Spring getaways on a budget at Bryce Canyon, historic Ruby’s Inn

BRYCE CANYON CITY – Spring break season has arrived, and that has Utah families looking for a unique vacation destination that’s both convenient and affordable.

Historic photo of Ruby's Inn, Bryce Canyon City, Utah, circa 1930 | Photo courtesy of Ruby's Inn, St. George News
Historic photo of Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon City, Utah, circa 1930 | Photo courtesy of Ruby’s Inn, St. George News

One option is to visit some of Utah’s acclaimed national parks — collectively known as “the Mighty Five.” At the top of that list is Bryce Canyon National Park with its towering red rock formations and long list of family friendly attractions.

“People come from all over the world to see Bryce Canyon,” said Lance Syrett, general manager of Ruby’s Inn, which offers the closest lodging to Bryce Canyon. “It’s right here in our own backyard, yet many Utahns have never experienced the wonder of seeing the red rock formations at sunset.”

Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the earth’s largest collections of rock pinnacles, called hoodoos. The thousands of tall rock spires come in varying shapes and crimson hues, filling the giant natural amphitheater with texture and color.

“Some call it a forest of stone,” said Syrett, whose ancestors settled the area nearly 100 years ago. “Photographs can’t even capture what it’s like to see Bryce Canyon with your own eyes.”

Horseback riding is among the activities available at Bryce Canyon National Park and Historic Ruby's Inn, Bryce Canyon City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Ruby's Inn, St. George News
Horseback riding is among the activities available at Bryce Canyon National Park and Historic Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Ruby’s Inn, St. George News

For families wanting to get away without breaking the bank, Bryce Canyon’s per-carload entry fee of just $25 is valid for seven days. Park entrance is completely free the weekend of April 18-19 in celebration of National Park Week.

Families can save even more by taking part in free activities offered inside the park, including ranger-led geology talks, rim walks, full-moon hikes, astronomy presentations and telescope viewings.

Though Bryce Canyon is just a few hours from Salt Lake City and St. George, it’s far enough from the city lights to have one of the darkest skies in North America. On a moonless night, visitors can see thousands of stars light up the sky.

“Our amazing view of the sky can’t be found anywhere else,” Jean Seiler, director of marketing for Ruby’s Inn, said. “You’ll be amazed when you look up and can see thousands of brilliant stars.”

Families can enjoy additional outdoor activities at historic Ruby’s Inn, including ATV tours, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and horse-drawn wagon rides. When it’s time to eat and relax, the resort offers onsite dining, an indoor pool and unique shopping at Old Bryce Town.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give kids a memorable spring break,” Seiler said. “Families will reconnect while exploring the outdoors and unplugging from their busy schedules.”

The entrance fee to the park includes unlimited use of the Bryce Canyon Shuttle. The free shuttle starts and ends at Ruby’s Inn and takes guests to the park’s visitor center and numerous scenic viewpoints.

About Ruby’s Inn

Since 1916, Ruby’s Inn has been making it easy for visitors from around the world to experience the epic scenery of Bryce Canyon National Park. Ruby’s Inn is located at the entrance to the park and offers the closest lodging with everything from luxury hotel rooms to RV parks and campgrounds. Ruby’s Inn is open year-round with a General Store that provides fuel, groceries, camping gear, clothing and gifts. To plan your vacation, visit www.RubysInn.com or call 1-866-866-6616.

Ed. note: Updated March 17, videocast added.


  • For more information on activities inside the park, visit the National Park Service website
  • For more information about activities at Ruby’s Inn, click here
  • For travel discounts, click here or call 866-866-6616.

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1 Comment

  • Billy Madison March 17, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Bryce Canyon is indeed an awesome place to see and a delight to visit. However, there is nothing at Ruby’s Inn that is budget friendly. Every mention in this article of activities at Ruby’s will cost you $$$.

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