Wow! Is the only word I could come up with to start this article, because Bryce Canyon is breath taking. This is a trip you and your whole family can enjoy. There is something for everyone. So pack your bags. Now!
Where to Stay:
My husband and I stayed at Country Cabins in Tropic Utah, which is about ten minutes from the Park. These cabins are so nice and our specific cabin was capable of fitting three couples comfortably. the price came to about 130 a night but we only had two couples paying. Add a third and you can split the price three ways.
There are many cabins and hotels in tropic and Cannonville so take your pick. If you have a bigger party going with you I would suggest a cabin. It’s cozier and more fun! Our cabin had a kitchen so we saved some money on food and had some fun cooking a few meals.
Places to eat:
The towns surrounding Bryce Canyon revolve around the seasons. during the late spring and summer months the towns come alive. But, because spring had just begun a lot of the towns are basically shut down. Everything was closed. Rustlers Restaurant was the only restaurant open the entire spring break. Although I would have loved to try other places, Rustlers had great food and they even run a gas station and grocery store within the same building.
But the one food joint you must try IDK BBQ. Seriously if you don’t try this you are missing out big time. It is not a restaurant, which was super confusing for us at the time. The place resides in a hotel/Sinclair parking lot in Cannonville. It’s a little food truck that makes the best imaginable bbq pork and brisket I have ever had! They open at 5pm and close at 9pm.. or until they run out of food, which may happen before closing. In fact the first day we arrived we were unable to get any food because they had already run out. That was at 8pm, so go early. We ate there twice over our 3 day trip.. thats how much we loved it! Their macaroni and potato salad is to die for as well. So IDK is a must! Don’t question me on that. They also let you write on their truck. Kind of fun! Especially for kids.
And now for the best part! Where to hike. The must do hikes in Bryce canyon are: Peekaboo Loop, Navajo Loop, and Queens Garden. It makes a figure 8 and is a grand total of 6.7 miles, if you decide to do all three in one trip. Or you can do each of these hikes separately to make the hikes more kid friendly or just shorter. They are all fairly short hikes.
We started Peekaboo Loop from the Bryce Point trail head, which made the entire hike 5 miles round trip. Peekaboo Loop alone is 3 miles but your mileage will vary depending on where you start. You can access Peekaboo form Sunset point or Sunrise point or Bryce Point like we did. The quickest and shortest access to Peekaboo would be from Sunset. If you begin at Bryce point your elevation gain is about 1,324 ft. I cannot even find words to describe this hike. It is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Navajo Loop was closed for repairs so we weren’t able to hike it this time around but the Trail typically begins at Sunset Point for a 1.3 mile trip. There is a 2.2 mile option that begins at Sunrise Point and ends at Sunset point, with a 0.5 mile rim trail connector that can also lead to Queens if you so choose. You can reach all of these hikes by beginning at either the Sunset or Sunrise because they link together. It is really up to you. Make sure you get a map at the entrance. They are very easy to read and will help you map out your day. I was a little disappointed we couldn’t use this trail.
Queen’s Gardens is probably the least difficult trail if starting at Sunrise. It is about a 1.8 mile up and back with a 328ft decent. Bring your kids they will love it! You will see Queen Victoria on a camel… or Horse… or some kind of animal. I think it’s a unicorn.
If you are feeling extra motivated and want to steer clear from the crowds try Fairyland Loop. The trail head is actually outside of the park. You don’t even have to pay to do this gorgeous hike. The entire loop is 8 miles and even hooks up to Sunrise point. Just look for the sign as you drive towards the canyon entrance. Follow that road and there is a little parking lot at the trail head. This hike was probably my favorite. Although long, Fairyland provided amazing views that weren’t short lived. It also provides a 1,741 ft elevation gain. Maybe not quite as kid friendly as the others.
If you don’t feel up to doing the entire loop, hiking to Tower Bridge and back is an option. You can start within the park at Sunrise or outside the park at Fairyland again that is up to you. the tower is a beautiful pit stop either way.
As a side note Mossy cave although quite short (a whopping .8 miles round trip) is stunning. Whoever said the hardest hikes have the best views might be eating their words with this gem. Mossy cave is also outside the park and doesn’t require a pass to hike. The trail leads to a cave.. covered in moss.. obviously. In the winter months the cave is littered with hanging icicles. The icicles were mostly melted for our trip except one little guy trying not to melt. I will have to come back when it is a little colder. The water fall leading up to the hike looked like a chocolate fountain it was so muddy. Chocolate rivers are the best!
We did all this hiking within a three and a half day period. I know some people don’t even come to Bryce to hike at all. They drive to the view points and stand in awe of the wondrous Hoodoos and rock formations. They are everywhere for all to enjoy whether you are a big time hiker or not. The canyon almost seems like an entirely different planet. My husband even pointed out a hoodoo that looked like a space ship.
Pack your bags and go to Bryce. There is something for everyone!