Bryce Canyon National Park’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive is gorgeous! The scenic overlooks along the road are easy to access and provide stunning views of the different areas of Bryce Canyon. To show you what each vista and overlook looks like, I’ve created a photo guide to help you make the most of your 18-Mile Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park! Keep reading to see photos and learn more about Bryce’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive.
Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive Details & Location
Driving Time: About 26 min one-way (depending upon traffic and stop time) | Distance: 18 miles one-way
Location: The 18-Mile Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park starts just past the Bryce Amphitheater along UT-63. This road takes you on top of the narrow wedge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The altitude ranges from 7,000-9,100 ft., according the National Geographic’s book, Secrets of the National Parks. As all of the main pullouts are along the Eastern side of the road, I recommend driving all the way down to Rainbow Point first and then meandering back up towards the Amphitheater, pulling out along the way. Going south to north will greatly simplify your ability to enter and park at each pullout. Here is a list, with photos, of the scenic overlooks along the 18-Mile Scenic Drive at Bryce Canyon National Park, starting at Rainbow Point.
Rainbow Point Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
We drove to the end of the 18-Mile Scenic Drive first before getting out of our car. When we arrived at Rainbow Point, a large black crow sat staring back at us on top of the sign. Of course, he attracted almost as many onlookers as the overlook itself attracted. Rainbow point has a long walkway as well as restrooms and was just amazing!
Yovimpa Point Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
The Yovimpa Point Overlook is accessible from the Rainbow Point parking lot. Sadly both the Yovimpa Point Overlook and the Bristlecone Trail were closed when we visited Bryce Canyon due to the Riggs and Lonely Fires. That said, I read that this overlook is spectacular and feels like you are on a ship looking out at sea.
Black Birch Canyon Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
The next stop on the 18-Mile Scenic Drive was the Black Birch Canyon Overlook. This overlook was right next to the pullout providing a beautiful yet quick in and out vista. I loved seeing the natural window in the rock cliff in the distance.
Ponderosa Point Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
After visiting the Black Birch Canyon Overlook, we reached Ponderosa Point. The overlook was also right next to the parking area. What I loved about this overlook was the contrast between the green trees, rainbow mountains, and red rock and hoodoos. The patches of white snow also added to the overall beauty of the Ponderosa Point Overlook. If you like hiking, then the Agua Canyon Connecting Trail Trailhead is located at Ponderosa Point.
Agua Canyon Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
I loved the Agua Canyon Overlook. There was a perfect mix of evergreens, towering hoodoos, and rolling hills in the distance. I loved the tall hoodoo right in the middle of the above photograph.
Natural Bridge Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
If you only look at one overlook on the 18-Mile Scenic Drive, then I suggest stopping at the Natural Bridge Overlook. Just a short distance from your car, you can look down and see this beautiful arch! Normally, you would have to hike miles to see something like this. It totally blew me away!
Fairview Point Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
The Fairview Point Overlook has access to two overlooks. Fairview Point and Piracy Point, which is a small hike. Fairview Point has a larger view of mountains and trees. It is quite lovely and worth a stop.
Piracy Point Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
I’m not sure why, but I fell in love with the Piracy Point Overlook. My kids and husband were tired and cold and decided not to make the small hike to this overlook. I, however, was so glad that I did. The colors were magnificent and there was a lot of diversity. From a distance, it almost looked like the Grand Canyon. I loved the lighting, the colors, the rocks, and the trees. Such a beautiful vista!
Swamp Canyon Overlook on Bryce Canyon’s 18-Mile Scenic Drive
The Swamp Canyon Overlook was the last stop on our 18-Mile Scenic Drive before we returned to Bryce Point Road (home to Paria View, Bryce Point, and Inspiration Point). This area of Bryce Canyon probably has the most diverse habitats and natural surroundings. The trailhead for the Swamp Canyon Trail and Sheep Creek Trail is located at this overlook. We actually hiked the 4.5 mile Swamp Canyon Trail, but that’s another story!
Thanks for looking at my photo guide to the 18-Mile Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park. Overall, it was worth it! I hope you get the opportunity to drive this for yourself and visit Bryce Canyon National Park. If not, at least you can see it through my photos! Thanks for reading and sharing my adventures with me!
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