Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Shaka Guide's Bryce Canyon National Park Itinerary


Welcome to Shaka Guide’s Bryce Canyon National Park Tour. This tour will take you through thousands of years of geological and native history. 

This tour begins in Bryce Canyon City - about five minutes from the park’s entrance. This tour takes about 8 hours to complete if you make all the stops. And we recommend you do! We’ll guide you to both areas of the park - the Bryce Amphitheater and Scenic Drive - taking you to viewpoints and hikes along the way. 

Planning Your Day at Bryce with Shaka Guide

Bryce Canyon National Park is divided into two main areas: the Bryce Amphitheater and the Scenic Drive. With Shaka Guide, you have the option of which you’d like to experience first.  In this itinerary we’ll start with the scenic drive. You can skip the scenic drive and head to Bryce Amphitheater first, but we highly recommend you visit both! 

Shaka Guide's Bryce Canyon National Park Itinerary

Without further ado, here’s a look at your day at Bryce National Park with Shaka Guide.

1. Bryce Canyon City

Bryce Canyon City Utah

I, Luca Galuzzi, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

5 minutes to 2 hours

This is the main road into Bryce Canyon National Park, and there’s no lack of activities here!  Bryce Canyon City is home to Ruby’s Inn, which has been around since the early 1900s.  Ruby’s isn’t just a hotel, though.  Ruby’s has several properties, a general store, three restaurants, and an “old town” mini-mall with gift shops, an ice cream parlor, and a working gem mine!  They also offer many unique ways to see the park: horseback riding tours, guided ATV tours, bike rentals, and even helicopter rides. 

2. Bryce Canyon National Park Welcome Sign

5 minutes

Start your adventure by stopping at the official Bryce Canyon National Park Welcome Sign for a leg stretch and an Instagram-worthy selfie!

3. Fairyland Point

Fairy Land Point Trail Utah

Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford, United Kingdom, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10 minutes

Here you’ll get a first look at the famous hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.  You’ll learn how they’re formed, how they got their name, and the important role they play in the conservation efforts of the national park system.

4. Entrance Gate and Visitor’s Center

About 1/2 hour

After you pass through the front gate, be sure to check out the Bryce Canyon Visitor’s Center.  Here you’ll have the opportunity to explore the small museum and learn more about the geology and cultural heritage of Bryce.  Be sure to check out the award winning 20-minute film “Shadows Through Time” and the large gift shop!  On your way out, check in with the friendly park ranger staff about the many educational talks and tours they offer daily

Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive

This is a wildly popular way to see everything that Bryce Canyon has to offer.  The scenic drive will take you 18 miles to Rainbow and Yovimpa Points; the southernmost but highest points of Bryce Canyon. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to hear more stories of the people who discovered Bryce Canyon and championed it to become a National Park. On the way back, we’ll stop at the other 7 viewpoints: Black Birch Canyon, Ponderosa Point, Agua Canyon Viewpoint, Natural Bridge Viewpoint, Farview Point, Piracy Point, and Swamp Canyon. From these viewpoints, you’ll not only see hoodoos but also other unique rock formations in brilliant colors, flora and fauna that make up the rest of Bryce Canyon.  The Scenic Drive is a nature-lover’s dream!

After you’ve completed the scenic drive, we’ll make our way to the Bryce Amphitheater, or you can skip the scenic drive all together and head straight to Bryce Amphitheater - the choice is yours. 

5. Rainbow and Yovimpa Points

About 10 minutes

Rainbow and Yovimpa Points are within walking distance of one another and share a large parking area. Rainbow Point is actually the highest point in the park at 9,100 feet above sea level. You’ll be able to see most of Bryce Canyon from here, and on a clear day, you might be able to see all the way to the Grand Canyon, which is over 300 miles away! After taking in the breathtaking views from Rainbow Point, take a very short, paved walk over to Yovimpa Point to see even more layers of the Grand Staircase.

6. Bristlecone Loop Trail

About 45 minutes

This is the first of X recommended hikes on the tour, but it’s an easy one with minimal incline.  Bristlecone Loop Trail is one-mile long and will take you through a forest of Bristlecone Pine trees, which are some of the oldest trees in the entire world.  

7. Black Birch Canyon

About 10 minutes

Stop by Black Birch Canyon Viewpoint to get a look at the spectacular Ponderosa Pine trees and the Navajo Mountains looming in the distance.

8. Ponderosa Point

About 5 minutes

Another great viewpoint of the forest areas of Bryce Canyon and the large, hulking Ponderosa Pine trees.

9. Agua Canyon Viewpoint

About 10 minutes

You’ll get a great view of some of the more well-known hoodoos at Bryce Canyon from here.  Keep your eyes peeled for the Backpacker and the Rabbit, and see what other shapes your brain can come up with!  This is also a great viewpoint to take photos of Thor’s Hammer, the most famous hoodoo.

10. Natural Bridge Viewpoint

Natural Bridge Utah Bryce

Bernard Spragg. NZ from Christchurch, New Zealand, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

About 10 minutes

Stop by the Natural Bridge viewpoint and experience firsthand the power of the elements!  This bridge was shaped completely by Mother Nature, and it’s truly magnificent to behold.

11. Farview and Piracy Points

About ½ hour

These two viewpoints are within easy walking distance of one another. At Farview Point, the air quality is so pure that you’ll be able to see clear into Arizona!  Keep an eye out for the colorful rock formations and breathtaking views of the far-off Navajo Mountain.  Then take an enchanted walk through the path to Piracy Point, which is unofficially known as the Hansel and Gretel trail. Weave through sun-dappled Ponderosa and Bristlecone Pines, and keep an eye out for squirrels and songbirds!  Once you get to Piracy Point, take a look into the distance and see if you can spot the cliff formation that looks just like Blackbeard’s ship!

12. Swamp Canyon

About 10 minutes to 3 hours

Swing by Swamp Canyon and take a look at one of the only viewpoints in the park that has its own natural water source. Because of this, the vegetation is green and lush all around the hoodoo formations here.  If you’re an experienced hiker, you may want to try out the Swamp Canyon Loop Trail here; it’s a 4.5-mile hike that descends into Swamp Canyon and connects to the Under-the-Rim Trail before looping back around.  If you’re not prepared to take such a strenuous hike, hang out at the top of Swamp Canyon and keep an eye out for California Condors overhead.

The Bryce Amphitheater

Fabio Achilli from Milano, Italy, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The most-visited part of the park is the Bryce Amphitheater.  There are 5 viewpoints that make up the Bryce Amphitheater: Sunrise, Sunset, Bryce, Inspiration Points and Paria View.  The largest concentration of hoodoos can be found here, and some of the most popular into-the-canyon hikes are located here. Photography buffs, star-gazers and hikers of all skill levels love everything that the Bryce Amphitheater has to offer!

13. Bryce Point 

About ½ hour to 4 hours

The first two points that make up the famous Bryce Amphitheater. Bryce Point was the favorite spot of Ebenezer Bryce, and it may just become yours, too.  Here you’ll be able to see a large maze of hoodoos.  For the advanced hikers, Bryce Point is the trailhead for the Peek-a-Boo Loop trail, a 5.5 mile loop trail that will take you all the way down into the canyon floor, past the Wall of Windows and around the Three Wise Men hoodoos.

14. Paria View

Paria  View Bryce Utah National Park

John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About 10 minutes

Paria View is a fantastic place to watch for Peregrine Falcons!  Keep your eyes peeled for large birds that look like they’re wearing gray pajama pants.  If you’re an active cross-country skier, Paria View is also home to the challenging Paria Loop, which is popular with winter sports enthusiasts and only open to visitors during snowfall (usually December-February).

15. Inspiration Point

10 minutes to 1 hour

Inspiration Point is often called “The Silent City,” because the rows and rows of hoodoos look like people frozen in time. There are three smaller viewpoints at Inspiration Point; the lower, mid, and high points. You have to hike up a moderate but rocky incline to get to the highest point, but beautiful views can be seen from any of the points. Take a half hour or so to hike the easy-to-moderate Rim Trail that takes you to Sunset Point.

16. Sunset Point

Sunset Point Bryce Utah National Park Scott Cameron, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10 minutes to 1 hour

Some of the most iconic and photographed views are here at Sunset Point. Take a look out into the canyon and get another glimpse of the famous Thor’s Hammer and the rich reds and pinks of the iron oxide that gives the hoodoos their vibrant color. Sunset Point is the main trailhead of one of the most popular hikes at Bryce Canyon--the Navajo Loop Trail. This one is a quick 1.4 miles and is easy-to-moderate with a few slight elevation changes. This will follow some switchbacks down the canyon and into the hoodoos. 

17. Sunrise Point

10 minutes to 1 hour

Sunrise Point is the trailhead to the popular Queen’s Garden Loop, which is an easy-to-moderate, 1.8-mile hike that takes you down into the canyon and through towering Ponderosa Pines and Limber Pine trees that cling to the sides with exposed roots. When you’re on the trail you’ll be greeted by Queen Victoria herself – well, at least in hoodoo form – watching over her rocky garden.

18. Mossy Cave Trail

 15 minutes to ½ hour

The last official stop on the tour, this is one of the most peaceful hikes at Bryce Canyon, but it’s technically outside of the park gates.  Mossy Cave Trail gives you the opportunity to walk on the canyon floor without the steep descent.  This is a quick 1-mile, round-trip walk that ends at Mossy Cave; a grotto that boasts a waterfall!  

Ready to visit Bryce Canyon National Park with Shaka Guide? Check out our Know Before You Go article with all the travel tips you need to plan your trip!

RELATED: The Ultimate Bryce Canyon National Park Travel Guide and When is the Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park?

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