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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

With five national parks, Utah is one of the most beautiful states in the country.  With the Grand Canyon to the south and Yosemite to the north, Utah is the perfect place to bridge the two. A few days at Bryce Canyon National Park is a probably one of the most family friendly of the parks.

There are several nearby lodging options, but Ruby’s Inn is the closest to the park and over 100 years old. There is a lot of activity around the Inn for a vacationing family. They offer horseback riding, ATV rides (minimum age of 7 to ride with an adult), helicopter tours, rodeos, and more. In addition to the hotel Ruby’s offers camping, an RV park, and an indoor pool. You will definitely want to take advantage of a night sleeping in one of their tepees!

For more upscale accommodations the Best Western is one of the nicest Best Western’s I have ever seen.  They provide a shuttle to Bryce Canyon, about a mile away. Unfortunately I haven’t personally stayed there, but it looks really nice.

rubys-bullriderYou can also visit the Old Bryce Town. The most well-known cowboys in our nation’s history like Butch Cassidy, Billy the Kid, and the Rough Riders all set up camp within Utah’s borders and many of these old western buildings are still standing. Even with all that, the main reason to go to Bryce Canyon is to hike, and that’s not always easy with kids. There are trails ranging from easy to strenuous. Bristlecone Loop Trail and Mossy Cave Trail are both easy and only about a mile round trip.

Ranger programs are a lot of fun and educational, including astronomy presentations in which you can appreciate the beauty of the open skies through high powered telescopes.

old townFor a fun evening dinner show, check out Ebenezers Barn and Grill, which is on the Ruby Inn property. The food is decent (but $35 a person). The music consists of a fun group of crowd pleasing performers. If you want to go to a show you’ll need to buy tickets well in advance. It’s a popular dinner show mainly because it’s the only night life around and restaurants are slim pickings as well.

With so much to do and see you will want to plan ahead. Before you go make a list of activities you would like to do and then make sure you make reservations, etc. in advance. Your agenda will go a lot better with planning as some activities like the rodeo, horseback riding, and even the Junior Ranger program can fill up. This is the kind of vacation you want to leave all the iPads at home and just be together enjoying the beauty of our world.