Bryce Canyon National Park is one of nature's wonders, iconic for its miles of red sandstone spires (known as hoodoos), fields of pine and fir trees, spectacular overlooks, and vast variety of wildlife. Truly a wonder to behold, Bryce is one of Utah's Mighty Five National Parks that is chock-full of gorgeous views around every corner. It sits nestled in Utah's back-country, away from big cities and closer to some of the states quaint towns. Bryce Canyon is the perfect place for you and your partner to get married and have an unforgettable experience. Here's how to get started planning your elopement in Bryce Canyon.
You can get to the main entrance of the park easily from Utah's highways. If you're flying in from out of state, you have some options. You can fly into Salt Lake City and follow I-15 south to UT-20, or you can fly into Las Vegas, NV and take I-15 north to UT-20. Either way, it's going to be about a 4-hour drive from each airport, but be prepared for some of Utah's gorgeous scenery along the way!
Once you reach UT-20 from I-15, follow the road east, turn right onto US-89 through the town of Panguitch, take a left onto UT-12, and finally a right onto UT-63 that leads through the town of Bryce and directly into Bryce Canyon National Park. There are plenty of signs along the way that remind you that you're on the right track.
Where to Stay
There are several small towns nearby for lodging options. Bryce is the most convenient and closest town to stay. Ruby's Inn is a popular, historical place that has several options for rooms. They are conveniently located close to the park entrance. They also have a General Store downstairs where you can grab some food and supplies if needed. Bryce Canyon Lodge is another option that is located inside the park. They have rooms with private balconies and options to stay in private cabins. Other areas to look for lodging are the town of Tropic, Cannonville, or Panguitch. All of these places are a quick drive to the park.
Our preference: Sleep under the stars! There are two campgrounds inside the park that are perfect for tents, trailers, and RVs. There are also options for camping outside the park, such as Ruby's Inn that has accommodations for RVs and tents or other campgrounds in the area like Red Canyon. There are places in Utah where you can rent RVs and other camping gear if you don't have your own.
Note: If you plan on camping in the park, the campsites are on a first-come first-serve basis, so be sure to have a backup plan in case all of the sites are full!
There are two approved locations where you can have your ceremony in the park: The Amphitheater Overlook, or the Silent City Overlook. Both locations are at Bryce Canyon's Sunset Point, but offer different, spectacular views. We recommend either a sunset or sunrise ceremony for when the hoodoos begin to glow from the orange light, allowing us to capture some incredible wedding photos! Permits for each location can be obtained by submitting an application to the park's Special Park Uses Coordinator. Applications must be submitted at least two-weeks in advance. Per the park's regulations, each location allows a maximum of 30 people, and is perfect for a magnificent, standing elopement ceremony. Be sure to look over the park's other rules for having a wedding in the park before applying for your permit. More information can be found on their website at https://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm.
Don't forget to bring your marriage license along! You must both appear in a Utah County Clerk's Office to obtain your license no more than 30-days before your wedding ceremony. The State of Utah also requires that your marriage license be signed by your officiant and two witnesses. Your officiant is included in Elope Southern Utah wedding packages in addition to your photographer who can sign as a witness, so only one additional signature is required to make it official! We cover more details about obtaining your marriage license in our Eloping in Utah post.
Things to Do
There are so many ways to experience the park for the perfect wedding day adventure! Bryce Canyon has lots of unique places to see and things to discover, so there's no reason your wedding day can't be full of amazing activities for you, your new spouse, and all of your guests! Here are some of our favorite things to do in Bryce Canyon:
One of our favorite ways to get the best views of the park is to hike! Many of the trails in Bryce Canyon take you down beneath the rim to get up close to the hoodoos and striking, colorful scenery. Our favorite hiking trails are:
Navajo Loop - Takes you into the amphitheater for glorious views of red hoodoos, arches, and other rock formations. You'll pass by notable sights such as Thor's Hammer and Two Bridges. You'll also see the stunning views from Sunset Point and Sunrise Point.
Queen's Garden - This trail is the fastest way to descend into the amphitheater, taking you to the Queen Victoria hoodoo. It can easily be combined with Navajo Loop for a longer trail to see more sights!
Bristlecone Loop - A peaceful hike through the trees with amazing overlooks and plenty of wildlife!
Mossy Cave - A super easy and short hike that leads you along the river to an incredible waterfall. Continuing from there, you'll be led to Mossy Cave, a unique sight for an arid climate!
These are some perfect places for wedding photos, so be sure to bring your elopement photographer along! Contact us for photography package options!
Bryce Canyon has an 18-mile scenic drive with plenty of places to stop for awesome views, and the drive is a must-see. Some of the best places to stop are Bryce Point, Natural Bridge, and Rainbow Point. These are all convenient spots for taking photos, too!
Old Bryce Town Shops
This is a place where you can stop to browse some small shops in old, charming buildings. There's a gift shop, crystal store, and more. There's also an ice cream parlor that is the perfect place to grab a treat! Across the street is Ruby's Inn where you can check out the General Store where they have plenty of food, supplies, and unique gifts. It's a fun place to take old-timey western photos!
Grab your jacket and headlamp, because if you want your mind to be blown, you'll want to see the stars! Bryce Canyon is far away from any big cities, which means the light pollution is practically non-existent, making it one of the best places for stargazing! Head up to one of the overlooks for an unobstructed view of the sparkling sky. In the summer time, you can also see the Milky Way!
Once you've checked out all the must-see attractions, you might consider other unique experiences like horseback riding through the park, ATV tours to lesser-traveled areas of the park, or a helicopter ride over the canyon! The visitor's center and Bryce Canyon Lodge also have events that you can take part in, like stargazing through a telescope, guided hikes at night time, and other fun activities! We also recommend going to the visitor's center to learn about the park's history, features, and wildlife. They have a gift shop where you can pick up your Bryce Canyon souvenirs, too!
Bryce Canyon National Park is an incredible and unique place that is perfect for adventurous, eloping couples!
Looking to elope in Bryce Canyon National Park? We would love to help tell your love story and help you through the process with our elopement packages. Contact us!