When I think back to my travels along the West Coast, it makes me realize that I have many indelible memories from visiting national parks, but one experience stands out above the rest is inextricably linked to Bryce Canyon, one of the natural masterpieces of Utah, a noble exponent of the famous Mighty Five. The Las Vegas-Bryce Canyon road trip, after all, is one of the classic national park itineraries.
For these reasons, we always feel compelled to recommend everyone to visit this park, even if it means making adjustments. A tour of the West Coast that does not include Bryce Canyon loses a lot of points in my opinion.
As you will learn when you read our article on what to do at Bryce Canyon, visiting this national park is quite simple and it can take up to 3-4 hours to enjoy the beauty of the park. Alternatively, if you have a little more time on hand, you could stay a couple of days to hike the various trails.
Whether you’re planning for a short visit, or you want to spend more time there, you will ask yourself a very important question, that is, where should I stay near Bryce Canyon? Choosing accommodations, on any road trip, cannot be left to chance. In fact, every detail must be planned out well, and this also applies to the visit to Bryce Canyon. So where should you stay?
Is it better to choose lodgings in the park? Or is it better to stay in one of the surrounding cities? Let’s discover together the hotels and motels near Bryce Canyon, trying to highlight all the possible options according to the most common routes.
It goes without saying that to stay in a hotel at Bryce Canyon, literally inside Bryce Canyon… has lots of charm. Imagine what it would be like to wake up in the morning in a hotel right in the heart of the park, then walk a few hundred yards and see the remarkable natural amphitheater, and perhaps bask in the sunrise or sunset!
The Lodge at Bryce Canyon
The only hotel in the park is a beautiful rustic building dating back to the 1920s, characterized by the warm tone of the wood. Located a stone’s throw from the natural amphitheater, this lodge is cozy and applies a traditional mindset when providing attention to every detail.
It is not luxurious; rather, it is designed so that guests feel one with the beauty of the surrounding nature. Around the building, there is a deep green forest, and it is not uncommon for the local wildlife to be spotted near the terraces or around the cabins, which are a valid alternative to the hotel rooms. The adjoining restaurant is a bit expensive, but one can choose between a buffet and a la carte menu.
In the immediate vicinity of Bryce Canyon there are two or three small towns where you can find accommodations. Some of these places are really original or charming. Take note of these hotels in Bryce, Tropic and Panguitch.
Bryce, a Stone’s Throw from the Park
A few minutes drive from the visitor center of the park, past the beautiful Red Canyon, you will find yourself in the town bearing the same name as the canyon, Bryce, not to be confused with the park itself. Here you will find some accommodations, and these are the ones we recommend…
Ruby’s Inn Best Western
Ruby’s Inn Best Western (26 South Main Street, Bryce) is not exactly within the park’s boundaries, but it feels like it is, as it only takes 5 minutes to get to the visitor center at Bryce Canyon. But the short distance is not the only perk of this hotel. But it’s not just a matter of minimum distances. In addition to a swimming pool, this hotel offers great hospitality, and in fact, if you remember correctly, we already talked about it in the article with tips for visiting Bryce Canyon.
What can you expect? Ruby’s Inn is not just a hotel, but a real western small town. There’s a rodeo and there are also cowboy shows and much more that create the atmosphere of the Wild West. The hotel rooms are very pleasant and some even have a Jacuzzi next to the bed.
Tropic, West of Bryce Canyon
Tropic is a tiny town famous because Wanda Day, drummer and founder of the 4 Non Blondes, who died of a drug overdose in 1997, is buried here. To get there, one must keep heading west on SR-12 after the junction with Bryce. Like the nearby town of Cannonville, Tropic is strategic both for visiting Bryce Canyon and Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Bryce Canyon Log Cabins
Located 15 minutes from the park, Bryce Canyon Log Cabins has a number of quaint wooden cabins that are perfect for anyone who wants to spend a night in a typical Utah setting. Next to the lovely wood-scented cabins is the barbecue area.
On the way north… Panguitch
Here is another strategic town to stay in after visiting Bryce Canyon if you plan to go to Yellowstone, or more simply continue your journey in northern Utah, perhaps in the direction of Moab to discover Arches and other parks in the area? Panguitch, a classic, American small town that is not particularly touristic, is a perfect place to stop for an overnight stay. For a pleasant stay in Panguitch, you could choose:
Quality Inn Bryce Canyon
You will see it stand out imposingly above the prairies of Utah along Highway 89. The Quality Inn is a characteristic all-wood country-western style motel that is comfortable, clean and has spacious modern rooms with all amenities. The rooms in this beautiful building are all very picturesque, especially the dining room is. The motel is about twenty minutes from the entrance of Bryce Canyon (3800 South Hwy 89, Panguitch).
As you can imagine, there are no large cities around Bryce Canyon, but if you don’t want to sleep in the park or the immediate vicinity, you can choose from the many other towns in the area. We recommend Hatch and Kanab, also specifying the strategic convenience of each choice according to your itinerary.
Hatch, a Great Stop between Zion and Bryce
We talked about the small town of Hatch (about half an hour away from the park) in the article about Red Canyon and SR-9. Those who want to combine a visit to Bryce with a visit to Zion National Park. may find it convenient to stop here.
To tell the truth, given its proximity to the Bryce, an overnight stay in Hatch can also be of interest to those who want to visit the park without taking the famous scenic drive on SR-9 from Zion, but it is less frequent to find accommodations here, even in a town of this size. However, if you’re a bit tired after taking the winding curves of the SR-9 towards Bryce, it’s better that you don’t; go to Kanab, but go to Hatch instead. We recommend…
Bear in the Bed and Breakfast
The owner of this beautiful bed and breakfast located half an hour from Bryce (75 East 300 North Street, Hatch) really likes teddy bears, and does nothing to hide it. But that’s just one of the surprises of this beautiful wooden house. You will find superb hospitality, extreme attention to detail, a small-town and homely atmosphere and the infinite and beautiful landscape of Utah to behold when looking out your window.
Kanab, Just off of Highway 89
Kanab, located 1 h 20 minutes from the entrance of Bryce Canyon (3800 South Hwy 89, Panguitch), is a pleasant western-style mountain town used as a Hollywood set in the past as well as a logical and very common choice for all those who travel west (Las Vegas) or east (Page) on Highway 89 S., For this reason, it is a good idea to book in advance, because the (relatively) few accommodations can available fill up very quickly. I say this from experience, since I, too, coming from St. George, Utah, chose Kanab in order to visit Antelope Canyon the next day. Here are two hotels I recommend:
- Comfort Suites Kanab (formerly Treasure Trail Motel): I already told you about this nice motel (150 W Center St, Kanab) in my travel diary, in the chapter “from Las Vegas to Monument Valley“. I fondly remember the very pleasant welcome of the mistress, who really made us feel at home. The room was comfortable, the price more than fair and God knows how much we enjoyed swimming in the outdoor pool after the Kanab-Bryce Canyon stop!
- Canyons Lodge: This one was recommended to us by some friends, who had great things to say about it. Considered one of the best in Kanab, this lodge (236 North 300 West, Kanab) has rooms with wooden interiors, great homemade breakfast and, last but not least, live country music concerts organized by the owners and a good buffet.