Bryce Canyon National Park Hiking Overview

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park (Ray Mathis/courtesy, National Park Service)

The park has over 50 miles of hiking trails with a range of distances and elevation changes. Our map page shows the major trails. You'll notice there's a high concentration of trails in the Bryce Amphitheater, which is hoodoo central. Hikers flock here to see a great variety of distinctive eroded rock formations, some named for features or persons they were thought to resemble. But don't overlook the rest of Bryce Canyon, especially if you want to make a longer trip of it.

Day Hikes: The easiest trail is the half-mile (one way) section of Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points. Other sections of the Rim Trail (which extends 5.5 miles between Fairyland and Bryce Points) have moderate terrain. The Fairyland Loop (8 miles round-trip), Peekaboo Loop (4.8 or 5.5 miles round-trip), Queen's Garden (1.7 miles round-trip), and Navajo Loop (1.5 miles round-trip) trails wind down through the rock formations along steep grades. The Peekaboo Loop Trail also serves as a horse trail.

Backcountry: A system of backcountry trails allows you to join one or more trails during a hike. The Under-the-Rim Trail connects Bryce Point with Rainbow Pint (22 miles). This trail offers an opportunity to see the full range of natural beauty in the park. The Bristlecone Loop (1 mile) is a moderate walk along the top of the plateau that leads to dramatic views of a vast area of canyons and cliffs. The Riggs Springs Trail begins at Yovimpa Point in the southern end of the park and offers excellent views of the Pink Cliffs as well as other interesting natural features (8 miles, strenuous).

When you hike, remember that the hardest part of your trip will be the return—it's all uphill. Wear sturdy walking shoes, and carry water with you. A permit is required for overnight trips allowed only on the Under-the Rim Trail south of Bryce Point.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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