11 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park in 2023

You have to blink a few times fast to make sure you are seeing what you are seeing when you visit Bryce Canyon National Park. That’s because the combination of fairy chimneys, amphitheaters, and beautiful pink and orange rock will make you feel like you’ve traveled to another planet. Bryce Canyon National Park sits on Utah Scenic Byway 12 and is part of Utah’s Might 5 National Parks.

Bryce Canyon National Park is a hiker’s paradise, teeming with awe-inspiring trails that offer varied landscapes and difficulty levels. The Fairyland Loop is one of our favorites, winding through the mystical Fairyland amphitheater and showcasing remarkable rock formations. Another trail worth exploring is the Mossy Cave Trail, a less strenuous route leading to a unique water-formed cave. For a captivating journey into Bryce Canyon’s heart, the Navajo Loop Trail is a must, offering dramatic views of the park’s famous hoodoos. Each trail at Bryce Canyon provides a unique experience, promising unforgettable adventures and these are just some of our favorites.

Popular Hikes in Bryce Canyon Navajo Loop Trail

The Navajo Loop Trail is also its own loop and you can do it without including the Queens Garden Trail. If you want to get down to business and go from the canyon rim to the valley floor then the Navajo Loop Trail is one of the best out of all of Bryce Canyon’s hiking trails for you.

You can get to this spectacular hike from Sunset Point and then go down through the slot canyon of Wall Street and down to the Bryce Amphitheater floor.

As you climb down you’ll see Thor’s Hammer and the Two Bridge’s rock formations. The trail meanders through the natural amphitheater, a spectacle so grand it feels like a different planet. Each step brings with it a new perspective on this alien landscape.

As you crest the rim of the canyon, completing the loop, you are greeted by the sight of the expansive Bryce Amphitheater stretching out beneath you. It is quite the sight. The trail is a 1.4-mile loop but it’s a steep trail back which is why it is often called a more difficult hike than other trails.

  • Trail Length: 1.5 Miles (2.4 km) Loop
  • Trailhead: Sunset Campground / Sunset Point
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Duration: 1-2 Hours

2. Rim Trail

Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon Rim Trail

This is one of the best Bryce Canyon hikes for landscape views of the whole park. The Rim Trail can be a steep climb in sections with an elevation gain of 1754 feet and looking over the rim isn’t for the faint of heart.  The steep descent takes some energy and patience as well.

Setting out from Fairyland Point in the north, the trail starts with a moderate climb. Despite the challenge, the sight of the Bryce Amphitheater in the distance will keep you motivated.

The trail gently undulates, weaving between clusters of ponderosa pine and ancient Douglas firs. Various viewpoints appear along the trail, and each one offers a new perspective of the amphitheater and the labyrinth of red-orange hoodoos below.

The trail then winds towards Sunrise Point, and from here, the Bryce Amphitheater spreads out in all its majesty, a spectacle of natural architecture that’s truly humbling. The trail leading to Sunset Point gets more challenging but not too bad. As you continue on you pass Inspiration Point and Bryce Point until you descend towards Rainbow Point, which is the highest point in the park.

The Rim Trail can be accessed from Fairyland Point or from Bryce Point, which can be accessed on the park’s shuttle. The Rim Trail probably gives you the best views of the spires and hoodoos of the whole amphitheater. You can take the Navajo Loop Trail, the Queen’s Garden Trail, or the Fairyland Loop Trail down into the amphitheater if you want to.

  • Trail Length: 5.5 Miles (9.16 km) – One way Bryce Point to Fairyland Point
  • Elevation: 1,754 feet
  • Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Notes: You can do this as a round-trip hike or you can park at the shuttle Station and take the shuttle to Bryce Point to hike the trail one way. When returning, flag the shuttle down for a ride back.

3. Sunrise Point – Sunset Point Trail

Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon Sunset Point

For an easy hike and a flat one too, this one-mile hike with stunning views of Bryce Canyon National Park is perfect. The trail begins at Sunset Point and goes to Sunrise Point. You walk along the rim of the garden and the walk from one point to the other is just 0.5 a mile.

Along the way, you get expansive views of the canyon and thousands of hoodoos. You can also time it so that you start your walk at sunrise or end it at sunset. Also, know that this trail is paved and wheelchair accessible in the winter months. It’s also the only trail in the park that you can take your pets on. This is a great option if you don’t have the time to do the full Rim Trail.

  • Trail Length: .5 Miles (.8 km) – 1-mile return hike. (1.6 km)
  • Hiking Time: 30 minutes
  • Trailhead: Sunset Point Parking Lot
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Notes: This is the only trail in the park where you can bring your pets.

4. Tower Bridge Trail

Best Bryce Canyon Hikes Tower Bridge Trail

The Tower Bridge trail is one of the most popular for people hiking in Bryce Canyon. That’s because it gives you a taste of the different terrain of Bryce Park and it is a relatively easy hike.

The trailhead sits at Sunset Point and from there you can hike out to Tower Bridge. It’s a somewhat moderate 3-mile round trip hike, but what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in the spectacle of the landscape.

Named for its resemblance to its namesake in London, the Tower Bridge is a stunning natural rock formation that stands proudly against the skyline. Two huge rock towers, connected by a seemingly precarious arch, make up this natural monument. The size and intricate nature of this structure is a testament to the power of geological forces.

You’ll be dropping down 950 feet and get that elevation gain back as you hike up in a clockwise direction. There are chances of seeing snakes and other wildlife when you hike on the trail. To make it easier on your feet, wear good hiking boots.

  • Trail Length 3.0 miles
  • Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
  • Elevation: 802 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Sunrise Point

5. Bryce Point to Sunrise Point

Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon Bryce point

Think of this hiking trail as the buffet of all trails in Bryce Canyon National Park. This hike is 5.4 miles long and will give you a taste of a lot. You can get dropped off at Bryce Point and from there take the pretty hike to Sunset Point and on to the Navajo Loop Trail which will take you below the rim.

Then you get to drop down into Wall Street, where you will finally understand what an ant feels like in that space between the two pieces of a sidewalk. From there you’ll head to the Queen’s Garden hoodoo and after that, you’ll trek along to Sunrise Point.

The Queen’s Garden Navajo Loop is considered a moderate hike. It can get slippery so if you have balance issues it would be a good idea to have sticks and hiking boots.

  • Trail Length: 5.4 Miles (8.7km)
  • Hiking Time: 2 hours 30 Minutes
  • Trailhead: Bryce Point
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate

6. Queen’s Garden Trail and Navajo Combination Loop

Best Bryce Canyon Hikes Queens Garden Navajo Loop

The Queens Garden Trail and Navajo Trail come together to make a 2.9-mile loop. It has a 629-foot elevation change and gives you views of some of the most iconic points in Bryce Canyon National Park. To do the Queen’s Garden Navajo Loop, you can park your vehicle at the Sunset Point Parking Lot and head onto the Navajo Trail.

If you come here early enough, it is the perfect spot to see one of the most magical views in the park as the sun rises and lights up all the hoodoos. From the parking lot, you’ll head towards Wall Street, which is essentially a narrow point in the canyon.

From the rim of the canyon, you’ll be able to see Thor’s Hammer, which is one of the famous hoodoos in the park because it looks like the hammer is about to drop any minute. From here you’re going to get on the Queens Garden Trail portion of the loop and there you will see the Queen Victoria hoodoo. The Two Bridges hoodoo will also be along here too.

  • Trail Length: 3 Miles (4.7 km)
  • Hiking Time: 3 Hours
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Notes: Start at the Sunrise Trailhead to Queens Garden Trail and hike counter-clockwise to join the Navajo Trail Loop

7. Mossy Cave Trail

Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon Mossy Cave Trail

This is one of the prettiest trails in Bryce Canyon National Park and it’s one of the easiest. The Mossy Cave trail distance is 1 mile long and you can reach it from the Mossy Cave Trailhead. The trail takes you along a stream and to a grotto. At one point along your path, you have the choice of continuing along the stream.

If you continue with the stream, you will end up at a waterfall and if you go left you, will head into the natural grotto. Although the Mossy Cave Trail is a short hike, you do get a chance to get up close and personal with the hoodoos without actually having to climb down into the Bryce Canyon National Park amphitheater.

  • Trail Length: 1 Mile (1.6 km) return
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Notes: This is one of the busier trails in Bryce Canyon NP so arrive early to beat the crowds and to find a parking space.

8. Bryce Point to Bryce Canyon Lodge

If you’re visiting Bryce Canyon National Park with family members of varying ages, taking the Bryce Point to Bryce Canyon Lodge trail along the canyon rim is a good idea. It is a 2.5-mile hike of a portion of the Rim Trail with a descent of 300 feet.

You can get everyone on the park shuttle and get dropped off at Bryce Point. From here you can walk along and take in the hoodoos and spires of the Bryce Canyon National Park amphitheater. You will pass Inspiration Point on your hike before you end up at Bryce Canyon Lodge. Despite the jaw-dropping views, this is one of the easiest hikes in Bryce Canyon.

  • Trail Length: 2.5 Miles (4.02 km) one-way hike
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Notes: Take the shuttle to Bryce Point and end at the lodge

9. The Bristlecone Loop

Bristlecone Point is certainly not one of the crowded trails in Bryce Canyon National Park. That might have to do with the fact that it’s very high up and you’ve got to drive to the trailhead at Rainbow Point. However, the views from Rainbow Point are just spectacular and the views of Bristlecone pine trees are beautiful.

When you get to Rainbow Point, you’ll be climbing up to the highest point in Bryce Canyon National Park at 9100 feet when you get into the thick of the Bristlecone pines. Some people come to the area just to see the Bristlecone pines. Do you know that the oldest ones in the park are 1500 years old?

Bristlecones look unique and can hold onto their pine needles for almost half a century. You can see them during your hike. In fact, hiking in this part of Bryce Canyon National Park can be as difficult or as easy as you want.

The entire park can be seen from lookouts, but hikes like the Bristlecone Loop give you a chance to experience the elevation gain and bring you from the heat of Utah up into the cool temperatures. It’s a good idea to get some hiking boots for the Bristlecone Loop to make it more comfortable for you.

  • Trail Length: 1 Mile (1.6 km)
  • Trailhead: Rainbow Point
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

10. Sheep Creek and Swamp Canyon Trail Loop

This loop trail is 4.1 miles long and is considered a moderate to difficult hike in Bryce Canyon because of the steep climbs at the higher points on the trail. There is an elevation change of 650 feet. The Swamp Canyon Trail is a 1.3-mile trail that has an elevation change of 650 feet.  The trailhead is located at Swamp Canyon Overlook. From here you’re going to be heading out on the rim of the Sheep Creek Canyon.

You’ll be wandering across forest and valley and return along the Swamp Canyon Trail. Although you don’t see much of the hoodoos until the ends of the trail. The wildflowers and meadows in the canyons provide a whole different experience. You can also get a good view of the Bruce Canyon Amphitheatre.

  • Trail Length: 4.1 Miles (7.2 km)
  • Trailhead: Swamp Canyon Overlook
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate

11. Fairyland Loop Trail

The Fairyland Loop Trail is a day hike as it is 8 miles long but it is well worth it as you are walking up close and personal among the hoodoos. The trailhead sits at Fairyland Point which you can reach via shuttle, alternatively, you can also get on the trail from the north campground.

But if you’re not actually staying at the campground then Fairyland Point would be your best bet. The road to the trailhead however is closed in the winter so then you’ll have to get to the trail from Sunrise Point.  You will experience an elevation change of more than 2000 feet.

The Fairyland Loop hike will take you between Fairy Point and Sunset Point. Sunset Point can also be reached via shuttle. It will take around 5 hours and because of that is one of the more difficult hikes in Bryce Canyon.

  • Trail Length: 8 Miles (12.6km)
  • Trailhead: Fairland Point
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate



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