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Ruby's Inn, Utah

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Ruby's Inn, just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park
Ruby's Inn, just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, is (was) the only hotel in the area for miles. (A new hotel, a bit more upscale, was being built in 2008).

I found it to be a nice place, with a well stocked grocery store, two huge gift shops, with even a couple of gas stations for your convenience. While the people at check-in were wooden and had no personality, I found many of the retail clerks in the store were more friendly should you want local information.

One revealed that everything around the entrance, the Best Western, the two gas stations, the stores across the street, the restaurants and the new hotel being built were all owned by the Syrett family. (Ruby Syrett was one of the original hosts around the park in the late 1910's, building a hotel and providing guide services around the area before Bryce Canyon was even a park.)

Now, if you check the hotel review sites, you might find there are a lot of disparate reviews, one that condemns the rooms, and ones that don't. This is because hotels, mostly in tourist areas like this, have older units that probably date back decades, and new units, built to handle the larger number of recent tourists. Blame the Travel Channel. Back to Top

If you do your homework, generally you'll find that good reviews are the newer rooms, bad reviews are the older rooms, even though there's probably a price difference between the two.

The newer units (like the one I was in), are modern and spacious. The room I had even had a whirlpool tub and a HD TV (which in 2008 was new tech), right off the pool atrium. Yeah, I was roughing it. For being in the middle of nowhere, it was a five-star room.

There are also older rooms, which are, well, older rooms and generally get middle to terrible reviews. They are in standalone buildings, and it isn't hard to understand that some may be more run down than others. They're cheaper than the Pool Atrium rooms, but that's not reflected in the reviews.

Oh, this place has an attached restaurant that has both table service and a buffet (which can get busy with slow service), and a separate stand alone counter service restaurant that serves things like pizza and sandwiches. Both places have food that I have to rate as mediocre at best, which was a disappointment with all things considered. However, that seems to be one of my constant complaints with just about any National Park I've been at, whether Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Yosemite. But just because you're pretty much a captive audience with no other alternatives, doesn't mean you can't make something that's more than just okay. (And let me get off soapbox I seem to have gotten on...) Back to Top

Ruby's Inn
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Pool Atrium
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Room Interior
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The Old Bryce Town Shops is across the street from the hotel, and is a separate gift shop than the huge one in the hotel. While there are a lot of building faces, it's pretty much one big store on the inside.

The most unique thing about this place, is they have a Trabant on property. It's only one of two I know of in the country...

Old Bryce Town Shops
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In summary, I think Ruby's Inn is a nice place, just get a modern room. It's a natural base camp for Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome Basin, Escalante and driving Utah-12, if you're not travelling to or from I-70. There really is a beauty shop here, should you need some hair work out in the middle of nowhere. Stuff to buy in the gift shops ranges from cheap trinkets to true artwork. You can also arrange horseback rides, and guiding services, just like a hundred years ago...

They need to improve their food, though. Oh, and give the check-in staff a personality.

When I was here in 2008, I did try to get reservations at the Lodge in the Park, but wasn't able to. (I tried for months.) That said, I didn't mind in the least. Bryce isn't really big enough that staying outside the park is an inconvenience, and the amenities were probably better than in the park. I would stay here again. (Which is almost my highest rating. :-) ) Back to Top

Related Links

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon NP Link Bryce Canyon is just magnificent. The park isn't really a canyon, but a series of amphitheaters of sandstone formations, carved by erosions into pillars that look more like sculptures.

It's on my list of must visit parks. Unfortunately, it's also on many other people's list of must visit parks, too. Located a dozen miles from US-89 on Utah-12, it sits on top of the Grand Staircase that descends to the South.

At Utah-12 and Utah-63 / 156 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.

Utah State Route 12
Utah-12 Link Utah State Route 12 (also named as the "Journey Through Time Byway") is my favorite road in America.

The 124 mile road starts at a unnamed junction with US-89 and ends in Torrey, Utah, pretty much connecting Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef National Park. In-between are a couple of those spectacular Utah State Parks, a National Monument and some jaw-dropping landscapes just off the side of the road.
Utah / 67 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.
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Trip Report: Sep 2008.

Return to: State Index Utah State Page Resorts

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