Your Safety

Team of Search and Rescue members pushes a cart down red rock switchbacks
A Preventative Search and Rescue Team descends the Navajo Loop to assist a visitor

NPS/Peter Densmore


Top 10 Causes of Injuries at Bryce Canyon

#10 Unsafe Driving

  • Speeding (posted limits are 15 to 45 mph).
  • Failure to wear seat belts.
  • Passing on a double yellow line.
  • Auto vs. animal. Watch for Wildlife!
  • Stop in pullouts, never in road.
  • Reduce speed on wet or icy roads.

#9 Climbing / Sliding Down Cliffs

The rock at Bryce forms crumbly cliffs and steep gravely slopes. Hand and toe holds support nothing heavier than chipmunks. Climbing the rocks and sliding on the slopes is not only illegal but also dangerous.

#8 Feeding Wildlife

Fed animals become aggressive. Even small animals can inflict bites requiring stitches and worse yet transmit disease. Watch wildlife from a distance and discourage animals that approach you.

#7 Ignoring Extreme Weather

At Bryce, it is possible for the difference between the daily high and low to be as much as 50° F / 27° C!

#6 Rumble, Rumble....BOOM!

Lightning is a year-round danger –especially during summer storms! If you can hear thunder, lightning is within 10 miles (16 km) and you need to seek the shelter of a building or your vehicle immediately. Read more about lightning safety.

#5 Dehydration

Drink 1 quart / liter every 1-2 hours. A well hydrated body is better able to regulate body temperature and is more resistant to heat exhaustion. Sunburns also lead to dehydration. Wear a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect from the sun overhead and reflected UV light. Hydration Stations to fill your water bottles are found in several locations in the park. Check for locations on the map in the park newspaper.

#4 Leaving the Trail

Stay on designated trails and away from cliff edges where footing can be tricky. Even on seemingly gentle slopes, it can be impossible to keep your footing. Bring your park map to avoid getting lost.

#3 Over-Exertion

Park elevations reach 9115 ft (2778 m) subjecting you to 70% of the oxygen you might be used to. Bryce's trails start at the top which means all returns will be uphill. Turn back before you become tired. Know and respect your own physical limitations.

#2, & #1 Bad Choice of Footwear

Wear hiking boots with good ankle support and "lug" traction. Sport-sandals &"trainers" are not safe hiking footwear. In winter, traction devices are strongly recommended for all areas of the park. Wearing shoes or boots not designed for hiking is the number one cause of rescues and injuries that require hospital visits at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Search and Rescue Team members in the bottom of a red rock canyon
Preventative Search and Rescue Team prepares to move injured visitor

NPS/Peter Densmore

Last updated: January 1, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764


435 834-5322
Phones are answered and messages returned as soon as possible as staffing allows.

Contact Us