Bryce Canyon National Park in 2 Hours

Bryce Canyon is doable in a day from my hometown, so my family and I set out with plenty of masks, hand sanitizer, and snacks for a socially distanced field trip. Alas, the park was still pretty busy, and only maybe half of the visitors were wearing masks. I don’t think I’ll be braving another state or national park until COVID is finally under control.

We also took a wrong turn and ended up driving the long way on Highway 12 through Boulder and Escalante to get to Bryce. This is a pretty drive, so if you have the time, it’s worth doing. But it did mean we would only have two hours in Bryce Canyon proper. We weren’t planning to do any hikes, anyway, and were just going to stop at the scenic viewpoints as recommended by the park’s official Things to Do page.

View of Bryce Canyon from Sunset Point

The National Park Service suggests going to the Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce lookouts. You’re better off doing these in the opposite order, though, to limit the need to make left-hand turns back onto the main road. Parking is easier to come by at Sunrise, Inspiration, and Bryce. Sunset is more of a central hub and can get fairly crowded. All four viewpoints are also connected by the Rim trail, so you can walk as far along it as you have time for.

View of Bryce Canyon from Bryce Point

I don’t think any one viewpoint is better than the others, though, since they all offer unique perspectives of the main amphitheater. Unless you are really short on time and/or were wanting to drive to the other end of the park, you might as well visit them all. If I had to choose just one, though, I’d go for Inspiration. It has the best combination of convenience and beautiful scenery.

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