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A Guide To Planning A Trip To Bryce Canyon National Park With Kids

by The Mom Trotter

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Is your family planning to take a trip to beautiful Utah soon? I’m sure it is no surprise to hear, but I love Utah and I think you will too! Because of the beauty of this great state, it is easy for you to turn a trip to Utah into a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime vacation for your family.  

Many of us know that Utah is home to 5 Beautiful National Parks. These parks include Zion National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Today we are going to discuss taking a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park with kids to see how you can create an amazing adventure with your family!

Children playing in front of the Bryce Canyon National Park sign.

Bryce Canyon National Park Facts & History

While Bryce Canyon may not be the most famous of the National Parks, or even the most visited in Utah, it is certainly one of the most beautiful! Your first visit here will make you wonder why you haven’t been here before!

A trip to Bryce Canyon National Park with kids as you will see is a wonderful way to introduce your family to hoodoos, which can be described as irregular columns of rock. As a matter of fact Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the Earth’s largest concentration of hoodoos.

History of Bryce Canyon National Park

In 1874, Ebenezer Bryce homesteaded the area, which has come to be known as Bryce Canyon.  Then, in 1923, President Warren G. Harding designated the area as a national monument, and it was then redesignated to a National Park by congress in 1928.

Children looking out towards the view at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon National Park receives significantly fewer visitors each year than Zion, which makes it a great place to visit if you don’t love crowds. That being said, the park does still receive approximately 2 and a half million visitors per year. 

What You Can Expect to See in Bryce Canyon National Park

Despite its name, Bryce Canyon National Park is not actually a canyon, rather it is home to an impressive collection of giant natural amphitheaters, which are home to Earth’s largest collection of hoodoos.

These hoodoos stretch more than 20 miles within the park, and stand up to 200 feet high. The park itself is over 35,000 acres, which an elevation peak (Rainbow Point) of over 9100 feet, with a low elevation point (Yellow Creek) of 6620 feet. 

A picture of a snowy day at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon is relatively moderate in temperature with an average of 72 degrees during the warmer months and right at freezing during the cooler months. 

Four kids standing in front of a great snowy view.

The park is home to more than 400 native plant species, some of which are ancient and historical, such as the 1600 year old pine trees. There are also a large collection of animals, insects and amphibians in the park. 

Some of the animals that you might find at Bryce Canyon include, Mule Deer, Elk, Pronghorn, black bears, woodpeckers, foxes, badgers, porcupines, and bobcats.

There are also endangered wildlife within the park, such as the Utah Prairie Dog (Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the largest population of the Utah Prairie Dog), and the California Condor. 

Bryce Canyon National Park is open 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. 

How Did We Get To Bryce Canyon National Park

We drove to Bryce Canyon National Park from Zion National Park. It took us about 2 hour total driving with an RV, with a few stops along the way. Do note that if you plan to drive through Zion National Park like we did, you will need to pay a $10 fee to pass through the tunnel.

Where To Stay In Bryce Canyon National Park With Kids 

Like the other National Parks in Utah, you will find that there are several campgrounds available at Bryce Canyon National Park and just one lodge.

Bryce Canyon Lodge

The Rustic Zion Lodge was built between in 1924-1925, using materials sourced locally.  The lodge was designed to showcase the rustic design of the National Park Service.

The lodge has 114 rooms and is the only remaining original structure designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who designed the original lodges in Bryce Canyon, Zion and at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

North Campground

North Campground is the only campground in the park open year round and is located near the Visitor Center.  The 99 sites available at North Campground are all first-come, first-serve. There are no group sites available. During the winter season, only about 25% of sites are available, but hook-ups are not available during the winter.

Sunset Campground

Sunset Campground is open only mid-April through mid-October and is located near Bryce Canyon Lodge.  There are 100 sites available, which can be reserved. There are RV spots as well as tent spots. Additionally, there is a group site available at Sunset campground.

Where Did We Stay In Bryce Canyon National Park With Kids

After our visit to Bryce, we were freezing due to the snow and couldn’t find an RV park close by, so we drove all the way to Freemont RV River Park in Loa, Utah. We did that so that we could explore Capitol Reef National Park first thing in the morning.

Kid Friendly Hikes In Bryce Canyon National Park With Kids

Children standing in front of a grand view at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best National Parks to take your kids hiking. There are, of course, plenty of challenging trails that should be avoided when you have the kids hiking with you, but there are some really fun, kid-friendly ones too!  

These are some of our favorites:

Rim Trail

Rim Trail is just 1 mile round trip and is paved, flat and perfect for family hikes. It surrounds the rim of Bryce Canyon’s amphitheater between Sunrise Point and Sunset Point.

A boy making a snowball.

Mossy Cave Trail

If your kids are adventurers, then you will definitely want to head to the mossy cave trail.  It’s technically outside of Bryce Canyon National Park (fee area), but is still on National Park land. The hike is very simple and comes with two adventurers dreams, a Cave and a Waterfall!  The kids will love this!

Three children posing at Bryce Canyon National Park .

Bristlecone Loop

Take the kids on a hike through some old pine trees and beautiful vistas.  The hike is 1 mile long and is an easy, family hike. 

A great smile from a happy girl, who is enjoying her time.

Other Things To Do In Bryce Canyon National Park With Kids

If you are looking for non-hiking things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park with kids, you have a couple of options.  

Enjoy a picnic

A girl enjoying the snowy day!

You can pack up a picnic and find a spot with a beautiful view to enjoy a tasty lunch with the kids. 

Head to the Visitor Center

A family friendly trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.

You should absolutely make it a plan to stop at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center during your visit. There is so much to do here that the kids will love! Here are some of my favorite kid-friendly activities that you can do at the Visitor Center that the kids will love:

  • Watch a movie. At the Visitor Center, they offer a 20 minute long movie that introduces you to the park.
  • Check out museum exhibits. Believe it or not, the museum exhibits that you can see at National Park visitor centers are actually really interesting for kids to see! You can spend quite a while just checking stuff out. 
  • Junior Ranger program. The National Park Center has a junior ranger program that is designed to help kids learn all about the park and everything in it. 
Four kids sitting in front of nature.
Tips & Tricks For Booking An Affordable Family Vacation
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Activities / Excursions
  • Rental Cars
  • Cruise
  • Travel Insurance
    • Purchase must have travel insurance through Allianz
  • Looking to save even more money when you travel? Visit my Travel Resources page to see all the reliable and trustworthy brands that I use to book my travel with. I only recommend brands that I’ve used and can vouch for, so you’re in good hands!
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