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Stargazing, Ghost Towns & Adventure: Bryce Canyon Country and Beyond

Tonya Prater, Owner

Bryce Canyon and Beyond

Bryce Canyon Country may be best known for the national park, but that natural wonder isn’t the only attraction that will take your breath away in Garfield County. Plan your trip to the park, hike, bike, and explore the 35,000 plus acres, but save a few days to explore beyond the parks borders.

Exploring Bryce Canyon Country beyond the national park.

Here are some ideas for those of you that are looking for adventure off the beaten path.

View the Milky Way Galaxy like nowhere on Earth

In Bryce Canyon Country, you'll find minimal light pollution, stargazers can view the stars and sites of the heavens till their heart’s content.

Located far from city lights, with minimal light pollution, stargazers can view the stars and sites of the heavens till their heart’s content. Tours, presentations, and night hikes are offered throughout the year and the Astronomy Festival held late June to early July is a great way for the novice or seasoned astronomer to see the sky in a new light. The national park offers programs and workshops and telescopes are available.

Explore Forgotten Towns and Scenic Byways

Hole in the Rock in Utah signifies an important historical milestone for the mormons.

History buffs and explorers at heart can venture off the beaten path to explore some of Utah’s ghost towns. Garfield County has several communities that have all but disappeared. Accessible with 2WD vehicles, and abandoned for various reasons, you can drive by farming towns that failed due to the harsh conditions of the high altitude and short growing season, a struggling mining town or the once thriving community of Widtsoe Junction, devastated by drought.

Stop by Escalante Hole in the Rock Heritage Center to learn the historic significance of the Mormon settlers who blazed a trail from the southwestern part of Utah to the southeast. Along the trail, they faced many trials. Large murals illustrate their remarkable and dangerous journey.

The Anasazi Museum State Park features a life-sized six-room replica of a Puebloan Village open for tours. View artifacts that have been excavated from the original site and learn about the Native Americans that first called the area home.

Take Adventure to new Heights

Grand Staircase-Devils Garden2634-A

Get your adrenaline rushing as you hit the rugged trials near the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in a rented 4 x 4 Jeep. If you’re in pretty good shape and don’t mind narrow spaces, explore the slot canyons and more remote corners of the region on a canyoneering tour. Mountain bike trails allow you to visit more isolated areas of the parks, offering unprecedented views of the surrounding landscape. And during the winter, visitors can snowshoe, ice fish or enjoy the 20-miles of snowmobile trails through Dixie National Forest.

The Kodachrome Basin in Bryce Canyon Country is a photographer's dream.

Grab your camera and favorite lenses and practice your shooting skills at Kodachrome Basin State Park, a photographer’s dream. The area was nicknamed Kodachrome, by National Geographic Society photographers in 1948, after the new film produced by the Kodak Company.

Bryce Canyon County has something for everyone and every comfort level. Whether your tastes include an up-close look at the countryside by hiking through the parks and camping on site, or hitting the golf course and relaxing in a luxurious cabin with scenic vista views.  No matter what type of traveler you are, I promise you’ll find what you’re looking for in Bryce Canyon Country. And I promise you won’t want to leave your camera at home.

Visit the Bryce Canyon Country website to plan your visit to this scenic area in Utah. You can also visit Bryce Canyon Country on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and specials.

If you enjoy national parks, make sure you purchase a national parks pass to support the park and save yourself some money when you visit.

You may want to check out these posts too:

24-Hours in Yellowstone National Park

6 of the Best National Parks to Visit in the Fall

National Parks Posters make Great Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

11 Road Trip Tips to Save you Money

Road Trip Along the Sheyenne National Scenic Byway in North Dakota

What would you most like to see or do in Bryce Canyon Country? 

This post is sponsored by Bryce Canyon Country. Images used with permission from Bryce Canyon Country. 

Becca Wilson

Friday 29th of January 2016

Those views are absolutely gorgeous! I would love to be able to see them in person.

Christie @ Raising Whasians

Monday 18th of January 2016

My parents have been here and tell me it's amazing! What incredible pictures, definitely have to visit


Tuesday 26th of January 2016

I was blown away by how beautiful Utah was to visit. It's simply stunning.

Chasing Joy (Arlett) (@Chasing_Joy)

Monday 18th of January 2016

I'm not one for ghost towns. But I'd visit just to see these beautiful views first hand.


Tuesday 26th of January 2016

I love to photograph ghost towns- as long as there are no lingering spirits. :)


Sunday 17th of January 2016

Wow I would be completely in awe of the mountains. The rock formations look amazing. Beautiful pictures.


Sunday 17th of January 2016

This looks like a beautiful vacation spot. I would love to visit Bruce Canyon. Protection Status
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