Hiking In Bryce
Hiking in Bryce Canyon is one of the most popular activities available. This is due partly because of the many trails to choose from. It is also popular because hiking can be as low impact or intense as you like. This means it Is a wonderful activity for anyone.
Hikes are a great way to get a close view of the amazing scenery, plant and wildlife, and rock formations. By taking a hike along the incredible cliffs and hoodoos, you can gain a better understanding of how canyons and formations were made over time. You will literally be standing in the middle of history when you hike along one of the many Bryce Canyon trails to choose from. Once you lace up your boots and get going, you will understand why this is such an amazing activity.
There is not just one way to hike a trail. That’s one of the great things about going for a hike. It can be well planned to follow a very specific route, or you can go for a more freestyle experience. As long as you stay in designated areas, your adventure is totally customizable.
Taking a hike in Bryce Canyon is a safe and relaxing way to spend a few hours or a few days and it will be therapeutic to follow these beautiful trails. Below are some of the more popular trails and their details.
The Navajo Loop is a wonderful trail that provides a 1.3-mile-long hike through the scenic territory. It will take most hikers around 1 to 2 hours to complete the loop. Navajo Loop starts at sunset point and circles around as it leads into the main amphitheater. You will also pass through Wall Street which is a narrow area between sheer cliffs. These different formations provide a unique view throughout your entire hike. As you hike, make sure to look at, or take photos of, Thor’s Hammer which is a very popular and distinct rock formation. You will also have amazing views of the Silent City as you walk along. This low-intensity, short trail offers incredible experiences without exerting a lot of effort.
Queens Garden can be hiked in a few ways. Many may enjoy combining this trail with Navajo Loop since both trails are so short. If you would rather take a quick hike, you can also walk this trail alone. On its own, Queens Garden is 1.7 miles long when completed. It is the least difficult trail in the area, which makes it great for diverse and large groups to enjoy together. The name Queens Garden comes from the hoodoos which represent the garden-like structures. You can get very close to these magnificent rock formations which makes this trail the best way to see the hoodoos.
Mossy Cave is an area of Bryce Canyon that you will not want to miss. It is located at the end of a short trail, called Water Canyon. This trail is very low-impact and easy to traverse. Once you reach the end of Water Canyon trail, you will see the entry to Mossy Cave. From here, you will go into the cave and, depending on the time of year, see hanging moss or icicles above. Since the hike is so short and the experience is so exciting, there is no good reason to miss out on this amazing site. If you are traveling with others, this is a great, easy hike for kids and larger groups. Mossy Cave should certainly be on your Bryce Canyon to-do list.
Don’t let the whimsical name fool you, this loop-style trail is a tough hike. With a difficult rating in terms of trails, you won’t want to take this trail if you are a novice hiker. This strenuous but scenic loop is well worth the energy you will exhaust. Fairyland Lop is 8 miles long, making it one of the longest trails in Bryce Canyon. For most intermediate and experienced hikers, this trail will take around four to five hours to complete. The elevation changes that make it so tough are also what make it so beautiful. As you hike to different elevation levels, you will experience a variety of incredible views. While the intensity of this trail may intimidate you, if you are up for the challenge it is not to be missed. Fairyland Loop is a great hike for enthusiasts to spend their day traversing.
As the name suggests, Rim Trail will take you on a hike along the rim of Bryce Canyon. Some parts of Rim Trail are rated as moderate intensity due to the steep elevation changes and rough terrain. If the trail gets too rough for your liking, you can always turn back at any point. The length of the trail one-way is 5.5 miles which makes for an 11-mile hike, total. Making the full hike means you will get to experience all Bryce Canyon has to offer not once, but twice. As you pass by the different locations, make it a point to stop and take in Bryce Canyon National Park from the top of the canyon.
Another trail with a deceivingly quaint name, Peekaboo Loop is a 4.8-mile-long hike. This hike takes you on a very quick descent to the canyon floor so that you can look up and witness the beauty of Bryce Canyon for most of your hike. The quick decent and rocky terrain lead to Peekaboo Loop being considered a strenuous hike. As you hike along this trail, you must be mindful of proper foot placement and always plan your next move. Some locations can be a bit trickier than others, so attention is key. Peekaboo Loop is also accessible by horseback, so be mindful of those who may be riding along this trail. If you are confident in your skills and are up for a challenge, Peekaboo Loop is a great hiking opportunity.
When to Hike
Unlike many other activities in Bryce Canyon, going on a hike is a suitable choice for any time of the year. When you come to the park to hike will be a matter of personal preference. While spring and summer offer warmer temperatures, it can also be a bit more crowded along the trails during these times. Fall is a lovely time to hike as well, but it could be a bit brisker than some people enjoy. Winter, if you can stand the cold, is a beautiful time for hiking in Bryce Canyon, as well. A light blanket of snow on the rock formations provides a truly magical view. No matter which time of year you decide to visit Bryce Canyon, it will be a breathtaking and memorable experience.
What you’ll need
One of the many great things about hiking is the fact that it does not require a large amount of gear. For basic hikes, all you will need is what you would take on a normal day out in Bryce Canyon. For longer hikes, you may want to bring along more gear than this list suggests. This is just a suggestion of the gear an average hike will require. Contact a professional to get a better idea about what type of gear your individual hike will require.
The basic gear you will need is as follows.
Pick your trail and hike to adventure
Whether you plan to hike your whole trip or just one day, it is an activity that shouldn’t be missed. Hiking in Bryce Canyon provides an opportunity to slow down and really take in all the views. As you hike along one of the many trails, you will feel yourself getting rid of stress and becoming one with all the natural beauty that surrounds you. If you are planning a visit to Bryce Canyon, making at least one hike a part of your plans will make your vacation complete.