It is a breathtaking sight when the sun comes up over the horizon to shine a new day’s light onto the red rock hoodoos that stand tall within the amphitheater walls of Bryce Canyon National Park.
A main attraction for world-traveling visitors for these exceptional views, it’s time to see the iconic maze created by the forces of nature over time. Forget about the cabin your family goes to year after year that’s close to home. Make the next family vacation a getaway in Bryce Canyon Country one your kids will remember for years to come.
What’s the best way to experience Bryce Canyon National Park? We suggest hiking through the spires and hoodoos yourself to receive a front seat experience of the natural wonders that should be a wonder of the world. Take time to weave through the hoodoos towering above and see the layers and shapes of the rocks from the bottom of the amphitheater floor to the viewpoints that look down into the canyon.
For your convenience and to make your trip-planning that much easier, we’ve compiled a list of easy, moderate and strenuous hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park so you can trek through the large park at a comfortable pace for you.
Easy-level hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
- The Rim Trail | If you’re coming for the first time, we highly suggest you take the trail most traveled — that is, The Rim Trail. This popular trail overlooks the national park as it stretches across the landscape with many other branching trails for exploration along the way. For easy access, there is a half-mile section of this trail between Sunrise and Sunset Point that is paved for wheelchair accessibility. It may not be a long stroll along the beach, but we argue it’s better. Walks through the canyon give everyone who comes a striking view of the amphitheater, including the iconic and arguably most pictured “Thor’s Hammer” rock formation.
- Mossy Cave | Four miles east on Highway 12 at the north end of the park you’ll know the Mossy Cave Trail by its name right away. A streamside walk up to a mossy grotto that fills with spectacular icicles in the winter and dripping moss in the summer is a great trail for families. Take this popular .8-mile hike to experience the hoodoos and spires of the park without the need to descend into the amphitheater. Mossy Cave is an extremely popular trail in summer- consider visiting before 10:00 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to avoid peak visitation. The Mossy Cave parking lot has recently been changed to improve traffic safety and flow. Slow down when approaching the area as vehicles may be entering or exiting.
Moderate-level hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
- Peekaboo Loop Trail | If you don’t like crowds, this hike might not be for you, but it’s another iconic and popular trail. We’ll tell you a secret though, this trail is more enjoyable in the early spring or fall. If you’re not the hiking enthusiast, did you know this trail is also open to horseback riding? Extending for 5.2 miles, the hike features a river available form April to October with rushing water. Our friends say they love this trail for wildlife sightings and photo opportunities around every corner. In a last attempt to convince you to hike this trail, we’ll tell you that Peekaboo Loop and others connect to this trail so you can hike many trails all in one day before the sunset over the canyon walls.
- Queen’s Garden Loop* | As we have mentioned before, nothing compares to the sunrise and sunset view at Bryce Canyon National Park. If you’re ready to dedicate yourself to a wonderful 2-3 hours of adventure, meander through the floor of the amphitheater on this 1.5-mile hike. Wander through unique formations that are named Queen Victoria, Gulliver’s Castle and the Queen’s Castle. This magical section of the park will return to the canyon rim at Sunrise Point for a wonderful conclusion to your hike.
*Note: You can combine the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loops for a popular hiking trail that connects Sunset and Sunrise Points. Combing these two trails makes the path about 2.9 miles that, on average, takes 2-3 hours to traverse. A clockwise direction is recommended. In the winter, use Two Bridges.
Strenuous-level hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
- Navajo Loop* | Are you looking for the best perspective of Bryce Amphitheater? It is on the Navajo Loop Trail from Sunset Point as it descends into the amphitheater. However, this hike is not for the faint-hearted and is a strenuous 2.2-mile loop that changes in elevation. The trail is worth experiencing as it winds through a section called Wall Street — a steep-walled narrow collection of hoodoo formations — accompanied by Douglas fir trees.
- Fairyland Loop | Are you looking to avoid the crowds? This trail begins outside the main area of the park at Fairyland Point and is a lesser-visited overlook worth the visit. Rewarding to all who experience it, the trail descends and connects to many other trails in the park. At a lengthy 8.2 miles, the trail ventures through Fairyland and Campbell amphitheaters, circling around a formation called Boat Mesa and reaching the highest point in the park — Rainbow Point. If you hike this trail, you won’t regret it because on this trail you’ll get a personal and up-close view of the remarkable limestone hoodoos.