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Best Bryce Canyon Camping Options (Including Free Dispersed Campsites)

Plan your next camping trip to Bryce Canyon National Park with our detailed guide to the best free camping, national park campgrounds, and nearby paid campgrounds, plus options for glamping.

Sprinter camper van parked at a dispersed free campsite on Lossee Road near Bryce Canyon National Park

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Between hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, and an abundance of other outdoor recreation activities, there are so many things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park, making it the perfect choice for your next adventure. There are countless trails for people of all levels and abilities to appreciate the beauty of the hoodoos in the park. It is a must-visit destination for national park lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Maybe you are road-tripping around Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks and looking for a spot to camp around Bryce Canyon. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for camping and sleeping under the stars near this park.

This guide includes the best camping within and near Bryce Canyon National Park. I cover official National Park campgrounds, paid campgrounds outside the Park, free and dispersed camping near Bryce Canyon, and glamping accommodations for those looking for a little extra comfort.

Important Reminder: As it goes in all of the destinations we share, please practice good trail etiquette and remember to Leave No Trace. This means packing out all of your garbage (including toilet paper), being respectful to others, and following the established rules.


Best Time of Year to Camp at Bryce Canyon

Each season offers different things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park. The best time of year for camping near Bryce Canyon and visiting the park really depends on the experience you’re looking to have.

Since Bryce Canyon sits at a high elevation of around 8,000 feet, weather conditions can vary in the fall, winter, and spring. If you’re on a big road trip visiting Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks, you’ll likely find that the weather in Bryce Canyon is cooler than the other Parks on your itinerary.

Chart showing the average temperatures and precipitation levels for each month in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels in Bryce Canyon

If you’re looking for comfortable temperatures, dry roads, and greater campsite availability, prime camping season near Bryce Canyon is going to be late spring and early fall.

As you approach late October, prepare for temperatures to start dipping below freezing at night and stay warm with these essential fall camping tips. The coldest and snowiest months of the year are December, January, and February – a beautiful time to visit, but maybe not the best time to camp.

I’d say if you are sleeping inside a camper van or a truck camper, camping in winter is still possible. However, you need to be prepared for muddy, inaccessible roads, and I’d also recommend having the proper recovery gear if you are trying to get off the beaten path.

I wouldn’t recommend tent camping near Bryce Canyon in winter unless you have experience and a desire to camp in the snow. Follow these tips for staying warm while cold-weather camping if you decide to try it.

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    In March and April, spring snowstorms can also occur, but as late spring arrives, it becomes a very nice time of year to camp in this area whether you are sleeping in a tent or a camper. The warmest time of year to camp near Bryce Canyon is between June and September where the highs typically fall in the 70s and 80s, though afternoon thunderstorms are common in July and August.

    Depending on where you camp, it is possible to find shade. Also there are not many bugs or mosquitoes in Bryce Canyon National Park during the summer (or any season), but you can pack insect repellent just to be safe. For a full list of what to bring, check out my Car Camping Packing Checklist.


    Camping In Bryce Canyon National Park

    Bryce Canyon National Park is away from city lights, meaning there are clear skies and ideal stargazing conditions. Depending on the night, you can see quite a bit of the Milky Way. It is a perfect destination to bring your tent or camping rig to experience the area’s natural beauty under the night sky.

    Camping at one of the campgrounds in Bryce Canyon National Park is an excellent way to have a guaranteed campsite close to the hiking trails. This allows you to leave your vehicle parked at your campsite while utilizing the free shuttle system from mid-April to mid-October.

    Red rock hoodoo formations in Bryce Canyon National Park
    Camping inside Bryce Canyon puts you closest to the hoodoos in the park

    There are two campgrounds in the park: North Campground and Sunset Campground. Both campgrounds are open to tent and RV campers and include 100 campsites to pick from.

    If you do not make a reservation in advance and there are available campsites on the date you are visiting, you can reserve a campsite at either campground on a first-come, first-served basis (though these are rare during the busy summer months).

    The fee for both campgrounds covers the use of the RV dump station near North Campground. There is also potable water available for campers near the dump station. The dump station closes for the season when overnight temperatures fall below freezing in the winter, so if you are visiting in winter, make sure to come prepared will all of the drinking water you need.

    Map showing the shuttle stops in Bryce Canyon National Park
    The park shuttle stops at both North Campground (14) and Sunset Campground (7)

    1. North Campground

    • Reservations: reservations required May 19-October 6; First-come, first-served camping from January 1-May 18
    • Number of sites: 100
    • Standard site fee: $30/night
    • Available amenities: Flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, access to dump station with potable water
    • Unavailable amenities: Sewer, water, or electrical hook-ups; showers

    North Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park sits across the street from the Visitor Center near the General Store and Fairyland Loop/Rim Trail. There is a shuttle stop at the Visitor Center to easily get to other trailheads and viewpoints within the park.

    It is about a 10-minute walk from this campground to the General Store, which has coin-operated laundry machines, coin-operated shower facilities, firewood, groceries, and camping supplies. The General Store opens for the season on April 1 and closes at the end of November.

    The campground offers shade and sun within a ponderosa pine forest. To reserve a spot at North Campground, book a spot on the Recreation.gov website.

    • What guests like: Guests like how many of the campsites are in the shade to keep cool during the hot summer months. They also like how they can walk to hiking trails from the campground because they can leave their vehicle parked at the campsite and avoid full parking lots.
    • What guests dislike: Guests dislike how the campground is first-come, first-served from January to May as it adds a layer of stress to the trip. Some guests also say the sites are large but not private since they are so close together.
    An empty campsite at North Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park. It is a dirt site surrounded by pine trees.
    A campsite at North Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park

    2. Sunset Campground

    • Reservations: 14-day reservation window from May 18-October 14; First-come, first-served camping from April 15-May 17 and October 15-October 31.
    • Number of sites: 100
    • Standard site fee: $30/night
    • Available amenities: Flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, access to dump station with potable water
    • Unavailable amenities: Sewer, water, or electrical hook-ups; showers

    Sunset Campground sits near Sunset Point, approximately 1.5 miles south of the Visitor Center. This proximity to Sunset Point makes it convenient to catch a sunset there before heading back to your campsite for a campfire. It is a further walk to Sunset Point from North Campground, and the shuttle only runs until 6:00 p.m. in the spring and fall, which could be too early to catch the sunset (depending on the month).

    For hikes outside of the Bryce Amphitheater, there is also a shuttle stop next to this campground entrance to get around the park. This allows you to leave your vehicle parked at your campsite.

    The views of the ponderosa pine forest and the amenities at Sunset Campground are nearly identical to those offered at North Campground, though it is a bit of a farther haul to the dump station. Sunset Campground is also open a few weeks longer than North Campground during the fall, with the camping season ending on October 31.

    You can reserve a campsite at Sunset Campground on Recreation.gov.

    • What guests like: Guests appreciate how the campground is quiet, beautiful, and clean. They like how there is a separate sink at the campground for washing dishes, hair, and even laundry by hand.
    • What guests dislike: Guests note that some of the RV spaces share an RV pad with another RV, which is not indicated on the reservations. They also dislike how both the tent and RV spots are unlevel and too close to one another.
    The Milky Way with stars and clouds over an orange rock formation at Bryce Canyon National Park at night.
    The dark sky in Bryce Canyon makes it a great place for stargazing near your campsite

    Free Dispersed Camping Near Bryce Canyon

    Although it is nice to have a guaranteed spot for the night along with the amenities of a campground, they can be expensive, especially if you plan on staying for a while. If your trip is spontaneous and you don’t make advanced reservations, you also might find that the campgrounds inside Bryce Canyon National Park are full, leaving dispersed camping as your only option.

    Luckily, there are many options for dispersed camping near Bryce Canyon National Park, particularly on the Dixie National Forest land. If you decide to go this route, you can always pay to use the coin-operated showers, laundry facilities, and dump station inside the park.

    When I’m traveling in my van, I often use apps and recommendations from friends to find these free spots. You can also check out our ultimate guide to finding free campsites to learn the resources available to you while planning your trip.

    Make sure you leave these campsites better than you found them. Also, learn how to poop outside and leave no trace before you head to your campsite.

    Here are five options for dispersed camping near Bryce Canyon:

    1. Closest to the park by the entrance sign (N 37.39332’, W 112.10253’)

    When approaching the park on Bryce Canyon Road, you will see a turn for a gravel road on the right just before the park entrance sign for road 090. It is free national forest land with numbered campsites, fire rings, shade, and cell service.

    When BFT contributor Kaylin visited Bryce Canyon National Park in October 2023, she camped there with her husband for a week. Kaylin thought this area was quiet and clean.

    The road is relatively easy to drive with some bumps and ruts, and it does not require 4×4 or high clearance; however, it could get pretty muddy in the winter and spring. There are spots at the beginning suitable for bigger rigs. Bring leveling blocks as the campsites are uneven.

    A dispersed campsite outside of Bryce Canyon National Park with pine trees. The sky is blue with pink clouds at sunset.
    A sunset view from the top of this dispersed camping area / Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen @katekeepswild

    2. Tropic Reservoir overlook (N 37.35036’, W 112.14832’)

    If you have 4×4, high clearance, and want a spot with epic views, this one is worth checking out. This single spot overlooks Tropic Reservoir and has views of mountains and valleys. There is a fire ring at the site and decent cell service.

    Since this spot is high and exposed, it could be dangerous in high winds or thunderstorms. Depending on your rig’s size, you may want to skip this spot. The road is a narrow track with low-hanging trees and tight turns.

    Tropic Reservoir outside of Bryce Canyon National Park with blue water and pine trees.
    Tropic Reservoir outside of Bryce Canyon

    3. Johns Valley Road (N 37.43540’, W 112.5519’)

    To get to this camping area, drive out of the park through Bryce Canyon City and continue on UT-63 until it becomes Johns Valley Road. These spots are 8.4 miles from the Visitor Center in Dixie National Forest land and include a stone firepit, cell service, and shade. The area is easy to access and does not require 4×4.

    4. Toms Best Spring Road (N 37.43411’, W 112.15147’)

    This dispersed camping area is often the most crowded, depending on the time of year. It is off of UT-12 in the Dixie National Forest land. Although there are crowds, the spots are spread out, level, and easy to find. There is good cell service here, and 4×4 is not required to access the spots.

    5. Losee Canyon Road (N 37.7685’, W 112.3381’)

    Losee Canyon Road offers easy access to Bryce Canyon while also offering proximity to some of the trails in Red Canyon, including Losee Canyon Trail. Although it is a bit further away than Toms Best Spring Road, it is still within 20 minutes of the park. I have stayed at one of the sites here before and appreciated the quietness, cleanliness, and vault toilets at the trailhead.

    Bearfoot Theory founder Kristen Bor in the bed in the back of her Sprinter camper van parked near Bryce Canyon National Park
    Camping off of Losee Canyon Road in my Sprinter Van
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    Paid Campgrounds Near Bryce Canyon National Park

    Although the paid campgrounds near Bryce Canyon tend to be expensive, many of them often have amenities you will not find in the national park campgrounds or at dispersed campsites.

    There are an abundance of campgrounds near Bryce Canyon, but here are a few to highlight:

    1. Ruby’s Inn RV Park & Campground

    In addition to lodging, Ruby’s Inn Campground has 250 campsites for tents and rigs of all sizes. All RV and camper sites have electric and water, or you can pay extra for full hook-ups.

    With activities including shopping, horse rides, and swimming in the campground pool, this is an excellent campground for families camping with kids.

    Amenities include restrooms, shower facilities, dump stations, fire pits, and a laundromat. The free national park shuttle also stops here.

    • What guests like: Guests comment that they appreciate the proximity of Ruby’s Inn to the park entrance. They also like how it is a “one-stop-shop” campground with restaurants and shopping.
    • What guests dislike: Guests wish there were grill grates over the fire pits to make outdoor cooking easier. Some guests say that the spaces are very close to each other and lack privacy.
    The Ruby's Inn logo on the outside of the Ruby's Inn stone building.
    The outside of Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon City

    2. King’s Creek Campground

    If you want a cheaper private campground with fewer amenities, check out Kings Creek Campground. This campground is 12 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park and sits on the west side of Tropic Reservoir.

    It is perfect for visitors who enjoy boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and ATV trails. Amenities include campfire rings, a dump station, flush toilets, grills, lake access, and picnic tables.

    • What guests like: Guests appreciate the friendliness of the camp hosts, campground cleanliness, and grill stations. They also like the proximity of the campground to ATV trails and a lake with boating options.
    • What guests dislike: According to recent reviews, King’s Creek Campground no longer has water for the foreseeable future. Guests also note that the 7-mile washboard road leading to this campground is extremely dusty.

    3. Red Canyon Campground

    Along UT-12, Red Canyon Campground sits within the ponderosa pine and among limestone formations similar to those found in Bryce Canyon National Park.

    This paid national forest campground features 37 campsites with picnic tables and fire pits. It offers convenient access to trails for hiking, mountain biking, and road biking. I have stayed here and appreciated this convenient trail access. It’s right on the Golden Wall Trail Loop, which is an amazing dog-friendly hike in Red Canyon (with very similar landscapes to those in Bryce Canyon).

    Me hiking on the Golden Wall Trail, accessed from the Red Canyon Campground

    There is drinking water, flush and vault toilets, showers, and a dump station. Unlike the other campgrounds mentioned above, this campground does not offer reservations and is only available on a first-come, first-served basis. The campground operates from May 5-October 9. 

    There are no hook-ups available. The campground can accommodate RVs up to 45 feet in length.

    • What guests like: Guests enjoy the friendly hosts, views of the rock formations, and cleanliness of the bathrooms. They also appreciate how the campsites are spread out so they can have more privacy.
    • What guests dislike: Guests dislike how the showers are not complementary and require quarters to use with no change machines nearby. They also dislike how the campground is first-come, first-serve, as this makes it difficult to secure a spot during popular summer months.
    A white camper driving along the highway near Bryce Canyon National Park with red rock formations on both sides.
    An RV driving along the highway near Bryce Canyon National Park

    Best Glamping near Bryce Canyon

    Camping in Bryce Canyon does not necessarily mean roughing it or staying in a traditional campsite. If you want to camp in luxury, consider one of the two glamping options below.

    1. Bryce Glamp and Camp

    How many opportunities do you get to stay in a luxury dome? At Bryce Glamp and Camp, you can stay in a one-of-a-kind escape to admire nature in comfort.

    The domes feature air conditioning and heat, wifi, TV, kitchen with fridge, microwave, coffee maker, electric fireplace, and table. Plus, you get a private bathroom with a walk-in shower along with your own outdoor area with a picnic table, chairs, grill, and gas firepit.

    The facility also features an 18-hole disc golf course, volleyball nets, horseshoes, cornhole, hiking trail, and stargazing pad.

    • What guests like: Guests commented that they appreciate the amenities, communication, and level of service that this business provides. They also note that the beds are comfortable, and the views of the night sky from the domes are remarkable.
    • What guests dislike: The only downside that guests mentioned was staying here during cooler weather. The cold temperatures make it difficult to take full advantage of all of the amenities like volleyball and dis golf, and there is a lot of mud during the winter and spring from snow and rain.
    One of the domes at Bryce Camp and Glamp (Photo credit: Bryce Camp and Glamp)

    2. Under Canvas Bryce Canyon

    If you desire a luxurious tent glamping experience, check out Under Canvas Bryce Canyon. Their tents include king-size beds, an ensuite bathroom, and a private outdoor lounge space. Only 15 minutes from the entrance to Bryce Canyon, it’s convenient to all of the activities in Bryce Canyon.

    Under Canvas offers on-site dining, nightly campfires, and other activities to keep you entertained during your stay.

    • What guests like: Guests enjoy the friendly staff who go out of their way to cater to your needs. They also say the beds are extremely comfortable and tents are beautifully appointed. They also love the food options and the full-bar.
    • What guests dislike: Some guests have commented that the food is not included and is expensive. The menu also doesn’t cater to those with dietary restrictions. Some people complained that the tents got cold overnight.
    Stargazer tent at Under Canvas Bryce Canyon
    Stargazer Tent (Photo: Under Canvas Bryce Canyon)

    Other Bryce Canyon Lodging Options

    If you change your mind about camping or experience bad weather during your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park, there are plenty of options for hotels and lodging. There are hotel chains, locally run options, and cabins.

    Did you know there is even a lodge within the park? The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is an iconic, historic structure. Along with its surrounding motels, it offers 114 rooms including lodge suites, motel rooms, and cabins. It is a short walk from the Bryce Amphitheater and sits along the 5-mile paved shared-use path that runs through the park.

    To maintain the peace and history of The Lodge, there are no in-room TVs, wifi, or air conditioning available to guests. Amenities within the rooms include a coffee maker, hair dryer, mini fridge, and portable fans. There is a gift shop at The Lodge and a dining room open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    The main lodge suites and motel rooms can be reserved from April 1-November 1. The cabins operate from April 30-November 1.

    The Lodge at Bryce Canyon National Park with snow on the ground and green pine trees.
    The Lodge in Bryce Canyon National Park

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    Where do you like to go camping near Bryce Canyon National Park? Did we leave any spots off of this list? Leave a comment below!

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