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  • This is everything that you need to know to visit Bryce Canyon National Park.

  • All right, let's go.

  • And the first thing to know is just some general information about this national park.

  • Bryce Canyon National Park is one of Utah's Mighty Five National Parks.

  • It's located in Southern Utah.

  • It is pretty small compared to all the other ones.

  • This one is 55 square miles.

  • And what people come here for is to see the hoodoos.

  • Two million people come here every year to see these things behind me.

  • These are the hoodoos.

  • They are these tall rock formations that have been formed by years of erosion.

  • The water coming in, freezing, makes these interesting rock formations.

  • Some of them look like Queen Elizabeth or goblins or castles.

  • We're gonna see those throughout this video.

  • That is definitely the highlight of this national park.

  • Now, another neat part about Bryce Canyon for Disney theme park fans is that this is actually the inspiration for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a roller coaster at Disneyland.

  • And those hoodoos look pretty familiar to the ones I've ridden probably 100 times on the Disney roller coaster.

  • The second thing to know is some information to help you get oriented to Bryce Canyon National Park.

  • So when you come in the main gates right there, they'll hand you a trusty map.

  • This is a pretty good map, so keep this handy for you.

  • Right next to the main entrance is the visitor center.

  • There's only one of them.

  • It's hard to miss.

  • If you need information about hikes you wanna do or things like that more than you get in this video, go in there and get information from a ranger.

  • Navigating the park itself is pretty easy.

  • It's a pretty small park.

  • There is one road that goes through it, Utah 63.

  • It'll take you from the entrance, 18 miles all the way down to the end to Rainbow Point, the highest elevation point in the park.

  • There are nine different viewpoints along this road.

  • And basically you can just drive this road and find all the things you need to find.

  • It is pretty easy.

  • The busy area is definitely what they call the amphitheater area.

  • That's the area basically right around the entrance and it's also where all of the park services are.

  • It's off like a spur road off the main road.

  • That's where you'll find the lodge, the general store, the campgrounds, basically all right at the beginning.

  • The third thing to know is about getting into Bryce Canyon National Park.

  • Bryce is in a very remote part of Southern Utah.

  • The nearest major attraction is Zion National Park, which is about two hours away.

  • If you are flying in and then coming right here, the two biggest close major airports, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, both of them are about four and a half hours away.

  • Many people also connect Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon National Park, which is in fact where I came from.

  • It is five and a half hours from the South Rim and it's a little closer if you're coming in from the North Rim.

  • You're pretty much gonna be driving in here as there aren't really any other public transportation options.

  • The park is open year round.

  • It doesn't close and admission is $35 per car.

  • Doesn't matter how many people in your car, per car.

  • That's valid for seven days.

  • If you're gonna be visiting two more national parks than just this one on your trip, then you might consider getting the interagency pass for $80 that gets you into all national parks for an entire year.

  • Oh, and because I said I'd tell you where I'm shooting all these scenes, this one is down the Queen's Garden Trail at the intersection with the Horse Trail.

  • All right, the fourth thing to know is about getting around, Bryce.

  • And definitely one of the ways you're gonna be getting around is by walking.

  • Now, if you're here in the summer, I think tennis shoes will be just fine.

  • The terrain is not that challenging.

  • I don't really think you need hiking boots for most of the trails here.

  • If you're here in winter, then you're gonna want spikes on the bottom of your shoes because much of the trail in winter is icy and slippery.

  • And so Chris, what is winter?

  • Well, you know, at Bryce, at this high elevation, 9,000 feet in Utah, they can easily get snow in October.

  • So winter can be like October through March is when you're gonna wanna bring your snowy type things.

  • Oh, by the way, down here, I'm under this kind of like rock ledge on the Queen's Garden Trail.

  • And do you hear an echo?

  • I hear an echo.

  • Yeah, there's definitely an echo down here.

  • Now, besides walking around, your car is a pretty good way to get around Bryce Canyon in the off season.

  • In the summer, when it's busy, they operate a shuttle service from May until about October.

  • You know, definitely check the seasonality of that because they change it every year.

  • When the shuttle service is running, you can take a shuttle out from Bryce City.

  • It picks up at the main hotels out there.

  • And then there's a whole parking lot dedicated to the shuttle buses.

  • And then you can ride the shuttle bus in.

  • If you're gonna ride the shuttle bus in from town, you do need to buy your admission ticket ahead of time.

  • You can do that online actually, or you can also buy admission tickets at Ruby's Inn.

  • The shuttle service makes a bunch of different stops through the main part of the park.

  • And so that's the Bryce Amphitheater part of it.

  • And if you wanna get all the way down to Rainbow Point, then that's gonna be in your car or on your feet.

  • Now, another great way to get around in summer is horseback riding.

  • There is one company that's partnered with the National Park Service that offers horse rides in the summer.

  • If you're looking to get around in some crafty ways outside of the park, at Ruby's Inn, they offer ATV rentals, like all-terrain off-road vehicles.

  • You can't ride them into the park, but you can ride them in the terrain right outside the park in Bryce City.

  • Oh, and I also should point out that cell phone service can be quite spotty in the park, particularly when you come down into the amphitheaters, but also just when you're on the main road, like as you get further out from the amphitheater section, no cell phone service.

  • To navigate, either download offline maps to your phone or make sure you have a paper map with you.

  • The good news is they hand you that one at the park entrance, so if you're gonna take a hike, don't leave it in your car, bring it with you.

  • The fifth thing to know is about where to stay, and there are three places to stay in the park itself.

  • One of them is the Bryce Canyon Lodge.

  • This has 114 rooms.

  • It is only open during the summer.

  • There are also two campgrounds.

  • One of them is also only open during the summer.

  • The other one is open all year round.

  • The one that's open all year round, the campsites are first come, first serve.

  • The one that's seasonal, that's only open the summer, that one does take reservations.

  • Campsites are $30 a night.

  • Now, if you don't stay in the park, you can stay just out in Bryce Canyon City.

  • There are a few hotels out there that total up to be 700 rooms.

  • The most well-known of them is Ruby's Inn, Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn, if you're looking it up online.

  • That hotel's been there for over 100 years.

  • It is like the hub of Bryce Canyon commercial activities.

  • I stayed in the Best Western Plus across the street that is the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. $150 a night when I was here in the winter, it was fine.

  • It's everything you need in a hotel, big room, free breakfast, shower.

  • Yeah, I mean, nothing to really write home about.

  • There's also an RV park at Ruby's Inn that you can stay outside of the park if you don't get inside the park, but that one's also only open in the summer too.

  • And if you don't stay right around, then there are some neighboring hotels like in the town of Tropic and things like that that are around, but I would really recommend that you do stay by the park.

  • And this means that I do recommend that you spend at least one night here.

  • And the reason why is because you really wanna get into the park early.

  • Even here in the winter, when I did the main hike that we're gonna talk about more a little bit later, the parking lot by the time I got back there at noon was full.

  • And so being able to stay in the park or next to the park and get to the trails and get to the parking like at sunrise or early in the morning, super key to actually being able to do some of the things here just the way the park is.

  • The sixth thing to know is about when to go.

  • And Bryce Canyon is an all year round park, but most of the visitors come in the summer. 60% of all of the 2 million visitors that come to Bryce Canyon come between the months of June and September.

  • If you come in the summer, the pro is that everything is gonna be open, all the trails are open, all the services are open.

  • The con is that you're gonna be here with everybody else too so it's gonna be busy.

  • You're gonna have to take the shuttle, things will be more expensive, but your kids are out of school if you have kids and so that might be why you wanna come in summer.

  • If you choose to come in winter like right now, by the way, you're wondering, Chris, where is this?

  • This is the Navajo Loop Trail.

  • This is like one of the slot canyons off the Navajo Trail right next to two bridges.

  • So if you come in the winter, then you do have to deal with snow and ice, which means some of the things in the park may be closed due to the winter.

  • Actually, a lot of the things in the park are closed in the winter and it's definitely one of those things where if I was coming from a long way away, I don't know that I would plan coming in the winter because you can't time big snowstorms and things like that.

  • I live in Southern California and so I planned this trip that I'm on right now going to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion and I was like, well, if it's too cold at Bryce, I'll just skip it and I'll go straight to Zion.

  • So those are things to be aware of if you come in winter, but it does have the pro of the least amount of people in the park.

  • You don't have to deal with the shuttle.

  • You can just drive right up to things.

  • So if you come in the winter, you can do more in less time.

  • You'll just have to have a lot more cold weather gear.

  • But now whenever you go, if you're not from a really dry place like the Southwest, you're gonna wanna bring some Vaseline, some lotion, some ChapStick.

  • The environment here really has a way of drying you out.

  • Me, my lips get all chapped and my nose gets all red.

  • And so definitely make sure you moisturize yourself as you go.

  • And the next thing to know is about what to eat at Bryce Canyon.

  • And the answer is not very much.

  • There's very little food, particularly in the park.

  • If you're here in the summer, two eating options for you.

  • One, you can eat at the lodge.

  • They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or you can get some grab and go stuff at the general store.

  • That's all the food in the park.

  • And it's only open during the summer.

  • So what are you left to do the rest of the year?

  • You're left to eat out in Bryce Canyon City.

  • What do they got for you here?

  • Well, we got this place called Canyon Diner.

  • Burgers, fries, drinks, two stars on Yelp.

  • Pretty good.

  • If not, five stars is the best.

  • Two stars.

  • I ordered a burger that I'm gonna eat in a moment.

  • I'll let you know how that is.

  • Next to it in Ruby's Inn is a buffet and a steakhouse.

  • The buffet, $26 for dinner.

  • I ate that last night.

  • Pretty solid, kind of like the hometown buffet or buffet you'd get like at Excalibur or Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

  • There's another place that does like dinner shows, like dinner and a show in the summertime.

  • And there's a Subway Sandwiches just out that way on the road in.

  • Other than that, the general store here at Ruby's, you can get like some grab and go sandwiches and take those with you into the park or the neighboring towns of Tropic or things like that.

  • So if you're going in the park in the winter, I'd recommend you bring lunch.

  • Otherwise you gon' be hungry.

  • All right, so how's the burger?

  • How's the two star burger?

  • Two stars?

  • Not better than that.

  • I'm gonna give it a solid two and a half.