Utah has breathtaking scenery and once-in-a-lifetime hikes. And Zion and Bryce Canyon are some of the state’s stunning national parks! These national parks in Southern Utah have unique and distinctive views that will astonish you.
The most accessible approach to exploring Utah’s most incredible hikes and its distinctive beauty is to combine these national parks on a short road trip.
Zion and Bryce Canyon provide something for everyone, from views to hiking routes. Luckily, driving from Zion to Bryce Canyon is straightforward, so you can easily combine the two!
If you planning a road trip itinerary that will take you from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Parks OR vice-versa, we’ll show you how to plan an enjoyable three-day trip to maximize the experience.
What if you don’t have enough time? We’ll also give itinerary alternatives for a two-day and four-day Zion to Bryce Canyon road trip so that every traveler can plan the ideal holiday.
Let’s plan your road trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks!
Zion vs. Bryce Canyon
While both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are stunning, Zion is more suited for adventurous hikers and canyon enthusiasts, while Bryce Canyon is excellent for families and photographers. Less than an hour apart, these parks are a must-see.
On your southwest Utah road trip plan, it’s ideal for visiting both parks.
Your heart rate will slow as you hike through Zion’s bucket list trails, then rise again as you marvel at the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon’s bowl-shaped amphitheater.
We’ve been to both parks twice and want to visit again, so we highly recommend seeing both!
Elevation: Zion National Park vs. Bryce Canyon
The elevation of each landscape varies greatly between Zion and Bryce Canyon. Springdale in Zion is 3,900 ft high, whereas Bryce City is 7,650 ft.
When driving from Zion to Bryce Canyon, you’ll definitely feel the elevation rise. Altitude sickness isn’t usually a concern until 8,000 ft, but Bryce Canyon isn’t far from that, so bring medicine if you’re prone to it (anything with Acetazolamide works well).
Why Take the Zion to Bryce Canyon Road Trip?
Even though Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon are in the same state, the experience at each is massively different. But there are things in between/along the way that you wouldn’t want to miss, too. The Grand Staircase is a line of multicolored cliffs that connects Zion and Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah’s Colorado Plateau area. It is the lowest rock stratum of Bryce Canyon and is a must-see.
One road trip can easily cover both Zion and Bryce Canyon. And there’s plenty to do along the way that it’s really worth it to turn this small road trip into an adventure.
In about two hours, you can travel from Zion to Bryce Canyon. It’s hard to grow tired of the views because the sights are incredible. You’ll see beautiful mountain vistas in Zion and hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.
How Far is Bryce Canyon from Zion?
Because Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks are so close, many visitors combine their visits.
The quickest route to Bryce Canyon is by US-89 from Zion National Park. The travel is around 74 miles long and takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.
The travel from Zion National Park’s south gate or Springdale takes longer due to the winding Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Route 9). This section of your trip from Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park is stunning and should be on your Zion National Park bucket list, even though it’s a bit further away.
This tour will take you through sandstone tunnels, the Checkerboard Mesa’s cross-cut pattern, and some Desert Bighorn Sheep! They tend to hang around between the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and the East Entrance in the mountains. The 84-mile travel takes at least 1 hour and 45 minutes, and we think it’s definitely worth the extra few miles.
How to Get from Zion to Bryce Canyon?
We suggest flying into McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas for your Bryce Canyon and Zion trip. The travel to Zion National Park takes little under three hours. You can also fly into Salt Lake City, but it’s a five-hour drive to Zion National Park.
After your tour from Zion to Bryce Canyon, you can fly out of McCarran or Salt Lake City. Both are roughly 4 hours from Bryce Canyon.
Next, we’ll go over our favorite aspects of each part, then we’ll talk about the best road trip stops in between these two national parks.
Why Visit Zion National Park?
Angels Landing, The Narrows, and The Subway are world-famous trails in Zion National Park. Canyons with 2,000 ft sandstone cliffs surround valleys, rivers, and streams with hiking routes and natural beauty.
In 2019, Zion was the fourth most visited US National Park with 4.5 million recreational visitors.
The park comprises three major sections: Main Zion Canyon, Kolob Terrace, and Kolob Canyons.
Angels Landing and the Narrows are among the most renowned hikes in Zion National Park and the most popular in the US National Park system.
In addition to hiking, there are many other things to do in Zion.
Zion National Park: Important Notes
Before you go, here are some highlights about Zion National Park to help you organize your trip:
Best Time to Visit: The perfect time to visit Zion is during the Spring and Fall, specifically April to May and September to October. You can avoid crowds by going shortly before or after the busy season, from April to October.
Where to Stay: You can stay in Zion Lodge, South Campground, or Watchman campground if you prefer to stay inside the park. Springdale has attractive yet pricey hotels outside the park.
How to Get There: Las Vegas Airport is 3 hours away from Zion National Park, and Salt Lake City International Airport is 4-5 hours.
How to Get Around: Most of the year, travelers to Zion Canyon must utilize the complimentary shuttle service. However, you will need a vehicle to navigate the park. We recommend renting a car at the airport if you’re flying in. It’s just not worth it to come to Zion without a car.
Permits: You need permissions for Angels Landing, Backpacking, The Subway, The Narrows, and Rock Climbing.
Zion National Park Tips
Here are some helpful tips when getting to Zion National Park:
1. Arrive Early for Parking
Parking at Zion National Park is difficult since places are restricted and fill up rapidly. Arrive early to grab a parking place.
When we visited this park in August, the parking lot was almost complete by 7:00 am. Crowds are typical in Zion from early February to late November.
If parking at Zion National Park is not enough, use the free Springdale shuttle to get to the park. The shuttle may pick you up at nine different locations to get to Zion from town.
2. Obtain Permits and Book Trips Ahead of Time
Daily, hundreds of people visit the US National Parks. The NPS increased its ticketing system for Zion National Park to safeguard the park’s peaceful environment. Permits required for popular Zion trails include:
- Angels Landing
- The Subway
- The Narrows (Hike from Chamberlain’s Ranch)
To secure Angels Landing and the Subway tickets, you must apply months ahead of time.
Reservations for a hike from Chamberlain’s Ranch to the Narrows can be made up to two months in advance on recreation.gov.
Every 5th of the current month, reservations for the following month become available. Check out the permit system here.
3. Learn about the Zion Canyon Shuttle System
The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is restricted (not available for private cars) from March to November. You can only enjoy the gorgeous drive by shuttle or bicycle. You’ll need to know the shuttle schedules and stops to visit most of the highlights in Zion National Park. What’s more, it’s free to use!
It’s totally worth it to take a trip on the Zion shuttle. The views are literally incredible!
4. Catch the First Shuttle
The shuttle parking lot fills up quickly, so arrive early to catch the first shuttle. Thus, you can spend more time in the park and explore more popular activities without the crowds.
5. Evaluate the Weather
If you want to trek the Narrows, one of the most crucial factors is the river’s flow. Flash floods and powerful currents are particularly hazardous. During the summer, thunderstorms are frequent in Utah. Check the weather before visiting Zion.
6. Know the Trail Conditions
Primary rock falls in Zion National Park can alter trail conditions. Check the park’s website or drop by the visitor center for the most up-to-date information.
7. Start Your Day With a Narrows Hike
Even though many people avoid getting wet in the morning, it is one of the least congested times. It’s best to hike the Narrows early in the day to avoid the crowds.
8. Arrive at Canyon Junction Bridge One Hour Before Sunset
Arrive early to see the sunset at Zion National Park’s most famous sunset point. Many photographers will seek to capture the classic shot of Canyon Junction Bridge. We went there an hour before sunset and grabbed the best location on the bridge!
Why Visit Bryce Canyon National Park?
Bryce Canyon is one of America’s lesser-known National Parks. It is in the American Southwest and has lovely scenery.
The canyon has the world’s most extensive hoodoo collection. The Bryce Canyon Amphitheater at the park’s entrance has the most hoodoos.
Explore the park by hiking the beautiful trails, driving the picturesque route, and stopping at the numerous views. You can also take a park tour or go horseback riding.
Bryce Canyon National Park: Important Notes
Here are some essential notes about Zion National Park that will help you plan your trip:
Best Time to visit: Spring and fall, or April to May and September to October, are the best times to visit Bryce Canyon National Park.
Where to Stay: North or Sunset Campgrounds and The Lodge at Bryce Canyon are alternatives for lodging inside the park. For a reasonable price, you can stay outside the park.
How to Get There: The closest airports to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah are Las Vegas which takes 4 hours and 10 minutes by car, and a 4-hour 5 minutes drive to Salt Lake City. We would suggest that you go to Zion National Park first. From there, Bryce Canyon is only a short 1.5-hour drive away.
How to Get Around: You can take the free Bryce Canyon Shuttle, which takes you to all the viewpoints and trailheads, or you can drive your car in the park, whichever you prefer.
Bryce Canyon National Park Tips
Below are some helpful Bryce Canyon National Park tips to maximize your enjoyment here:
1. Recognize the Altitude
With almost 8,000 feet in elevation, Bryce Canyon National Park is much higher than Zion. You can feel out of breath really quickly. Taking it easy and stopping to see the stunning scenery is always a good option.
2. Learn About the Bryce Canyon Shuttle
Parking at Bryce Canyon is limited and can fill up quickly, so use the free Bryce Canyon Shuttle to avoid the hassle. The shuttle operates from April to October and visits the most incredible sights in the park.
The shuttle operates from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, so you’ll need to drive to witness sunrise or sunset.
3. Take the First Shuttle
If you’re taking the Bryce Canyon shuttle, get there early. It allows you to enter the park before the crowd.
4. Hoodoo Photo Op
You can photograph the stunning blood orange hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park from different angles. Your list should include Sunrise, Sunset, Bryce, and Inspiration Points.
Visit such locations at dawn or golden hour for unique picture opportunities. The golden hour is between sunrise and sunset.
5. Wear Layers
The temperature difference between morning and night might be variable. Dress in layers to cope with temperature variations.
6. Watch for Wildlife
We saw prairie dogs bursting out of their caves and deer lounging in the pine trees along the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive. You could also see mountain lions, pronghorn deer, and rattlesnakes.
7. Hike Navajo Loop
The Navajo Loop is the most popular walk-in Bryce Canyon National Park, so go around sunrise or sunset. You’ll escape the crowds and enjoy the trip in the best light!
What to Pack for a Zion to Bryce Canyon Trip?
The weather can change quickly in both Zion and Bryce Canyon, from cold mornings to storms in the afternoon. Make sure you bring these things on your trip to be ready for anything.
National Park Pass
There is a fee to get into both Zion and Bryce Canyon. Obtaining America the Beautiful National Park Pass is a great idea to visit more than one national park this year. You can go to more than 60 national parks and more than 400 monuments and sites for a year. Here, you can buy a national park.
We usually bring an empty hiking backpack in our carry-on for exploration. It allows us to carry food, clothing, and other items for our adventures.
In these parks, hiking is the best thing to do. You’ll need hiking boots or trail runners that are sturdy, comfortable and have good grip. Before your trip, don’t forget to wear your shoes.
Inappropriate socks ruin good hiking boots. Always go for merino wool. They’re costly, but they will keep your feet dry and prevent blisters for a long time.
In Spring and Fall, the weather can change from day to night in Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Even though the mornings are chilly, the afternoons may be sweltering. Comfortable hiking clothes and fleece layers are essential.
During the summer, thunderstorms might occur suddenly. A rain jacket or poncho is always helpful, even just a brief light rain.
From Zion to Bryce Canyon, you decide how to capture each scene. Any iPhone will do. Also, if you plan on taking a quality camera with you on your hike, we highly recommend a camera clip.
Hat and Sunblock
Many of the trails in Zion and Bryce have no shade, so it’s essential to wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is necessary, but a sun hat will also do a lot to keep you from getting sunburned.
Zion To Bryce Canyon Road Trip Itineraries
Now that we’ve covered the basics of both national parks, let’s get to the road trip itinerary section!
This guide will present you with three road trip itineraries of these two gorgeous parks.
For the three Zion To Bryce Canyon road trip itineraries here (2-day, 3-day, and 4-day), we’ll focus most on the 3-day since it is the best time frame to enjoy these two parks fully.
We’ll give you an overview of the 2-day and 4-day Zion to Bryce Canyon road trip itineraries to best plan your adventures.
2-Day Zion To Bryce Canyon Road Trip Itinerary
The 2-day trip will provide you enough time to visit the finest of both Zion and Bryce Canyon and some versatility in how you divide your time. However, the number of time-consuming treks you can squeeze in will be restricted.
One day in Zion and one day in Bryce Canyon are options. You could also spend a day and a half in Zion and just a few hours at Bryce Canyon.
Spend most of your hiking trip in southern Utah at Zion National Park. If you’re there for photography, though, you should plan on spending the whole day in Bryce Canyon, including sunrise.
Here is how to spend two days in Zion and Bryce Canyon:
Day 1: Zion
For day 1 in Zion, you can either do the following:
- Spend the day hiking The Narrows
- Half a day should be spent hiking Angels Landing and the other half in The Narrows
- Angels Landing, Emerald Pools, Pa’rus Trail, Watchman, and Canyon Overlook are all excellent hikes to do after Angels Landing
- Hike all day to The Subway
- Visit Kolob Canyons for the day
As you can see, there’s a lot to do in Zion. We recommend hiking The Narrows if you’ve never been, just because it’s the most famous, but we also really love the Emerald Pools and the Kolob Canyons. So stretch your trip to three days if at all possible!
You should drive to Bryce Canyon later in the day and spend the night in its hotel or campground, no matter which option you choose, so you’re ready to go for the following day.
Day 2: Bryce Canyon
For the day 2 in Bryce Canyon, spend the day doing the following:
- Get up to see the sunrise over the theater
- Hike the Queens Garden Navajo Loop
- Drive the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive and stop at each lookout
You can definitely fit in all of these activities in one day.
Best 3-Day Zion to Bryce Canyon Road Trip Itinerary
We’ll get more details in this 3-day road trip from Zion to Bryce Canyon now, and it is the ideal time frame to explore these two incredible national parks.
In three days, you can quickly travel while seeing many of the highlights of each park. There may be a few concessions, and you won’t be able to view every part of Zion, but you’ll get the best parts of each.
Day 1 (Zion): The Narrows And Watchman
If you’re coming from Las Vegas, get there early, or get an early start if you stay in Springdale. Make sure to get any necessary gear the night before to head out before stores open.
Park at the main visitor center if you are just getting to Zion. You can also walk or take the village shuttle bus from a Springdale hotel or campground to the visitor center.
No matter what time of year you go, don’t forget to rent a walking pole. Without it, you won’t get very far.
Hiking the Narrows with as few people as possible is ideal for starting your Bryce Canyon and Zion tour. The Narrows is generally peaceful at sunrise.
The trail begins with a mile of Riverside Walk before entering the river. The Narrows is unique in that you can trek it for as long as you desire. Most people hike the first 1-3 miles of the path, which is 10 miles roundtrip.
Hiking through a river takes much longer than walking on a conventional route, so keep that in mind while planning your schedule. Consider the following while planning your trip across the Narrows:
- Because your feet will be in the water for the whole trip, we recommend bringing a change of shoes for your later excursions.
- Since the Narrows region is prone to sudden floods, check the weather forecast before trekking there.
- Also, because the river is prone to cyanobacteria, you should avoid submerging your head, swimming, or drinking the water.
- Keep in mind that you should only hike as far as you feel comfortable and that you must return the same distance you walked in.
Return to the visitor center on the shuttle and drop off your stuff at Zion Outfitter. You’ll be more than ready to change into something comfier by now!
It should be late afternoon, giving you plenty of time to trek The Watchman.
Watchman begins in the tourist center, where you just left off your belongings. Before going up to Watchman Overlook, it’s a good idea to get some dinner in Springdale.
The sun should be setting by the time you get to Watchman Overlook. Stay up here to see the sunset before returning to your Springdale hotel or campsite. Seeing the sunset here is totally worth it and is a must-do!!
Day 2 (Zion): Angels Landing, Emerald Pools, and Canyon Overlook
Apply for an Angels Landing permit in advance or receive a walk-in permit the following day. We suggest that you choose the first time slot so that you can hike to Angels Landing in time for sunrise.
Get up early, pack your tent or check out your hotel, and get on one of the earliest shuttles into the canyon. You don’t want to be on this path with dozens of other hikers since there’s not a ton of room.
Take the shuttle to The Grotto, stop #6. Starting on the other side of the road, follow the route towards Scout Lookout and Angels Landing.
If you obtain a permit, you will be given a specified start day and time for your hike. You can rearrange your trip to accommodate the commencement time on your permit. Angels Landing in Zion National Park’s most famous hike is not for the faint-hearted.
This 5.5-mile roundtrip expedition starts with a rugged ascent via switchbacks before continuing along a ridge with lengthy, steep dropoffs. It’s an adrenaline-pumping adventure with breathtaking vistas that will leave you breathless!
Remember to be cautious and aware of your surroundings when climbing.
You never know how other people will respond when they are terrified, so be alert to what is happening around you.
Emerald Pools Trail
The Emerald Pools hike is a 3-mile out-and-back that passes through the only waterfalls in Zion National Park. Although the waterfalls are modest in size, they are stunning!
Beginning opposite the Zion Lodge, the route follows a straightforward approach to the Lower Emerald Pools, where you can stroll under a waterfall. You can end your hike or continue to Middle and Upper Emerald Pools.
You should be prepared for a significantly more steep route if you want to hike to the Middle and Upper Emerald Pools. The Middle Emerald Pools are located on top of the rock and waterfall you just passed under.
Due to its location at the foot of towering cliffs, Upper Emerald Pool is one of the most scenic spots along this hike. It is a beautiful spot that few people hike to!
Zion Canyon Overlook
The Canyon Overlook trailhead starts only a few meters from the tunnel’s mouth. This hike will be considerably gentler on the nerves and more suited to children/families.
This hike has many entertaining features, including sloping wooden footbridges and a crescent-shaped cave. So it’s fun but not too tricky, making it a great afternoon hike.
Find a secluded location on either side of the information board and take in some of the most outstanding views in Zion, this time across Pine Creek Canyon, as you reach the summit.
Return to your vehicle, continue down UT-9 beyond the east entrance and turn onto US-89 North. The journey between Zion and Bryce Canyon should take around two hours.
Take a slight detour to Many Pools and Checkerboard Mesa on the way out of Zion if you have the time.
Day 3 (Bryce Canyon): Incredible Sunrise Over the Amphitheater, Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail, and Bryce Point Perspective
Today is another early start, but you won’t have to battle any crowds, at least not right away. Here is how you’ll start day 3 in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Incredible Sunrise Over the Amphitheater
Check Bryce Canyon sunrise timing and get up there at least 30 minutes before sunrise.
Drive to Sunrise Point, set up your camera and tripod in the best possible position, and then relax with a coffee and breakfast while waiting for the sun to rise above the Eastern horizon.
The sight of the Bryce Canyon amphitheater burning a fiery red hue in the morning light is breathtaking.
As the early sunshine poured over the countryside, we were astounded by how vivid and intense the red and orange colors shimmered.
Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail
Next, it’s time to hike. This hike is one of the most remarkable ways to see the hoodoos and spires of Bryce Canyon National Park. This fantastic walk passes by notable park landmarks, including Queen Victoria and Thor’s Hammer.
Begin by hiking the Navajo Loop Trail to Sunset Point, which offers spectacular canyon views. You can go right here and enter Wall Street, a tiny canyon. This route follows the Navajo Loop Trail’s eastern side. After crossing Thor’s Hammer and the Two Bridges, you’ll reach the Queens Garden trail intersection, home to some of the park’s most beautiful formations.
The Queens Garden Trail offers views of towering hoodoos and rocky formations.
During their creation, hoodoos go through numerous phases. First, water erodes stony plateaus into fins. When they become thin, a hole forms in the middle, producing a window. A hoodoo appears in place of the top of the windows after further erosion.
Frost wedging causes most erosion in Bryce. Rain pours into rock fissures, freezing and expanding when the temperature decreases, widening the fractures.
Turn left at Sunrise Point to return to the parking lot via the Rim Trail.
Bryce Point Perspective
Suppose you still have enough time after the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail. If so, you can finish your trip to Bryce Canyon by driving (or better yet, riding the park shuttle) to Inspiration Point and Bryce Point for various views of the magnificent theater.
It should be mid-afternoon, giving you plenty of time to get to your next location before dark. If you’re behind schedule, just skip this step and head home.
Bryce Canyon is much smaller than it seems, though, so it’s pretty easy to see the top sights here all in one day.
4-Day Zion To Bryce Canyon Road Trip Itinerary
When traveling to Bryce Canyon from Zion National Park, the 4-day trip provides you more flexibility. You can take your time and appreciate every detail of both parks without feeling hurried.
You could divide your time between Zion and Bryce Canyon and spend two days in each, or spend three days hiking in Zion and reserve the final day for Bryce Canyon.
We would do the latter and hike in Zion for three days before going to Bryce Canyon for sunset on the third evening.
Because there aren’t many “things to do” within Bryce Canyon, you won’t need to spend two full days there.
Here are some ideas on how to spend your four days in Zion and Bryce Canyon:
Day 1: Zion
- Angels Landing Hike
- Explore the Emerald Pools in their entirety
- Discover Checkerboard Mesa
- Take a stroll around the several pools
- Hike the Zion Canyon Overlook
You can spend the night in Springdale.
Day 2: Zion
- Spend the day hiking through The Narrows or sunrise hike with Watchman
- Then go to Observation Point (wilderness) via the East Rim Trail
Day 3: Zion
- Hike to the Subway Station or spend the day hiking in the Kolob Canyons
- Drive to Bryce Canyon and spend the night there
Day 4: Bryce Canyon
- Watch the dawn over the theater as you get up
- Hike the Navajo Loop in Queens Garden
- Stop at each viewpoint along the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive
What About A Bryce Canyon To Zion Road Trip?
While we personally enjoy doing the Zion to Bryce Canyon road trip in that order, you can also do a Bryce Canyon to Zion road trip just as easily.
One plus of the Bryce Canyon to Zion road trip is that you won’t experience any altitude sickness because you’re starting at a higher altitude and slowly moving to a lower altitude (Zion).
Simply reverse any of these itineraries when planning your Bryce Canyon to Zion road trip. But keep in mind that you won’t want to spend more than a day at Bryce Canyon, so there will be a bit more driving during the early part of your trip.
Where to Stay Near Zion and Bryce?
Both Zion and Bryce Canyon have lodging options ranging from camping to resorts. Here are our favorite spots near both parks!
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park?
From camping beneath the stars for free to stay in a fancy resort, Zion offers something for everyone.
If you want to stay in Springdale outside the park, you must reserve four to six months in advance.
Make reservations for campsites and the Zion Lodge 6 months in advance. Every year at the beginning of the month, the lodge accepts bookings for the entire month.
Inside Zion National Park
There are three campgrounds in Zion that need to be reserved ahead of time. Camping in the park is very popular, and campsites tend to fill up fast. There are only three places where camping is allowed:
- South Campground (You can reserve 14 days ahead of time)
- Watchman Campground (You can book six months ahead of time)
- The Lava Point Campground (most of the time, it is open from May to September on a “first come, first served” basis)
If you don’t want to camp, you can stay at the Zion Lodge. It is the only place to stay in the whole park.
Outside Zion National Park
You can camp for free on BLM land on Dalton Wash Road, about 30 minutes outside the park.
Hotels in Springdale are costly, so if you want to spend the night in this charming small town, be prepared to spend a few bucks. Some of the best choices are:
- Holiday Inn Express Springdale
- Cliffrose Lodge
- Bumbleberry Inn
- Driftwood Lodge
- Majestic View Lodge
Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon National Park?
Staying inside the park’s limits takes considerable preparation. Book lodgings 3–6 months in advance.
Make reservations for the famous Lodge at Bryce Canyon a year in advance.
Inside Bryce Canyon National Park
There are two campgrounds inside the park of Bryce Canyon. Both campgrounds are great places to camp because they are close to the park’s main things to see and do. Visit the National Park Service website to find out more about each campground and how to make reservations. Here are the two campgrounds:
- North Campground (it is open all year but on a first-come, first-served basis)
- Sunset Campground (you must reserve six months in advance)
The only hotel in the park is the Lodge at Bryce Canyon for lodging.
Outside Bryce Canyon National Park
Even though the towns near Bryce Canyon aren’t as big as Springdale near Zion National Park, they offer places to stay outside the park.
You can camp anywhere along Forest Road 1173 (on BLM land) for free just outside the park.
For camping outside, you have Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Camping.
You could spend the night in one of the following beautiful hotels close to Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Bryce UpTop Lodge
- Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
- Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn
General Tips for Both Parks
When preparing for a trip from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park, you should know the following:
1. Get an America the Beautiful Pass
For only $80, you can buy an America the Beautiful Pass. It is the best way to save money on all National Parks and even more National Park Service Sites. Here are a few reasons why you should buy the pass:
- Give access to more than 2,000 public lands is free for an entire year
- Pay for itself quickly, and you can’t beat the price!
- Have six different types of America the Beautiful passes, so there is one for everyone
- Share your pass with family and friends
- Support giving money to the United States’ Public Lands
2. Get Your Day Going Early
Zion and Bryce Canyon are both well-known national parks that get a lot of visitors every year. Start your day soon after sunrise to find the best places to park and avoid crowds. Even if you’re not a morning person, it’s worth it to get up early and beat the crowds for this trip.
3. Have NPS Apps on Your Phone
Download the National Park Service App and the Recreation.gov App if you haven’t already.
The National Park Service app is a helpful app that gives information on all National Park Service locations in the United States. You can identify nearby places, and you can use it to keep track of the National Parks you’ve visited and those you want to see. This app makes it straightforward to begin arranging a vacation to any US National Park.
Most people are familiar with the Recreation.gov app for reserving campsites, particularly in the United States National Parks, but it offers much more. You can buy permits, excursions, shuttle tickets, and passes and obtain more information on various places and activities through the app or website.
4. Rent a Car Rather Than an SUV To Save Money
We usually hire a larger car with all-wheel drive on national park outings. But it isn’t necessary at Zion and Bryce Canyon since all roads are paved and readily accessible. Renting a smaller car will save you money.
5. Stop at the Visitor Centers
A simple trip to one of the US National Park visitor centers can be highly beneficial. A qualified park ranger can provide you with further information on the park. You may also buy merchandise, see park exhibits or films, use the toilet, and refill your water bottle.
6. Book in Advance for Your Stay
When bookings are offered on a rolling 6-month basis, campsites fill up quickly. If you wish to stay in a park lodge, reserve 13 months in advance when reservations open.
7. Adhere to the Principles of Leave No Trace
It is critical to remember the Leave No Trace principles while exploring and enjoying the outdoors. Respect and cherish nature so that future generations might experience its splendor.
Hopefully, this Zion to Bryce Canyon road trip guide gives you lots of information to plan an amazing trip!