Ruben Syrett was first and foremost a cowboy. When he bought a ranch near what is now Bryce Canyon National Park, he had no plans of becoming a conservationist and hotelier, but when he first set eyes on the inspiring orange, white and pink hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, he was moved.
In 1916, Syrett, who went by the nickname “Ruby,” opened what is now Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon City, Utah. He invited friends and family from afar to experience the area’s beauty. Syrett wrote to Congress, petitioning the government to protect Bryce Canyon from development. His efforts, in part, influenced the newly formed National Park Service to turn Bryce Canyon into first a national monument, and then a national park.
What started as a 20-room lodge is now the gateway to the park including three hotels, multiple restaurants, a general store and more than 300 campsites. The Ruby’s Inn complex is still owned and managed by the Syrett family four generations later. The property is still committed to the park’s preservation. By participating in the Dollar Check-Off program, guests can donate $1 for each night of their stay to the Bryce Canyon National History Association, which helps fund the park.
Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn
(866) 866-6616, www.rubysinn.com
Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand
(866) 866-6634, brycecanyongrand.com
Bryce View Lodge at Bryce Canyon
(435) 834-5180, www.bryceviewlodge.com
Ruby's RV Park & Campground
(866) 878-9373, www.brycecanyoncampgrounds.com
You can experience the hotel’s cowboy roots today by taking a horseback tour along the canyon rim or down into the canyon or attending a Ebenezer's Barn and Grill Country Music dinner show held nightly April 20 – Oct. 20.
Winter at Bryce Canyon
The secret’s out – winter might just be the best season to experience Bryce Canyon country.
Ruby’s Inn is the perfect place to base your winter Bryce Canyon adventure. Many groomed cross-country ski trails originate from the lodge, and there are several snowshoe trails that allow you to get down into the canyon. You can even take a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Plus, if you stay here in the off-season, you avoid the crowds and can take advantage of off-season room rates.
"If you're flexible with your dates, you can have a quality national park experience for a lot less money," says Lance Syrett, general manager of Ruby’s Inn, noting your rate could drop from $250 peak rate to an off-season $90.
Travel Time from Bryce Canyon City to National Parks
Bryce Canyon National Park - 2 minutes
Zion National Park - 1.5 hours
Grand Canyon North Rim - 3 hours