A land of carved rock spires in stunning shades, Bryce Canyon is one of the most popular National Parks, receiving about 2 million visitors a year. Although referred to as a canyon, Bryce is actually a group of natural rock formations called Amphitheaters. The famous Hoodoos make up these amphitheaters. Hoodoos are tall rocks protruding from the ground, often from sedimentary rock and volcanic rock.
The main way to explore Bryce Canyon is from a series of overlooks and trails. Viewpoints are along an 18-mile scenic road that runs along the plateau rim. The best place to view the Amphitheater is at Bryce Amphitheater Viewpoint.
Hiking is abundant in Bryce Canyon. You can take the shuttle to any of the several stops, catch a trail and explore all day. Hiking trails range from easy to strenuous, also keep in mind that Bryce Canyon has an elevation from 8000 to 9000 feet.
- For an easy hike to view the amphitheater, Rim Trail is the best option. It is 11 miles round trip.
- Queens Garden is the least difficult trail, and only about 1.8 miles round trip.
- Navajo Trail loops goes down in the amphitheater and then into a slot canyon, and is moderately difficult, short hike at 1.3 miles.
- Fairyland Loop will take you to the China Wall, Tower Bridge and tall hoodoos, on a less crowded but strenuous trail about 8 miles.
In addition to hiking there are also Ranger Programs and Ranger Guided activities. If you are taking kids, have them become a Junior Ranger. There is also horseback riding, ATV tours and even a Wagon Ride available in town.