When we left Zion National Park back in June, we planned to keep heading north through the Dixie National Forest area to Bryce Canyon National Park. This is another place that so many people recommended we visit and we decided to make it happen.
Thankfully when we arrived at our motel in Panguitch, Utah, the weather was cooler and not a bazillion degrees as Donetta would say. There’s nothing fun about roaming in the desert when it’s hot as hell. In fact there were mornings we woke up and it was only 45 degrees outside! It was perfect.
So how was the experience?
My Thoughts About Bryce Canyon
The drive to Bryce Canyon National Park from the Rodeway Inn on UT-12 was very chill with not much traffic during our stay. The scenery was open with mountain views but when you turn south on UT-63 and get closer to the park, you’ll start to see plenty of trees and feel like you’re in the mountains. There are several scenic places to stop and take photos along the way.
You’ll arrive at Bryce first, which is a nice little town to get some food and go shopping. There are many hotels, campgrounds, and RV parks if you want to stay there instead of making a longer drive from Panguitch or other towns.
We decided to park the truck in Bryce at the shuttle station then take the free ride into BCNP to avoid any traffic and other frustrations. All you have to do is show your pass and it’s all easy from there.
Entering Bryce Canyon National Park
The shuttle’s first stop is the welcome center and then from there it will take you to most of the main points of interest.
Once you arrive at Sunrise Point you will discover an array of incredible views, hoodoos, and other out-of-this-world rock formations. From there you can stop at Sunset Point, Lower and Upper Inspiration Point, and finish it all off at Bryce Point.
Some of the walks to the scenic places can be physically demanding and if you decide to be really brave — which we did — you can hike some trails that get you right to the edge of the canyons thousands of feet up from the bottom. Of course Donetta yelled at me to keep 20 feet back … LOL!!!
The hoodoos and rocks are pretty phenomenal to look at.
It’s extremely interesting to think about how they were formed and the orange, reddish colors of the canyons are truly captivating. It’s almost like a scene from a science fiction movie. And if you have time, there are trails that will take you through the canyons to explore up close and personal. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to do this for our visit.
Was it worth it to me?
For the sake of saying I’ve been to Bryce Canyon National Park and seeing what it’s about, it sure was.
On the other hand, the landscape and experience wasn’t better than seeing the Grand Canyon or places around Sedona, which are similar. And taking the shuttle through the park and stopping at each point was pretty much the same throughout. If you want to save more time for doing other things, simply hitting the first two stops will do well enough to give you the overall experience.
Overall I think it was great but not someplace I’d say we’d have to go to again. That’s my two cents on BCNP.
A Quick Bonus Recommendation
If you should happen to take the road trip into Panguitch then you have to stop at The Cowboys Smokehouse Cafe! Not only is it an old historic place with an incredible vibe, it has some AMAZING and delicious food. And no, we did not stay keto friendly.
Try the Pig Tails, stuffed Jalapeño pepper bites, and a Johnny’s American IPA from Moab Brewing. It’s a perfect pairing. Ask for Stephanie because she’s fantastic.