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How to Get to Zion and then to Bryce Canyon

Route: Las Vegas to Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park

Las Vegas is located 160 miles from Zion National Park. It takes about 2.5-3 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park.

You can fly into Las Vegas (LAS), Nevada, rent a car and then drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park. The driving distance from Zion to Bryce is about 1 hour and 30 min.

Check out the map below for Las Vegas to Zion to Bryce Canyon road trip.

Zion to Bryce Canyon 3 Days Itinerary

Map of Las Vegas to Zion to Bryce Canyon full road route trip.

Zion to Bryce Canyon 3 Day Itinerary

Route: Salt Lake City to Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park

Salt Lake City is located 308 miles from Zion National Park. It will take you about 4.5-5 hours to drive from Salt Lake City to Zion National Park.

Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah, just like Las Vegas (LAS), Nevada, is an international airport, and you can directly fly into either one.

Zion to Bryce Canyon 3 Days Itinerary

Map of Las Vegas to Zion to Bryce Canyon full road route trip.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

Consider this

First of all, there are two smaller Regional Airports located in St. George (SGU), Utah and Cedar City (CDC), Utah that you might consider flying into. St. George, Utah is located 41 miles from Zion National Park (about 1 hour drive) and Cedar City, Utah is located 58 miles (about 1 hour and 10 minutes drive).

Second, if you prefer change this 3 day road trip park itinerary and go Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park, it is not a problem at all. Bryce to Zion National Park itinerary can be done as well.

The driving distance from Las Vegas, Nevada to Bryce Canyon Utah is 260 miles (about 4 hours), and the driving distance from Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon is 286 miles (about 4 hours). How far is Bryce Canyon from Zion National Park? Bryce Canyon to Zion distance is about 72 miles (about 1 hour 20 minutes).

I have done Bryce National Park to Zion National Park instead of Zion to Bryce several times due to bad weather. So, always check the weather forecast and adjust Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion National Park accordingly.

Zion National Park

Where to Stay in Zion National Park

When visiting Zion National Park, you can stay inside the park or near the park.

Hands down, nothing beats staying inside the park!

However, accommodations are very limited and you should make reservations well ahead of your visit.

  • Zion Lodge is the only lodge located inside Zion National Park. Reservations must be made well in advance! Zion Lodge is open year-round.

Several different types of accommodations are offered at the lodge: Cabins starting at $220 per night, Hotel Rooms at $230 per night and Suites at $288 per night.

My recommendation is to get a Cabin. They all have gas log fireplaces, private porches, full baths, microwaves and mini refrigerators. These cabins are within walking distance of the lodge.

Zion Lodge

Cabins at Zion Lodge in Zion National Park.

Zion Lodge

Inside the Cabin at Zion Lodge in Zion National Park.

Zion National Park has three campgrounds. South and Watchman Campgrounds are in the Zion Canyon, Lava Point Campground is about 1-hour drive from Zion Canyon on the Kolob Terrace Road.

  • South Campground is located about 0.5 miles from the South Entrance. It is open from March through October.

South Campground has 117 sites, however reservations need to be made online up to two weeks in advance at Recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. Campsites cost $20 per night.

  • Watchman Campground is located about 0.25 miles from the South Entrance. Tent and electric campsites are available year-round.

Watchman Campground has 190 sites. Reservations can be made online at Recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777 six months prior to your arrival. Electric campsites are $30 per night and tent campsites are $20 per night.

This campground is typically open May through September, as weather allows. There are 6 primitive campsites available first come, first serve. The campground has pit toilets and trash cans, but no water. Vehicles longer than 19 feet are not permitted on the road to the campground.

Watchman campground in Zion National Park

Watchaman Campground in Zion National Park 

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

If you want the convenience of staying right at the entrance to the park, then consider lodging in Springdale, Utah. However, be prepared to pay high prices for hotels in Springdale, Utah.

Following are two places in Springdale, Utah that I stayed at:

Here’s the deal

My recommendation is to stay in La Verkin, Utah! La Verkin, Utah. It is located 20.6 miles from the Zion National Park.

I have stayed at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Verkin – Gateway to Zion. I like it a lot! It is actually a brand new hotel which opened in September 2018. It is very clean and well managed. The rooms have microwaves and refrigerators. In addition, you will get a complimentary breakfast. Prices start at $164 per night.

LaQuinta in La Verkin, Utah

La Quinta Inns and Suites La Verkin – Gateway to Zion

LaQuinta in LaVerkin, Utah

Inside the rooms at La Quinta Inns and Suites La Verkin – Gateway to Zion

What You Need to Know About Zion National Park

  • Zion National Park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. However, some facilities reduce the opening hours during winter.
  • All visitors to Zion National Park need to purchase a recreational use pass. You can purchase the recreational use pass at the entrance to the park. The pass is valid for 7 consecutive days including the date of purchase and costs $35 per vehicle.
  • You should consider purchasing an annual pass instead of a weekly recreational pass! The cost of the annual pass is $80. However, the annual pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, such as national parks, national wildlife refugees, national forests and grasslands. If you are planning on visiting several national parks throughout the year, then you are going to save some money! The entrance fee vary from park to park. Check the updated list here.
  • If you are visiting Zion National Park between the months of March through November, then you will have to use the shuttle. No private vehicles are allowed inside the park. Zion Shuttle is super easy to use and the entrance ticket covers the cost of the shuttle.
  • There are two shuttle routes. The first shuttle route is located inside the park. It runs from the visitor center up the Zion Scenic Drive and makes nine stops along viewpoints and trailheads. The second shuttle route is located in the town of Springdale. It also stops at nine locations and picks up and drops off visitors to the national park.

Day 1 - Itinerary for Zion National Park

There are things to do for everyone in Zion National Park!

Whether you like challenging trails, or easy short walks, or you prefer to explore the sights along the Zion Scenic Drive, or go horseback or go bike riding, there are things to do for everyone in Zion.

So, here is my suggested itinerary for your first day in Zion National Park:

  • Take Zion Scenic Drive

Start off your day with Zion Scenic Drive.It is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Zion National Park.

The Scenic Drive through the Zion Canyon is approximately 8 miles long one-way. It takes about 20-30 minutes to do the drive without any stops or about 30-40 minutes if you take the shuttle. If you plan on stopping along the way and exploring at each of the nine stops, then it might take you about 6-8 hours.

If you think that Zion Scenic Drive is something you might like to do then make sure to check out my post: Scenic Drive in Zion National Park (with Maps and Photos).

Scenic Drive in Zion

Scenic Drive in Zion National Park

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

My recommendation is to make a couple of stops along Zion Scenic Drive.

One of my favorite stops along Scenic Drive is Zion is Court of the Patriarchs Viewpoint. It is located at Zion Shuttle stop number four along Scenic Drive in Zion. It is one of the most inspiring views in Zion National Park.

Now, what you need to know is that right at the shuttle stop number four, there is a path that goes up to the viewpoint. It is no more than a 5-minute hike, but it will give you a bit more elevation and the view of the Court of Patriarchs will be so much better!

What you will see are three neighboring sandstone peaks. They are named after fathers from the Old Testament. From left to right, or south to north, you can see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And, in front of Jacob, is Mount Moroni.

Court of the Patriarchs

Court of Patriarchs Viewpoint in Zion National Park

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Next, get off at Zion Shuttle stop number five along Zion Scenic Drive and take a short and easy hike to Lower Emerald Pools. Emerald Pools Trail is a Zion classic. It is an absolute delight to hike this trail. It intertwines past a small stream that rolls down the cliffs and forms several pools.

I need to mention that Emerald Pools Trail consists of three sections: Lower, Middle and Upper. However, Lower Emerald Pools Trail section is a perfect family-friendly hike in Zion. It is a paved trail with very little elevation change.

It takes about 2-4 hours to complete the entire trail, however the hike to Lower Emerald Pools takes not more than 30 minutes.

What you need to know is that the waterfalls are reduced to a merely a trickle during summer months. However, if you are visiting in the spring, fall, or winter, you will definitely see an abundance of waterfalls!

Lower Emerald Pools

The hike to Lower Emerald Pools is less than 0.5 miles one way. The trail will take you along and under beautiful waterfalls and you will see amazing pools.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

Lower Emerald Pools in Zion

The waterfalls are reduced to a merely a trickle during summer months. However, if you are visiting in the spring, fall, or winter, you will definitely see an abundance of waterfalls!

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

Next, hop back on the shuttle and take it to stop number seven. The Weeping Rock Trailhead is located at Zion Shuttle stop number seven. Weeping Rock Trail is one of my favorite hikes in Zion. It is a short and easy hike (0.5 miles round trip).

Weeping Rock Trail will take you along “weeping walls” with water dripping down the rocks and you will see small rushing streams almost everywhere (depending on the season). But, what is cool about this hike, is that you will see Zion’s famous hanging gardens.

Eventually, the trail will take you into a large bowl-shaped alcove with water flowing over its recess.

Weeping Rock in Bryce Canyon

Eventually, the Weeping Rock Trail will take you into a large bowl-shaped alcove with water flowing over its recess.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Need to know

I know that it is a compact road trip and you need to be selective of what you do and see, however, I need to mention Zion Human History Museum, which is located at Zion Shuttle number two. Hands down, it is an awesome museum!

The permanent exhibits display the rich human history of Zion National Park. They showcase American Indian culture, historic pioneer settlement, and Zion’s growth as a national park.

If you can spend more time in Zion (4 day itinerary Zion and Bryce), then most definitely include Zion Human History Museum on your list of things to do in Zion National Park!

  • Go Hiking in Zion National Park

You simply cannot leave Zion National Park without doing some hiking! There are plenty of challenging trails in Zion, and there are short and easy hikes that are good for the entire family.

If you are up to some longer and more strenuous hikes, then my recommendation is to plan on hiking the famous Angels Landing Trail or Observation Point Trail.

Angels Landing Hike is the most famous hike in Zion National Park! It is known as America’s scariest hike, so make sure you are up to it.

Angels Landing Trail starts at the Grotto Trailhead. It is shuttle stop number 6. The roundtrip distance is about 5 miles and it usually takes about 4-5 hours to complete the hike.

First of all, Angels Landing is a strenuous hike. It starts off with a series of switchbacks and needless to say, almost entire hike is straight up with the elevation gain of 1,500 feet. Hands down, you need to be in good physical shape to be able to do the hike Angels Landing.

Angels Landing in Zion

Angels Landing Trail starts off with a series of switchbacks.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Second, Angels Landing hike is not for people with the fear of heights. The last section of the trail is on the narrow spine of the mountain. You will have to use chains to help you up.

Angels Landing Train in Zion

In order to complete the last section of Angels Landing hike, which goes on the narrow spine of the mountain, you will have to use the chains.  

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Now, the truth is, that Angels Landing is a busy trail! Needless to say, you will have plenty of company on this trail. If you prefer less crowds and more solitude, you should check out Observation Point Trail in Zion.

Observation Pint Trail is 8 miles long (round trip) and it will take you about 4-5 hours to complete this hike.

What is really cool about Observation Point Trail is that the view from he Observation Point is the best view in the entire Zion National Park! You are going to be amazed by the views!

Best Photography Locations in Zion National Park

What is really cool about Observation Point Trail is that the view from he Observation Point is the best view in the entire Zion National Park! You are going to be amazed by the views!

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

To your right will be the West Rim Trail and the inspiring Angels Landing. A little farther down canyon you will be able to see the Three Patriarchs. On the left will be the East RimCable MountainGreat White Throne. Far down canyon, you will be able to see the Watchman. And, right below you will be the valley with the Virgin River going around the Organ and the Angels Landing and forming the Big Bend.

However, I know that not everyone is up to long and strenuous hikes. And, it is just fine because there are short and easy hikes in Zion National Park with the most incredible views!

One of my favorite hikes in Zion National Park is Pa’rus Trail. It is an easy trail with very little elevation change. It is a perfect trail for the entire family. The entire trail is paved, which is ideal for strollers and wheelchairs.

The trail is about 3.5 miles round trip and can be leisurely done in no more than 2 hours.

Have your camera ready! You will capture great photos of the stunning red-rock, the Watchman, which glows with all the colors of sandstone: pinks and reds, orange, yellow, and all shades of white.

The Watchman in Zion National Park

Have your camera ready! You will capture great photos of the stunning red-rock, the Watchman, which glows with all the colors of sandstone: pinks and reds, orange, yellow, and all shades of white.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Another easy trail that is perfect for the entire family is Riverside Walk Trail. It is an easy, paved trail with little elevation change. The Riverside Walk Trailhead is located at Zion Shuttle stop number nine.

The trail is about 2.2 miles round trip and it should take you no more than 1.5 hours to complete the hike.

Riverside Walk Trail goes alongside Virgin River and the views along the way are just simply off the charts!

Riverside Walk Trail in Zion

Riverside Walk Trail goes alongside Virgin River and the views along the way are just simply off the charts!

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

  • Go Bike Riding or Watch a Sunset

Finish off your day with a bike ride! Zion National Park allows bicycles in the park!

And, check out the Pa’rus Trail. It is an awesome bike path that follows the Virgin River with several bridge crossings. And, it is great for the entire family with very little elevation change.

The Pa’rus Trailhead is located at the Visitor Center. It goes 1.75 and ends at the Canyon Junction.

Biking in Zion National Park

Riverside Walk Trail goes alongside Virgin River and the views along the way are just simply off the charts!

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

However, you may continue on the main road in the canyon, which goes for 6 miles. The main road ends at Temple of Sinawava, which is shuttle stop number 9.

If you do not have a bike, it is not a problem. There are several places where you can rent a bike either inside the park or rent a bike near Zion National Park.

Don’t feel like biking? Then head to Canyon Junction Bridge (shuttle stop number three). It is the one of most famous photography locations in Zion National Park to capture the Watchman Mountain with the Virgin River flowing below.

Hands down, it is the most iconic view of Zion National Park. It is especially spectacular at sunset!

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

Canyon Junction Bridge is the one of most famous photography locations in Zion National Park to capture the Watchman Mountain with the Virgin River flowing below.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Day 2 - Itinerary for Zion National Park and Drive to Bryce

This is day 2 of your Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 days southwest road trip itinerary.

Start your day off with the famous Zion Narrows Hike!

Zion Narrows is a legendary hike! You are hiking the Virgin River upstream. The river is your trail.

Zion Narrows

Zion Narrows is a legendary hike.

Zion Narrows

You are hiking the Virgin River upstream. The river is your trail.

The starting point for this hike is the last stop on the bus shuttle, number 9, Temple of Sinawava. You start with the Riverside Walk, which is about 1 mile long.

The Riverside Walk takes you to the Zion Narrows and it used to be called the Gateway to the Narrows.

Most visitors to the Zion Narrows hike to the section called Wall Street. It is about 1.75 miles from the trailhead.

Here’s the deal 

Some advance planning and preparation is necessary, if you decide to hike the Zion Narrows.

First of all, the Zion Narrows is open year round. However, the National Park Service closes the Zion Narrows whenever the water flow is above 120 cubic feet per second.

Historically, the month of June has low water levels.

During the summer months, July and August, the North American Monsoon can bring on rapid afternoon rainstorms which may cause flash floods.

Weather forecasts need to be taken very seriously.

Second, the water is cold and the current is strong. You will be hiking in knee deep to waist deep water. The riverbed has sections of sand and sections of slippery rocks. So, some protective gear is absolutely necessary!

After your hike through the Zion Narrows, hop back on the shuttle and head back to where you parked your car.

Next, drive to Canyon Junction Drive and take Zion Mount Carmel Scenic Highway and start heading towards Bryce National Park.

It will take you about 1 hour and 40 minutes (79 miles) before you reach Bryce Canyon National Park.

Zion Mount Carmel Drive Map

Map of Zion-Mount Carmel Highway 

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

There are a couple of interesting spots along Zion-Mount Carmel Drive: Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and Canyon Overlook Trail.

  • Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel

First, you will be going through Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. Needless to say, Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel is considered to be an engineering marvel!

Construction of the 1.1 mile Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel began in the late 1920’s and was completed in 1930. At the time that the tunnel was dedicated, on July 4, 1930, it was the longest tunnel of its type in the United States.

The purpose of the building the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel (and the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway) was to create direct access to Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon from Zion National Park.

The tunnel climbs 289 feet from the west to east end at a 3.3 percent grade, sits approximately 800 feet above the Zion Canyon floor and 20 feet inside the sandstone monolith in which it is housed.

The fact that workers began at each end of the mile-long project, drilling and blasting through solid rock and darkness and somehow ended up less than a foot off from meeting perfectly in the middle, is an amazing example of cooperation!

Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel

Driving through Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

  • Canyon Overlook Trail

Once you exit Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, be on the lookout for the trailhead to Canyon Overlook Trail.

Hands down, Canyon Overlook is one of the best views of the Zion Canyon!

The parking area is located on the south side of the road, and the trailhead is across the street, on the north side of the road. The hike from the trailhead to the Canyon Overlook is about 1-mile one-way. It is a moderate hike however, it is totally worth it and you should not miss it.

Needless to say, you will be rewarded with some incredible views of the Zion Canyon with the switchbacks below the west end of the Mount Carmel TunnelWest Temple, the Towers of the Virgins, the Streaked Wall, and the Beehives.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

Canyon Overlook in Zion National Park 

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Once you reach Bryce Canyon National Park, my recommendation is to rest and relax before the busy next day at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Where to Stay in Bryce Canyon National Park

There is only one lodge, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon, available inside the park.

Reservations must be made well in advance.

It is definitely a great place to stay since it is situated just steps from the rim. You will be able to access most of the trails without driving. And, what a perfect location to just go out and watch sunrise or sunset at Bryce Canyon.

Several different types of accommodations are offered at the lodge. Western Cabins at $231 per night, Sunrise and Sunset Lodge Room at $131 per night, Guest Suites at $271 per night, and Guest Studios at $176 per night.

My recommendation is to rent one of the Western Cabins. They are super cozy with gas fireplaces and cute rustic decor.

Bryce Canyon National Park has two campgrounds, North and Sunset, located in close proximity to the Visitor Center, Bryce Canyon Lodge and the main Bryce Canyon Amphitheater.

North Campground is first-come, first-served. It has 99 sites open from Spring through Fall and 30 sites in Loop A are open year-round. Campsite fees for RVs are $30 per site per night and $20 for tents per site per night.

Sunset Campground accepts reservations on a 6-month rolling basis during peak season. It has 100 sites and it is open April through October. Campsite fees for RVs are $30 per site per night and $20 for tents per site per night.

My recommendation

Where to stay between Zion and Bryce?

There are several options where you can stay between Zion and Bryce. Make sure to look them all up and get the best rate. However, if you get a good rate, then book it as soon as possible, because they sell out very fast especially during summer months.

The two places that I stayed at near Bryce Canyon National Park are: Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn (starting at $171 per night) and Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel (starting at $305 per night).

In addition, I stayed at Bryce Canyon Inn Cabins in the town of Tropic, UT located about 15 minutes from the park (starting at $144 per night).

All in all, my top choice would be Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. It is conveniently located just a few minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park. In addition, the rooms are clean and very spacious. But, it has a bit old-fashioned decor. Breakfast is included with your stay.

What You Need to Know about Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Bryce Canyon National Park is open 24 hours per day throughout the entire year. If you are visiting Bryce Canyon during winter months, then you need to keep in mind that there may be temporary road closures during and shortly after winter snowstorms. Roads stay closed until plowing is completed and conditions are safe for visitor traffic.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm during summer (May through September); 8 am till 6 pm during spring and fall (April and October); and 8 am till 4:30 pm in winter (November through March). It is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
  • All visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park need to purchase a recreational use pass. You can purchase the pass at the entrance to the park or you can buy it online. It costs $35 per vehicle. My recommendation is to buy an annual pass. The cost of the annual pass is $80. However, the annual pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, such as national parks, national wildlife refugees, national forests and grasslands.
  • The best way to get around in Bryce Canyon National Park is either by shuttle or by car, or you can walk/hike.
  • Shuttle Service is offered in the Bryce Canyon. You can hop on (with proof of park admission) and hop off at any of the shuttle stops. Shuttle is not mandatory, however it is highly recommended especially during summer months, since finding a parking spot could be very challenging. In the spring and fall, shuttle runs from 8 am till 6 pm. During summer months (May through September), shuttle service is available from 8 am till 8 pm. Buses typically come by each stop every 15 minutes. You can time the next bus with Shuttle Tracker.

Day 3 - Itinerary for Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Watch Sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park 

Start your day three itinerary in Bryce Canyon National Park with watching a sunrise. Hands down, sunrises are spectacular in Bryce Canyon!

Inspiration Point is a popular spot to photograph sunrise as well as sunset. Or, to photograph the Bryce Canyon at any time of the day from sunrise to sunset. It is the best place to catch all the colors of the Bryce Canyon from glowing reds, and oranges, to bright pinks.

Also, Inspiration Point is the best place to see the Bryce Canyon and to really get the idea how vast the entire area is.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

Bryce Canyon is famous for the most spectacular sunrises.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

  • Take a Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park 

After watching a spectacular sunrise, hop into your car and take the Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon. There are a few stops along the Scenic Drive that you simply cannot miss.

My favorite stop along the way is Natural Bridge Viewpoint. It is one of the best known natural arches in Bryce Canyon National Park. It is a massive formation of eroded, deep red-hued limestone jutting from the edge of the overlook.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days.

Natural Bridge Viewpoint along Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park 

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Another stop that is absolutely spectacular is Sunset Point. It offers incredible views of Bryce Canyon’s main amphitheater. Also, Sunset Point is the trailhead to Navajo Loop Trail, one of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park!

Zion to Bryce in 3 Days

View from Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park 

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Sunrise Point another one of my favorite viewpoints in Bryce Canyon National Park.

In my opinion, it is the best spot to watch the sunset in the park. It sits at the most northernly spot in the Bryce Canyon and you can watch the sun’s final light along the western horizon for the longest time.

Zion to Bryce in 3 Days

View from Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park 

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

  • Hike in Bryce Canyon National Park

Next, it is time to do some hiking to see the famous hoodoos up close. One of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon where you can see some of the most famous hoodoo formations is Navajo Trail and Queens Garden Loop Trail.

One Day in Bryce Canyon

Map of Navajo Loop Trail and Queens Garden Trail 

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Navajo Trail and Queens Garden Trail (loop) combined are 3.2 miles long.  It will take you about 1.5 – 2 hours to complete the loop. The hike is easy-moderate and it will take you 550 feet below the rim and you will get to see the hoodoos up-close.

The trail starts with a series of switchbacks that lead you down a cool ravine all the way to the main valley of Bryce Canyon.

Navajo Loop Trailhead in Bryce Canyon

Navajo Loop Trailhead in Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Eventually, the ravine narrows  and starts resembling a slot canyon. This section is known as Wall Street, due to the high, vertical cliffs and narrow passages.

Once you exit Wall Street section, the trail levels off and starts meandering through a wooded area. After about a mile, you reach a junction. At the junction, follow the signs for Queens Garden Trail.

The garden is a beautiful semi-circular ridge of phantom-like rock spires. And, at the center of it all is a swirling, elevated formation thought to resemble Queen Victoria.

Views along Queens Garden Trail

After about a mile, you reach a junction. At the junction, follow the signs for Queens Garden Trail.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

One Day in Bryce Canyon

The garden is a beautiful semi-circular ridge of phantom-like rock spires. And, at the center of it all is a swirling, elevated formation thought to resemble Queen Victoria.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Soon enough, you will start climbing back up to the rim. The switchbacks will gradually guide you back up to the rim and you will end up at Sunrise Point.

Once you make it to Sunrise Point, you will be greeted again by magnificent views. Thousands of chiseled pinnacles extending all the way to Fairyland Point are simply incredible. In addition, you will be able to see Aquarius Plateau and the Sinking Ship, a sloping mesa that looks like a ship’s stern rising out of water.

Next, continue along the Rim Trail until you reach Sunset Point where you started your hike.

On the way, you will be passing by one of the most famous hoodoo formations called Thor’s Hammer!

Thor's Hammer in Bryce Canyon

Navajo Loop Trailhead in Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

  • Go Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park

Finish off your visit to Bryce Canyon with stargazing!

Bryce Canyon offers world-class stargazing due to its exceptionally high air quality and long distance from sources of light pollution.

Wall Street and Sunrise Point are two of my favorite locations for stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park. Another location that I highly recommended for stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park is Sunrise Point.

Bryce Canyon National Park - Things to Know Before you Visit

Navajo Loop Trailhead in Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days 

Getting Back Home After Exploring Zion and Bryce

At the end of your day in Bryce Canyon National Park, it is time to start getting back home. It is about 4-hour drive from Bryce Canyon National Park before you reach Las Vegas or Salt Lake City.

Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days road trip is perfect if combined with a visit to Grand Canyon National Park.

When to Visit Bryce Canyon and Zion to Avoid the Crowds

Hands down, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are great destinations to visit at any time of the year. I have visited Zion and Bryce so many times at different times of the year and I have to honestly say that no matter what month I visited, I had a great time!

  • Needless to say spring (April and May) and then fall (September and October), are my favorite months to visit both Bryce. and Zion National Parks. The temperatures are mild with daytime temps in 60s and 70s F. By the same token, you will see less crowds and have some serene experiences on trails and at viewpoints.
  • Summer is the high season. The number of tourists skyrockets during these months. Needless to say, expect a lot of companionship on the trails and everywhere throughout the park.The temperatures skyrocket as well ranging from high 80s to 100s F.
  • Finally, winter, specifically November through March, is a good time to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National. Above all, you will be able to find some solitude. Snow seldom reaches the canyon floor and that being the case, the scenic drives and some hiking can be enjoyed during that time. Temperatures can range from low 50s to sometimes low 70s F.

However, I need to mention that Bryce Canyon National Park sits at a high elevation of 8,000 to 9.000 feet. With this being the case, the temperatures can be much lower compared to any other Utah National Parks.

Winter is truly magical in Bryce Canyon! To see the hoodoos covered up in snow is something else!

Intrepid Scout's Pointers for Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

  • Be Prepared for Crowds – both Zion and Bryce Canyon are very popular national parks. If you are visiting during summer months, be prepared for crowds.
  • Use the Shuttle Service – Zion and Bryce Canyon offer shuttle service. It is the best and most efficient way to get to all the trailheads and sights.
  • Can you see Zion and Bryce in one day? Yes, you can! It is possible to visit both Zion and Bryce Canyon in one day. You would have a few hours in Zion to make a couple of stops along Zion Scenic Drive, then you would head on to Bryce and finish off your day with a walk along the Rim Trail.
  • Which is better, Zion or Bryce Canyon? In my opinion, Bryce Canyon is better! For me, it is the ultimate Utah National Park! The views are off the charts! All I can tell you is that when you look at the fascinating landscape of Bryce Canyon, you see thousands of chiseled pinnacles, delicate spires and intricately carved rock formations molded by the endless cycles of rain, freeze and thaw, by the capriciousness of wind and water. There is nothing like that in the entire world!
  • Stargazing in Bryce is awesome! There are many Ranger Programs that offer constellation tours. Some of the best hiking tours in Bryce Canyon National Park that I have done included winter snowshoe hikesfull moon hikesand constellation tours.

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Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 Days

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Zion or Bryce Canyon?

Did you know that Utah has five national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef National Park. Have you visited all of them?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

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