Travelers may have a hard time finding accommodations and campsites from April to October in both Bryce Canyon National Park  and nearby areas. Advance reservations at lodges, motels, and the park campground are a good idea; otherwise, plan to arrive by late morning.
Bryce Canyon Lodge is the only lodge in the park itself, and you’ll generally need to make reservations months in advance to get a room in this historic landmark. (But it doesn’t hurt to ask about vacancies.) Other motels are clustered near the park entrance road, but many do not offer much for the money. The quality of lodgings is somewhat better in Tropic , 11 miles east on Highway 12, and in Panguitch , 25 miles to the northwest.
Both of the park’s two large campgrounds  have some sites available for reservation (877/444-6777, www.recreation.gov , $10 reservation fee, $15). The rest of the sites are first-come, first-served; arrive by noon in the main season for a better chance of finding a spot.
During the winter, it’s easy to find inexpensive accommodations in this area; even rooms at Ruby’s Inn start at about $60. Several motels are clustered on Highway 12, right outside the park boundary. Many of these have seen a lot of use over the years, usually without a lot of attendant upkeep.
Foster’s Motel (1150 Hwy. 12, 435/834-5227 or 800/372-4750, www.fostersmotel.com , $70 and up) has plain-vanilla motel rooms best suited to budget travelers who don’t want to camp and don’t plan to spend a lot of time in their room. It’s four miles west of the park entrance in a small complex with a restaurant and a supermarket.
One of the newer hotels, and a good value for the area, is the Bryce View Lodge (991 S. Hwy. 63, 888/279-2304 or 435/834-5180, www.bryceviewlodge.com , $84 and up), which has rooms in handsome buildings near the park entrance, across the road from Ruby’s Inn. (It’s owned by Ruby’s.)
Six miles west of the park turnoff, Bryce Canyon Pines Motel (Hwy. 12, Milepost 10, 435/834-5441 or 800/892-7923, www.brycecanyonmotel.com , $105 and up) is an older motel with both motel rooms and cottages, a seasonal covered pool, horseback rides, an RV park, and a restaurant open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from early April to late October.
Set among ponderosa pines a short walk from the rim, the Lodge at Bryce Canyon (435/834-8700 or 877/386-4383, http://foreverlodging.com , Apr.-Oct., rooms $130 and up, cabins $175) was built in 1923 by a division of the Union Pacific Railway; a spur line once terminated at the front entrance. The lodge has lots of charm and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also has by far the best location of any Bryce-area accommodation; it’s the only lodging in the park itself.
Accommodations options include suites in the lodge itself, motel-style rooms, and lodgepole pine cabins; all are clean and pleasant, but fairly basic in terms of amenities. The location, however, could not be better.
Activities at the lodge include horseback rides, park tours, evening entertainment, and ranger talks; a gift shop sells souvenirs, while food can be found at both a restaurant and a snack bar. Try to make reservations as far in advance as possible.
The sprawling Best Western Ruby’s Inn (435/834-5341 or 800/468-8660, www.rubysinn.com , $135 and up) offers many year-round services on Highway 63, just north of the park boundary; winter rates are about half of high-season rates. The hotel features an indoor pool and a hot tub and all the bustling activity you could ever want. Kitchenettes and family rooms are also available; pets are allowed.
Ruby’s Inn is more than just a place to stay, however. This is one of the area’s major centers for all manner of recreational outfitters, dining, entertainment, and shopping. Many tour bus groups bed down here.
Although it is kind of a zoo, the quality of the rooms at Ruby’s is generally higher than what you’ll find at other lodgings in the immediate area. If you want something more sumptuous and relaxing, consider staying at a B&B in nearby Tropic .
Another full-service hotel complex with pleasant rooms is the Bryce Canyon Resort (13500 E. Highway 12, 866/834-0043 or 435/834-5351, www.brycecanyonresort.com , $154 and up), with an indoor pool, restaurant, store, and lodging options that include standard motel rooms, suites, and cottages that sleep up to six.