What to Do near Bryce Canyon National Park

During my family’s November road trip in the U.S. Southwest, I fell in love with Bryce Canyon National Park. Its otherworldly rock formations, that changed colors — tan, orange, red — as the day progressed, were awe inspiring and magical. Our rugged, 5-mile hike in the park was just one of dozens we could have taken, and I lamented having planned just one day and night in the scenic area. “We’ll be back!” I said as we pulled away from the Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel — a grand home base indeed, with spacious and comfortable, moderately priced rooms and a hearty included breakfast.

Snow-covered hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park

Snow-covered hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park

With so much to do in the area in addition to exploring the national park, it would be easy to spend an entire week in Bryce Canyon Country, checking out a variety of scenic areas and outdoor activities. Here’s what I have my eye on for my family’s next visit, which would ideally be timed for right after my teens get out of school in the late spring or during an early fall break, so we could enjoy not-too-hot temperatures in the dry climate:

Road biking on a paved recreation path in Bryce Canyon Country.

Road biking on a paved recreation path in Bryce Canyon Country.

Road Biking

I spotted a recreation path alongside national Scenic Byway 12 as we drove toward the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park and said to my teens, “That would be a great route to bike.” Indeed, the 21-mile paved path stretches from Red Canyon all the way to Inspiration Point in the park. I love the idea of getting a different perspective of the surrounding area from the seat of a bicycle–great views while enjoying good exercise at the same time.

Kids can go canyoneering in Bryce Canyon Country.

Kids can go canyoneering in Bryce Canyon Country.


Bryce Canyon Country is filled with slot canyons, particularly in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. On a canyoneering excursion, families with children as young as 7 years old can rappel down cliffs and squeeze through slots. You might even get a bit wet as you traverse water obstacles — all in the name of safe and exciting adventure with experienced local guides!

ATVs on a back road in Bryce Canyon Country.

ATVs on a back road in Bryce Canyon Country.


To cover a lot of ground in a little time, taking an ATV or Jeep tour is the way to go! Hundreds of miles of ATV-specific trails and Jeep roads are found in Bryce Canyon Country, and you can maneuver past towering hoodoos, through dense forest, and over rugged terrain.

Other activities in Bryce Canyon Country include mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, evening star gazing, and of course plenty of hiking, my personal favorite. I’d love to check out the trails in such protected areas as Kodachrome Basin State Park, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park or Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, all possible day trips for visitors who make a home base near Bryce Canyon National Park.

With so much to do in this desert locale, Bryce Canyon Country makes a great vacation destinations for families who are interested in unplugging and spending quality time with one another while enjoying the great outdoors.

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What to do in Bryce Canyon Country, Utah -- with or without kids!

This article is sponsored by Bryce Canyon Country; photos courtesy Bryce Canyon Country. This article includes affiliate links, which means The Vacation Gals may earn a (small) commission if you click the links and/or make a purchase.

4 Comments on "What to Do near Bryce Canyon National Park"

  1. Bryce is on my bucket list for this summer or next summer. Thanks for the awesome tips.

  2. This is such a beautiful place – thank you for the tips on what to do!

  3. This is a spot I MUST visit with my kiddos once they’re a little older and can really enjoy it! I’ve admired photos of it for years…

  4. Bryce is absolutely amazin. Haven’t been there sine a November road trip in the 90s! I’d love to return and do some bike riding. The Best Western Grand Hotel looks like a great choice, too. We stayed at another nice Best Western in the area on our trip. I’ve had very good experiences with their chain.

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