Bryce Canyon National Park-Day 2

We stayed at an Airbnb in Brian Head between our days at Bryce Canyon. It was kind of far away, but we really enjoyed getting to see a part of Cedar Breaks National Monument as well as explore a little ski town. Plus our Airbnb had an indoor pool and a full kitchen. We like renting condos and small homes so that we can save money by bringing and cooking our own food.

For day two, we’d decided to hike the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop. This is a longer but much more scenic hike than what we did on day one.


Where: Bryce Canyon, beginning from Sunset Point OR Sunrise Point (we started at Sunrise Point which apparently isn’t recommended)

Grown-up difficulty: easy-moderate

Five year old difficulty: moderate

Length: 2.5-3 miles

To see: hoodoos, evergreens, Thor’s Hammer, caves, birds

Busyness: moderately busy

Alltrails link:

NPS link:


As mentioned above, we started from Sunset Point which I didn’t realize the NPS doesn’t recommend. We hiked down a few switchbacks into the canyon floor where we were surrounded by hoodoos and caves and firs. It was very exciting to get to be so close to the scenery we’d seen distantly the day before. My anxiety was much calmer this day, as there were just a few cliffs-mostly safe hiking. The kids were able to run a bit and let out energy. We spotted a Stellar’s Jay (able to identify thanks to these again!) that followed us around for awhile.

The kids loved finding caves to hide in. It was a tad chilly in addition to the natural shade, so base layers and fleece were necessary. Check out my posts on cold weather gear if you need help figuring out what will keep you and your kids warm. The Queen’s Garden was structurally interesting, and we loved hiking through some windows in the wall.

The last portion was hard on all of us. Our 2 year old was napping in the KP on my back, and hiking up all of the switchbacks was kind of miserable. But we did it! And it was totally worth it.


Faves: being IN the canyon, surrounded by the red hoodoos and the bright green evergreens

Gear: base layers for all, hiking boots if you have weak ankles like me, day packs with water and snacks, Pocket Naturalist Guides to entertain the kids (and distract them from being tired), hats, fleece jackets

Bryce Canyon National Park-Day 1

One of the biggest reasons I don’t want to leave Utah is the accessibility to so many national parks. We took the kids to Bryce Canyon in November and had a blast. The first day we hiked from Sunset to Sunrise point, and the second day we hiked Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden together. Each day was a total of 2-3.5 miles.


Where: Bryce Canyon, beginning from Sunset Point

Grown-up difficulty: easy

Five year old difficulty: easy (but watch out near the cliffs!)

To see: hoodoos, evergreens, twisty trees, red rocks and blue skies

Busyness: depends on time of year. Not busy in November.

I can’t find a good Alltrails for this hike, but here’s a NPS link.

5 year old


We drove straight to Bryce from our home in Utah County. We went right to Sunset point and had lunch. I’d packed sandwiches and fruit before leaving and after several hours in the car, the kids were ready to get out. I love having a larger cooler with a strap (we use one similar to this all the time, but I dream of one of the YETI coolers!), and these Ziploc lunch containers. We ate close to the parking lot, cleaned up and changed the baby’s diaper, and went on our hike. It was so windy and my hat blew off, past the fence.

The trail was mostly good, but I have anxiety and there were a few points (right at the beginning, and close to Sunrise point) where I was freaking out a bit. I walked in front and put my husband in charge of the 5 year old so that I wouldn’t compulsively yell at them. We loved looking at the hoodoos, the green trees poking out around them, and the naturally occurring windows through some rocks.

We talked about the different foliage around, the varied landscape, how water is such a driving force behind land formations. It was cold enough that the deciduous trees had all lost their leaves, and we got to examine the various evergreens around. One of our favorite things to bring on adventures are these Pocket Naturalist Guides. The wildlife one is probably our favorite, but we love the tree & wildflower and bird ones too.

As always, the two year old took a nap in the Kinderpack. It has the best sleepy dust.

We needed some good baselayers for this, and good hiking shoes. Need winter gear help? Check out my posts on Adult Gear and Kids Gear.


Faves: the contrast of the hoodoos and sky, being able to see for miles.

Gear: I appreciated my hiking boots. We used the KP as always, daypacks for snacks, warm clothes for late fall.

What’s your favorite national park? Mine isn’t Bryce, but it was fun.