Rainbow Point - Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah - Scenic Vantage Point

Rainbow Point is located at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and is approximately 156 miles from Moab and 217 miles from Salt Lake City. The park is located about four and a half miles south of the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway 63. It is open to visitors 24 hours a day throughout the year.

Bryce Canyon National Park has many canyons forming a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters on the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. Through many years of erosion, colorful Claron limestone has been carved into thousands of spires, fins, arches and mazes called "hoodoos''. Many visitors come here for sight-seeing, hiking, camping, backpacking, photography, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, bird watching and many other activities.

Rainbow Point is at the southern end of the park and is a good place to start a tour of the park, offering visitors a clear view of the Pink Cliffs out of which the Hoodoos have been sculpted. The Pink Cliffs are just one step of what is known as the Grand Staircase, which is a sequence of rock layers. The best vantage point to see the Grand Staircase is from Yovimpa Point, and form here and Rainbow Point visitors can get a real feel for the landscape and the beauty of the area.

This area is the highest elevation of the park at over 9,100 feet and as well as amazing views of the rock formations there is a forest filled with Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir and White Fir. Here visitors may see grouse, woodpeckers, owls as well as a variety of squirrels and chipmunks. At Rainbow Point and in most other places around the park there are Ravens and Steller's Jays too, showing how adaptable some species can be to different kinds of habitat.

The park offers various trails for hikers and cyclists including the Riggs Spring Loop Trail, which is an arduous backcountry trail. It is a seven and a half mile loop between Rainbow and Yovimpa Points that goes down into the canyons below Yovimpa Point. The Under-the-Rim trail stretches 23 miles to the north, eventually returning to the canyon rim at Bryce Point.

Visitors will require a permit for overnight travel in Bryce Canyon's Backcountry, which can be obtained at the Visitor Center located approximately one and a half miles inside the park. Here visitors can view a ten-minute slide program and various exhibits, whilst there are also restrooms and park information at the center, which opens throughout the year apart from Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Opening hours are 8am to 8pm May to September, 8am to 6pm October and April and 8am to 4.30pm November to March.

There are two campgrounds at the park with 218 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis and a limit of 6 people, 3 tents, and 2 vehicles per site. Visitors preferring not to camp can try the Bryce Canyon Lodge, which is located in the park and has 114 rooms including suites, motel rooms and cabins.

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