In 1916, rancher Reuben “Ruby” Syrett moved his family to the southern Utah wilderness. The family, impressed by the red-rock formations in nearby Bryce Canyon, decided to open a “tourist rest” for visitors (the canyon soon would become a national park). Nearly 100 years later, Ruby’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren still run the place, now called Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn, which lies just a couple of miles from the entrance to the park.
Winter activities: cross-country skiing, ice skating, and horse-drawn sleigh rides
Stock up on souvenirs at the general store, which carries southwestern jewelry and pottery and petrified wood.
Bryce Canyon City, Utah: Gateway to Bryce Canyon National Park
The terrain at Bryce Canyon National Park is unlike any other in the world. The canyon is filled with “hoodoos”—limestone, sandstone, and mudstone formations that have eroded over thousands of years into oddly shaped spires. Bryce Canyon City, the closest town to the park’s entrance, acts as a gateway to this unusual landscape.
Thousands of visitors flock to Bryce Canyon each year to hike the trails, take guided horseback or muleback rides into the canyon, or simply drive to scenic lookout points. While most visitors come between May and October, winter is a great time to see the park, as it is often less crowded. Most of Bryce Canyon’s trails and roads stay open all year long. The park even leaves a few of them unplowed in winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
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