back trail. Mossy Cave is located off of Highway 12 outside the main park. This is short, sweet and fun. It features a small overhang covered in moss and a waterfall. We went in the evening when the trail was not crowded so we were able to play near the waterfall for awhile.
Bristlecone Loop Trail: 1 mile, 100 feet feet elevation gain, loop trail. Bristlecone hike is located at Rainbow Point. Bristlecone loops through the forest and offers beautiful views of the southern areas of the park.
Sunset to Sunrise Point: 1 mile, 80 feet elevation gain, out and back trail. This is a heavily trafficked trail between the two most popular view points of the park. Beautiful views, but try to go early or in the evening to miss the crowds. If you do the Wall Street to Queens Garden loop you will cover this hike.
There are longer trails within the park that we didn't have time to do. Get more hike ideas here.
There are two campgrounds within Bryce Canyon National Park.
99 sites that are all first come first served. Get there early if you want a site in the summer and holidays. Have a plan B just in case you don't get a site.
Reservation campground through Reservations.gov on a 6 month rolling basis.
Follow UT-63 for 18 miles to travel the length of Bryce Canyon National Park. This drive is a must for anyone visiting the park. There are many scenic viewpoints along the way.
Ruby's Inn hosts the Bryce Canyon Country Rodeo nightly Wed through Saturday from Memorial day to August. Great way to get into the Country Western spirit.
Horse Back Riding
Canyon Trail Rides are available within Bryce Canyon National Park.
Ruby's Horseback Adventures offer scenic rides outside the park in areas that are similar to Bryce Canyon such as red canyon.
ATV/UTV Riding isn't allowed within the park, but the surrounding area has miles of trails to explore. Check out these trails. If you don't own your own you can rent. Follow link for off road tours and rentals.
We love going through National Park visitor's centers for learning opportunities and to get Junior Ranger books. The Junior Ranger program keeps the kids busy while we drive and helps them learn about each park and how to preserve it.
Old Bryce Town
Old Bryce Town is a western themed shopping area that is a lot of fun. There is ice-cream, baked goods a rock shop and more. We had fun strolling around here and shopping for rocks.
There is an 18 mile shared use path from Red Canyon outside the park to Inspiration Point within Bryce Canyon. The most popular route on this path is a 5 mile stretch from the shuttle station to Inspiration Point. If you didn't bring your own bike you can rent one here.
Bryce Canyon National Park has an incredible night sky where you can easily see the Milky Way. The Park has an awesome astronomy program and offers over 100 programs each year! We didn't know about this program when we visited but we had family members who attended an astronomy program a few weeks after we were there. They said it was their favorite part of Bryce Canyon! Sad we missed out.
PROS & CONS
Unique and beautiful scenery
Diverse hiking opportunities: short, long, flat, steep.
Other fun activities within Bryce City
Close to other outdoor adventures such as Grand Staircase Escalante
Higher elevation so not as hot as other southern Utah locations in the summer
Popular trails and viewpoints can become crowded in peak season
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in Central Southern Utah south of Highway 12 on UT-63
OTHER NEARBY ADVENTURES
Red Canyon (20 mins)
Kodachrome Basin State Park (35 mins)
Willis Creek Slot Canyon (45 mins)
Hi, I'm Corrine! I'm an outdoor enthusiast, mother of four, wife, nurse and runner. I believe God gave us this beautiful earth to explore, enjoy and protect.
My goal is to inspire you to get outside and create your own amazing memories as a family. Life is precious and there are too many adventures to be had to spend life on the couch or in front of a screen.
Join me and my family for "Adventures off the couch!" Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest @outdoorfamfun.