The 5 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in southern Utah, stands as a testament to the intricate artistry of nature. It’s a realm where towering hoodoos, sculpted by the forces of erosion, paint a mesmerizing picture of red, orange, and white hues against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. While there are many hiking trails, these are the 5 best hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park.

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What are Hoodoos?

The park’s main attraction is its collection of hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and “broken” lands. These hoodoos, formed through the continuous cycle of freezing and thawing, rain and sun, create a maze-like labyrinth that is both enchanting and awe-inspiring.

Getting To Bryce Canyon National Park

The easiest way to get to Bryce Canyon National Park is to fly into either Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas or Salt Lake City Airport and pick up a rental car. 

Driving from Las Vegas it is about 250 miles to the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park. From Salt Lake City it is only a 150 mile drive. 

Bryce Canyon National Park is also a short drive away from Zion National Park. If you are planning on doing a road-trip to Zion National Park it is worth adding Bryce Canyon National Park as a stop.

Getting To Bryce Canyon National Park

Choosing the right time to visit Bryce Canyon can greatly enhance your hiking experience. Late spring (May to June) and early fall (September to October) are typically considered the best times. During these months, the temperatures are mild, the skies are often clear, and the crowds are more manageable compared to the peak summer season. 

However, summer offers its own allure, with longer daylight hours and a vibrant atmosphere. Winter, though colder and potentially snowy, transforms the landscape into a serene winter wonderland, offering a different perspective altogether. During the winter months it is important to note that some trails might be closed.

Packing for Day Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park

While Bryce Canyon National Park is on the smaller size, it is still important to have all the necessities for a day hike. With limited shade overheating is very common, even in the spring months. This isn’t an inclusive list for everything you need, but a reference point. 

  • Footwear: Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support.
  • Hydration: Carry at least one gallon of water per person per day, especially during warmer months.
  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield against the intense sun.
  • Clothing: Dress in layers to adapt to changing temperatures. Include moisture-wicking fabrics and a waterproof jacket.
  • Daypack: Large enough to hold all of your snacks, water, and layers.
  • Park Pass: Remember your America the Beautiful pass to get in for free.

The 5 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park

Navajo Loop Trail

This iconic trail offers a captivating journey through the heart of Bryce Canyon. As you descend into the aptly named Wall Street, a narrow slot canyon flanked by towering hoodoos, you’ll be immersed in a world of geological wonders. 

The 1.3-mile loop showcases the park’s signature formations and provides ample opportunities for photography. This is also one of the most popular trails in the park because it is near the entrance, and is a quick short hike.

Queens Garden Trail

Another very popular hike in Bryce Canyon National Park is Queens Garden Trail. This 1.8-mile route winds through a forest of hoodoos, each resembling figures of queens, castles, and other fantastical shapes. The trail offers a blend of scenic beauty and geological intrigue, making it a favorite among visitors.

Fairyland Loop Trail

Step into a fairy-tale landscape with the 8-mile Fairyland Loop Trail. As one of the park’s longest hikes, this trail offers a comprehensive exploration of Bryce Canyon’s mesmerizing formations. From panoramic vistas to secluded alcoves.

This is my favorite hike in all of Bryce Canyon National Park. While it is on the longer side, about 2 miles into the hike it becomes much more secluded.

Peekaboo Loop Trail

Prepare for an exhilarating adventure on the Peekaboo Loop Trail. This 5.5-mile trek takes hikers on a rollercoaster ride through a maze of hoodoos. A lot of twists and turns are in this trail along with small elevation gains. 

The hike culminates in breathtaking views of the amphitheaters, which is a pretty awesome site.

Bristlecone Loop Trail

Delve into the park’s unique ecosystem with the Bristlecone Loop Trail. Would you believe me if I told you that Bryce Canyon National Park had more than just red rocks and hoodoos? This short one mile loop will bring you through bristlecone pine trees. The large trunks are rarely seen in other parts of the region.

The 5 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park

While Bryce Canyon National Park might be small, it offers some great hiking trails. While these are only my opinion of the 5 best hiking trails in Bryce Canyon National Park, there are plenty of others. With unique formations such as hoodoos, this is a must visit park. What are your favorite hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park?

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