On the Road with Sue: Bryce Canyon National Park

Editor’s note: A familiar name to many RVers, Sue Bray has worked in the RV industry for 35+ years. Over the summer, Sue, her husband Mel, and their boxer Harley took off to tour the country in their 31’ fifth wheel, with no exact plans except to have an adventure. She’ll be chronicling their trip as well as sharing lessons learned along the way in this new ongoing blog series.

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A relative youngster in geologic time at only 60 million years old, Bryce Canyon National Park is a lacy combination of spires and pinnacles which form the most incredible breathtaking views. Of all the Utah parks we visited, I’d have to say it’s my favorite.

The park is named after Ebenezer Bryce, a pioneer who was originally assigned to establish some Mormon communities in this part of Utah. He eventually settled in the area and raised eleven children, claiming grazing rights, running cattle, and building a cabin. His opinion of Bryce Canyon was that it was “a hell of a place to lose a cow.”

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The Drive

Driving into Bryce is pretty much like driving into most National Parks. At 8,000 feet in elevation, the main road is surrounded by lush green forests of Ponderosa pine, aspen, and spruce trees. But just wait – when you get out of the car and walk to that first overlook, it’s breathtaking. The forest gives way to literally thousands of pastel colored pinnacles – pinks, oranges, golds, and yellows, literally covering the canyon. It may lack the size and grandeur of other parks like the Grand Canyon, but the intricately woven lacy patterns of the spheres are mesmerizing – I could keep looking for days. We spent a long half day exploring the overlooks at the rim of the canyon, traveling in our tow vehicle. Roads and turnouts are good, with plenty of room for a small motorhome or trailer. There are also a number of hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty, where you can walk through the brilliantly colored corridors of rock formations right to the bottom of the canyon, but due to the heat that day and the fact that our dog was with us, we opted to drive. (Pets may walk on the paved areas on a leash, but are not allowed on the hiking trails due to the delicacy of the formations.)

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We had originally planned to stay in the Kanab area and visit both Bryce and Zion National Park from there. Once we arrived, we realized that although this was definitely doable, Bryce was a little further away than we had originally thought. We packed up a day early and headed north to Bryce – loving the flexibility we have with the RV. There are plenty of private campgrounds near the entrance, and camping is possible in the park with reservations.

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Why is Bryce my favorite, you may ask? I was totally mesmerized by the intricacy of the rock formations, the colors and patterns they created and could gaze at them for hours. Nature is truly amazing.

Learn more about Bryce Canyon National Park and get further information for planning your own RV adventure by checking out the website: www.brycecanyon.com.

Until next time…

Related Blog: RVing Basics for Visiting National Parks

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12 Responses to “On the Road with Sue: Bryce Canyon National Park”
  1. Julie

    My 15 year old niece and I saw the Utah national parks in May of this year with my popup camper. I would of loved to have camped in the national parks but my niece felt we needed more luxury things like showers. Bryce Canyon was our favorite. I wish we would of had more time to spend there. It was a trip of a lifetime and would recommend it to everyone

  2. Sherri

    This is my favorite National Park. The hiking is amazing and if you go on the longer hikes, you have the place to yourself. Sunrise and sunset points are a must to visit at those times! We opted to rent a cabin so we could stay in the park and get views of the night and early morning wildlife in the park.

  3. Jo Lewis
    Jo Lewis

    We volunteered at Bryce Canyon for four months this summer. If you parked at Sunset Point, I was there four days a week directing traffic. There are a lot of sites in both campgrounds that are first come. It is one of the best hiking parks in the west, we love it.

  4. Robert

    RV Make: Forest river, RV Model: Super lite, RV Year: 2014

    Bryce Canyon at sunrise. This you can’t miss.

  5. Deb Adams
    Deb Adams

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Rockwood Mini Lite, RV Year: 2017

    I agree with Sue that Bryce Canyon is spectacular. The sight we saw from the rim took my breath away. Southern Utah has many national parks and monuments, but this is the most amazing. I hope we an return.

  6. Lisa Cantrell
    Lisa Cantrell

    RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Voyage, RV Year: 2008

    I agree about Bryce which is one of my favorites. There is a nice campground just to the west in Red Rock Canyon which is nice if you have a tow vehicle. Park in the shuttle bus parking lot and use the bus or drive to the farther out areas. Either way it’s spectacular!

  7. Albert Olvera
    Albert Olvera

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: 4 winds Majestic, RV Year: 2012

    on the way into Bryce Canyon there is BLM land just before the turn into Rubys inn also small park in Tropic just down the road

    • William Sargenti
      William Sargenti

      RV Make: Heartland , RV Model: Bighorn , RV Year: 2017

      We stayed in Virgen Utah and loved it! It was close enough to Zion an Bryce!

  8. Dennis

    RV Make: Open Range, RV Model: 3X 388 RKS. 5er, RV Year: 2018

    Sue, you should see Bryce when it is snowing!
    We visited Bryce in May of 2019 as we were heading for a tour of Canada and Alaska. There was a snow storm that made Bryce look even more fantastic.

  9. Bill Seamans
    Bill Seamans

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Greywolf, RV Year: 2019

    I do love the National Parks and hope to visit most of them when I retire. They truly are beautiful places as you say. All of God’s creation is. That’s why He would be disappointed in so many people – also His creation – saying anything is millions of years old. I look forward to seeing them all. Thanks for your blog

  10. Dave Norman
    Dave Norman

    RV Make: Grand Design, RV Model: reflection 303RLS, RV Year: 2018

    It’s a spectacular Park and the trail along the rim is doable by almost everyone. It’s a hike you shouldn’t miss.

  11. Linda

    RV Make: Heartland , RV Model: Mallard , RV Year: 2018

    We are heading out west in a few weeks. Since I have never been further than Indianapolis, this is the trip of a lifetime for me. Bryce, Zion, and Antelope are the top of our list. After reading the comments, I am even more excited. We will be sure to checkout sunset point!! Thanks!!