There’s nowhere on earth that looks like Bryce Canyon. And, unlike some other national parks, Bryce offers a lot to enjoy when you visit with pets!
Bryce Canyon is home to the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. These bizarre red rock spires make for a breathtaking landscape. And we’re happy to report that you’ll be able to enjoy these fantastic views when visiting Bryce Canyon with your pets!
Bryce Canyon National Park
Located in southern Utah, Bryce Canyon is known for its incredible rock formations. Like a forest of spires and fins clinging to the canyon walls, the fantastically colored hoodoos are constantly changing. Wind, rain, snow, freezing, and thawing sculpt the stone, forming new hoodoos while turning others to piles of clay.
The best time to visit Bryce Canyon with pets depends on what you like! At 8,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level, summer daytime temperatures are more comfortable, but crowds are worse. Winter can be quite cold and some overlooks are closed, but the park is less busy and you’ll have a chance of seeing snow. For the best combination of weather and crowds, consider planning your trip for April, May, September, or October.
No matter when you visit, remember that being at higher elevations can contribute to dehydration. Always carry plenty of water for you and your pet. And take frequent breaks to take a drink.
For our RVing friends: During park shuttle hours, vehicles more than 20-feet long are not allowed to park in the Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, Bryce, and Paria Viewpoints, at the Lodge, or at the Visitor Center. You can park at the shuttle station, at the overflow parking lot across from the visitor center, or at the viewpoints beyond the 4-mile marker.
Pet Policy At Bryce Canyon
At Bryce Canyon, leashed pets can join you on all paved surfaces. This includes the Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points, the Shared-Use Path, the viewpoints and overlooks, picnic areas, and campgrounds.
Pets cannot go on any unpaved trails, which means hiking together at Bryce isn’t an option. But read on — we have a hiking alternative that will knock your socks off!
In addition, pets are not allowed at Piracy Point, an unpaved viewpoints, in the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, the Bryce Canyon Lodge, the General Store, the High Plateau Institute, or on the park shuttles. Finally, pet cannot be left unattended, tied to an object, or left in vehicles while their owners hike. Note that idling and generator use is not permitted in the park’s parking lots.
However, Bryce does participates in the BARK Ranger program. So be sure you stop at the visitor center to pick up your pup’s BARK Ranger tag!
READ MORE ⇒ 59 National Parks Where Your Dog Can Be A BARK Ranger
What To Do With Pets At Bryce Canyon
There is only one entrance/exit at Bryce Canyon, and one main road running north-south through the park. Passing through the gate, the visitor center will be on your right. Here you’ll find park maps and information, exhibits, a movie, and emergency services.
The first left past the visitor center leads to the North Campground. You could take a walk around the camping loops if your dog needs some exercise, but there’s not much in the way of views. Instead, continue down the main road to the second left and head for Sunrise Point.
Enjoy The Views From Sunrise Point
As you drive from the main road to Sunrise Point, you’ll cross the paved, 5-mile (one way) Shared-Use path. This is another option to walk your pet if you’re looking for some exercise. It’s a nice walk, but doesn’t offer views of the canyon.
Park near the General Store and look for the sign to Sunrise Point. There are two paths, but only one is paved. So stick to the park rules, and take the paved one.
A few minutes later, Bryce Canyon comes into view!
Walk To Sunset Point
The walk from Sunset Point from Sunrise Point is a half-mile and the trail is flat. There are many benches along the way where you can stop to admire the views. Or pack your lunch and have a picnic while you soak in the scene!
Admire The Views From Sunset Point
Sunset Point is one of the most popular viewpoints in the park, for good reason. The expansive vistas are simply stunning. And as the light shifts, the dramatic scene below changes, too.
Take your time and enjoy the views from every angle. Then turn around and head back to your car. Notice how different things look when you change your perspective and view things heading north!
Explore The Viewpoints
Follow the signs from Sunrise Point back to the main road and then continue driving south. The main road is 18-miles long and there are multiple viewpoints and picnic areas along the way – mostly on the east side of the road. Rather than turning across traffic at each viewpoint, consider driving to the end and making your stops on the way back.
Restroom facilities are located at Farview Point and Rainbow Point. And don’t forget that pets aren’t allowed at Piracy Point.
After a while, the views are still spectacular, but all the photos start to look the same.
Take A Longer Walk
Once you’ve taken in the views from all the overlooks, you’ve seen as much of the iconic landscape at Bryce Canyon as you can with pets. If you’re not ready to leave, you could choose to try the Shared-Use Path, or stroll around the North or South Campgrounds.
Bryce Canyon was recognized as an International Dark Sky Park in 2019. So the nighttime views are as fantastic as the daytime views! The park’s high elevation, clean dry air, and location far away from sources of light pollution make it a wonderful place to admire the stars.
Visiting one of Earth’s darkest places is an excellent opportunity to spot the Milky Way, planets, and constellations that you might not be able to see normally.
Hiking With Pets Near Bryce Canyon
If being at Bryce Canyon inspires you to hike among the hoodoos with your pet — we can help! As we mentioned, all the unpaved trails at Bryce are off-limits to pets. But there’s a wonderful solution just down the road.
Driving toward Bryce Canyon on Scenic Byway 12, you might have noticed the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center in Dixie National Park. The great news is that ALL the trails at Dixie are pet friendly, and there are some outstanding options in Red Canyon.
Stop in at the visitor center for trail conditions and maps. Then get out and enjoy a hike with your furry travel buddy!
READ MORE ⇒ Discovering Utah’s Pet Friendly Dixie National Forest
We hope our visit to Bryce Canyon inspires you to plan a trip with your pets! Though pets can’t go on the trails, there’s great hiking just down the road at Dixie National Forest. And southern Utah is a wonderful place for pet friendly adventures.
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Published for: WATPFC