Bryce Canyon Hiking
You'll find that Bryce Canyon National Park is filled with endless miles of hiking trails, ranging from pleasant walks to strenuous back-country hikes - and everything in between. In Bryce Canyon there’s a hiking trail to suit the experience or energy level of just about anyone.
Most Popular Trails
The Rim Trail (4.7-miles) connects to some of the more popular viewpoints in Bryce Canyon, including Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, Bryce Point, and Inspiration Point. You can walk along all or part of this fairly easy trail, which has an elevation gain of just 200 feet and offers spectacular views of Bryce Amphitheater. The segment between Sunset and Sunrise Points is even paved for stroller and wheelchair accessibility.
The best perspective, is obtained by hiking into Bryce Amphitheater via the Navajo Loop Trail from Sunset Point. Most trails like this offer a fairly easy descent but you'll find this to be a strenuous 2.2-mile loop as you ascend up the 521 feet from the floor of the amphitheater. Remember that you are at elevations near 8,000 feet and the air is much thinner than at sea-level, so plan accordingly. The Navajo Loop trail winds through a section called Wall Street, which is a steep-walled narrow collection of hoodoo formations, accompanied by large collections of Douglas fir trees.
From the Navajo Loop you have the option of going back up the trail or connecting to the Queen’s Garden Trail. This 1.5-mile trail meanders through floor of the amphitheater through the magical section called Queen’s Garden and past unique rock formations that look something like Queen Victoria (the trail’s namesake), or other formations with names such as Gulliver’s Castle and the Queen’s Castle. The Queen’s Garden Trail returns to the canyon rim at Sunrise Point, with a return elevation gain of 320 feet. In combination with Navajo Loop, this total hike is just three miles long but will likely take about two to three hours as you take time for photographs and a gradual ascent back to the rim.
A particularly beautiful trail is Fairyland Loop which begins outside the main area of the park at Fairyland Point. This is a lesser visited overlook and one very much worth the visit. The Fairyland Loop trail descends approximately 1,000 feet and can be used to connect to other trails in the park. This trail brings up close and personal views of the remarkable limestone hoodoos. Fairyland Loop is a lengthy 8.2 miles that ventures through Fairyland and Campbell amphitheaters and circles around the formation called Boat Mesa. The highest point in the park at 9,115 feet is Rainbow Point located at the southern end of the park. From Rainbow Point, you can take a stroll on the one-mile Bristlecone Loop Trail to see some of the most expansive views of the park and beyond. Don't miss the opportunity to travel on a spur trail that leads to views of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument at Yovimpa Point. It is here that you find a good size stand of Bristlecone pines which can live up to 1,000 years.
Backcountry Trails & Permits
Two of Bryce Canyon National Park’s back-country trails begin at the southwestern end of the park. At Rainbow Point, you'll find the Under the Rim Trail which is a lengthy 23-mile trail that will take you through Bryce Canyon’s rugged backcountry and conclude at Bryce Point. Stop at the visitor center to acquire a mandatory back-country permit so you can camp overnight on this trail in one of the eight designated campgrounds. Use the same process if you wish to experience the Riggs Springs Loop Trail which begins at Yovimpa Point. This hiking trail swings through an ancient bristlecone forest and aspen grove, while offering dynamic views. There is a spring on this trail but, for drinking safety, all water should be treated. Please note that open campfires are not permitted in the back-country of Bryce Canyon.
Horseback & Hiking Trails
Equestrians and hikers can both enjoy the Peekaboo Loop trail. This 5.5-mile trail has an elevation gain of 827 feet and begins at Bryce Point. The Peekaboo Loop trail follows several switchbacks down into Bryce Amphitheater, and eventually ties into the Navajo Loop trail.
From Scenic Byway 12 near the town of Tropic (three miles northwest) you can access Mossy Cave Trail. This is an easy, one-mile hike venture that allows hikers to meander amidst the hoodoos without the necessity of hiking from the rim. Check a map to see the location of this trail-head.
For further information, please contact the Garfield County Travel Council. 1-800-444-6689