5 Best Places for Photos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Last Updated on February 26, 2022 by admin

Bryce Canyon National Park will take your breath away. Between the deep reds of the canyon, the maze of hoodoos (tall columns of rocks), and the ponderosa pines, you’ll be thanking yourself for booking a trip to this incredible place. If this is your first time visiting, you’ll want to make sure that you see the park from its best vantage points. We’ve compiled this list of the 5 best places for photos at Bryce Canyon National Park. Be sure to add these to your list. You don’t want to leave Bryce Canyon National Park without visiting these places!

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sunset point bryce canyon national park


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Best Places for Photos at Bryce Canyon National Park

The top 5 best views you absolutely have to see, in our opinion, at Bryce Canyon National Park are:

  1. Sunrise Point
  2. Sunset Point
  3. Inspiration Point
  4. Bryce Point
  5. Mossy Cave Trail

These were our favorite spots when we visited this past June. Each of these spots gave a unique view of the park and provided some pretty epic photo opportunities!

Bryce Canyon was just one of our stops during our 3-week road trip to Utah and Arizona. You can read more about our trip highlights here!

1. Sunrise Point

It makes sense to begin this list with sunrise, right? There’s a reason that this is the first stop within the park. You’ll see the entire canyon in all its glory from this viewpoint. This was my first view of the canyon, and it completely stopped me in my tracks. After following a small trail from the parking lot to the canyon rim, we were suddenly rewarded with a full view of Bryce Canyon. I just stood there trying to take it all in.

The colors caught my eyes first. The rocks of the canyon were impossibly red. I had never seen rocks with such vibrant colors at that large of a scale. Then I noticed the canyon was filled with hundreds of rock spires. Then I looked to the horizon, and such just how expansive this view was: I could see for miles in every direction. I’ll never forget my first look at Bryce Canyon, and that’s why I recommend that you start here too!

Sunrise Point is the first of 4 points that provide a viewpoint of the main amphitheater. It was named Sunrise Point by early lodge operators. (Sunset Point is located just a half mile down the canyon rim.) Sunrise Point is a great place to watch either the sunrise or the sunset, so feel free to visit this place at different times of day!

If you have some time for hiking, you can take the Queens Garden Trail down into the canyon from this viewpoint. It’s the easiest hike into the canyon itself if you want to walk among the hoodoos! (Just remember, what goes down must come back up!)

sunrise point bryce canyon national park

2. Sunset Point

After viewing Sunrise Point, I highly recommend that you walk the Rim Trail to Sunrise Point. I loved this trail so much I wrote an entire blog post on it here. If you only have time for one trail, I recommend you do this one! You’ll get to walk along the canyon rim and get to see the main amphitheater from multiple viewpoints. There are many benches along the way, and there are nonstop views the entire way.

The view from Sunset Point will allow you to see richer colors of the canyon (thanks to the Claron Formation), and the hoodoos are even more tightly packed beneath this viewpoint.

And if you want to do a hike, the Navajo Loop Trailhead is located at Sunset Point.

sunset point bryce canyon

3. Inspiration Point

The name says it all. The view from this point is, in a word, inspirational. From the viewing platform, you’ll get an almost aerial view of the canyon below you. From this vantage point, you’ll get a clear view of the Silent City, which is where the highest concentration of hoodoos are located.

inspiration point viewing platform at bryce canyon national park
Inspiration Point viewing platform

 

4. Bryce Point 

Bryce Point is an excellent point to watch the sunrise. The morning light will hit the hoodoos just right so that the bright red of the rock almost looks like it is on fire. From Bryce Point, you will be able to see a full view of the canyon to the north.

bryce point

5. Mossy Cave Trail

Our last view is actually a bit off the beaten path, but still very accessible. While the above points are within the park’s main entrance, the Mossy Cave Trail is a separate drive to the southeast. We hiked this trail after having seen the “main sights” of Bryce Canyon, and it quickly became one of our favorites of the whole trip! It’s less than a mile long roundtrip, so it’s easy to complete this trail if you are short on time. (Or if you have young children.) On this trail, you’ll get to see hoodoos, a stream, a grotto, a turret arch, and a waterfall. This hike has it all! We liked it so much, we wrote a full post on the trail here

One of our favorite photos was taken by the first bridge. If you stand down by the stream, you can take a photo of the bridge and the hoodoos behind it.

mossy cave trail
The first bridge on the Mossy Cave Trail

 

We also really liked taking photos of the waterfall. You won’t see other waterfalls like this one at Bryce Canyon, so it’s definitely a treat to hike along the water.

In addition to hoodoos, you’ll also see unique geographical features like this turret arch. 

The Mossy Cave Trail is definitely one of the best places for photos at Bryce Canyon National Park!


Where to Stay at Bryce Canyon National Park

Booking.com  

You can easily see the five viewpoints in one day, but we recommend staying at least one night near Bryce Canyon National Park so you can have a completely full day to explore it all. We stayed in the Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, and we really liked the hotel’s large rooms, prime location, and excellent breakfast buffet. If you can make reservations at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon, it’s the only hotel within the park itself. The Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn is also an ideal place to stay and centrally located. We recommend staying at a hotel that is either within the park or along the shuttle route, that way you can conveniently see the park without having to worry too much about long lines. We wrote a full blog post on the best hotels and campgrounds near Bryce Canyon National Park here.


What to Pack on Your Trip

First you’ll want to think about safety. Bring enough water for everyone in your party, especially if it’s a hot day and you plan on doing any hiking. Bring an insulated water bottle to keep your water cool. Bring a first aid kit in case of injury. 

For photos, we have been using a Panasonic Lumix camera. The one we use is linked here, although there are certainly newer models that you take a look at. 

We also recommend that you bring a portable charger so that your cell phone doesn’t run out of battery while you are at the park. (Which is easy to do when you’re using maps and taking photos all day!) 

We also recommend bringing a selfie stick so that you can get photos of you and the whole canyon behind you. Here’s a good one that also has a tripod built into it.

Finally, bring a daypack that is comfortable for hiking and trails. We recommend this one

We wrote a full post on the 10 Essentials for Hiking. Basically, we cover the 10 types of items that you should always carry with you whenever you are out hiking or in the wilderness. We’ve linked that post here

Please remember to follow Leave No Trace principles whenever you are visiting a national park or out in nature. You can read more about outdoor ethics here


Guided Tours

Booking a guided tour can help to personalize your tour and give you a unique experience. Whether you want to go horseback riding or have a gourmet picnic, there is a tour for you!

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Horseback Riding at Bryce Canyon: When you book this tour, you’ll be able to go horseback riding through Bryce Canyon National Park with a trained guide. You’ll basically be exploring the area the same way that Butch Cassidy did!
  • Private Guided Hike with a Gourmet Picnic: When you book this tour, you won’t have to worry about a thing. Your trained guide will take you to the Navajo and Queens Garden trail, and you’ll even get to have a gourmet picnic at Sunrise Point.
  • Scenic Tour of Bryce Canyon: You’ll join a small group in an air-conditioned vehicle as your tour guide takes you through the park.
  • Self-Driving Audio Tour: If you choose to drive yourself through Bryce Canyon, you can download an audio tour that will teach you all about the major sites. 
 

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best view of Bryce Canyon?

Bryce Canyon National Park contains numerous overlooks with excellent views of the canyon. These include Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, Sunrise Point, and Sunset Point. Of these, our favorite viewpoint was at Sunset Point. We were able to see lots of hoodoos, and the colors were extraordinarily vibrant.

Where is the best place to watch the sunset at Bryce Canyon?

We recommend that you watch the sunset at Sunset Point. The already vibrant colors of the canyon will absolutely glow during golden house and sunset.

Is the drive to Bryce Canyon scary?

We didn’t find any of the roads to Bryce Canyon challenging or scary. Whereas there were multiple roads at Zion National Park with steep drop-offs, the roads at Bryce Canyon were very easy.


Summary

Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park is a photographer’s dream. We hope that this post about the 5 best locations for photos was helpful to you as you plan your trip!

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Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.


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