The Ultimate Guide To Camping In Bryce Canyon National Park

(Last Updated On: 19/06/2020)

It’s no secret that I fell in love with Bryce Canyon National Park during my 2-week camping trip through Utah’s Mighty Five. This special park can be best described as if Utah and Washington had a love child, and thus, Bryce Canyon was formed. Pine trees shadow bright orange hoodoos in the Bryce Amphitheater and it’s all illuminated under a bright blue sky. You’re ~literally~ walking through a rainbow at all times.

Now. Now. There is no question that Zion was just as spectacular, but Bryce has that red-headed-step-child-like charm that hikers like me gravitate towards. Most people only spend a single day in the park! Tragic, right? This Utah National Park is, well, a national treasure that I feel doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. So, what better way to explore this gem than to get rugged, grab your camping gear, and plan an epic camping trip to Bryce?! With the obnoxiously detailed information in this guide to camping in Bryce Canyon National Park, you can plan the most epic adventure whether you want to be in the middle of the action, off the beaten path, or ballin’ on a budget! I’ve also included a map of all the campsites I dug up while writing this blog post and it is free for you to download for your trip! Let’s go!

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I mentioned, but as always, all opinions are my own. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase or booking through these links. This helps to support this space and keep me blogging, which I am so extremely thankful for.

This post on camping in Bryce Canyon is part of my Utah Travel Series! Check out the other blogs below to help you plan your perfect trip!


 

Bryce Canyon Camping Map

This ultimate Bryce Canyon Camping Map has most, if not all the designated and free campsites around Bryce Canyon. You can download this map for offline use on your trip, so make sure you save it to your Google Drive! The Dark orange indicates paid camping outside the park, the light orange is paid camping inside Bryce Canyon National Park, and the dark green indicates free/wild camping around Bryce Canyon. As you can tell, a lot of work was put into this map, so share with your friends and please let me know when you find an epic campsite so I can add it to this master list!


 

Campsites In Bryce Canyon National Park

 


North Campground

Open Season | Year-round

Total Sites | 99 (59 Tent, 49 RV)

Price | $25 Tents

Reservations | No. First come first served.

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

 

The North Campground at Bryce Canyon National Park is a gem and chancing a walk-up is very much worth it for this night’s sleep. Walk-ups go very fast in peak season, so if you plan on traveling in the high season, then make sure you get to the park early. My friend and I arrived at Bryce Canyon around 10 am and we almost weren’t able to secure a spot. I recommend getting there around maybe 7 or 8 since you have to wait for others to leave before you can secure your spot, so don’t get there at the buttcrack of dawn expecting any openings because people will still be snoozing.

There aren’t any showers, but there are bathrooms and a dishwashing station which are very nice. The whole area is covered in pine trees, so it gives a nice foresty vibe as well which is a nice break from all the orange, especially if you’re on a Utah National Parks road trip! This campsite is a stone’s throw away from the visitor center, making it ideal to catch any early shuttles, and it’s next door to the Bryce Canyon Lodge, General Store, and the Rim Trail!

There are four different loops within the campsite. A and B are for RV’s and C and D are for tent camping. If you’re giving a walk-up permit a shot, you’ll definitely want to look at a map of the north campground so that you’re not driving around trying to find out where to go and you can secure your walk-up with ease!

 

 


 

Sunset Campground

Open Season | Mid-April through Mid October

Total Sites | 100 (50 Tent, 50 RV)

Price | $20 (tents) view all prices here

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

Reservations | Yes. first come first served unavailable.

April 15, 2020 – May 19, 2020 (First-come, First-served)

May 20, 2020 – October 15, 2020 (Peak Season Reservations)

October 16, 2020 – October 31, 2020 (First-come, First-served)

 

The Sunset Campground in Bryce Canyon is also in the middle of the action, so you don’t need to stress about picking between this campsite and the North Campground. Sunset Campground is right next door to the Navajo Loop, so if you want to wake up and capture sunrise here or at Inspiration Point. There is also a shuttle stop that comes right next to the campground. However, this campsite is just a little bit further away from the Visitor’s Center, General Store, and Bryce Canyon Lodge. Again, it doesn’t make this site a bad choice, but it is something to keep in mind.

Sunset Campground has three different loops: A for RV’s, then B and C for tent camping. I do recommend reserving your spot months here in advance from mid-May to mid-October and then arriving very early for the months where it is only first-come-first-served. Similar to the North Campground, I recommend checking out the campsite map so that you can secure a spot easily.

 


 

Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to explore this underrated park amongst Utah’s Mighty Five. Pack up your camping gear and discover the best campsites inside Bryce Canyon, outside the park, and free alternatives if you’re on a budget! #utah #brycecanyon #camping

 

Campgrounds Outside of Bryce Canyon National Park

 


 

If you cannot secure a spot at one of the campsites in Bryce Canyon, then there are many campsites outside of the park that you can reserve a spot at, or you can check out the next section for free camping options! I am going to go ahead and list them in order from closest to furthest away from Bryce Canyon National Park so that it’s easy to choose one that fits your needs best.

 

Kings Creek Campground

Total Sites | 37

Price | $15

Open Season | May 20 – September 20

Reservations | No. First come first served.

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

The King’s Creek Campground is around 9 miles west of Bryce Canyon National Park making it a great spot for hikers that want to be close to the park. The popularity of this campground has a medium to high volume, depending on the month. Tent sites are non-reservable, but there are two group sites that can be reserved here. The campsite is located in a pine forest next door to the park, so if you’re looking for an alternative option for the North and Sunset campgrounds, this is perfect for you (and cheaper!).


Ruby’s Inn RV Park + Campground

Total Sites | 243

Price | $35

Open Season | Year-round

Reservations | Yes: campers/trailers/RV’s, No: tents

Toilets | Yes

Showers | Yes

Aptly named, “Bryce Canyon’s Doorstep”, Ruby’s Inn is barely a stone’s throw away from the Bryce Canyon visitors center. This is an ideal campground for you if you don’t mind spending a little bit more to have some small camping luxuries like hot showers, a laundromat, wifi, a swimming pool, and you also like to be close to all the action in the park. Tent sites are not reservable, but spots for RV’s, trailers, and campers can be reserved here.


 

Bryce Canyon Pines Campground

Total Sites | 47

Price | $35

Open Season | Year-round

Reservations | Yes

Toilets | Yes

Showers | Yes

Similar to Ruby’s Inn, the Bryce Canyon Pines Campground is another ammenity-rich campsite right outside of Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s around an 8-minute drive to the park, making it ideal for anyone that wants to be near the park for some sunrise hikes. Tent and RV sites are reservable here. This campground comes with hot showers, laundry, and toilets so it’s ideal for those that want small luxuries during their camping trip and don’t mind spending a little extra.

 


Red Canyon Campground

Total Sites | 37

Price | $18

Open Season | May – September

Reservations | No. First come first served.

Toilets | Yes

Showers | Yes

The Red Canyon Campground is around a 15-minute drive to the Bryce Canyon Visitors Center and is a great option for those that don’t mind staying a little bit outside of the park but still want a nice hot shower at the end of their day. Reservations aren’t available so sites are grabbed on a first-come-first-served basis. The popularity of this campsite around a medium level, so it’s going to be a bit quieter than the previous campsites we’ve talked about.

 


 

Basin Campground

Total Sites | 37

Price | $25

Open Season | March 1 – November 31

Reservations | Yes

Toilets | Yes

Showers | Yes

On the eastern side of Bryce Canyon National Park, the Basin Campground is a great option for those wanting to explore Bryce’s lesser-known next-door neighbor, Kodachrome Basin State Park. Standard and full hookup sites can be reserved here. Hot showers, flush toilets, hiking trails, and drinking water make this an ideal stop to rest after exploring Capitol Reef National Park and before you head into Bryce Canyon National Park. The drive to Bryce Canyon from this site is 40-minutes.


Arch Campground

Total Sites | 6

Price | $15

Open Season | Year-round

Reservations | Yes

Toilets | Yes

Showers | Yes (at Basin Campground or Oasis Group Site)

The Arch Campground is another campground located inside the Kodachrome Basin State Park. It’s around a 35-minute drive to Bryce Canyon from this campsite so keep that in mind if you want to do some heavy exploring in Bryce. While this campsite doesn’t have showers, it does have a laundromat if you need to freshen up some of your hiking gear. This a great budget option and also an ideal place to rest while exploring this underrated state park.


 

Bryce View Campground

Total Sites | 11

Price | $15

Open Season | Year-round

Reservations | Yes

Toilets | Yes

Showers | Yes (at Basin Campground or Oasis Group Site)

The Bryce View Campground is another name for the Kodachrome Basin Campground, as you can guess, located inside the State Park. As I mentioned above, campsites in this state park are for hikers that don’t mind around a 30-minute drive into Bryce Canyon. If you don’t want to drive, I recommend chancing a walk-up permit at the North Campground or staying at another campsite near the park.

 


Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to explore this underrated park amongst Utah’s Mighty Five. Pack up your camping gear and discover the best campsites inside Bryce Canyon, outside the park, and free alternatives if you’re on a budget! #utah #brycecanyon #camping

Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to explore this underrated park amongst Utah’s Mighty Five. Pack up your camping gear and discover the best campsites inside Bryce Canyon, outside the park, and free alternatives if you’re on a budget! #utah #brycecanyon #camping

 

Campgrounds Outside of Bryce Canyon National Park (Cont.)

 


 

Pine Lake Campground

Total Sites | 33

Price | $17

Open Season | May 22 – September 30

Reservations | Yes + unreserved walk-up sites

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

 

Pine Lake, a beautiful campground around 40-minutes away from Bryce Canyon National Park is a great place to settle down before venturing into the park. There is a short trail that leads to Pine Lake which is a great spot for canoeing and kayaking! It’s another more budget-friendly option for those that seek that and don’t mind a longer drive to get into Bryce. You can reserve single and group sites here as they are released on a 6-month rolling basis.


Yankee Meadow Campground

Total Sites | 29

Price | $15

Open Season | May – September

Reservations | No. First come first served.

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

 

The Yankee Meadow is located in the Dixie National Forest, about 1.5 hours away from Bryce Canyon National Park. If you don’t mind the longer drive to the park, this is an ideal option if you’re also planning on exploring the Dixie National Forest. The long drive makes it lesser than ideal, but good if you want to get off the beaten path!

 


Panguitch Lake South Campground

Total Sites | 18

Price | $14

Open Season | May 22 – September 19

Reservations | No. Strictly tent camping.

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

 

The Panguitch Lake South Campground is strictly tent camping only inside the Dixie National Forest. This site is around a 50-minute drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. The downside of this is the far drive to Bryce, but the lush green scenery and stillness make it a great spot to avoid crowds. Reservations are unavailable so all sites are on a first-come-first-served basis.


Panguitch Lake North Campground

Total Sites | 50

Price | $19

Open Season | May 22 – September 19

Reservations Available | Yes

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

 

Alternatively to the Panguitch Lake South Campground, the North Campground is also a 50-minute drive from Bryce Canyon, but this campground offers reservations and isn’t exclusive to tent campers. It is a few dollars more expensive and right across the street from the South Campground, so if you want to save a few bucks you can go next door or enjoy the atmosphere here. Reserve your site here.


 

Wide Hollow Campground

Total Sites |

Price | $25

Open Season | Year-round

Reservations | Yes.

Toilets | Yes

Showers | Yes

 

Wide Hollow Campground is a perfect stop if you’re coming from Capitol Reef National Park and plan to explore The Grand Staircase before heading to Bryce Canyon. It’s around an hour away from Bryce Canyon, so it’s not the most ideal for exploring the park and is best used as a “pit stop”. The amenities are plenty and this is a well-loved campsite inside the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. You can reserve your site here.

 


Te-Ah Campground

Total Sites | 41

Price | $17

Open Season | June 4 – September 6

Reservations | Yes

Toilets | Yes

Showers | No

 

Located around an hour and twenty minutes outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, the Te-Ah Campground makes for a quiet and peaceful stay inside the Dixie National Forest. The entire campsite is in the middle of an aspen forest and next door to Navajo Lake, which is perfect for kayaking and canoeing, too! The open season isn’t for very long, but this site is for you if you’re looking for something quiet and don’t mind a longer drive into Bryce Canyon. You can reserve your site here.


 


 

Free Camping Near Bryce Canyon National Park

 


Click here for the full-sized map

If you weren’t able to secure a spot at the campground in or around Bryce Canyon National park, or you didn’t want to pay to camp, there are plenty of areas with free camping near Bryce Canyon. One of the most popular places that travelers choose to wild camp is in the Dixie National Forest next door to the park. You can view a list of dispersed campsites in Dixie National Park here.

There are many additional free camping spots that you can browse with the map at the beginning of this post. The National Park Service for Bryce Canyon has this map as a reference if you want specific areas and locations.

With the popularity of Bryce Canyon, free, dispersed, or wild camping is a solid way to avoid crowds and save money while you explore this stunning national park. If you do choose to wild camp, please respect and keep in mind the dispersed camping guidelines and the seven leave no trace principles.


Things To Keep In Mind Before Choosing Your Wild/Free Campsite

  • What Are The Road Conditions Like?

Oftentimes, the roads to dispersed campsites are not well-maintained. The roads could be washed away from a previous season, only accessible with a 4×4 car, or you may even be required to park then hike into your camp. You can contact a local ranger station to get conditions on the roads for your researched sites before you head out.

  • Are You Okay Without Amenities?

Free or wild camping means zero amenities. No showers, toilets, fire pits, electricity, and everything else. That’s why it is important that you have a bit of backcountry knowledge under your belt so that you know how to make a fire, collect water, and the rules for campsite locations in the wilderness.

  • Are you Prepared?

This goes hand in hand with my previous two questions. Going into the backcountry without a plan can lead to many complications and can get dangerous depending on where you are. A great place to get information about dispersed camping in the nearby National Forests around Bryce Canyon or other areas around the park, contact the backcountry office in Bryce Canyon and they can give you the additional information that will help you make the best decision for you.


Want more resources for finding free camping? Check these out!

iOverlander

Freecampsites.net

Campendium.com

boondocking.org

Allstays.com


Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to explore this underrated park amongst Utah’s Mighty Five. Pack up your camping gear and discover the best campsites inside Bryce Canyon, outside the park, and free alternatives if you’re on a budget! #utah #brycecanyon #camping

 

FAQ’s About Camping In Bryce Canyon National Park

 


 

  • Are Reservations for camping at Bryce Canyon necessary?

If you’re planning on staying at established campsites, especially in high season, I always recommend booking ahead of time. Although a lot of people only spend a single day in Bryce Canyon, many campsites fill up regardless. I am one of those people that do like to plan in advance, but if you like to live on the edge and have flexible plans, there are plenty of dispersed camping sites around Bryce Canyon that would make chancing a walk-up site not as much as a hassle.

However, walking up isn’t uncommon, so don’t feel like a reservation is absolutely necessary, I just like to be prepared.

  • How far in advance should I reserve?

For the summer season, you’ll want to book around 4-6 months in advance. It’s crazy how fast campsites go during the summer, especially inside the park, so book whenever you have solidified your plans.

  • What campsites do you recommend for exploring Bryce Canyon?

I believe that the closer you are to the park, the better. If you like hitting trails early for sunrise and hiking at sunset, the campsites closest, and inside, the park are going to be optimal so that you don’t have to account for transit times. The North and South Campgrounds are both great options for this, just keep in mind that they don’t have showers.

If you want something a little quieter with amenities, I recommend the Bryce Canyon Pines Campground since it offers hot showers and it’s only an eight-minute drive from the park!

If wild or dispersed camping is the name of your game, the options in the Dixie National Forest are great, like the Lava Flat Campground. Alternatively, there is additional camping on the opposite side of the park at the Kodachrome Basin State Park at Rock Springs Bench Campsite.

  • What websites can I use to book these campsites?

The best websites for booking campgrounds near Bryce Canyon National Park are recreation.gov, reserveamerica.com, and any official website for 3-rd party campgrounds outside of State and National Parks.

 


 

What has been the most memorable camping trip that you’ve taken? Share with me in the comments below!

Aaren

 

Did you enjoy this guide to camping in Bryce Canyon? Save it for later on Pinterest!

Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to explore this underrated park amongst Utah’s Mighty Five. Pack up your camping gear and discover the best campsites inside Bryce Canyon, outside the park, and free alternatives if you’re on a budget! #utah #brycecanyon #camping

Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best ways to explore this underrated park amongst Utah’s Mighty Five. Pack up your camping gear and discover the best campsites inside Bryce Canyon, outside the park, and free alternatives if you’re on a budget! #utah #brycecanyon #camping

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