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Overlooked National Park Spotlight: Bryce Canyon

Utah is home to some of the country’s most iconic and well-known national parks. In recent years, Zion National Park has climbed the list of most-visited parks in the nation, coming in third in 2022

Arches and Zion are undoubtedly the state’s most well-known national parks. But Utah is actually home to five, sometimes known as Utah’s Mighty 5. The remaining parks are less widely known, especially to those not from this region. 

One of the parks that’s often overlooked is Bryce Canyon National Park. The park is actually the second most-visited national park in Utah. It’s located just a short drive from Zion National Park. Despite this, many first-time visitors to Utah don’t realize that it exists.

If you’ve never had a chance to visit this unique national park, Bryce Canyon is a must-see. Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful national park, and how to visit it on Bryce Canyon tours with Utah Luxury Tours.

Where is Bryce Canyon?

If you’ve never been on Bryce Canyon tours before, you might be wondering where this park is even located. Bryce Canyon is located in the town of Bryce, a small town in Southern Utah. 

Most visitors traveling to Bryce do so by driving through Zion National Park first. After exiting Zion from the East Entrance, located in Zion’s Upper Canyon, Bryce is less than an hour and a half away. You’ll travel out of Zion on UT-9 to Mt Carmel Junction. From there, you’ll head North on US-89 for 43 miles before turning onto UT-12 E, which takes you to the town of Bryce. A short drive on UT-63 will take you to the entrance to the park.

Bryce Canyon is also just over two hours from Capitol Reef National Park. If you’re visiting this park first on national park tours, you’ll travel to Bryce Canyon from the north, traveling most of the way on UT-62 and UT-22. On our Wonders of the West Tour, you’ll visit Bryce Canyon after Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley, before returning to Salt Lake City for your flight home.

Because of its location, Bryce Canyon is often part of national park tours that also include Zion and other destinations in Southern Utah. Of course, if you’re touring all of Utah’s Mighty 5, Bryce Canyon will be a stop. 

A History of Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion was Utah’s first national park. But as you’ll learn on our Bryce Canyon tours, this park was a close second. 

The park owes its current status to a man named J.W. Humphrey. Humphrey was a supervisor with the U.S. Forest Service and transferred to the Panguitch Plateau in 1915. After exploring the uncharted eastern edge of the plateau, he immediately recognized its unique beauty and set out to protect it. Humphrey worked hard to improve roads to the edge of the plateau, and tourists as well as a travelers camp quickly followed. 

Bryce Canyon was first named a national monument in June of 1923. Just a year later, it became Utah’s second national park, though at the time it was named “Utah National Park.” Its name would change to Bryce Canyon National Park on February 25, 1928.

What to See in Bryce Canyon

When you book Utah vacation packages that include Bryce Canyon, you’re certain to get to experience a few of the park’s most popular sights. 

First up is the famous amphitheater. This massive natural bowl-shaped canyon has been shaped by thousands of years of rain and melting snow. Filling the amphitheater are thousands of hoodoos, unique formations of rock that’s been weathered into narrow spires.​​ The park is home to the world’s largest collection of hoodoos, and the amphitheater is home to most of them. 

You won’t have to worry about missing them; the amphitheater is the focal point of the park, and is located just past the entrance and the Visitor Center. Bryce Canyon’s amphitheater is especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset when the red rock hoodoos come to life in the changing sunlight. You’ll get to see just that on Day 1 of our 6-Day Triple Canyon Private Custom Tour.

Booking Bryce Canyon Tours With Utah Luxury Tours

From the stunning landscapes to the unique seasonal activities, there’s no shortage of reasons to add Bryce Canyon National Park to your bucket list. One of the easiest ways to explore this incredible national park is with Bryce Canyon tours from Utah Luxury Tours. Bryce Canyon is included in many of our national park tours, including the Triple Canyon Tour, Wonders of the West, and Mighty 5 Tours.

Ready to experience this unique and often-overlooked national park for yourself? Check out our private and scheduled tours today to find the right one for your next adventure.

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