Bryce Canyon National Park Fees & Reservations

 
Thor's Hammer, Bryce Canyon National Park, Uta...
Thor’s Hammer, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most remarkable places on earth, but it certainly won’t cost you the earth to enjoy it.

Entrance fees to Bryce Canyon  National Park (which are valid for seven consecutive days) are;

  • Private vehicle – $25 – which admits a single, non-commercial vehicle plus passengers.
  • Individual person – $12 – anyone entering Bryce Canyon National Park on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle etc. People who are less than 15 years of age, however, have free entry.
  • Annual pass – if you’re one of the lucky ones who can get to Bryce  Canyon National Park on a regular basis, then an annual pass will only set you back $30.

Campgrounds at Bryce Canyon National Park

There are two campgrounds available at Bryce Canyon National Park.

  • North Campground – is located to the east of the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, just across the road in fact. There are 99 sites available here organized in 4 loops, A, B, C & D, and the price is $15 per night, per site.  Sites are limited to a maximum of 10 people, (no more than 6 adults in each group), 3 tents and 2 vehicles per site. Loops A and B are for RV campers, whereas loops C and D are specifically for tent campers.  A small number of RV reservations are available at certain times of the year, the rest of the time it’s first come, first served. The campground can get pretty full up during the summer so if you haven’t made a reservation then it pays to get there early. The North campground is closer to the general store than Sunset, the alternative campground at Bryce Canyon National Park. The North campground does not have any water, sewer or electrical hook-ups, but there is a dump station which is open during the summer months only at a charge of $5 per dump!

  • Sunset Campground – is only open during the summer, it closes for the winter. It’s located around 1.5 miles to the south of the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, west of Sunset Point. There are 100 sites at Sunset Campground in 3 loops, A, B & C.  20 Tent sites can be reserved at certain times of the year, for the rest of the time (and the rest of the sites) it’s first come, first served. It’ll cost you $15 per site, per night to camp at Sunset Campground, Bryce Canyon National Park. Loop A is for RV campers, (anything bigger than 45 feet is not forbidden, but is discouraged . . .  do you think they just try to talk you out of it!) although there are no sewer, water or electrical hook-ups available. You can use the dump station at North Campground for $5. Loops B & C are for tent camping.

NB – It’s worth making a note that the campgrounds at Bryce Canyon National Park are enjoying a bit of a facelift during 2012, so some of the sites will be temporarily closed . . . meaning that there’ll be less available sites to go around. Better arrive early to be sure of a site.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back Country Camping at Bryce Canyon National Park

Of course, some peoples idea of camping in Bryce Canyon National Park does not involve pitching up close to 99 other camp sites, they prefer to get away from it all and enjoy a little back country camping. That’s okay, you can go back country camping at Bryce Canyon National Park no problem at all.

There are 8 back country campgrounds on the Under-The-Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park, (22.9 mile trail) for which you will require a permit. The Riggs Spring Loop Trail has 4 further campgrounds on the 8.8 mile trail. These trails are strenuous with changes in elevation so be sure that you’re up to the job before you go. Back country permits cost $5 per permit for 1 or 2 people, $10 for 3 – 6 people or $15 for 7 – 15 people and are valid for seven nights. It’s important to follow the hikers code whenever you visit the Bryce Canyon National Park, but particularly when you’re back country camping – leave no trace and camp only in the designated areas.

  • Iron Spring Campsite – 3.9 miles to the north of Rainbow Point and 3.9 miles south of Natural Bridge Campsite. Talk about home comforts, there are logs to sit on and water is available, it might not look that appetizing but is safe to drink just so long as you purify it or boil it for at least 10 minutes.
  • Natural Bridge Campsite – 3.0 miles south of the Swamp Canyon Campsite, and 3.9 miles north of Iron Spring Campsite, the closest water to this campsite is at Iron Spring Campsite. This campsite has logs and rocks to sit on . . . now that’s just too much comfort for many back country campers to bear.

    The hoodoos in the Bryce Canyon National Park....

    The hoodoos in the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a contre-jour shot. The hoodoos are illuminated by reflected sunlight coming from the hoodoos in front of them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Riggs Spring Campsite – on the Riggs Spring Loop, 1.6 miles from Yovimpa Pass and 3.3 miles from Rainbow Point. This campsite is around 1600 lower altitude than Rainbow Point which makes it a nice easy hike down . . . but remember, what goes down must come back up, and that’s a little tougher. There is a reliable water supply here (which must be treated, remember) even though it’s often muddy.
  • Right Fork Swamp Canyon Campsite – this site is really easy to get to, it’s only a little more than a mile from the parking lot at Sheep Creek Swamp Canyon, along the Swamp Canyon Connecting Trail, a little to the north of the junction of the Swamp Canyon Connector and the Under the Rim Trail. There is no water available at this site, but there is some around half a mile away up the Swamp Canyon Connector.
  • Right Fork Yellow Creek Campsite – a beautiful peaceful, sheltered spot by a gurgling stream. This site is 3 miles from the Bryce Point parking lot but 1300 feet lower. There are great views on the hike down, with lots of vegetation and incredible geological features.
  • Sheep Creek Campsite – situated a little less than 3 miles from the Sheep Creek / Swamp Canyon parking lot and a little less than 5 miles from the Yellow Creek Campsite. If you’re quiet (which of course you should be) you’ll hear Sheep Creek flowing just to the south of the campsite.
  • Swamp Canyon Campsite – just a mile from the parking lot at Whiteman Bench along the Whiteman Connecting Trail. This campsite is extremely close (0.15 miles) from the best back country view in the Bryce Canyon National Park, the view over Mud Canyon.

  • Yellow Creek Campsite – only 5.5 miles from the Bryce Point parking lot, there are great views of the pink cliffs of the Claron Formation as well as the yellow cliffs of the wonderful Straight Cliffs Formation from here. There’s also a good water source in the Yellow Creek (remember it needs treatment).
  • Yovimpa Pass Campsite – on the Riggs Spring Loop, a little more than a mile and a half from Rainbow Point. You can get great views of the Grand Staircase and the pink cliffs from here, and there’s a stream providing a reliable water source.

Back-country camping further information

  • Camp stoves are permitted – open fires are not.
  • Water is available at Yellow Creek Groupsite, Right Fork Yellow Creek, Yellow Creek, Iron Spring, Sheep Creek, Riggs Spring and Yovimpa Pass but it must be purified before drinking by boiling for at least 10 minutes, iodine or filter treatment.

 

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