5 Top Bryce Canyon Country Activities
Bryce Canyon would seem like a big enough reason (literally) to visit Garfield, County Utah. But there’s more to the area than that stunning National Park. Opportunities for recreation, culture and family fun abound. Here are five ways to enjoy Bryce Canyon Country.
Year-Round Festivals in Bryce Canyon Country
The towns of Garfield host about two-dozen festivals and special events throughout the year. You can join the fun or just be a spectator at unique events like the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival, Astronomy Festival and Geology Festival. Nearby there is the Escalante Canyons Art Festival and the Pangutich Valley Balloon Rally and invitational Rodeo. Running, biking and other athletic competitions abound, too.
American History in Bryce Canyon Country
A series of small museums and information centers are handy, child-friendly resources for learning about the Native Americans and pioneers who carved out a life for themselves amid the area’s dramatic landscape.
The Anasazi State Park Museum sheds light on the day-to-day life of this native American tribe more than 800 years ago.
Bryce Wildlife Adventure Center offers a colorful natural history museum that explores the area’s geology and wildlife. It also has a herd of rare deer that visitors can feed.
The Escalante Heritage Center is worth visiting for its two large murals wo large murals, painted by artist Lynn Griffin, depicting the descent of wagons down into the canyon during the Hole-in-the-rock expedition. Other exhibits tell more about this piece of pioneer history.
Outdoor Recreation in Bryce Canyon Country
No matter how you like to get outdoors, Garfield has an opportunity for you. Winter brings snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Fall and spring bring opportunities hiking the canyon of course, but also for fishing in nearby Panguitch lake, mountain biking on a range of trails, bird watching around nearby Boulder. Any time of year is a good time to enjoys the area’s clear night skies and to take a lesson in astronomy from a park ranger.
Shopping in Bryce Canyon Country
Few things capture our collective imaginations like the stories of the pioneers, cowboys and native Americans who settled the west. Shopping in Bryce Canyon Country is an abundance of opportunities to take that history home with you. Art galleries, trading posts and craft centers throughout Garfield offer opportunities to bring home items ranging from Navajo rugs and unique ceramics to hand-crafted jewelry and paintings inspired by the local landscape.
Relaxing in Bryce Canyon Country
While the area offers plenty of activity, it’s nice to enjoy some family downtime, too. Try a drive down Scenic Byway 12, which passes through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument as well as part of Bryce Canyon.
Experience a cowboy cookout, treat your family to a meal at the timbered lodge inside Bryce Canyon Park, or sit back and enjoy excellent coffee and baked goods with a sweeping view of Grand Staircase-Escalante at Kiva Koffeehouse.
When you’re finished sight-seeing you might treat yourself to a stay at a local resort or kick back with unique camping experience, complete with swimming, cooking out and sleeping under plenty of stars. There is lodging for every budget and interest.
The next time you visit Bryce Canyon, remember to leave plenty of time to explore the many other rings the area has to offer.
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