Hiking in Bryce Canyon
Hiking is a wonderful way to see Bryce Canyon National Park, the surrounding Dixie National Forest, and the nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The Great Western Trail is within a mile of Ruby’s. There are trails for all levels of activity and all ages. The trails in Bryce Canyon National Park descend into the canyon and wind around the hoodoos.
Set aside more than just a day for hiking when planning a trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park and surrounding area. There are numerous trails, for all skill levels, within the boarders of Bryce Canyon. The park trails provide a chance to get a close up view of the scenic wonders that make this area one of America’s Masterpiece locations.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the nation’s newest monument is largely desert wilderness, a vast tract of land (1.7 million acres). Hike the canyons, view wildlife, explore and photograph the remote areas.
Mossey Cave Trail – Mossey Cave Trail is an easy 0.9 mile walk to a mysterious, watery oasis in this desert region. The trail offers a wonderful view of the canyon and ends at an alcove covered in moss created by the natural springs seeping through the sandstone. During the cold winter months the trickling water creates incredible ice cycles that resemble stalactites found in deep underground caves.
The Rim Trail – The Rim Trail is an easy 1-mile hike that will lead park visitors past viewing areas for both Sunrise and Sunset point. The views from this trail are incredible at anytime of day. However, this is a perfect trail to take either during the early morning hours or just before sunset. The dramatic color backdrops, created by the beginning and ending of the day, add more “wow” to these amazing sites.
Queen’s Garden Trail – The Queen’s Garden Trail is a 1.8-mile trail that takes hikers along the bottom of the canyon providing up close access to the mysterious hoodoos found at Bryce. As the trail winds through the canyon, it meets up with the Navajo Loop. If hikers choose to continue on the new trail it will add an extra 1.3 miles to their adventure. Both trails are classified as moderate. Once the loop has been completed, a short walk along the Rim Trail will take hikers back to their vehicles.
Fairyland Loop Trail – The 8-mile Fairyland Loop Trail will take explores through a pink and cream colored wonderland worthy of “Alice.” The trail wonders past a forest of hoodoos speckled with the green of juniper trees and the ancient bristlecone pines trees. Sights along the trail include hoodoos with such names as the “Chinese Wall” and “Tower Bridge.” Once the trail has ended, there is a short walk along the Rim Trail back to the parking lot at the Fairyland Canyon Overview. This hike is classified as moderate, and as with all hiking adventures, be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep from becoming dehydrated or too tired to complete the hike.
These are just a few of the exciting and breathtaking hiking trails available in Bryce Canyon National Park. Check with the Visitor’s Center for more options, including the overnight hikes that require a permit and the ranger guided moonlight hikes offer each month around the full-moon.
Hiking Trails near Bryce Canyon:
When planning to a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park, visitors should be sure to schedule time to explore the area outside of the park. This region of the country offers so many opportunities for unforgettable outdoor adventures. There are far too many trails to list them all, but the following are a few suggestions.
Calf Creek Falls – The 5.4 mile round-trip hike into Calf Creek Falls, which is located within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, is classified as moderate and should take approximately 3-hours to complete. The trail follows Calf Creek through a pink and white sandstone canyon. The trail is sandy, but well maintained. It leads hikers past ancient Fremont and Anasazi Indian artifacts. The trail ends at the bottom of the breathtaking Lower Calf Creek Falls, which fills a crystal clear, fresh water pond. At this point, most hikers cool off with a swim before starting back. The area is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management and swimming is allowed.
Lick Wash Trail – The Lick Wash Trail is also located within the 1.7 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This is a 6 mile hike into a fascinating slot-canyon. The trail is classified as easy and winds along a dry-riverbed running between high cliff walls. The canyon is filled with several small caves, holes and cracks to examine and explore. This is a remote, lesser known hike and it is rare to meet other hikers along the trail. Be sure to take plenty of water along with high energy snacks and a lunch.
Recommended Hike: Willis Creek Slot Canyon Trail – The Willis Creek Slot Canyon Trail is a 4 mile round-trip hike through a narrow canyon. This area can be accessed from the Skutumpah Road. The hike is located approximately 2.5 miles south on the Kodachrome Road, from the Cannonville Visitors Center to the Skutumpah road, turn right, and follow for 6.5 miles to the Willis Creek Trailhead. Because the path is covered with river rock, the trail is classified as moderate. There are a few small waterfalls to be seen along the way as well as the amazing slickrock walls that form the canyon. The narrow wash makes for an adventuresome 2-mile day hike. A loop trip is possible down Willis Creek and up Averett Canyon to the Skutumpah Road.
*Hikers need to verify weather conditions prior to beginning a hike into any slot canyon as they become flash flood zones during rain storms. Always bring plenty of water and high energy snacks when hiking.