Posted by Ric Garrido

Bryce Canyon National Park is on Utah Highway 63, a couple miles off Highway 12 on a 20-mile dead end road running along the top of a plateau at 8,000 to 9,200 feet in elevation. Best Western Ruby’s Inn is in the small town of Bryce Canyon City with two Best Western hotels, gas stations, restaurants and a few stores just after turning onto Highway 63 from Highway 12 and about one mile before the Bryce Canyon National Park entrance.

Bryce Canyon City is more like a company town servicing Bryce Canyon tourists than an independent city. Historically Bryce Canyon was a tourist location near the 1916 family ranch of Reuben (Ruby) C. Scott. A neighbor rancher took Ruby to see the unique geological site a few miles away from his ranch soon after he settled with his family in the area.

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The amphitheater view at Bryce Canyon National Park.

The Syrett family gained permission to build a tourist lodge at the canyon rim in 1919. In 1923, when Bryce Canyon was proclaimed a National Monument, the inn was moved to the family ranch three miles north and renamed Ruby’s Inn. What started out as seasonal tent lodging grew into a major tourist services operation with a lodge and meals.

Today there are two Best Western hotels in Bryce Canyon City near the park entrance. Ruby’s Inn operates the all-day restaurant.

 

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Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn.

Across the street from Ruby’s Inn is the newer Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel tends to be higher priced.

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Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel offers complimentary breakfast, however there is no restaurant at the hotel. Ruby’s Inn, across the street, has restaurant service all day, but no complimentary breakfast.

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Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel.

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Outdoor pool at Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel.

I arrived in early May 2013 during an evening hail storm. I waited out the hail at Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel before driving through two inches of icy slush in the parking lot and over Highway 63 to reach Best Western Ruby’s Inn on the other side of the road.

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Ruby’s Inn seen in distance from Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. Both Best Western hotels, a third hotel, restaurants and campground in the compact Bryce Canyon City all have same owner, Ruby’s Inn, Inc.

Ruby’s Inn was packed with French tourists offloaded from a bus and checking in at the same time as me. I heard so many people speaking French that I felt I was in another country during my visit to Ruby’s Inn and Bryce Canyon National Park the next day.

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Ruby’s Inn King Bed with spa tub.

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Couch in room.

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Desk, TV, microwave and refrigerator.

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Spa tub.

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Basic shower stall in room.

I recall how cold the bathroom tile felt under my feet. I arrived around 7pm with the temperature in the 30s and it stayed around freezing most of the night. I enjoyed the cool air of the high country. The elevation here on the plateau at the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park is close to 8,000 feet.

Ruby’s Inn offers an indoor swimming pool. Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel only has a seasonally open outdoor pool.

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Indoor pool at Ruby’s Inn.

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The public spaces at Ruby’s Inn have a lodge feel. Wifi access was available from this area and there was also a public computer terminal in this hotel area beside the pool.

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Artisan shops and historic photos and crafts line the hallway from reception to the hotel rooms. Walking this hallway is an educational tour with its own merit for visiting the hotel.

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Main lobby at Ruby’s Inn.

The small lobby by reception held family albums explaining the history of Ruby’s Inn and the family ranch over the decades.

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The Syrett Family from Buckinghamshire, England to Utah to Ruby’s Inn, Utah 1606 –2006.

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High speed internet access terminals for a fee in the lobby of Ruby’s Inn accommodate non-registered guests. This can be convenient for visitors in this remote area of Utah before heading into Bryce Canyon.

That same day I stayed at Ruby’s Inn, earlier I purchased my own Verizon HotSpot for wifi access while traveling and I absolutely love the freedom that provides. I have made many of my hotel reservations since while sitting in a restaurant having dinner with my own internet access available at anytime using my laptop. No more outrageous hotel internet fees to worry about with my own hotspot at $50/month.

Ruby’s Inn offers Cowboy’s Buffet and Steak Room for dining. I had some good food from the menu since I knew I did not want to eat enough food for a buffet dinner at around $20. There is also a western dinner show offered in town and a fast food diner next to Ruby’s Inn. Everything in town seems to be under one family business umbrella of tourist services in Bryce Canyon City.

My rate was $95 for Best Western Ruby’s Inn. Rates were about $120 for the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel for that same Tuesday night in May. Rates at the Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge were $175 per night.

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Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge is only a couple hundred yards away from one of the main attractions in the park, the Bryce Point amphitheater with views from the canyon rim to the hoodoos below.

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Bryce Canyon Lodge in the National Park is less than three miles from the two Best Western hotels which are both located about one mile north from Bryce Canyon National Park entrance, outside the park gate.

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Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Links:

Best Western Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon City, Utah.

Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, Bryce Canyon City, Utah.

Bryce View Lodge, Bryce Canyon City, Utah

All three of these hotels are owned by Ruby’s Inn, Inc.

Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon Lodge (inside the National Park). Rates for August arrivals in room with two queen beds are $175.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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4 Responses

  1. Ruby and her family ran the initial tourist services at Bryce Canyon when the area was first opened to tourism.

  2. I have stayed at Ruby Inn quite a few times.

    Through a Utah loophole they were able to create their own city, Bryce Canyon City, which then allowed them to charge taxes.

    http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=6491674&itype=NGPSID&keyword=&qtype=

    Colbert may an issue of it in a show segment.

    Ruby’s Inn also has an RV/tent camping site on the same property. They have a large laundry room that either campers or hotel guest can access. Its a good spot to do laundry.

    The hotel rates are cheaper off season. From mid May-September the hotel rates are much higher—$130-$170/night.

    through BW points its usually a good deal where its 16,000 pts per night. If you apply the Daily Getaway promo point rate of 10,000 pts for $67. this amounts to $107/night rate.

    Cant recall if it was through BW or somewhere else, but I saw another $67 for 10,000 pt special last year in May so I utilized that +6,000 points I had to turn it into a free night.

    Last year there was an annular solar eclipse in May that crossed Zion, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon. i went to Bryce before the eclipse and then saw the eclipse from the South Rim. Bryce Canyon was much more organized about this event. Even without the eclipse, Bryce has regular Star Gazing/Astronomy programs. There will be another annular eclipse in October 2023 that passes over Bryce. this time it will be in the AM so it will be better viewing from the amphitheater. The one in May was near sunset so the only way to view it in Bryce was to hike into the canyon and view it from there.

  3. Thanks for the Ruby’s Inn information. I really enjoyed my day at Bryce Canyon and I certainly want to return. It was cold the day I was there in May 2013 when the temperature was in the 30s. I still need to write up a more comprehensive piece on Bryce Canyon National Park.

  4. The best times to go are early June or end of September. Then the temps are good for hiking where it’s not too hot/ cold. Because its dry even in the summer overnight still gets into the low 40s.

    On another trip I did to follow the near full moon…..I did monument valley, arches ( delicate arch) and Bryce. Those 3 nights you had the moon rise near sunset or just after sunset. This was in late may…week before memorial day. While I was in Arizona at Bryce it got cold and they got about 3 inches of snow overnight. That’s actually great to get because snow is on the rocks but the roads are just wet.

    In terms of alternate lodging options near there there snt much. In tropic their are a few BnB and some non chain hotels. On the other side is pangultch which has iIIRC a choice, a BWI, and a few other motels.

    A good base camp to use for those that want to just stay at one hotel is to use Kanab then you can do Bryce, cedar breaks, Zion, north rim, and page.

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