Last summer, three friends and I went on a girl’s road trip to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and we had the best time! I’m trying to think of the best way to describe the road trip but I feel my Instagram caption from the trip says it perfectly:
While I have been to a handful of National Parks (read about my honeymoon in Yosemite here!), this was my first time visiting Bryce Canyon! Over the course of four days, we drove from Phoenix to southern Utah and made some epic stops along the way.
From where we camped to what we cooked and the hikes we did, here’s a look at our girl’s road trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.
>> 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.
Day 1: Flagstaff
To maximize our adventure without taking too many PTO hours, we left on a Thursday after work. After we packed our rental car, we headed north to stay the night at this free campsite in Flagstaff.
After arriving at about midnight, we set up our tents and went to sleep to rest up for the long day ahead. When we woke up early the next morning, we were pleasantly surprised by the wildflowers near our tents!
Day 2: Hatch, Utah
The drive from Flagstaff to our campsite in Utah took us through Lake Powell, which I had never seen before! Lake Powell is GORGEOUS! We stopped for about an hour to hike around, take some photos and eat a picnic lunch.
After our brief stop, we continued our drive to our destination: Hatch, Utah. Hatch is a tiny town (like a population of 127 tiny) just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park. From what we saw there was one grocery store, one liquor store, and one antique shop – we visited them all haha.
Once we got to our destination, we set up camp, opened some adult beverages, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and perfect view.
My friend Mary (a fellow vegetarian), was in charge of the meals and we made an epic spread of jackfruit bbq sandwiches, coleslaw, fresh summer squash, and beans!
One of my favorite memories from this trip was cooking together. I don’t think we ever stopped chatting and laughing lol
We rented one of the best HipCamp sites I have ever stayed at! Aptly named the Riverfront Camp, it was nestled in green rolling hills and there was a river running through it. It was a 30-minute drive from Bryce Canyon and made a perfect base camp. There were showers, a fire pit, freshwater, and a rec room where we charged our phones.
Overall, it was the perfect campsite and I would highly recommend it!
Day 3: Bryce Canyon National Park
As I mentioned, our campsite was only 30 minutes from Bryce Canyon! When we woke up we packed our backpacks and set off to explore the National Park.
Known for its hoodoos and orange dirt, Bryce Canyon is truly otherworldly. A playground for hikers, rock climbers, and photographers, Bryce holds some of the most stunning geology – all created by Utah’s wind, water, and snow.
Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park:
This is the most popular trail in Bryce Canyon for a reason! Starting at Sunset Point, this trail gives you the best views of the hoodoos and results in 800 ft of steep switchback trails.
Trail distance: 1.3 miles
Route type: Loop
The Queen’s Garden
My favorite part about this hike was the stone arches and doorways! It felt like we were on another planet – it was truly magical. Eventually, the trail starts to descend into the canyon, resulting in a steep climb up to a stunning lookout: Sunrise Point.
Trail distance: 1.8 miles
Route type: Loop
Sunrise Point has stunning views of the canyon! Even though we weren’t there to watch the sunrise, it made for a great place to take some pictures!
I really enjoyed our adventure in Bryce. Even though I think a day in the red-rock wonderland was sufficient, I would love to visit again in the winter to see the hoodoos covered in snow!
After all the hiking we did, we had a relaxing night of eating good food and making s’mores around the fire.
Day 4: The drive home
Who else agrees that the worst part of a road trip is the drive home!? Tired and sore from hiking and sleeping on the ground, we made the 8-hour drive back to Phoenix as quickly and as safely as possible!
Like I mentioned, this trip was truly magical. I think spending time with girlfriends is a major key to happiness in life… and so is spending time in nature! I’m so glad we did this trip and will cherish these memories for years to come.
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I hope you enjoyed reading about our girl’s road trip to Bryce Canyon National Park! Let me know in the comments where we should go next!