Nature’s stunning beauty at Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon, UtahI’ve already written an overview of our (fantastic) holiday to Southwestern America last summer. I’ve been to this part of the country a few times, but it was my first-ever visit to Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

My family and I adored our time here, and I highly recommend it to anyone headed out to this region.

The colors and rock formations formed by wind erosion (called hoodoos) are stunning and changed dramatically around every corner…. and I can assure you we did enough hiking to explore almost each and every corner.

Bryce Canyon, UtahThe Indians from this region would not walk too close to the rim. They thought the hoodoos were petrified evil spirits. My kids loved that story and my youngest kept asking if they come back to life at night.

Although there are lots of tourists, most of them stay concentrated on the rim, so if you enjoy hiking, you can enjoy many of the trails in relative solitude. We took one 14-kilometer trail early in the morning, and we must have bumped into a half-dozen people along the entire route.

The wonderful thing about hiking is observing the changing colors and forms of the hoodoos around each corner, and in the changing light of day.

As you can imagine, Bryce Canyon can get extremely hot during the summer months. Carry plenty of water and drink at regular intervals during your hikes.

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Finding hiking medallions for the Badge Program

Take advantage of the wonderful Visitors Center and discuss your hiking plans with the experienced rangers. Trail conditions can change depending on weather conditions, and you should always ensure you have up-to-date information. There are also interesting ranger-led walks you can join, teaching you about the area’s geology, history and wildlife.

If you are travelling with kids, be sure to start your visit at the Information office to pick up your booklet for the Junior Park Ranger Program .

By completing an activity book, taking a ranger-led tour, and hiking a certain amount of trails (proved by taking photos with medallions hidden found along the trails), kids can earn their Junior Park Ranger program. It’s a lot of fun for the kids to learn while working towards their badge.

Bryce Canyon, UtahThe Bryce Canyon Lodge was booked when I was looking for hotels, so we stayed nearby at Ruby’s Lodge. The hotel is large, with an indoor swimming pool that was relaxing after our long days of hiking. There was also an easy shuttle bus service running from the hotel to the park.

One morning we went on a horseback trail ride organized by the hotel along the Bryce Canyon Ridge. However, if I go back, I’d prefer to organize the mule rides directly in Bryce Canyon. It looks like a spectacular way to view the Canyon.

Bryce Canyon was the last stop on our southwestern tour. With all the hiking we managed to fit in during our holiday, I boarded our return flight to New York with aching muscles – but it was well worth it. Hiking and marveling over the stunning nature at national parks such as Bryce Canyon made this  a spectacular family vacation.

Enjoy your hiking in beautiful Bryce Canyon!

Bryce Canyon, UtahBryce Canyon, Utah


  1. Uncle Spike on August 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Thank you for sharing your great post. My love for travel has spanned 4 decades and shows no sign of abating… have fun out there, it’s a wondferful, crazy big world! How can you not write about such incredible places 🙂

    • kimberlysullivan on August 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Always great to meet another traveloholic!

  2. Catherine on August 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    You must have had a wonderful time together. I think introducing kids to hard hiking is fantastic for when they are older. Mine used to complain a lot (read lots of piggy-backing) but now they’re happy enough to be outdoors and walking hard.

    I couldn’t help thinking about the James Franco film 127 hours!!

    • kimberlysullivan on August 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Oh, yikes! Saw that Franco, film, too and cringe every time I think about it. Filmed just up the road from Bryce in beautiful Canyonlands. Ugh – NEVER hike alone is what I always tell my kids.Oh yes, they both started hiking young because I could no longer carry them in the baby backpack. : ) I agree – a great activity to start young.

  3. wordfoolery on August 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Sounds like an amazing trip. I can just see my two loving becoming rangers too. I’ll never forget seeing the hoodoos at Drumheller in Alberta, Canada.

    • kimberlysullivan on August 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Ooh, they’ll be sure to love it, Grace. Although, they’ll remember Rome as cool and balmy in comparison. : )

  4. ledrakenoir on August 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Very well written and photos captured and interesting too… 🙂

    We are never too young or too old for travelling… 🙂

    • kimberlysullivan on August 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Thanks, Le drake. True, but let’s just hope that at ninety, we’re as good at hiking. : )

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