Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon – Road Trip Guide
Southern Utah is full of so many incredible landscapes, which can be amazing to explore but also a little overwhelming to figure out the best places to go!
If you’re struggling to decide where you should visit, one of the best ways to experience as much of this desert paradise as you can is to take a road trip from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon.
Zion National Park features the famous Angels Landing hike, The Narrows slot canyon, and a simply gorgeous landscape of stunning sandstone cliffs. When you add on a trip to Bryce Canyon, you’ll also see the highest concentration of hoodoos anywhere on earth and breathtaking vistas of the desert terrain of southern Utah.
Seriously, you could spend several days exploring both Zion and Bryce Canyon and never run out of spectacular views!
Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon Itinerary
I recently took a day trip with my kids from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon, and we had such a fantastic time! From hiking to e-biking to horseback riding, we loved all our adventures through Bryce Canyon.
Here’s what our one day in Bryce looked like, along with some insider tips for your trip from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon…and our favorite place to stay if you want to spend more time exploring Bryce Canyon.
How to Get From Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon
The drive from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon is just under two hours. From Springdale, head east on UT-9 through Zion to Mt. Carmel Junction where you’ll then go north on US-89. Eventually, take UT-12 east, then turn onto US-63 to the Bryce Canyon park entrance.
If you are going this way I recommend stopping at The Shop Coffee Co in Orderville. They have the best coffee, pastries and sandwiches plus a great assortment of local gifts.
The other way you can go from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon if you are staying in Hurricane or Saint George is by going north on I-15 to US-89 to UT-12.
If you are going this way make a stop in Beaver at The Creamery. They have a wonderful gift shop, amazing Mac & cheese, ice cream, and even a little learning center for kids.
ONE DAY ITINERARY IN BRYCE CANYON
Morning: Hike Navajo Loop Trail
Once you arrive in Bryce, stretch your legs on the Navajo Loop Trail. It’s the perfect family-friendly hike that packs a lot into just under a mile and a half. The trail takes you down some switchbacks and through Wall Street, the only slot canyon in Bryce…it’s super cool! Then you’ll hike through hoodoos along the canyon floor before heading back up to the rim.
Navajo Loop Trail Details
Distance: 1.4 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 515 feet
Location: Starts at Sunset Point along the rim of Bryce Canyon
Mid-Morning: Rent E-Bikes
Explore more of Bryce by e-bike, which you can rent right in the park. We brought a couple e-scooters with us for my younger kids, and then my oldest and I rented e-bikes, and we all had an absolute blast!
Biking is only allowed on paved trails in the park, and there is a wonderful shared-use path that runs 18 miles from Red Canyon to Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon. You can bike as little or as much of the path as you want to.
Bike Rental Details
Where: Historic Service Station (north of the lodge on Lodge Loop Road)
Hours: 8:00am-6:30pm (rentals end at 4:30pm)
Price: $50 for 2 hours for an e-bike (or $25 for 2 hours for a standard bike)
Lunch: Valhalla Pizzeria
When you’ve worked up a hunger after your morning fun in Bryce, head to Valhalla Pizzeria right in the park next to the Bryce Canyon Lodge.
Grab a tasty pizza or a salad, along with beer and wine. Valhalla also features coffee and pastries if you just need a quick pick-me-up.
Afternoon: Horseback Riding
For a unique adventure in Bryce, we took a horseback ride with Canyon Trail Rides and it was AWESOME! We chose the shorter ride (about 1.5-2 hours) to fit into our already adventure-packed day, and it was a simply stunning ride down into the canyon and past Sunset and Sunrise Point.
You can also book a longer 3-hour ride which goes even farther along the Peek-A-Boo Loop.
Horseback Riding Details
Duration: 1.5-2 hour or 3 hour rides available
Price: $75-$100 per person
Age Limit: 7 years+ for shorter ride, 10 years+ for longer ride
Weight Limit: 220 lbs
Season: April 1-October 31 (3 hour ride only available May-October)
Evening: Mossy Cave Trail
This short hike is a must-do, and it makes a perfect end to a day of exploring Bryce. The trail follows Water Canyon where you’ll get to see some of the iconic hoodoos that Bryce is known for. You’ll make a couple creek crossings before ending up at a lovely little waterfall and Mossy Cave itself.
Mossy Cave Trail Details
Distance: 0.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 120 feet
Location: The trailhead is just off UT-12 on the north side of the park near the entrance
After a full day of adventure in Bryce Canyon, head to the nearby town of Tropic, UT for dinner at Showdowns. From steaks to pasta to campfire trout, you’ll definitely find something delicious on the menu, and it’s such a fun atmosphere for the whole family. There’s a big green lawn for the kiddos to run and play on, plus a fire pit to sit around and roast marshmallows.
Where to Stay: Bryce Glamp & Camp
If you want to spend the night, Bryce Glamp & Camp is such a great option! You’ll stay in a super cool geodesic glamping dome with amazing views through the dome windows. The domes are well-equipped for families and have plenty of amenities, including a large bathroom with a walk-in shower.
Each dome also has its own outdoor area with a picnic table, grill, and a gas fire pit. Plus, the property has a ton of games like cornhole, horseshoes, and disc golf to keep everyone entertained. Yet the place still feels quiet and tranquil, especially once it gets dark, when you can sit on the stargazing pad and soak in the stunning night sky.
Tips for a Road Trip from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon
Get an annual National Parks pass if you’re visiting both Zion and Bryce Canyon. The entrance fee for each park is $35/vehicle so it will be $70 to visit both, while the annual pass is only $80 and you can use it at any national park for a whole year.
If you stay overnight near Bryce, you could also visit Kodachrome Basin State Park the next day. It’s only a half hour farther east and features really neat stone spires of multi-colored sandstone.
And if you’re making Zion your home base for a visit to southern Utah, check out more awesome day trips from Zion here!