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How to see Bryce Canyon National Park in One Day

One day in Bryce Canyon National Park

Even if you are short on time, this guide helps you experience the breathtaking beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park in one day!

“How much time do you need in Bryce Canyon National Park?”


In my opinion, you only need one day in Bryce Canyon. I say that because I explored the park in one day and had an amazing time!


So if you find yourself in Utah and want to explore the otherworldly landscape of Bryce Canyon in one day, keep scrolling to discover the best ways to experience the park’s natural wonders in just a few short hours. 


>> Please respect nature by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

One day in Bryce Canyon National Park

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Guide to Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in one day

Table of Contents

My 2021 New Year's Adventure Resolutions
One day in Bryce Canyon National Park

Best hikes in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon has a diverse and extensive network of hiking trails, with something for everyone! The hikes range from easy strolls to strenuous backcountry adventures. All trails offer explorers the opportunity to experience stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and some of the most geological formations I’ve ever seen!


On my one-day visit to Bryce Canyon, I hiked (and recommend) the following trails:

Navajo Loop Trail

  • Trail distance: 1.5 miles
  • Route type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate

If you’ve seen pictures of Bryce Canyon, you’ve likely seen the infamous switchbacks and towering canyon walls of Navajo Loop Trail! The trail visits favorite hoodoo formations such as Wall Street, Twin Bridges, and Thor’s Hammer.


My favorite part about this hike was the stone arches and doorways! It felt like we were on another planet – it was truly magical.


This hike is a great option for those who are only visiting for a day but still want to experience the beauty and diversity of Bryce Canyon. The trail is considered moderate and takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete.


The Navajo Loop is often combined with Queens Garden, making it one of the best 3-mile hikes in Utah.

best hikes in bryce canyon

Queens Garden Trail

  • Trail distance: 1.8 miles
  • Route type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Queen’s Garden trail is a popular hike that immerses you in the park’s iconic landscapes, including hoodoos, towering cliffs, and narrow canyons. The trail is considered easy to moderate in difficulty and depending on your pace, takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete.


The Queen’s Garden trail starts at Sunrise Point and descends into the heart of the Bryce Amphitheater, offering a close-up view of the park’s towering rock formations. Along the way, you’ll pass by landmarks like the Queen Victoria hoodoo, the Navajo Trail, and the Queen’s Castle, all of which are surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Bryce Canyon.


Eventually, the trail starts to descend into the canyon, resulting in a steep climb up to a stunning lookout: Sunrise Point.

girl's road trip to Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunrise Point

Even if you don’t make it for sunrise, Sunrise Point will give you one of the best views in the park. With sweeping views of rolling hills and trees, this is a sight you have to see on your day trip to Bryce Canyon!

One day in Bryce Canyon National Park

Visiting Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is open year-round, 24 hours a day! 


Everyone is required to purchase a recreational pass upon entering the park. One vehicle is $35 for a week but if you plan to visit other National Parks throughout the year, I highly recommend getting an America the Beautiful Pass for around $90. You can purchase both of these at the park’s entrance.


Tip: There are free entrance days for all National Parks! Check out this page for more dates and more information.

Visit a lot of National Parks?

If you are visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, or any of the other national parks in Utah, consider getting an $80 America the Beautiful pass! It lasts for 1 year and gets you admission to all registered sites. 


Purchase your National Parks Pass here! 

When to Visit Bryce Canyon

The best time to visit Bryce Canyon depends on what you want to do and see!


  • Summer in Bryce Canyon (June-August): This is the busiest season of year and the best time for hiking and other outdoor activities. Temperatures are warm during the day and comfortable at night.
  • Spring in Bryce Canyon (April-May): This is a great time to see the park’s wildflowers in bloom. Temperatures are mild, but some trails may still be snow-covered.
  • Fall in Bryce Canyon (September-October): This is a great time to see the park’s fall colors, but temperatures can be unpredictable, with occasional snow and rain.
  • Winter in Bryce Canyon (November-March): This is the quietest time of year at Bryce Canyon, with fewer visitors and less crowded trails. Temperatures are cold and the park gets transformed by snow, which allows visitors to go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing! If you plan to visit in the winter and there is a snowstorm, be sure to check NPS’s website for temporary road closures.

Regardless of when you visit, be sure to check the park’s website for current conditions, road closures, and other information to help plan your trip.

One day in Bryce Canyon National Park
One day in Bryce Canyon National Park

How to Get To Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is located in southern Utah at 7,586 feet. 


If you plan on flying, the closest airports and in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Salt Lake City. Each airport is approximately 270 miles from the park, so you will need a rental car to get to Bryce Canyon National Park.


Once you are inside the park, there is a free shuttle service that takes visitors to the most popular trails, views, and facilities!


Where To Stay Near Bryce Canyon

bryce canyon national park camping

There are several hotels and motels, and Airbnbs in the nearby towns of Bryce and Tropic, which are just a short drive from the park. 


Alternatively, you can do what I did and rent a Hipcamp campsite near the park! Here’s the Hipcamp I stayed at in Hatch, Utah. 


Regardless of your preferred type of accommodation, it’s a good idea to book early, especially during peak season!

Camping in Bryce Canyon

In my option, camping is the best way to explore a National Park! It allows you to get the full experience of the park’s natural beauty. 


There are several campgrounds within in Bryce Canyon, as well as backcountry campsites for those who want to explore the heart of the park. All campgrounds and permits can be reserved through


Note that it’s important to make reservations in advance, especially during the peak season, as the campgrounds can fill up quickly!

Guide to Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park In One Day

Bryce Canyon in one day

What is there to do in Bryce Canyon in one day?

In my opinion, there is plenty to do and see! I only spent one day when I visited Bryce Canyon and had an amazing time. 

Here’s my suggested itinerary for one day in Bryce Canyon National Park:

  1. Start with a scenic drive along the park’s main road, Highway 63, to get an overview of the park’s diverse landscapes and unique rock formations.
  2. Opt for an easy hike along one of the park’s many trails, such as the Rim Trail or Navajo Loop, to get up close and personal with the park’s iconic hoodoos.
  3. Stop at one of the park’s many overlooks, such as Sunrise Point or Sunset Point, to take in panoramic views. Sunrise Point was my favorite spot to take pictures!
  4. Visit the park’s Visitors Center to learn about the park’s history and to pick up some fun souvenirs.
  5. Take a break for a picnic lunch or a snack and relax at one of the park’s many picnic areas.
  6. Continue your exploration of the park by going on another short hike, visiting another overlook, or simply taking hanging out and soaking in the park’s natural wonders. 
  7. End your day with a scenic drive back out of the park, or by watching the sunset from one of the park’s many viewpoints.
Must-see Viewpoints in bryce canyon national park

Must-see Viewpoints

One of the best parts about Bryce Canyon is all the accessible viewpoints the park offers! Here are some of the must-see viewpoints that you should consider checking out during your visit:

  • Sunrise Point – As the name suggests, Sunrise Point is the besst place to watch the sunrise in Bryce Canyon! Watching the sun light up the canyon and its hoodoos is a magical sight.
  • Sunset Point – Sunset Point is the best place to watch the sunset in Bryce Canyon. The viewpoint offers sweeping views of the canyon and is especially beautiful during golden hour.
  • Inspiration Point – Located at the end of the park’s scenic drive, Inspiration Point offers gorgeous views of the canyon and surrounding landscape.
  • Bryce Point – Bryce Point is another great viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the canyon and its hoodoos. This viewpoint is on the eastern side of the park and is a popular spot for photography lovers. 

Walking and Hiking

Bryce Canyon is home to a variety of trails that range in difficulty and length, offering something for hikers of all levels! Here are some trails to consider if you have a day in Bryce Canyon:


Rim Trail

  • Trail distance: 10.7 miles
  • Route type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Rim Trail is a popular hike that runs along the edge of the scenic Bryce valley, offering panoramic views of the hoodoos! This is a well-maintained and relatively easy-to-hike trail that has a mix of paved and unpaved sections. 


There are several access points along the trail, so you can choose to hike a shorter section or the entire trail, depending on your time! If you are visiting Bryce Canyon in one day, the most scenic part of the trail is the section between Sunrise and Sunset Points. 


Sunset to Sunrise

  • Trail distance: 1 mile
  • Route type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Easy

This hike is a great way to see some of the park’s most iconic features! The trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, making it a great option for hikers of all levels. 


Sheep Creek/Swamp Canyon

  • Trail distance: 4.5 miles
  • Route type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The Sheep Creek/Swamp Canyon Trail is a beautiful hike that takes winds you through a narrow, shady canyon surrounded by towering cliffs. This is a great trail if you want to escape the more popular trails in the park! 


Pro-tip: If you want to skip a steep climb, go counterclockwise on this loop trail. 


Fairyland Loop

  • Trail distance: 7.8 miles
  • Route type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate

If you have a day in Bryce Canyon and want to get the most bang for your buck, consider hiking Fairyland Loop! This trail can take up to 8 hours to complete but is great for those who want to experience all the beauty and diversity of the park.

Visit the Visitor Center

Every time I’m visiting a National Park, I make sure to stop by their visitor’s center and gift shop for a souvenir or two! I currently have a pretty sizable collection of National Parks magnets and stickers. This is also a great place to get your National Park book stamped, pick up a map, and grab some water and snacks.

one day in Bryce Canyon National Park

How To Spend Half A Day at Bryce Canyon

While spending half a day at Bryce Canyon will limit the amount of time you have to explore, it’s still possible to see some of the park’s highlights! Here’s a suggested itinerary for spending half a day in Bryce Canyon:

  1. Sunrise Point (20-30 minutes) – Start your day by heading to Sunrise Point, where you can watch the sunrise over the hoodoos. Make sure to bring a jacket, as it can be chilly in the morning!
  2. Navajo Loop Trail (1-2 hours) – For a quick hike that still offers stunning views, I suggest hiking the Navajo Loop Trail. This trail takes you down into the heart of the canyon and offers views of some of the park’s most iconic formations. 
  3. Inspiration Point (20-30 minutes) – After hiking the Navajo Loop Trail, head to Inspiration Point to take in some more gorgeous views of the canyon. 
  4. Bryce Canyon Visitor Center (20-30 minutes) – Before you leave the park, make a stop at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to shop for souvenirs and learn more about the park’s history. 

If you have more time, I recommend adding a scenic drive or another short hike (listed above) to your itinerary.

Tips For Seeing Bryce Canyon National Park In One Day

Based on my own experience of seeing Bryce Canyon National Park in one day, here are some tips I have to share with fellow explorers:

  • Be sure to stay on the designated trails and do not climb the hoodoos! As on all of your outdoor adventures, please be sure to practice Leave No Trace.
  • Bring plenty of water! Bryce Canyon sits at 7,664’ elevation so it can get hot during the day.
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes, don’t forget your sun protection, and make sure your camera is charged!
  • Arrive early! Most visitors arrive around 10 am so getting there early will help you avoid traffic when entering the park and will let you have some quiet time with the scenery.

Final Thoughts on One Day in Bryce Canyon

Overall, I think one day is enough time in Bryce Canyon National Park! With one day, you’ll have time to hit up some of the most popular trails and see the infamous hoodoo views.


I hope this article helped you plan your day in Bryce Canyon National Park! If you have any questions or things I should add, let me know in the comments below.

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Meet the author

Jacey West

My mission is simple: Inspire you to get outside. I like camping, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and exploring National Parks. I’m passionate about sharing all the details of my adventure so you can plan some of your own!

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