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Plan Your Trip: Bryce Canyon National Park Turns 100

Celebrating a Century of Natural Wonders, Preservation, and Exploration

June 8th, 2023 marks the centennial celebration of Bryce Canyon National Park. Over the past 100 years, things have definitely changed, and the number of visitors to this park is one of those things. Thousands of visitors flocked to Bryce Canyon in 1923; that number surpassed two million visitors by 2022.

With descriptive phrases such as a cave without a ceiling, red rocks standing like men, and nature’s most delicate jewel, the Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is definitely one of wonder. The park is filled with ponderosa forests and limestone hoodoos. And nightly pitch-black dark skies have been viewed by citizens around the world.

 The 100th year will be a year of celebration, according to superintendent Jim Ireland.

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Bryce Canyon’s centennial year is an opportunity to celebrate not only the rich past but also the present and future of this national park. 2023 will be a year of celebration, and yet we also want it to be a year of connection between the park and its local communities, affiliated tribes, partners, visitors, and staff.

Superintendent Jim Ireland

The National Parks Traveler website has listed several activities planned throughout 2023. The geology festival has been scheduled for July 14-15, the Bryce Canyon Heritage Days Festival will take place from September 28-30, and May 12th will mark Utah Prairie Dog Day, which is also expected to be an exciting event. Another interesting, planned day is the Utah Prairie Dog Day on May 12th.

Ways to Explore Bryce Canyon National Park

Explore the wonder and beauty of this national park any day of the week and explore all the components. Take a scenic drive to see the Bryce Amphitheater. The first three miles of the drive provide unobstructed views of the largest group of ‘hoodoos’ on Earth. Rock spires, known as hoodoos, have irregular shapes.

For a longer drive, take the southern scenic drive. This is the main park road, and it stretches for 18 miles. Throughout this section, there are nine scenic overlooks that display more beauty of the Bryce Canyon.

Bike paths, day hiking trails, horseback riding, and the visitor center museum are all possibilities for enjoying the national park.

Humble Beginnings of Bryce Canyon National Park

The onset of popularity during the early days of Bryce can be partially credited to the positive word of mouth shared by a rancher named Reuben C. (Ruby) Syrett in 1916.

Six weeks after we settled at the ranch, Claude Sudweeks, a rancher from Tropic, stopped by for a neighborly chat. He asked us if we had seen Bryce. I said ‘No, what is it?’ Claude replied, “Oh, just a hole in the ground, but you should see it.’ What a surprise the hole turned out to be! We thought everyone should see it, so from that time on we took our friends there, and we told everyone we met about Bryce. 

Ruby Syrett

The Syrett family was not only advocates for the location, but they actually become hosts. In 1919, Ruby and his family obtained the state’s permission to build a lodge near the brink of the canyon; Tourist Rest was open for travelers to stay on the property for four years.

By 1923, the canyon became a national monument, causing Ruby to move the Tourist Rest to his ranch. With a new location came a new name, Ruby’s Inn. As more visitors flocked to Bryce Canyon, the government upgraded the national monument to a national park. Ruby’s Inn upgraded as well, growing into a successful business.

Over the past 100 years, Ruby’s Inn has transformed from tent houses and a place for meals, to today’s modern facilities that provide everything a traveling family will need. Ruby’s hospitality has been passed down through generations to his son Carl. He has furthered the tradition by passing it on to his children and grandchildren. They continue to offer the same quality service and hospitality as Ruby did, keeping the legacy alive for four generations!

Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground Today

van parked in campsite at Ruby’s Inn RV Park just outside Bryce Canyon National Park
Photo courtesy of Joe 007 via RV LIFE Campgrounds

Many RVers camp at Ruby’s Inn RV Park and campground and have provided some high-praising reviews of the location. According to RV Life Campgrounds, the campground has a solid 4/5 star review, based on over 450 reviews.  

Today’s guests staying at the pet-friendly Ruby’s Inn are appreciative of the oversized campsites. They can also take advantage of the shuttle to the park and the country music dinner show.  Other amenities include a pool, restrooms with showers, and pull-thru sites. Campers have direct access to off-roading trails and nearby destinations such as Red Canyon, Escalante, and Zion. And the sunrises that give a pleasant glow to the rock formations are a great start to every day!

For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. RV LIFE Campgrounds is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.

Been to a campground lately? Don’t forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.
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