Did you know that forests can be made of stone? Millions visit Bryce Canyon in Utah every year to witness the otherworldly quality of this national park, mostly between March and October.
“Canyon” is not singular in this case — a continuing series of undulating natural amphitheaters carved right into the edge of a grand plateau. The popular Bryce Amphitheater contains irregular and tall eroded spires of rock called hoodoos. Each amphitheater dazzles the eyes with unique qualities.
To take advantage of all the natural splendor, you need to stay for more than a day. Here are a few eco-friendly places to stay while in Bryce Canyon.
Glamping in a Yurt and Hiking Like You Mean It
Get away from technology and get back to the basics without sacrificing a cozy sleeping space and other perks. Glamp in a yurt in Bryce Canyon. Have everything you need in one big space. Enjoy the stars and s’mores by the campfire. Many yurts offer modern conveniences with a roughing it element — you sleep out in nature, but you still get your morning cup of Joe without burning your fingers over the campfire.
You’ll get closer to enjoying the hiking experience by residing closer to nature. Many trails at Bryce Canyon National Park average a mile or two, such as the Mossy Cave Trail at 0.8 miles or the Queens Garden Trail at 1.8 miles. The most popular is the Rim Trail, which spans major scenic points and overlooks, but depending on your chosen entry and end point, the hike ranges 0.5 to 5.5 miles of commitment.
Bryce Canyon Lodge’s Beautiful History
Bryce Canyon Lodge is a designated historic landmark that reveals sweeping sights of Bryce Canyon. Look down at the interesting rock amphitheaters nestled within pine trees. The lodge incorporates eco-friendly and beautiful remodeling and architectural elements — from its undulating wavy roof to its natural Cedar shingles that strengthen fire protection. The wave feature of the roof was matched from historical photos as a reference during construction in keeping with the original use of lcal materials to build the lodge nearly 100 years ago.
The lodge is snow-capped in the winter months and budding with blooms in the spring. The lodge emerges from its surroundings like it was as old and naturally-formed as the canyon itself. Enjoy lodge services like horseback riding, sipping on hot coffee at the cafe after a hike and a eating slice of pizza in its pizzeria.
Natural Living and Learning at the Campgrounds
Old school camp-in right in the park area at the North Campground or Sunset Campground. Both have a similar setting and can get cold at night, even during summer months.
The North Campground is 8,900 feet above sea level with rolling hills and access to the Sunset Point and Rim Trail. You also get flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities. Two loops each are available for RVs and tents. A small store offers snacks and some groceries. The campground is open year-round.
The Sunset Campground has 20 sites reserved for tents only, with one group site, with 80 first-come first-serve RV sites available. Amenities include flush toilets and proximity to the main road.
Bryce Canyon National Park offers ranger programs to deepen your understanding of the park’s natural beauty through geology talks, rim walks, full moon hikes, night sky viewings and other educational events.
Panoramic Views Make You Wonder and Wander
You have to wonder who’d live in a forest full of stone, and the answer is many cultures over centuries—they found ways to forage and thrive.
Fir-spruce forests, meadows at high elevation and ponderosa pines decorate the plateau edge with abundant beauty. The local area provides some of the prime air quality left in the world and gives the visitor panoramic views across three states, up to 200 visible miles with little to no light pollution.
Bryce Canyon became a park in 1928 and makes up the Paunsaugunt Plateau’s eastern edge. Every year, millions come to see the unique horseshoe amphitheaters that form hoodoos, fins, windows and slots. Every rock contains various hues and pleases the eye with their maze-like undulations, climbing skyward and unfolding across the horizon.
You’ll need more than a day to explore the trails and natural beauty of Bryce Canyon. Glamp, lodge or camp to get the most out of your visit to the park. Enjoy horseback riding, full moon hikes and other educational opportunities without sacrificing certain modern amenities or affecting the ecosystem vastly. You’ll never see stones and stars the same way again.
About the Author
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Tripping.com and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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