10 Things To Do With Kids in Bryce Canyon National Park

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We finished Stage 1 of our National Park to Park Highway Tour and wanted to share our top ten activities to do with kids in Bryce Canyon National Park. I especially liked attending the Annual Astronomy Festival and seeing Saturn and its rings. Enjoy!

Hike Bristlecone Loop – Located at Rainbow Point at the very end of the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive, this 1 mile trail passes some of the oldest trees in the west. Some are more than 1,600 years old.

Bike the Multi-use Trail – This was my favorite part of the trip! The 6.2 mile paved trail runs from Bryce Canyon City to Inspiration Point within the park. It passes the Visitors Center, North Campgound, General Store, Sunrise Point, Sunset Point and Bryce Lodge. The paved trail is relatively flat and passes under towering pines. And it’s great for wheelchairs, strollers and pets.

Have Lunch in the Lodge – What makes Bryce Lodge unique is not only that it’s still standing (built in 1923), but its wavy roof pattern is like an optical illusion. The lodge is worth a visit all on its own whether you stay overnight, stop in for a meal, shop in their gift shop, or make reservations for a horseback ride through the park.

Camp at North or Sunset Campground – With convenient shuttle stops and newly renovated flush toilets, our stay at North Campgound was super easy and fun. I know flush toilets don’t often connote luxury but on this trip it was surprisingly nice. Come early, the spots fill up quickly especially on the weekend. There’s also a laundromat and showers available at the General Store.

Visit Mossy Cave – Mossy Cave in the North section of the park is not on the itinerary for most Bryce Canyon visitors. The cave itself wasn’t too impressive, but we loved playing in the Tropic Ditch waterfall. This man made river was carved by the shovel full by Mormon Pioneers over 100 years ago. On our trip the water flowed cool and quick, but in the winter the waterfall freezes into icicles.

Hike the Hoodoos – The special program called I Hiked the Hoodoos is unique to Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s a scavenger hunt and hike all in one! Several popular trails including Queens Garden, Navajo Loop, Mossy Cave, Tower Bridge and Bristlecone Loop have medallions placed along the trail. Hike 3 miles and take a selfie with the medallion and you can receive a reward from the visitors center.

Become a Junior Ranger – Every National Park in the US has a Junior ranger program that’s perfect for getting kids involved in the park. Pick up a booklet at the Visitor Center, complete the activities, attend a ranger presentation and your 4-12 year old can be sworn in as a junior ranger and receive their own badge.

See the Stars – The night sky is brilliant at Bryce. Away from the light pollution of cities, the whole sky is blanketed with stars. Rangers lead astronomy programs all summer long which typically include a multimedia presentation followed by stargazing with telescopes. There’s also a ranger led full moon hike. Check at the Visitors Center for times and sign ups.

Attend the Annual Astronomy Festival – Once a year Bryce Canyon hosts the Salt Lake Astronomical Society in an awesome star gazing festival. Held in early June, the festival includes special events including an indoor planetarium at Bryce Lodge, special speakers like 2016’s keynote speaker Seth Jarvis from Clark Planetarium, and 30+ telescopes for the public to use. Members of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society are on hand to point out the planets, galaxies and constellations. Big E and I loved seeing Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and its moons, the ring nebula and two distant galaxies. It was so cool!
Cross Country Ski – Winter in Bryce is breathtaking, both the scenery and the weather. With snow topped hoodoos at 9,000 feet elevation it’s a cold adventure all its own. The main road is not plowed in some sections, but it is open for non motorized winter use. So strap on the nordic skis and see Bryce Canyon like few others do.

Thanks for following along on our National Park to Park Highway Tour. Stage 2 begins June 27, 2016. It’s a big one, traveling 7 weeks to 16 National Parks and Monuments for a total of 6,000 miles. You can come along by signing up for the Mountain Mom and Tots Newsletter below. Just enter your email and come along for the ride.

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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