Gluten-Free Bryce Canyon National Park

This week, I'm sharing some of my favorite trips to National Parks and Monuments. Plus, I'm eating gluten-free all the way, so you get to see firsthand how easy (or hard) it is to travel gluten-free!

How do you describe Bryce Canyon National Park? In a word, "hoodoos." That's the name for the spires formed by erosion that fill the park.

The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, making it well-worth the trip. When we went, I had just fallen and badly bruised my foot, making walking difficult at best. I was so disappointed because I was looking forward to a good long hike at Bryce. Instead, we took a scenic drive of all the park's overlooks.

We went all the way up the main road of the park, then stopped at every overlook on the way down. That was the best way to do it too, for two reasons: that way all the overlooks were on the right side of the road, and the views got progressively better as we went on.

There's a good range of hikes available at Bryce Canyon, but all the panoramas and sweeping vistas are visible from overlooks just a short distance from the parking lots. Some hikes are just a mile or two, while others could take you all week. Whether you're going to be gone for half an hour or half a week, always take enough water, and be sure to check with the park rangers regarding current park conditions.

To my surprise, Bryce Canyon is home to quite a few arches. Natural Bridge is the most famous one, but we spotted numerous arches throughout our visit there.

Gluten-free? At first glance, Bryce Canyon might seem like a treacherous place to dine gluten-free. A web search doesn't turn up much. But if you ask around, you might just be surprised.  For us, it was a last minute trip, so I hadn't done my usual research.

If you want to bring your own food, there are a few grocery stores around. Your best bet is to go to a grocery store in Panguitch - the closer you get to the park, the pricier things get. Ruby's has quite a selection of food, but the prices are sky-high. We brought in most of our food, but we were only traveling from Salt Lake City, and were able to pack lots of stuff in the car.

Our first restaurant stop was the Cowboy's Smokehouse Cafe in Panguitch. It didn't look like much, but the wait staff did know exactly what gluten is, and were very helpful. The food wasn't that great, but it was gluten-free.

The next day for lunch, we ate at the restaurant in the Bryce Canyon visitor's center. Although the menu mentioned gluten-free options, there was no gluten-free menu, and our waiter didn't seem very well educated. We had to ask a ton of questions, and the waiter started avoiding us after the third round of questions. We had to go ask other servers, who then went back to ask the kitchen. The food was good, but proceed with caution.

The real surprise was right there at our hotel. Sonny Boy's BBQ offers great barbecue, live music, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. It was so good, we got some more for the next day.

Don't let the fear of not being able to eat gluten-free at Bryce Canyon stop you from visiting. You might have to ask a few more questions, and do a bit more digging, but the experience is well worth it!

Have you ever visited Bryce Canyon? I'd love to hear about it!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I'm almost speechless. These photographs are truly breathtaking. I can only imagine what it would be like to see it for real.

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