It is easy to understand why Bryce is one of the most popular parks in the US. Most other parks in the US make you work hard to see the best they have to offer – at the Grand Canyon, you really need to go to the river to get the most of the experience (a beautiful but tough day walk down and back up 1500 m of elevation), at Zion you need to wade through the river up to the Narrows or sweat a bit to climb 500m up to see the views from Angels Landing. Not Bryce, Bryce just puts it all out there for you, and for the majority of visitors that just walk the 100m from the bus to the rim, they are rewarded for their minimal efforts with the best view the park has to offer. Bryce is not playing hard to get.
So, if you want to do it the easy way, Bryce is for you. However, of course I am going to recommend you do a bit of hiking as well. The trails are short and relatively easy, and we did them all (Queens, Fairyland, Navajo, Peekaboo and the Rim) – some walking, some running. Some of the climbs were breathtaking, as we weren’t quite acclimatised to the 2500m altitude. There are more people on the shorter trails so make sure you hit the long ones. I ran fairyland at 8.30 and apart from a few people near the trail head I only saw two people in an hour.
Most of the guide books say you don’t need more than a day at Bryce, and that is probably right – even covering all the hikes, we needed less than 24 hours. But what a 24 hours!
- Food options in and near the park are limited and largely fried. We came prepared with vegetables, salad, cold cuts, fruit and yogurt
- Lodging options are relatively limited – we stayed at the Best Western outside of the park as it had wifi, a fridge and a microwave. It also had a pool and gym. If you are really bored it had an incredibly tacky giftshop. The lodge in the canyon is nice but basic.