BRYCE, UT – After a centennial year that brought over 2.3 million visitors to our 56 square mile park, Bryce Canyon is anticipating what all early indications suggest will be another very busy year and summer season. Preparations to accommodate the area’s growing popularity are currently underway as seasonal facilities reopen, services resume, and hours are extended.
Currently the park Visitor Center and Gift Shop is open from 8 am until 6 pm, and will extend its hours to 8 pm on Sunday, May 7th. This year the Bryce Canyon Shuttle will begin its service of the Bryce Amphitheater area of the park nearly a month ahead of schedule on Friday, April 14th. Riding the shuttle bus is free, but requires payment of the park’s entrance fee. Shuttles will run from 8 am until 6 pm daily, with hours extending by an hour on May 19th. Twice-daily trips to the park’s southern views on the Rainbow Bus Tour will also resume on April 14th. This 3 ½ hour tour requires reservations, so inquire at the Shuttle Station in Bryce Canyon City or by calling (435) 834-5290. A reminder that vehicles over 25 feet are restricted from the Bryce Amphitheater parking areas (Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce Points) during shuttle hours, so be sure to take advantage of this service to see some of the park’s most iconic areas by first parking at the Shuttle Station, Additional Parking lot (across from Visitor Center), or in a site within North Campground.
For those looking to leave the road behind, Canyon Trail Rides will saddle up and begin guided horseback rides on April 1st. Riders can make reservations at canyonrides.com and begin their adventure from the Lodge at Bryce Canyon, which reopened its doors on March 24th and offers full breakfast, lunch and dinner options from 7 am to 10 am, 11:30 am to 3 pm, and 5 pm to 10 pm. Lodging is available as well at the Sunset and Sunrise Motels. Reservations can be made by visiting brycecanyonforever.com or by calling Forever Resorts at (435) 834-8700. Adjacent to the Lodge, Valhalla Pizzeria and Coffee Shop will reopen on May 16th, and provide dining options from 6 am to 10 pm. Those looking for trail snacks, groceries, a penny machine, or showers can head over to the General Store at Sunrise Point, open from 8 am to 6 pm.
Camping is already available at loops A, B, and C of the North Campground, and will be available at all North Campground loops as well as Sunset Campground beginning mid-April. Camping is first-come-first-serve, with the exception of limited sites listed on recreation.gov, so be sure to arrive earlier in the day to find a spot.
Ranger programs, including daily geology talks and rim walks as well as the popular Astronomy programs will be offered as the season unfolds, and will be celebrated at the annual Astronomy and Geology Festivals in the park. The Astronomy Festival will be held from June 21st through the 24th, and the Geology Festival runs from July 14th to the 15th. Both events will feature guest speakers, special ranger-guided activities, and opportunities for the entire family to enjoy while learning about the unique resources protected within Bryce Canyon National Park.
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