Visiting Bryce Canyon in July
Learn all about what to expect visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in July (Written by Erin McCarthy)
Bryce Canyon National Park in the summer is a true national treasure. However, a visit to the Park in July presents one big pro and one big con, respectively: spectacular weather and big crowds. Navigating the crowds should be top of mind when planning a visit. If you are interested in hitting the many hiking trails in the Park, there are plenty of options for both the beginner and the experienced backpacker. Read our guide below for everything to do and see in Bryce Canyon in July along with tips to avoid the crowds.
benefits of visiting bryce canyon in July
The summer activities in Bryce Canyon are plentiful and the weather is ideal for being outside. Warm, sunny days are followed by cool nights since Bryce Canyon is at a high elevation (8,000-9,100 feet).
Bryce Canyon is one of the most photographed national parks. A visit in the summer should include seeing the kaleidoscope of colors that emerge when the sun rises over Bryce Amphitheater. When the sun first peeks over the cliffs you’ll have the chance to see the world’s largest collection of hoodoos at their most luminous: bright orange, soft ivory, and pastel pink are a dazzling sight to the naked eye. The best place to see the sunrise is at the aptly named Sunrise Point. Don’t leave right after the sun rises because the colors will keep changing. Set aside at least an hour to see the full show.
drawbacks of visiting in july
The biggest drawback of visiting Bryce Canyon in July is the sheer amount of visitors. Parking spaces are at a premium, and the trails are quite crowded. The free park shuttle can save you a lot of time. Avoid the crowded Bryce Amphitheater area during peak hours of the day and plan to get an early start if you are hiking the more popular trails.
Another drawback is the frequency of afternoon thunderstorms in July. When visiting in the summer it is essential to check the latest weather updates in the Park. Be sure to avoid trails that go into the canyon during the afternoon as flooding can become an issue.
things to do in july
Celebrate America: If your visit to Bryce Canyon coincides with Independence Day, be sure to check out the rodeo and fireworks.
Run a Race: Every July, Bryce Canyon City holds a half marathon, a 5K run/walk, and a fun run. Check out the details here.
Hiking: Hitting the trail is a fantastic way to take in the unique landscape at Bryce Canyon. There are options for all fitness levels and time frames. Check out our complete list of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon.
Biking: Ruby’s Inn has mountain bikes to rent and a shuttle service to get to the trailhead. Keep in mind these mountain bike trails are outside the National Park borders. Within Bryce Canyon National Park, bicycles are only permitted on paved bike trails and paved roads.
ATV Tours: Travel through Ponderosa pines and along the plateau on a guided ATV sunset ride offered by Ruby’s Inn. Helmets, goggles, ATVs, and instruction are all provided. If you’re an experienced ATV rider, rentals are available through Bryce Wildlife Adventure.
Ranger Activities: Take advantage of the free activities offered by the Park rangers in Bryce Canyon National Park. Choose from geology talks about the hoodoos and the larger Grand Staircase, or learn about the cultural history of the Park on a guided rim walk.
Canyoneering: Southern Utah is home to the densest population of slot canyons in the world. Slot canyons are narrow, deep channels typically formed from eroded sandstone. You can explore slot canyons through an activity called canyoneering— rappelling down, exploring on foot, and rock scrambling your way out of the canyon. If you’re the adventurous type, then canyoneering into a slot canyon is a fantastic way to get your adrenaline pumping. This activity is most safely completed during good weather and of course with a guiding company.
hiking in july
If you’re looking to explore Bryce Canyon by foot, it is advised to hit the trail early in the day to avoid the crowds. Remember to bring plenty of water and snacks on the trail. Aim for four liters per person and high-calorie foods with a good amount of protein for long-lasting energy. Bryce Canyon gets toasty by midday, and afternoon thunderstorms are possible, so pack a rain jacket just in case.
Wildland Trekking offers private guided day hikes year-round. Let a local, knowledgeable guide teach you the natural and cultural history of Bryce Canyon. Guided hiking tours help you to maximize your time in the Park and travel along some of the best trails. Picnic lunch and trail snacks are provided.
Backpacking in the park is permitted, but only the most experienced backpackers should venture out in these conditions. There are no commercial backpacking trips allowed in Bryce Canyon National Park. Check-in with the rangers at the Visitor Center and make sure to purchase a backcountry permit.
weather in july
July in Bryce Canyon is typically very pleasant with the exception of possible afternoon thunderstorms. The average high is 80 and the average low is 53 degrees Fahrenheit (27/12 degrees Celsius). July averages 11 days of thunderstorms per month. Prepare yourself for the hot and mostly dry conditions by bringing plenty of water, high-calorie snacks, sunscreen, and a hat.
JOIN A GUIDED HIKING ADVENTURE
Booking a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park is the opportunity to experience one of the most scenic hiking vacations in the United States. The biggest advantage to booking a guided tour is that it will allow you to focus your energy entirely on enjoying this iconic area. Permits, local transportation (excluded on some day tours), meals, and gear are all figured out for you on a Wildland Trekking tour.
Wildland Trekking offers several options for guided inn-based and camping tours in the southern Utah area. You’ll have the chance to see magnificent rock formations, learn about the cultural and natural history of the area, and enjoy some solitude all while having the adventure of a lifetime.
BRYCE CANYON ADVENTURE TOURS
- INN-BASED HIKING PACKAGES: these tours are all-inclusive packages with lodging, amazing daily hikes, expert guides, meals, transportation and more!
- BRYCE CAMPING TOURS: camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of Bryce on wonderful outdoor vacations.
- BRYCE DAY HIKE TOURS: maximize your day in Bryce on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour of one of the Park’s best trails.
- ALL UTAH HIKING TOURS: check out a full list of Utah offerings, which include Bryce Canyon, the North Rim, Arches, Canyonlands and more.
- UTAH BACKPACKING TRIPS: explore options for discovering Utah on an all-inclusive backpacking trip with expert guides and mind-blowing scenery.
About the Author
Erin McCarthy is a freelance writer and former Colgate University Outdoor Education Leader. When Erin isn’t writing, she is exploring the mountains and rivers of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. You can view her complete portfolio at www.erinannmccarthy.com.