Planning a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park next year? Here’s what you can expect.

Change is coming to Bryce Canyon in 2022, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah | Photo courtesy of Bryce Canyon National Park, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —Planning to camp in Bryce Canyon National Park next year? The park announced in a recent press release upcoming changes to campground reservations, backcountry permits and dump station fees.

Bryce Canyon, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Bryce Canyon Country website, St. George News

These changes will go into effect by Jan. 1st, 2022 and are designed to improve park operations and visitor experience, the news release states.

Campground reservations

Bryce Canyon has two developed campgrounds: North and Sunset. Historically, North Campground has provided first-come, first-served camping year-round. Sunset Campground has offered reservation-based camping from mid-May through mid-October with first-come, first-served camping for a few weeks before and after the reservation window.

Campground services reviews determined that a greater number of larger RV pull-through sites and better cell phone reception for reservation check-in were available at North Campground.

The Mossy Cave Trail area of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Bryce Canyon National Park, St. George News

These factors drove the decision to put North Campground on a peak-season reservation system and switch Sunset Campground to a first-come, first-served system.

First-come, first-served camping will now be available at Sunset Campground from April 15 to Oct. 31. Only Sunset Campground’s Group Site will remain on a six-month rolling reservation basis from May 20 through Oct. 15.

North Campground will offer first-come, first-served camping from Oct. 2 to May 26, but will transition to reservations from May 27 to Oct. 1. During this window, sites in North Campground will be reservable online on a six-month rolling basis. Reservations for 2022 will first become available on Nov. 27, 2021.

Tent sites remain $20 per night and RV sites $30 per night. Senior and Access Pass holders continue to receive a 50% discount on all campsite reservation fees, including backcountry permit fees.

Backcountry permit fees

Seeking to improve backcountry services, the park sought public comment in August 2021 on a plan to change backcountry camping permit fees from a flat fee of $5 per person to a $15 permit fee plus a $7 per person per day fee. Although comments were generally in favor of the change, respondents expressed concern that higher fees would impact access to backcountry camping experiences.

Undated picture of winter landscape with windows and arches of a hoodoo at Mossy Cave area of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah | Photo by
dpenn, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

In response to these concerns, the park elected to implement a smaller $10 permit fee and a $5 per person fee effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Eighty percent of backcountry fees collected at Bryce Canyon are retained by the park to fund backcountry permit operations and Search and Rescue operations. Backcountry fees also provide for free loans of wildlife-resistant food containers as well as backcountry campsite, signage and trail maintenance.

Dump station fees

Historically, the North Campground dump station has required a $5 use fee for all visitors, regardless of whether they are camping in the park or not. Effective Jan. 1, dump station use will be included as part of the campsite fee for anyone staying in either North or Sunset campgrounds. Those not staying in North or Sunset campgrounds will still be subject to a $5 use fee.

Additional information about camping at Bryce Canyon National Park can be found online or by calling the park’s information line at 435-834-5322.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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