Bryce Canyon National Park offers free admission during National Park Week

The large natural amphitheater is full of hoodoos—rare geological formations formed by wind and water erosion. At sunrise and sunset, these hoodoos cast long shadows into the park creating truly stunning scenes, Bryce Canyon National Park, date not given | Photo courtesy of Garfield County, St. George News

GARFIELD COUNTY — As part of this year’s National Park Week and in honor of the National Park Service’s centennial year, Bryce Canyon National Park will offer free admission from April 16-24.

Bryce Canyon National Park is filled with miles of hiking trails, from leisurely strolls to overnight back-country treks and everything in between, Bryce Canyon National Park, Date not given | Photo courtesy of Garfield County, St. George News
Bryce Canyon National Park is filled with miles of hiking trails, from leisurely strolls to overnight back-country treks and everything in between, Bryce Canyon National Park, Date not given | Photo courtesy of Garfield County, St. George News

“National Park Week is a great time to visit Bryce Canyon for anyone who wants a budget friendly vacation or getaway this spring,” Falyn Owens, executive director of Garfield County’s tourism office, said. “This is especially good news for anyone who has never seen the park before and wants to see why it’s such a popular destination.”

Bryce Canyon Country offers a variety of outdoor activities for both thrill-seekers and families looking for a relaxing getaway. Hiking, camping, horseback riding and canyoneering are some of the many ways to enjoy the unique terrain and scenic vistas.

“Visitors won’t want to miss driving along our scenic byways while they’re here for the National Park Week,” Owens said. “National Scenic Byway 12 – Utah’s All-American Road is rated one of the Top 10 drives in America, and Scenic Byway 143 – Utah’s Patchwork Parkway is especially beautiful this time of year.”

The national park is also home to the world’s largest collection of hoodoos — tall rock spires of varying colors and thickness. These rare geological formations are especially picturesque at sunrise and sunset when the bright sun casts shadows through the natural amphitheater.

“Spring is the best time to visit the park as we haven’t hit the busiest season yet, but the weather is ideal,” Owens said. “Our visitors love coming this time of year as prices are generally lower and crowds aren’t nearly as busy.”

As part of its centennial celebrations, the National Park Service has kicked off a multi-regional campaign called “Explore Five More” to help visitors discover other hidden gems just a short distance from larger parks. Five gems around Bryce Canyon include Dixie National Forest, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Anasazi State Park and The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The National Park Service is inviting everyone to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2016. There are 15 more days in 2016 when entrance to any of the national parks is free.

Free park days include

  • April 16 through April 24: National Park Week
  • Aug. 25 through Aug. 28: National Park Service Birthday
  • Sept. 24: National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 11: Veterans Day

About Garfield County

Garfield County is located in Southern Utah and provides access to nearly a dozen national/state parks and forest areas, including Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks. Visitors enjoy epic road trips while exploring Scenic Byways 12 and 143 — highways so spectacular they’ve been recognized by the Federal Highway Administration for their one-of-a-kind features.

The area is only an hour drive to a commercial airport and four hours from either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. To plan your own world-class vacation visit: www.brycecanyoncountry.com or call the Garfield County Tourism Office at 800-444-6689.

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