Jim’s Accessibility Comments:
We drove here from Phoenix after first visiting Zion National Park. Bryce is located in southern Utah, about a 9 hours drive from Phoenix, and 1½ hours from Zion.
Bryce Canyon National Park has 4 main lookout points but if you’re traveling in a wheelchair – stop at Sunset Point, park your vehicle and take the hard surface trail between Sunset Point and Sunrise Point. It’s a moderate grade to Sunset Point from the parking lot but very doable.
Most park facilities were constructed between 1930 and 1960 and only some have been upgraded for wheelchair accessibility. It’s still old and rustic. And because of the park’s natural terrain, only the ½ mile section of the Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points is wheelchair accessible.
The views up here at over 8,000 feet are really breath taking and you’ll see many of the canyon Hoodoos. At Bryce you’re actually looking down into the canyon versus Zion where you’re looking up into the canyon. At Sunset Point there is plenty of accessible parking and an old but wheelchair accessible public restroom.
If you visit the Visitors Center, there are 2 moderately sloping ramps that lead into the Center. The auditorium is wheelchair accessible and the restrooms have accessible stalls.
Regarding hotels, we stayed at the Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, which is a huge property, relatively new with 180 total rooms, 8 wheelchair accessible rooms and 4 roll-in showers. The only room available for us was the accessible suite, which was really spacious, the bathroom as well, and I’d highly recommend this property although the suite was a bit expensive. The property is set back about ¼ mile or more from the town so I drove to a dinner restaurant while my wife walked it. As a side note, don’t confuse this Best Western Grand Hotel property with the Best Western Plus Ruby Inn which is located across the street. The Ruby Inn property is much older. That’s where we ate dinner– not my favorite.
If you’re considering the Bryce Canyon Lodge, I was told the Sunrise unit was designed to be wheelchair accessible. But the entire lodge, a somewhat steep ramp into the lodge and nearby cabins were small, old and didn’t look too appealing or accessible. I would not recommend this. And the other Bryce motels located outside the park looked really old with questionable accessibility. The Best Western Bryce Grand Hotel is clearly the best option here.
Regarding the town of Bryce, well it’s really old, a bit desolate and is not worth the time to explore.
Overall Bryce Canyon offers spectacular natural wonder viewing and is a must see if you’re traveling this part of the country, but 2-4 hours is plenty of time if you’re traveling in a wheelchair. Able bodied persons can hike into the deep canyons, but wheelchair travelers are limited to the main look-out points and short stretch of trail.