Bryce Canyon Hiking
Sixty-miles of trails fill the fourteen stepped amphitheaters of Bryce Canyon. Hiking in Bryce is like getting lost in an intricate maze of twisting wondrous shapes, that wind through the arid, haunting land like something from a fairytale. This labyrinth of stone pinnacles forces hikers to weave in and out of magnificent reddish rocks making their way to the depths of what is left of a sixty-million year old sea. Beautiful and deceptive, most of the hiking trails in Bryce Canyon has one thing in common; the trails begin by heading downhill, saving the uphill climb for the return. This can be stressful, so take care to observe your limits. If you want to walk the rim, you save yourself considerable effort, but yet are still rewarded with incomparable scenery. If you want even less exertion, find the park's horse concession and saddle up.
Bryce Canyon Hiking Trails
Mossy Cave Trail: .8 mile round-trip.
The Mossy Cave Trail is an easy stream-side walk up water canyon leading to a small mossy overhang and a nice desert waterfall. The entire .8 mile round-trip is unusual, differing from the rest of Bryce Canyon National Park. To find the Mossy Cave Trailhead, drive north on Highway 12, past the Bryce Canyon park entrance, continue until you see the trailhead sign.
Navajo / Peekaboo Combo: 2.9 mile round-trip.
Combine Navajo and Peekaboo and begin at Sunset Point. Many of the trails in Bryce begin around the large loop encircling the main amphitheater.
Queens Garden Trail: 1.6 mile round-trip.
This trail is the least difficult trail leading below the rim. Begin at Sunrise Point. The trail does not loop, but there is the option to combine with Navajo Loop so you do not have to return the way you came. If you take Navajo Loop, the trail leads through a narrow section in the rock and ends with a steep winding uphill climb.
Navajo Loop Trail: 1.3 mile round-trip
This is a moderately difficult loop that begins at Sunset Point and descends immediately down hill through a narrow passage. This trail divides into three trails, including the Queens Garden. The top trail is a short hike to a view of the west section and the upper trail descends quickly to the canyon floor and the third is where you will find Wall Street, and half-mile long slot.
Bristlecone Loop Trail: 1 mile round-trip.
This is an easy trail that is nice for kids. Beginning at Rainbow Point the trail follows the top of the forested plateau and gives excellent views below leading to an ancient bristlecone pine tree.
Like Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon is open throughout the year and winter hiking is an option, but be prepared for the much colder temperatures in Bryce Canyon. The national parks in Southern Utah are beautiful during all four seasons of the year and each has its distinct benefits during warm and cold weather.
Detailed Hiking Guide
Bryce Canyon Hiking Trails
Rim Trail: 11 miles one-way. This is a long but easy trail that follows the rim.
Hat Shop Trail: 3.8 mile round-trip.
This trail is not as well traveled as many of the hikes in Bryce, but it is unique and beautiful. The climb back to the rim is steep, but worth it to see the many "hat" capped hoodoos. The geology of the hat capped hoodoos have a unique geology.
Peekaboo Loop Trail: 6 mile round-trip.
The Peekaboo Trail is a steep one that is shared with horses. Begin the hike at Bryce Point, Sunset Point or Sunrise Point.
Tower Bridge Trail: 3 mile round-trip.
Start this strenuous hike north of Sunrise Point. The Chinese Wall is visible from the trail.
Fairy Loop Trail: 8.3 mile round-trip.
Begin this hike at Fairyland Point or north of Sunrise Point. The climb back out is a steep 900 ft., so be prepared .
Navajo / Queens Combo: 4.9 mile round-trip.
Combine Navajo Loop and the Queens Garden taking the Rim Trail back to where the hike began. Begin at Sunset or Sunrise Point which are located near the visitor center.
Bryce Canyon is located a quick 60 miles
from the junction of Scenic Byways 9 & 89 on the east side of Zion Park.
The bristlecone pine trees are the oldest living things in the world. Some date back to almost 7,000 BC. Wood from the tree has been found that is 9,000 years old. The bristlecone has 5 needles per fascicle, and is found at high elevations like at Bryce Canyon. Old timers are common at nearby Cedar Breaks. In Bryce Canyon look for them along the Fairyland, Peekaboo and the Rim Trails and of course the easy one-mile Bristlecone Loop Trail.