Top 6 Outdoor Activities in Bryce

There is so much more to Bryce Canyon National Park than meets the eye. Inside the park, endless activities and adventures await. Visitors can enjoy adventurous outdoor activities, like hiking, horseback riding, camping, or backcountry exploring. There are also many exciting Ranger programs and annual festivals for visitors to participate in. Every guest will find many unique and entertaining things to do while visiting Bryce Canyon National Park.

1. Hiking

The best way to explore the Bryce Canyon landscape is to hike along Bryce’s many trails. Hiking gets visitors up close to the amazing geological formations, plant life, and wild animals that call Bryce home. There are many different hikes for guests to enjoy, and visitors of all ages and abilities will find trails they can explore. Whether staying in Bryce Canyon for one day, one week, or longer, every visitor should experience the joy of hiking through the Bryce Canyon landscape.

For the best hiking experience, guests should consider hiking at least one of these popular trails in Bryce Canyon.

Mossy Cave
This short hike is just under one mile, but it is packed with gorgeous sights. Hikers will travel along a stream to get to a mossy overhang. In this area, there is also a small waterfall and a nice, shady place to rest. This hike is suitable for the whole family and should be on every visitor’s itinerary.

Navajo Trail
At just over a mile, this hike is considered moderately difficult. It leads hikers from Sunset Point down into the Bryce Amphitheater. Hikers will see gorgeous red rock formations, towering Douglas Firs, and a panoramic view of the Bryce Canyon landscape.

Fairyland Loop
This strenuous hike is not for the faint of heart. It is a difficult eight-mile round trip filled with challenging obstacles. This hike is well worth the hard work, though. Hikers will see spectacular views of China Wall, Tower Bridge, and countless hoodoos.

2.Horseback Riding

Just as the settlers did hundreds of years ago, guests can saddle up a horse and trot along Bryce Canyon and the surrounding areas. There are local companies that will set up a guided tour and provide guests with an experienced, gentle horse to ride. Taking a ride along one of the trails that allow horses in Bryce Canyon National Park, or galloping along its outskirts, will be a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

Curious brown horse looking out stable window

Bryce Canyon is one of the few national parks that allow horseback riding experiences within the park limits. Guests can also enjoy one of the many experiences on the outskirts of the park.

Bryce Amphitheater
Horseback guides will take guests down into the Bryce Amphitheater. Riders will have to depend on their horse to do the hard work of walking along the rocky landscape.

Peek-a-Boo Loop
Though Peek-a-Boo Loop is a very strenuous hike, those who are not equipped for a tough hike can still experience this fascinating trail. By taking this trail on horseback, riders will see all that the heart of the amphitheater has to offer, like the Wall of Windows, without having to do the walking themselves.

Outside of the Park
Beyond park limits, there are many other opportunities to horseback ride. Riders can be guided through meadows, along winding trails, or run their horse in a wide-open space. Experienced riders may even be able to take their horse out without guides to truly get a magical experience.

3.Camping

Though there are many terrific lodging options in the towns near Bryce Canyon National Park, camping out under the stars is an unbeatable way to stay in the area. Campers get to surround themselves with the beauty of the park all day and night. They also don’t have far to travel to enjoy exciting activities, since the adventure is just outside their door. Those who are interested in camping in Bryce Canyon will find peace and relaxation in the red rock landscape.

camping, tourism, hike, family and people concept – happy father and son roasting marshmallow over campfire

There are three main places in Bryce Canyon to set up camp. Each one offers an incredible experience in the Bryce wilderness.

North Campground
North Campground is near the visitor center, Bryce Amphitheater, and the Bryce Canyon Lodge. RV and tent sites fill up quickly, so it is best to reserve a spot as soon as possible.

Sunset Campground
Near North Campground lies Sunset Campground, which is a large campground with many tent and RV sites. It is surrounded by Ponderosa Pines, which provide inviting shade and beautiful scenery.

Backcountry Camping
Backcountry camping can be a thrilling experience. There are a limited number of backcountry campsites, so those wishing to enjoy the joy the camping in the untamed wilderness should reserve a backcountry campsite upon arrival.

4.Ranger Programs

The Rangers at Bryce Canyon National Park work hard to make sure every guest gets the most out of their trip to the park. To educate visitors about Bryce Canyon, the Rangers have many different programs for guests to participate in. These programs are designed to be fun, educational, and get guests excited about the gorgeous land they are visiting. Travelers to Bryce Canyon should make it a point to experience at least one of the programs offered by the Rangers at Bryce Canyon National Park.

There are various Ranger programs throughout the year that help to keep guests engaged and interested in the many amazing features of the park. The following are some of the most popular programs.

Geology Talks
Every day, guests can find a Ranger at either Sunset Point or the visitor center who will teach them about the geological history of Bryce Canyon. Rangers will explain which types of geological formations can be found, how the formations were made, and answer questions about Bryce Canyon’s unique geology.

Kid’s Programs
There are many different programs at Bryce Canyon, all of which are family-friendly, but the kid’s programs are specifically tailored for children. Almost every day, the Rangers put on a different program for kids. Guests can look at the kid’s program schedule and sign up for activities at the visitor center.

Full Moon Hikes
On and near full moons each month, guests can take a guided tour under the breathtaking Bryce Canyon night sky. These tours are led by Rangers who have a wealth of knowledge about Bryce Canyon astronomy.

5.Backcountry Exploration

Exploring the backcountry of Bryce Canyon can be just as exciting as visiting the park itself. The Bryce backcountry is peaceful, wild, and beautiful. There are far fewer crowds than there are inside the park, so guests can get a true wilderness experience. Exploring the Bryce Canyon backcountry is a terrific way to see more of this gorgeous Utah landscape and enjoy exploring less traveled paths.

Bryce Canyon Panorama View, Arizona, United States of America

There are a few things visitors should know before heading into the backcountry, like permits that must be obtained and safety measures that should be followed.

Backcountry Fees
The fee for traveling into the backcountry is $5 per person for ages 16 and up. Permits can be purchased at the visitor center from 9 am to one hour before closing.

Backcountry Trails
From Bryce Point to Rainbow Point, which makes up the 22.9-mile-long Under-the-Rim Trail, there are many intersecting trails. These trails are all quite strenuous and should not be attempted by inexperienced hikers.

Dangers of the Backcountry
Steep drops, unkempt trails, lack of water, and many other challenges will arise while hiking and camping in the backcountry. Unprepared hikers could find themselves in a very dangerous situation, so it is important to be fully prepared for everything the backcountry may bring.

6.Exciting Festivals

When people with common interests get together, magical things can happen. Bryce Canyon is a terrific place for guests with similar interests to congregate and enjoy their interest or hobby. Throughout the year, Bryce Canyon puts on a variety of festivals celebrating many different things. These festivals build stronger communities and connect people from all walks of life.

The following are some of the most popular festivals in the Bryce Canyon area.

Geology Festival
People from all over the world gather in Bryce Canyon to share their mutual love of geology. There is no better place than Bryce Canyon, with its many unique geological wonders, to enjoy this exciting science.

Prairie Dog Festival
The Utah prairie dog is a vital species to the Bryce Canyon ecosystem. During National Parks Week, guests can gather to marvel at these busy, adorable little creatures.

Astronomy Festival
Bryce Canyon has an unbelievable view of the night sky, thanks to the lack of light pollution. Guests will see more stars than they ever knew existed and gain in-depth knowledge of Bryce Canyon astronomy. Guests will be able to use advanced telescopes, star maps, and talk to knowledgeable astronomers.

Enjoy Bryce Canyon’s Many Activities

Every experience at Bryce Canyon will be an unforgettable one. Guests will love the many different activities that are available year-round at the park. Whether taking a long vacation in Bryce or just passing through, visitors won’t want to miss all that Bryce Canyon National Park has to offer.