One way in, one way out
There’s only one way to do it. Unless, of course, you’re on horseback or on foot. To get to Bryce Canyon, you have to come in on Route 12 and then turn onto Route 63. And 63 is essentially a dead-end. It’s kind of a long dead-end, since you can drive about 25 miles on it, but a dead-end nonetheless. Even if you drive all the way to Rainbow Point (where you can look out and see the Kaibab Plateau about 100 miles away in Arizona), you’ll discover there’s no place to go from there but back. Back through the park and back past Ruby’s and back to Route 12. Only then can you “escape”.
This image – taken from the middle of the road in front of Ruby’s – looks toward Route 12 (about 3/4 of a mile away). Bryce Canyon NP is a few miles away in the other direction.
Which brings up an interesting point. Like some of the other parks on the Colorado Plateau, Bryce is kind of hidden from view. If you were wandering around the area 150 years ago you’d probably never see it. It’s a bit like the Grand Canyon – you almost have to walk up to the edge to know it’s there. Otherwise everything looks like what you see here. Just a lot of wide open, relatively flat space. It’s not like driving through eastern Colorado and seeing the front range of the Rockies from about 70 miles away. Mountains aren’t very good at playing hide-and-seek. But deep canyons do it pretty well.
One last point: don’t stand in the middle of Route 63 in July, August, or September. At least not while it’s daylight. If you do, you’ll stand a better than even chance of getting yourself run over. In March, it’s pretty safe. Cooler, but safer.