Want to explore Bryce Canyon National Park? A visit to Bryce Canyon is a chance to view the bizarrely beautiful orange sandstone hoodoos, enjoy a scenic drive, or hike the miles of family-friendly trails that make it one of my favorite National Parks. But first, you gotta’ get there! This in-depth guide covers the closest airport to Bryce Canyon, driving directions, and includes everything you need to know about how to get to and around Bryce Canyon National Park.
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A Quick Look at the Closest Airport to Bryce Canyon & How to Get to Bryce Canyon National Park
As this guide covers more in depth further on, visitors to Bryce Canyon will need to fly to one of the closest major airports to Bryce Canyon, rent a car, and drive to the Park.
The closest airport to Bryce Canyon National Park is Cedar City Regional Airport. While Cedar City is the closest to Bryce, its a very small regional airport with not a lot of flight options.
The closest major airports to Bryce Canyon National Park are Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport.
Las Vegas Airport is my pick for the best airport for visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. In my experience, the flights in and out of Vegas are by far the cheapest no matter where you’re flying from and there are tons of easy rental car options for getting to Bryce Canyon.
These airports and other options are described in more detail below.
The closest town to Bryce Canyon is Bryce Canyon City, Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park is located approximately 4 hours from Las Vegas and 4 hours from Salt Lake City.
Bryce Canyon is located within a days’ drive of several other iconic National Parks and scenic areas, including Zion (less than 2 hours away!), the Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef.
Planning a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park? Check out my detailed guide to planning an epic Zion National Park itinerary, here.
Visiting Bryce and Zion? Check out the ultimate Zion to Bryce Road Trip Itinerary.
Where is Bryce Canyon National Park Located?
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah.
The Park sits on the edge of the vast Colorado Plateau. The Colorado Plateau, stretching from southwestern Utah to the Rockies, is home to many of the Southwests most famous National Parks and landmarks, including the Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion, and of course, the bright orange hoodoos Bryce Canyon is famous for.
What is a Hoodoo?
Bryce Canyon is world famous for its colorful rock spires, called “hoodoos.” But what, exactly, IS a hoodoo?
A hoodoo is a unique geological formation characterized by tall, thin rock spires that rise from the ground. These towering pillars of rock are composed of sedimentary rock layers that have been eroded over millions of years by the forces of wind, water, and ice, creating a totally otherworldly landscape. Hoodoos can also be found around the American Southwest, including Goblin Valley State Park, and around the world like in Cappadocia, Turkey. But here, Bryce Canyon is home to the greatest concentration of hoodoos on earth!
Closest Cities to Bryce Canyon National Park
The closest major cities to Bryce Canyon National Park are:
|Distance to Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
|Cedar City, UT
|69 mi / 1.5 Hours
|St. George, UT
|140 mi / 2.5 Minutes
|152 mi / 2.5 Hours
|Las Vegas, NV
|261 mi / 4 Hours
|Salt Lake City, UT
|269 mi / 5 Hours
|284 mi / 5 Hours
Some of the closest small and mid-sized towns to Bryce Canyon National Park are:
|Distance to Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
|Bryce Canyon City, UT
|2.5 mi / 5 Minutes
|Lodging, Gas & Food
|11 mi / 17 Minutes
|Lodging, Gas & Food
|24 mi / 30 Minutes
|Lodging, Gas & Food, Grocery, Hospital
|77 mi / 1.5 Hours
|Lodging, Gas, Food, Famous for slot canyons and off-road trails
Bryce Canyon City is located directly outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park.
In Bryce Canyon City you’ll find a few chain hotels (confusingly, they’re both Best Westerns), an RV Park, gas station, and a few restaurants.
Nearby towns of Tropic and Panguitch are located 15 to 30 minutes from the park entrance. Here you’ll find more chain hotels, some restaurants, gas, and medical services in Panguitch. The prices are a little better here, since you’re further from the Park.
Further afield, the town of Kanab, Utah is 1 and a half hours from Bryce Canyon. Kanab is famous for the beautiful slot canyons you can explore here. Kanab has a small selection of chain hotels, some restaurants, and tour operators to explore the nearby canyons.
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Closest Airport to Bryce Canyon National Park
Unless you already live or are traveling in the Southwest, most visitors to Bryce Canyon will fly into one of the closest airports to Bryce Canyon, rent a vehicle, and drive to the Park.
While southwest Utah is a fairly remote area in terms of airports, Bryce Canyon is still accessible within a few hours drive of several major airports.
The closest airport to Zion is Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC).
However, the best airport for visiting Bryce Canyon National Park is Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport.
These are the closest airports to Bryce Canyon National Park. Additional details on each of these airports, including rental car options, are included below.
|Distance to Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
|Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC)
|93 mi / 1 Hour 45 Minutes
|St. George Regional Airport (SGU)
|156 mi / 2 Hours 30 Minutes
|Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)*
|273 mi / 4 Hours
|Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
|275 mi / 4 Hours
Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC) to Bryce Canyon National Park
Cedar City Regional Airport is a small airport located approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Bryce Canyon. The town of Cedar City has restaurants, gas, and several chain hotels. Because it is such a small airport, flights in and out of here are usually expensive and infrequent.
Delta Airlines is currently the only commercial airline operating out of Cedar City.
There are two rental car counters at Cedar City Airport: Avis/Budget and Enterprise. Because of limited stock, it is strongly recommended to make rental reservations in advance.
Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) to Bryce Canyon National Park
Harry Reid International Airport aka Las Vegas Airport, is the closest major international airport to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Las Vegas is my pick for the best airport for visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. The flights here are much cheaper and more frequent than the other regional airports. There is a huge rental car selection at this airport, and it’s a relatively easy drive to get to Bryce Canyon and other Utah National Parks.
Of course, you’ll have an opportunity to cruise the strip, try a hand of blackjack, or take part in Vegas’s famous nightlife – if you’re into that sort of thing. Once you get tired of the casinos and neon, check out nearby Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock Canyon. Both state parks are easily accessible from LAS.
Harry Reid International Airport is served by Alaska, Allegiant, American, Breeze, Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest, Spirit, Suncountry, United, Virgin, Volaris, and West Jet, as well as multiple international carriers.
Rental Cars are available from Alamo, National, Enterprise, Dollar, Sixt, Thrifty, Payless, Budget, Avis, and Hertz.
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Bryce Canyon National Park
Salt Lake City International Airport is the second closest major airport to Bryce Canyon National Park. SLC is. a large international airport with well-priced direct flights throughout the country. If you plan on exploring more of Utah’s National Parks and other sights, this is a great airport to use.
St. George Regional Airport (SGU) to Bryce Canyon National Park
St. George Regional Airport is the second closest airport to Bryce Canyon National Park. The airport is located in St. George, Utah, about two and a half hours from Bryce Canyon Visitor Center.
St. George is a very small regional airport. It is not usually the cheapest or most convenient direct flight for getting to Bryce, but you may get lucky and get a cheap flight with a short drive to Bryce Canyon.
St. George is serviced by SkyWest Airlines, which is a codeshare for Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines.
Rental cars are available from Enterprise, Hertz, Budget, National and Sunnycars.
Planning a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park? Don’t miss this free in-depth Bryce Canyon itinerary guide, here!
Driving to Bryce Canyon National Park
Most visitors will drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. Driving in and around Bryce is straightforward and the roads and highways are paved and well maintained.
A 4×4 or AWD vehicle is not required in Bryce Canyon. But if you plan on exploring nearby Kanab or Paige, other Utah National Parks, you may want to consider a vehicle that can handle off-road or unpaved roads.
Can I take public transportation to Bryce Canyon? There is no public transportation to Bryce Canyon National Park, so you’ll have to rent a car or arrive with a tour. Once you arrive at Bryce Canyon or Bryce Canyon City, you can use the free Bryce Canyon Shuttle to get around the Park.
Read more on the Shuttles in the dedicated “Getting Around Bryce Canyon” section, below.
Directions to Bryce Canyon from Las Vegas and St. George
Driving to Bryce Canyon from Las Vegas, the closest major airport to Bryce Canyon National Park, is pretty easy and straightforward.
The drive from Las Vegas to the Bryce Canyon Canyon Visitor Center is 273 miles takes about 4 hours and 22 minutes.
From Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 North. Take exit 95 for UT-20 toward US-89/Panguitch/Circleville. Turn right on US-89 South, then left on UT-12, a National Scenic Byway that winds through the Dixie National Forest, and finally a right on UT-63 / Bryce Canyon Road to the Park entrance.
Directions to Bryce Canyon from Salt Lake City and Cedar City
The Drive from Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon Visitor Center is 275 miles taxes about 4 hours 15 minutes.
From Salt Lake City, take Interstate 15 South. Take exit 95 for UT-20 toward US-89 to Panguitch/Circleville. Turn right on US-89 South, then left on UT-12, a National Scenic Byway that winds through the Dixie National Forest, and finally a right on UT-63 / Bryce Canyon Road to the Park entrance.
Directions to Bryce Canyon from Zion National Park
Combine two of Utah’s best National Parks with a visit to both Bryce and Zion! Learn more about how to combine these two parks into an epic 3 day road trip, here!
If you’re driving to or from Bryce Canyon from Zion National Park, the most popular route is the Zion-Mt. Carmel highway, UT State Route 9, and Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. RVs, trailers, and other oversized vehicles are subject to restrictions at the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Learn more, here.
From Bryce Canyon, head towards Zion on State Route 63 North. Take a left on State Route 12 West, and continue for 81 miles. Take another left on US Route 89 South for 67 miles. At Mt. Carmel Junction, take a right onto State Route 9, the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.
The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway enters the Park through the east entrance and winds through red rock canyons and rock formations. Continue on State Route 9 West towards the visitor center and town of Springdale.
Directions to Bryce Canyon from the Grand Canyon – North Rim
Traveling from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to Bryce (and Zion) National Parks is a breeze thanks to US-89. From the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, it’s 157 miles or 3 hours to Bryce Canyon National Park.
From the North Rim, travel on State Route 67 North. Travel north on US-89A North and continue for 97 miles. Take a right onto UT-12, a National Scenic Byway that winds through the Dixie National Forest, and finally a right on UT-63 / Bryce Canyon Road to the Park entrance.
Don’t forget – the North Rim roads close in winter, so you’ll want to save this drive for spring, summer, and fall!
Directions to Zion from the Grand Canyon – South Rim
From the much more popular South Rim of the Grand Canyon, it is 284 miles or 5 and a half hours to Bryce Canyon National Park.
From the South Rim, travel on State Route 64 East. In Cameron, Arizona, take a left on US Route 89 North. Travel on US 89 North for 216 miles. Take a right onto UT-12, a National Scenic Byway that winds through the Dixie National Forest, and finally a right on UT-63 / Bryce Canyon Road to the Park entrance.
Getting Around Bryce Canyon National Park
The roads in and around Bryce Canyon are well maintained, and no off-road or 4×4 driving is required. There is parking available at the Visitor Center, Bryce Canyon Amphitheater near the Lodge, and at the major trailheads and viewpoints along the Park Road and Southern Scenic Drive.
If you’re visiting during peak season (summer, especially weekends and holidays) you might need to be extra patient and wait for a parking spot! Get there early or use the free Bryce Canyon Shuttle to avoid parking hassles. (More on the free shuttle, below)
Tips for Driving in Bryce Canyon
Arrive Early: If you’re visiting in peak season, especially on the weekends, you’ll want to arrive as early as possible. If you can, try and make it for sunrise. You’ll beat the crowds, secure a prime parking spot, and have a stress-free start to your day of exploration.
Entrance Fees: Bryce Canyon charges an entrance fee to all visitors. The cost is $35 per vehicle or $20 per person if you hike or bike into the park. There are no reservations or day-use passes required to enter Bryce Canyon National Park.
Traveling to more than 2 National Parks or National Forests this year? Purchase an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass for $80, which covers entrance fees at all National Parks and NPS managed sites.
If you plan on taking the shuttle into the Park (see Using the Bryce Canyon Shuttle, below) you will need to show the driver a National Parks annual pass, or a digital entrance pass to enter the Park.
There is no cell service in many parts of Bryce Canyon National Park! Make sure to download or print any directions for offline use, save your digital entrance pass for offline use, and print or download your itinerary and hiking info so you can access it without wifi!
Need a Bryce Canyon itinerary? Check out my free Bryce Canyon One Day itinerary guide that explores the best must-see sights in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Using the Bryce Canyon Shuttle
Despite being such a small park, Bryce Canyon get crowded during peak visitor season (April – October). To avoid the problem of too-many-cars-and-not-enough-spaces, Bryce Canyon offers a free park-and-ride shuttle from Bryce Canyon City (outside the Park) and to popular points and hiking trails throughout the Bryce Amphitheater.
This map shows the current shuttle route:
The shuttle operates April to mid-October, beginning at 8AM and running until 6PM or later. Check here for updated shuttle times and information.
Shuttles arrive every 15ish minutes, and you can track the location of every shuttle using this nifty new app, here.
To enter Bryce Canyon National park using the shuttle: Park at the Shuttle Station in Bryce Canyon City (if you aren’t staying at one of the hotels serviced by the shuttle) and ride to Sunset Point, the main jumping off point for your itinerary.
Once inside the Park, feel free to hop-on and hop-off the shuttle to your hearts content!
Most stops on this itinerary are accessible using the shuttle, but you’ll need your own car to access the entire Southern Scenic Drive.
Do I have to use the shuttle? Honestly, no. I’ve never had to use the shuttle when we visited, but getting there early and not visiting during peak times (aka summer weekends) means you’ll have a better chance of driving into the park without a problem.
If you’re visiting on a busy day and don’t want to deal with the headache of fighting for a parking spot, the best places to park, by all means use it. The best places to park are the Visitor Center and Shuttle Station in Bryce Canyon City.
Winter Driving Conditions in Bryce Canyon
At over 9,000′ in elevation, the roads in Bryce Canyon are subject to some extreme winter conditions late fall through spring. If you are visiting Bryce Canyon in winter, be sure to check park conditions here before heading out!
Roads my close temporarily at Mile Marker 3 (after the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater) during and after winter storms to allow snowplows to remove snow from the park roads.
Only two roads completely close seasonally in winter. The 1 mile road leading to Fairyland Point, and the 0.3 road leading to Paria View. Both of these roads are open to snowshoe, cross country skiing, and winter hiking when conditions permit.
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