Rainbow and Yovimpa Points
These adjacent overlooks at the park’s southern end offer fantastic views back over Bryce Canyon’s rock formations. From here at 9,100 feet in elevation, you can clearly see most of the geological Grand Staircase rock layers, from the uppermost Pink Cliffs to the red Vermilion Cliffs. Visit both points to get the complete view; hikers can also explore the 7.5-mile Riggs Spring Loop Trail, which connects the two.
See one of Bryce Canyon’s rock arches at this viewpoint. Erosion of the Claron Formation rock from ice, rain, and gravity sculpted Natural Bridge, a deep red arch in the southern end of the park.
From this overlook, you’ll see many of the park’s most famous rock formations and even out to the Kaibab Plateau (where the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is located). From north to south you can see: the Aquarius Plateau (Pink Cliffs), the Kaiparowits Plateau (Grey Cliffs), Molly’s Nipple (White Cliffs), and even glimpses of the Kaibab Plateau on which lies the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Enjoy views of hoodoos, fins, and caps and pick out the different layers of the Grand Staircase.
Looking for a stunning sunset photo op? Head to this overlook in the north part of the park, one of the few places where the rock formations face west to catch the evening light. You’ll also see slot canyons below and, if you’re lucky, peregrine falcons in the sky.
This is the place to savor views over the park’s amphitheater, especially at sunrise, where the hoodoos are positioned to catch morning light. The Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail descends from this point. Are you a hard-core backpacker? The Under-the-Rim 23-mile backcountry trail extends from Bryce Point in the park’s northern end to Rainbow Point on the southern, passing hoodoos, boulderfields, creeks, and scenic ridgelines. Dayhikers can sample portions of the trail, but hiking the whole thing requires three to four days and a backcountry permit.
Sunrise and Sunset Points
Sunrise Point, near the park visitor center, offers views of well-known formations such as the Silent City and Thor’s Hammer. The Claron Formation colors are vivid here, and the Navajo Loop Trail leads to 700-year-old Douglas firs and up to Sunrise Point. At Sunrise, you’ll see Boat Mesa and Sinking Ship, plus a limber pine with exposed roots.
Hike the 1.1-mile Sunrise Point to Sunset Point Trail. Have fido along on vacation? This is one of the few pet-friendly national park trails, but you must keep your pet on a leash.