Gearing up for the ultimate Bryce Canyon camping trip can be a whirlwind of stress, planning, and emotions. However, with a little inside knowledge on where to stay and things to do, you can plan the Bryce Canyon camping trip of your dreams.
Start your trip planning by deciding on where you want to sleep first. Are you going to be tent camping or bringing an RV? Do you enjoy more amenities and still want to be outside? Glamping could be a great option!
You must choose and book your site well in advance, however you camp. Bryce Canyon is extremely popular, and getting a great campsite can be tricky. Let’s dive in and discover all the ways to stay near and around Bryce Canyon, what to do once you’re there, and other great ways to plan the best camping trip near Bryce Canyon.
Best Tent Camping Near Bryce Canyon National Park
Pitching a tent near Bryce Canyon is one of the premier ways to unwind, slow down, and connect with nature. So it shouldn’t be surprising that campgrounds with tent sites are plentiful in the area. Make your campground reservations well in advance, whichever campsite you choose. Bryce Canyon is very popular, and the closest campgrounds tend to fill up quickly.
Most campgrounds near Bryce Canyon are pet friendly, provided that they stay on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Some parks, however, have breed restrictions, so it’s always a good idea to ask management directly before you plan on bringing Fido. Likewise, if you are camping with larger breed animals like stock, be sure to ask about any special requirements they have before loading up your trailer.
What to Bring
If you’re planning on tent camping in Bryce Canyon National Park, you’ll want to include some must-have items on your packing list. You’ll, of course, need to bring your tent, food, a fire source, and a cooking method, but you’ll also need to bring bear-proof storage, bear spray, and an extra can of mace. Bryce Canyon is home to a large black bear population, so you want to have the proper storage equipment. Don’t put your food in your car. Bears are known to destroy vehicles to get inside.
The best camping near Bryce Canyon means you’ll be exposed to the sudden drops in day and night temperatures. This temperature change can be as much as 40 degrees sometimes. Be sure to pack extra clothing layers. Mornings in Bryce Canyon can be cool, so having layers to remove throughout the day is critical.
Unlike RVing or glamping, when you’re tent camping, you may not have access to water at all times. Bring plenty of water if you plan a tent camping trip near Bryce Canyon. The desert sun can reach dangerous temperatures during the day, and you don’t want to be stuck outside without a water source.
Best Time for Tent Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park
The best time for tent camping near Bryce Canyon National Park is from April to October. The park sits at an average elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level. The high elevation means that winter weather in Bryce Canyon can be unpredictable and inclement. Many campgrounds close down throughout these months.
Glamping Near Bryce Canyon
If you want a little more luxurious getaway, there are many options for glamping near Bryce Canyon. Sleep under the entire galaxy with private decks, fire pits, climate-controlled tents, and upgraded amenities from your standard tent.
If you’re doing a tour of the surrounding parks, choose glamping near Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. You can find many different sites that are centrally located for optimal road tripping.
Glamping in Utah doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping in a tent. Several luxury hotels near Bryce Canyon are also perfect if you want to step further up from glamping. Enjoy scenic vistas, private green spaces, and first-class spas at some of the local hotels.
What to Bring
Because glamping is an upgraded camping experience, most of the equipment you would bring on a traditional camping trip can be left at home. You’ll want to pack clothing, food, and any entertainment you might want to have, but that’s almost everything! Some glamping sites will provide firewood for you, so check before your arrival.
Many glamping tents are extra large and canvas-style. Although the inside may feel like a luxury hotel, it still leaves you sleeping outside. As with tent camping, any food items you bring glamping need to be in bear-proof storage.
Best Time for Glamping Near Bryce Canyon
Glamping near Bryce Canyon means you can extend the best time to visit by a few weeks in the spring and fall. Because many glamping campsites are climate controlled, the cooler winter months are open sooner than traditional campsites in the area. Luxury hotels near Bryce Canyon don’t follow this same timeline, and many see an uptick in guests coming to enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowshoeing.
Full Hookup RV Parks Near Bryce Canyon National Park
One of the top things to do in Bryce Canyon is to take a scenic drive. What better way to do this than with your campsite! RVing in Utah is a great way to enjoy the view a little more closely, and even better, there are many RV parks near Bryce Canyon.
Whether you are looking for an RV park with a long list of amenities and a community feel, or a private space that is quiet to enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of RV parks near Bryce Canyon that feature just what you’re looking for.
What to Bring
Before RVing to Bryce Canyon, you’ll want to ensure that your RV is maintained and running well. The elevation changes in the area tend to put more stress on RVs, leading to mechanical issues. Taking an RV trip is one of the easiest ways to stay near Bryce Canyon. Your clothing and food are all that you need to bring with you, though you may want to get your bikes to enjoy the miles of shared-use paths.
While you can lock up your food during the night, you’ll want to be sure to bring bear spray with you in case you run into an unwelcome guest in the campground. Check your campgrounds rules for generators if you plan on RVing near Bryce Canyon. Many places have strict quiet times that prevent the use of generators throughout the night.
Best Time to RV Near Bryce Canyon
Like tent camping, the best time to RV near Bryce Canyon is April through October. The elevation and dangerous winter road conditions force many campgrounds to close. Campgrounds close down to prevent unforeseen weather from trapping guests inside the parks. If you’re planning on visiting during winter, try choosing a hotel or glampsite farther down in elevation.
Things to Do While Camping at Bryce Canyon National Park
Whether you’re into getting out and hitting the trails or staying inside and learning a new fact or two, Bryce Canyon has something to do for everyone. With over 135,000 acres of unique geological formations, museums, scenic drives, and snowshoeing, even the littlest campers can find fun activities.
There are tons of hiking trails throughout Bryce Canyon, but the ones suitable for all ages can be found near the amphitheater. The Rim trail is one of the most popular trails spanning 11 miles. It’s perfect for hikers of all ages, though strollers are not recommended past the first mile. The Rim trail gives you a great aerial view of the hoodoos in the amphitheater below.
For a path that leads into the canyon, take the Queen’s Garden Trail. The 1.8-mile trek is the most accessible trail that leads you down. Bring some extra water if you plan to walk in this area; the challenge of the hike back can be misleading due to the elevation change.
Bryce Canyon features 18 miles of shared-use paths that are perfect for cyclists. Enjoy a ride down the amphitheater and the hoodoos of red canyons over to Inspiration Point. The shared use paths make it easy for cyclists, strollers, rollerbladers, and those using wheeled accessibility devices to enjoy the park entirely.
Night Sky Watching
Bryce Canyon is home to one of the darkest places in the nation and one of the best locations for night sky viewing. In fact, the park earned Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park status in 2019. Even if you aren’t camping in Bryce Canyon, the park is open 24 hours a day so that everyone may come and enjoy the night sky.
If you are looking for another way to connect with nature, take a horseback ride through the park. Bryce Canyon is so horse-friendly that they’ve dedicated miles of equine trails to enjoy. Guests can bring their private stock or take guided equestrian tours throughout the park’s lesser-known areas.
If you are planning to bring your private stock camping, you’ll need to abide by the park-specific rules, including weed-free feed. Any stock that is brought from outside of Utah must provide a recent Coggins certification.
Many climbers flock to Bryce Canyon to take advantage of all the unique rock formations. However, climbing isn’t allowed inside Bryce Canyon National Park. Several private companies offer private climbing expeditions just outside of the park. The Jungle on The Aquarius Plateau is one of the most popular climbing spots in the area.
Those with an eye for a good photo op will love the scenes from Bryce Canyon. The amphitheater, Inspiration Point, Sunrise Point, Queen’s Garden Trail, and Bryce Point are the most popular photography spots within the park.
If you’re planning on taking the best photos at the park, prepare to come with a bit of patience. Bryce Canyon is massively popular, and the best photography spots are always crowded.
Bryce Canyon is teeming with wildlife of all sorts that are perfect for spending a day viewing. Be prepared to see pronghorn and Rocky Mountain elk passing through the amphitheater almost daily. Peregrine falcons and migratory hummingbirds are also expected through the park.
Tips for Camping in Bryce Canyon
Planning a trip to Bryce Canyon can seem overwhelming, but with a few tips and tricks, you can make your camping trip one of a lifetime. Here are some pro tips to help you plan your dreams’ Bryce Canyon camping trip.
Make your reservations in advance. Bryce Canyon is popular, and campgrounds in and around the park fill up fast.
Bring bear-proof food containers, bear spray, and mace. Bryce Canyon is heavily populated with black bears, and campers must take bear-specific precautions.
Pack for different seasons! Depending on where you stay in the area, the temperature difference between night and day can be up to 40 degrees. Be sure to pack for many different types of temperatures.
Pets are allowed in Bryce Canyon, provided they are on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Check your specific campground rules regarding pets before you bring fido!
Slacklines and hammocks are not permitted anywhere in Bryce Canyon. Many private campgrounds and RV resorts also have these rules, so check before setting up your hammocks.
If you are RVing to Bryce Canyon, be sure to have your rig serviced before taking it to the higher elevations.
Be respectful at photography locations. These spots throughout the park are crowded and patience is needed.
Book Your Next Bryce Canyon Camping Trip with BookOutdoors
Planning your ultimate trip to Bryce Canyon? Start by using BookOutdoors. BookOutdoors gives you access to thousands of campsites to make your next camping trip one to remember. Whether tent camping, glamping or RV camping, BookOutdoors makes it easy to find and book your perfect camping getaway. Use BookOutdoors and pay no booking or membership fees. Use the ‘book now, pay later’ feature and ensure your favorite site is always within reach. Go to BookOutdoors.com for your Bryce Canyon getaway.
Can you camp in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Yes! There are two campgrounds located in Bryce Canyon National Park. They are open from April to October and operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
Can you drive an RV through Bryce Canyon National Park?
Yes! Driving through Bryce Canyon National Park on the Southern Scenic Drive is one of the best things to do in the park. With nine overlooks, this drive takes you through some of the lesser-known areas of the park.
Are dogs allowed in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Yes! Dogs are allowed inside the park. However, all dogs must be on a leash, no longer than 6 feet in length.
What is the best time of year to visit Bryce Canyon National Park?
For the best views and safest time to visit, plan your trip from April until October. The high elevation at Bryce Canyon National Park means that winter weather can be unpredictable. As a result, many campgrounds and RV parks close down for the winter season.