Zion and Bryce Canyon: Utah's icons

Back inUtah, between river and hoodoos, we tell you everything about these two parks considered as the jewels of this state!

Watch the first part of our trip on video!

Utah's most beautiful parks

Zion is known for its canyons carved by the Virgin River. Its lush vegetation and wildlife have provided refuge for many nomadic peoples over the centuries. When it was discovered in the 19th century, the Mormons named it Zion ("The Sanctuary") for theprotective effect of its gorges.

Bryce Canyon Park is home to a huge natural amphitheatre of hoodoos (pillars of rock created by erosion) up to 45 metres high!

How to get there?

From Lake Powell, it's about a 2 hour drive to Zion Park and another 1.5 hours to Bryce Canyon.

What we liked

On the surface, these two parks seem to be only suitable for long walks on steep paths. But you don't have to be a great walker to enjoy what these extraordinary parks have to offer. The red and gold of the cliffs and hoodoos will amaze you while you stay on the easy-to-reach trails.

At Bryce, take time to sit on one of the many benches carved from huge logs and admire the view.

Not to be missed

Riverside Walk: At the end of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, take the path along the Virgin River. In the shadow of the cliffs overlooking the river, you'll get a glimpse of what makes Zion so special!

Bryce Canyon

Sunrise Point: few people like to get up in the middle of the night. We guarantee you, this time it will be for a unique moment ... Do it! Check the time of the sunrise the day before and plan to be there at least 30 to 45 minutes before in order to have the best view. Be careful, the access slope is steep and the altitude does not help you catch your breath!

But once up there, your sleeping eyes will finally wake up to an unparalleled spectacle: the hoodoos, which were previously plunged into the dark, will be dressed ingold and red for your greatest pleasure!

Among the hundreds of rocky peaks, look for one on which a rectangular stone seems to be balanced: this is Thor's Hammer, one of the park's most iconic hoodoos!

Rainbow Point: at the southern end of the park, enjoy thevastness that stretches out at your feet. Along the road, you will notice the devastation caused by forest fires... But don't worry, nature is already at work to take its place!

Where to eat, where to sleep?

In order to respect the natural surroundings, there are few places to eat on the road between Lake Powell and Zion. Zion has a few shops for campers, where you can get some basic snacks.

If you don't want to miss the sunrise over Bryce Canyon, you can stay overnight in Bryce Canyon City, which is located at the entrance to the park. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants to stop at before waking up at dawn!

We ourselves opted for the Ruby's Inn, for sleeping and dining! With its all-you-can-eat buffet, it's perfect to fill you up!

To comfort you after your early morning wake up call, take time for a breakfast of champions at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, located on the edge of the forest along the amphitheatre. It's a great way to get your feet back on the ground and get the most out of the day.

Some useful information in a wheelchair...

When you arrive in Zion, check in at the Visitor Center and you will be given a pass that gives you privileged access by car to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (if you don't have one, you'll have to use the accessible buses). The park has few accessible hikes, so this pass will make it easier for you to get around during your visit, especially for the Riverside Walk.

Bryce Canyon offers many hiking trails through the hoodoos, not necessarily wheelchair friendly (the slopes are more than steep!). However, a concrete path runs along the amphitheatre between the two main viewpoints: Sunrise and Sunset Point. From there, you will have a breathtaking view of the landscape. Finally, don't hesitate to take the main road by car. It will allow you to extend the pleasure to Rainbow Point and its breathtaking view.

Find all the accessibility information on our good addresses and visited sites on jaccede.com!

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