A little over 15 years ago, I visited Bryce with my sister and two brothers. Just this past week, I went back with two of those brothers and my two sisters and 13 children and my parents. I had forgotten what Bryce was really like. I remembered it as being kind of a one trail, one view point kind of place. I was wrong. It is a stunning and amazing place with various trails, overlooks and views. Amazing hoodoos of neon orange rock — it is a mystical place, sometimes referred to as a “forest of stone.” There truly is a trail or an overlook for everyone from grandpa to adventurous young couple to young child. (Of course this is a place with drop offs, vigilance is an absolute must).
Two favorite viewpoints:
I especially like Bryce Point. It has several areas to view the canyons of Bryce and there are some shorter trails for those with young children.
Sunset Pointe has a huge viewing area as well as one of the more popular trails that descends into the base of Bryce. The Navajo Loop Trail is only 1.3 miles round trip, although it is a good return climb up a switchback trail.
Like Zion National Park, Bryce has a shuttle system that is part of the park entrance fee. Unlike, Zion National Park, there are still plenty of parking lots at each viewpoint. In other words you don’t have to take the shuttle to get from trail to trail. I love this. I prefer visiting Zion in the fall and winter when I can drive my car through the park and stop wherever I please. Bryce still has this luxury, which means there is a place to run and sit in a thunderstorm, there is a place for teenagers who don’t want to take a longer trail or are finished enjoying natures wonders to sit and hang out for a few minutes. There is a place for aunts (me) to hold little babies while adventurous young couples take off on a more difficult trail together that is easier to hike without a baby on board.
Bryce is very family friendly and warrants a day trip. Their are ranger led kid programs on an almost daily basis throughout the summer. Parents do need to accompany their child. They also hold astronomy programs at night. I can’t wait to go and try this one night. They have several telescopes to view the night sky. Details can be found at the visitor center but here is a glimpse at their August and fall schedule.
August: EVERY Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday @ 8:30pm
EVERY Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday @ 8:00pm
One of the other advantages of Bryce Canyon is that it is usually cooler than other summer/fall hikes. You may want to take a jacket just in case.