How To Get To Bryce Canyon National Park: Complete Guide

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of my favorite national parks. It has other-wordly red-colored hoodoos and stunning overlooks including Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset and Sunrise Points that also lead to popular hiking trails.  You can view the breathtaking spots of the Bryce Amphitheater, take a scenic drive to Rainbow Point and Natural Bridge, and enjoy plenty of other activities in and around the park

Planning a trip to any national park involves knowing not only what to do when you get there but also how to get there.  This guide about getting to Bryce Canyon is here to help you get to Bryce Canyon National Park with ease.

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If you are planning to visit Bryce Canyon National Park in spring, summer or fall, make your planning easy and stress free with a detailed itinerary. I have 1- and 2-day itineraries for Bryce Canyon that include all the park highlights, give you choices based on your preferred activity level, and take all the stress out of planning your trip. 

Check out the two Bryce Canyon itinerary options

Where is Bryce Canyon located?

Spike of rocks surrounded by trees under the sun in Bryce Canyon National Park

So where is Bryce National Park located? You’ll find this national park at the eastern border of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in Utah’s southwestern region. 

The Bryce Canyon National Park location is easily accessible since the park only has a single entrance on UT 12.  It’s just 14 miles from US 89 if you’re coming from the west and 110 miles from UT 24 if you’re coming from the east.

Bryce Canyon is close to Zion National Park, so it is very common to visit both on the same trip.  It’s only about 1.5 hours from Zion National Park to Bryce National Park. You can access Bryce Canyon from Zion National Park’s east entrance on US-89 and travel the 74-mile road between the two parks. 

Closest City to Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon City lies just outside the national park.  However, this is little more than a collection of hotels and campgrounds, dominated by Ruby’s Inn.

Tropic, Utah is the closest town to Bryce Canyon of any substance, just 14 miles from Bryce Canyon, followed by Panguitch, which is 27 miles from the park.

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How To Get To Bryce Canyon National Park

Taking a Tour to Bryce Canyon National Park

Huge rock formations surrounded by trees in the middle of the day

If you don’t want to drive, then taking a tour is your only option.  Tours take the hassle out of your trip, eliminate driving, and give you expert commentary.  There are several tour options to choose from:

Half-day tour of Bryce Canyon from Bryce Canyon City: If you’re staying in or near Bryce Canyon City (which lies just outside the national park), this 3-hour tour gives you a chance to see the park’s highlights with a small group and an expert guide.

Book a half-day Bryce Canyon tour

Full-day tour of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks from Las Vegas: If you are staying in Las Vegas, have a day free, and want to see two of America’s most stunning parks, then this is the way to do it.  It’s a long day and you won’t have time to explore the parks in detail, but you will get to see the highlights.

Book this full-day tour from Vegas

3-day tour of Zion, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley and Grand Canyon: An epic three-day tour also leaving from Las Vegas taking in Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon and Monument Valley!

Book this three-day tour here

6-day trip to Utah’s Mighty Five: Utah’s famous Mighty 5 – Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches National parks – are five of the most incredible national parks in the country.  This 6-day trip takes them all in.

Book this tour of all five of Utah’s national parks

Private day trip from Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon National Park. If time is of the essence, but you want maximum flexibility, then taking a private tour is the way to go.  This private tour for up to 6 people is a great option.

Book a private day trip to Bryce Canyon from Salt Lake City


Flying to Bryce Canyon National Park

small log building with Bryce Canyon Airport written on roof plus two other low buildings with dry grass and small hills

Major airports you can fly to get to Bryce Canyon National Park are Las Vegas Harry Reid (LAS) in Nevada and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), in Utah. Both routes from Las Vegas airport to Bryce Canyon and Salt Lake City airport to Bryce Canyon are approximately 270 miles. 

Driving the distance from Bryce Canyon to Las Vegas airport will take you about four hours. It’s quite a long drive so it’s best to check your route to know how to get to Bryce Canyon from Las Vegas. Get on I-515 N and drive until you reach UT-20 E in Iron County. Take exit 95 from I-15 N and head towards UT-20 E. Continue driving to US-89 S and UT-12 E until you reach Lodge Loop Road in Garfield County. 

See Driving section below for more details on car rentals and driving directions.

If you’re also including a visit to Zion National Park, the closest airport to Bryce and Zion is Cedar City Regional Airport

For more information about flying to Bryce Canyon read my guide to the best airports for Bryce Canyon National Park.

Check prices on flights to Bryce Canyon here


Taking the Train to Bryce Canyon National Park

There aren’t any direct train routes to the park. But if you really want to take the train, the nearest and/ or most convenient Amtrak stops with car rental services available nearby are Grand Junction, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah.  Both are on the California Zephyr route

You will then need to take a tour or a rental car from those locations to Bryce Canyon. Tours that go to Bryce Canyon are available from Salt Lake City only.  Rental cars are available at both these stations. 

Book a rental car with Discover Cars

Book a rental car with rentalcars.com


Taking a Bus to Bryce Canyon National Park

White Bus passing through the rock tunnel in Arches National Park

Bus to the Bryce Canyon area

There are no public buses to Bryce Canyon, so if you don’t want to take a tour, you will need to have your own car or a rental car to get to the park on your own.

Shuttle bus into and around Bryce Canyon National Park

Once you’re in the area, you can take the free Bryce Canyon shuttle from Bryce Canyon City to Bryce Amphitheater, and a separate shuttle to Rainbow Point.

The amphitheater shuttle runs frequently throughout the day and is available during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. You can get a digital pass before you arrive and also track the bus to help you time your next ride to the next stop. 

The route takes visitors to viewpoints and places of interest within the main Bryce Amphitheater area of the park. 

The Scenic Drive shuttle to Rainbow Point runs twice daily, when it’s running.


Driving to Bryce Canyon National Park

Huge rock formations surrounded by trees and bushes beside the road in Bryce Canyon National Park

Other than taking a tour, the only way to get to Bryce Canyon National Park is to drive – either from a train station, an airport, or from your home.

If you are visiting Bryce Canyon as part of a road trip, be sure to download my Road Trip Essentials Checklist to make sure you have everything you need for the trip.  

Salt Lake International and Las Vegas Airports are the two major air hubs.  Bryce Canyon from Salt Lake City takes around 4 hours to drive and the Bryce Canyon to Las Vegas driving time is around the same. 

From Salt Lake City, your route starts as you follow I-15 S going to Iron County’s UT-20 E. Drive to exit 95 from I-15 S. Continue driving to UT-20 E, then head to US-89 S. Follow UT-12 E going to UT-63 S in Garfield County until you reach the park entrance. The Bryce Canyon distance from Salt Lake City is approximately 270 miles. 

You can also stop by several places of interest from Bryce Canyon to Salt Lake City like the Red Canyon, Utah Olympic Park, and Deer Valley Resort. So, despite the distance, Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon offers you other attractions to add to your itinerary. 

If you’re coming from Las Vegas, get on I-515 N and drive until you reach UT-20 E in Iron County. Take exit 95 from I-15 N and head towards UT-20 E. Continue driving to US-89 S and UT-12 E until you reach Lodge Loop Road in Garfield County.

Another town near the park is Cedar City.  The distance from Cedar City to Bryce Canyon is approximately 80 miles. You can drive from Cedar City, Utah to Bryce Canyon in just about an hour and a half. 

If you’re traveling from Park City to Bryce Canyon, it takes about four and a half hours. 

Traveling from Bryce Canyon to St George, Utah is around two and a half hours. 

If you’re also up for an epic road trip from Denver to Bryce Canyon, it takes more than eight hours, since the distance from Denver to Bryce Canyon, Utah is approximately 542 miles. 

Book a rental car with Discover Cars

Book a rental car with rentalcars.com

Check out my guide to saving money on rental cars before you book.


Travel Insurance for Bryce Canyon

You should definitely have travel insurance when you travel to Bryce Canyon.  Good travel insurance will cover you for trip cancellation, theft or damage of your property when traveling, medical help if you have an accident in or while getting to Bryce Canyon, or medical repatriation if you need to get medi-vaced out.  

A great insurance option is Travelex.  It has coverage for all you’ll need. You can choose the best travel insurance plan for your trip here or get a quote right now:

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Enjoy Bryce Canyon National Park!

Did you decide how to get to Bryce Canyon National Park?  Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know (you can also pick up extra planning tips, share your photos and stories with other national park lovers and more). 

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About the Author

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.

He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and most of the national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks. 

Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.

As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including USA Today, Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.

Read more…


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