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With Bryce Canyon National Park so close to other parks in southern Utah, like Zion, Arches, Capital Reef, Canyonlands, and Grand Canyon, you might only have one day in Bryce Canyon National Park.
This begs the question: How do you spend one day in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Well, that’s precisely why we put together this guide for how to spend one day in Bryce Canyon National Park, giving you the ultimate itinerary to make the most of your one day in Bryce Canyon!
How to Get to Bryce Canyon National Park
When planning your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park, you will need to figure out how you are going to get there. It’s very close to other national parks in Utah as well as a few major cities with airports.
Many of the park’s visitors fly into Las Vegas, rent a car, and drive the 4 hours to Bryce Canyon. While it’s a smaller airport, you can also fly into Salt Lake City and drive 4 hours south from there.
If you are coming from other national parks for your one day in Bryce Canyon, here are some time estimates for the drive:
1 hour from Zion National Park
2 hours from Capitol Reef National Park
3 hours from Grand Canyon National Park
4 hours from Arches National Park
4.5 hours from Canyonlands National Park
These drive times will also help you plan your road trip if you will be visiting other national parks after your one day in Bryce Canyon.
Remember that you will need to buy a US National Park Pass to enter Bryce Canyon National Park. The pass is $80 for an annual pass and is valid for one year from the date of purchase.
Where to Stay in Bryce Canyon National Park
While you may not be staying in Bryce Canyon National Park during your one day visit, there are a few options if you want to spend the night in or near the park.
You can stay in Bryce Canyon National Park at their campgrounds. They have a North Campground and South Campground. The North Campground at Bryce Canyon is first-come, first-served, but the South Campground accepts reservations. They do fill up during peak season, so be sure to book in advance. You can book your campground in Bryce Canyon here.
Like many national parks, Bryce Canyon National Park also has a lodge you can stay in, and you will need to book in advance too. You can book the Lodge at Bryce Canyon National Park here.
If you aren’t looking to camp, and the lodge is full—or simply not your style—look at hotels and Airbnbs in Bryce Canyon City. There are a few different options for your to stay at when visiting Bryce Canyon.
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Now, if you aren’t a camper and don’t want a hotel or Airbnb by Bryce Canyon, read about how to do a car to camper conversion for any car!
We converted our Honda Fit for camping, and it was perfect for camping in national parks.
You can camp, or boondock, for free right outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park in the Dixie National Forest. There are no amenities or facilities, but your RV, camper van, or car to camper conversion should be enough to get by for one day in Bryce Canyon National Park!
One Day in Bryce Canyon National Park Itinerary
When you arrive at Bryce Canyon, you will drive in through the main road which goes along the top of the canyon. There are various lookout points you can stop at, like Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunrise Point, and Sunset Point.
You don’t have to stop at all of these when passing them for the first time because you’ll have a chance for that later. It isn’t that big of a park, so you will get to see quite a bit of Bryce Canyon in one day.
Bryce Canyon also has a shuttle to minimize car traffic in the national park.
Day Hiking in Bryce Canyon
While you can visit Bryce Canyon in one day by just stopping at the lookouts, you should definitely do a day hike down into the canyon.
Before starting your day hike in Bryce Canyon, make sure to check our Day Hike Packing List to make sure you have everything you need! The weather can change quickly in the canyon, so you will want to be prepared!
To start your day hike, drive straight through the park or take the shuttle to Bryce Point. This is where you will start your day hike in Bryce Canyon.
There are numerous day hikes Bryce Canyon that all start at the different lookout points, and you can do different ones in your one day there. However, we recommend that you hike down from Bryce Point and hike through the canyon by connecting on different trails.
This will make it one long day hike instead of multiple short ones, so you can see more of the amazing beauty Bryce Canyon has to offer, especially since you are just there for one day.
Since the day hike is longer too, make sure you prepare and have everything you need.
On your day hike in Bryce Canyon, you will start from Bryce Point and descend into the canyon making your way north along the Peakaboo Loop Trail exploring all the fantastic geological features in Bryce Canyon.
Instead of circling back on the Peakboo Trail, you will continue hiking north connecting up to the Queens Garden Trail passing the famous Queen Victoria rock formation. You will finish with a hike up out of the canyon at Sunrise Point.
From Sunrise Point, hike back south along the Rim Trail to Sunset Point where you can go back down into Bryce Canyon on the Navajo Loop Trail and back up through Wall Street. Check the Bryce Canyon website because this hike has been closed for trail maintenance recently.
You can continue your hike around the Rim Trail back to your car at Bryce Point, or if you took the shuttle, you can return to the Bryce Canyon Visitors Center from the Sunset Point shuttle stop.
If you are leaving Bryce Canyon a little early to get to another national park, like Zion, we hope you enjoyed your one day in Bryce Canyon, but if you’re spending the night in Bryce Canyon, make sure to catch the sunset from Sunset Point. It’s the perfect bookend to your one day in Bryce Canyon.
You are most likely visiting other national parks either before or after your one day at Bryce Canyon National Park. Check out some of our other nearby national park itineraries to see if they fit in your trip.
2 Days in Zion National Park Itinerary
Guide to Hiking Angels Landing
The Perfect 6-Day Itinerary for Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, & Las Vegas
If you are struggling to plan a trip, we offer Travel Planning Services where we will work with you and help you plan the trip of your dreams!