Check out the Park App's "Tours" section for a guided walkthrough of this "Must See" area.
By far the most iconic section of the park, the Bryce Amphitheater is home to the greatest concentration of irregular rock spires (called "hoodoos") found anywhere on Earth. Viewpoints along the first 3 miles (4.8 km) of the main road provide access to views overlooking this area. This area is referred to as an "amphitheater" as it is a bowl-shaped area shaped by the drainage of seasonal rains and melting snow (not truly a canyon, as those are shaped by flowing rivers).
Views of the Bryce Amphitheater include Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. These views are accessible year-round, and also serve as trailheads for the variety of hikes that descend below and travel along the rim of the Paunsaugunt plateau.
Especially if you're only here for a couple hours, these viewpoints should be your highest priority when seeing the park.
How to see the Views
As this is the most popular area of the park, it's also the first to experience congestion on busy days. Please keep this in mind, especially if you're visiting in warmer months, and consider riding the free shuttle (details below).
Whether you're riding the shuttle or driving yourself, we recommend beginning at Bryce Point--the southernmost and perhaps most famous view into the Bryce Amphitheater.
To reach Bryce Point, travel 1.5 miles (2.4 km) past the Visitor Center along the Main Road, turning left at the sign for Bryce Point. From here it is 2 miles up to the viewpoint.
On your way back down, turn right just before reaching the Main Road to see Inspiration Point. Here you might consider walking up the steep slope to the upper viewpoints, but be especially careful in winter! Those looking for an easier walk might prefer to head north along the rim, keeping an eye out for the steep cliffs in this area.
Head back down from Inspiration Point and return to the Main Road. Turn right to return to the Visitor Center. Your next signed right turn will be for Sunset Point.
Seeing Sunrise Point can be done two ways. One is to simply walk from Sunset Point using the Rim Trail. From Sunset to Sunrise Point it is a flat 0.5 mile (0.8 km) walk one-way, making for the park's easiest 1 mile (1.6 km) walk when you choose to walk to Sunrise Point and back. The other way is to drive, but be aware that it is a 0.2 mile (0.3 km) walk from the Sunrise Parking area. To drive, return to the Main Road from the Sunset Point parking area and turn right. Your next signed right turn will be for the Lodge--turn right here. Continue past the Lodge on your right and the Historic Service Station on your left. Sunrise Point and the General Store will be the right turn just past the Service Station.
Riding the Free Shuttle (mid-April to mid-October)
With the exception of vehicles measuring 20 feet/6 meters or longer, which are restricted from the Bryce Amphitheater during shuttle hours, riding the shuttle is not mandatory. However, by riding our buses you will support our efforts to keep our parking lots from growing any larger, to keep our pure air as clean as possible, and to provide enough room in our little park for everyone to experience the magic of Bryce Canyon.
The Bryce Amphitheater Shuttle runs regularly on 15 minute intervals from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended hours to 8 p.m. in summer, and brings visitors to areas of interest, viewpoints, and trailheads within the Bryce Amphitheater area of the park. The shuttle is free with park admission.
How to use the Shuttle
There is no extra fee to use the shuttle system. Paying your $35 entrance fee to Bryce Canyon entitles you and your vehicle's occupants to unlimited use of the Bryce Canyon Shuttle buses.
Annual Passes waive the entrance fee to not only this park but all other National Park Service Areas and other Federal lands that may have fees, across the entire country. If you do not already have one of these annual passes they can be purchased at the entrance to the park.
If you are not staying overnight inside the park at either the Bryce Canyon Lodge or North or Sunset Campground, we strongly encourage you to leave your vehicle outside the park. Please park and board the shuttle at the Shuttle Station (near Ruby's Inn, on the left side of the road before entering the park) or at Ruby's Campground.
Read more about the Shuttle