Since Bryce Canyon is a relatively small park, there aren’t a ton of hikes. However, there are many different ways to combine the trails in Bryce Canyon to suit your schedule and preferences. In this article, we’ll lay out the top 10 best hikes in Bryce Canyon and help you decide which hike is right for you!

One step into Bryce Canyon National Park and you will feel like you’ve been transported into a magical land of whimsical clay sculptures and life-size castles. With every twist and turn through Bryce Canyon, you will be amazed by the unique beauty of the iconic hoodoos, seemingly stretching forever into the distance. Bryce Canyon is easily one of our favorite national parks!

Hi there! We’re Sarah and Matt, two nomads road tripping across the United States with our cat, Fitzgerald, making a new place our home month to month while working full time and adventuring as much as possible. We spend any free time we can get hiking, camping, backpacking, and exploring new places! We hope that our experiences will help you plan for your next adventure and inspire you to be an outlier!

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    10 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon

    We’ve spent a lot of time in the magical wonderland that is Bryce Canyon and have hiked nearly every trail in the park. We’re excited to help you plan your trip and share the 10 best hikes in Bryce Canyon. At the end of the article, we’ll help you decide which hike (or hikes) on the list is best for you!

    About Bryce Canyon National Park

    Relative to other national parks in the United States, Bryce Canyon is fairly small spanning just 35,000 acres. But don’t let its size fool you! Bryce Canyon has so much to offer and more than makes up for its small size with its insane beauty.

    The landscape in Bryce Canyon is dominated by its iconic hoodoos – tall, narrow rock formations that resemble sandcastles at the beach. These hoodoos formed over the course of thousands of years and can reach up to 200 feet high!

    Many people skip over Bryce Canyon in favor of its more popular neighbor, Zion National Park. In fact, Bryce receives fewer than half as many visitors per year compared to Zion. We hope we can convince you that Bryce Canyon is absolutely worth a visit – you don’t want to miss out on this incredible park!

    Highlights

    • Crazy, unique landscapes
    • Great views are easily accessible
    • Trails can be easily combined to form longer hikes

    Lowlights

    • Trails can get crowded
    • Hiking options are fairly limited
    • Frequent trail closures (during the winter, late fall, early spring)

    Fun fact: the name “Bryce Canyon” is actually somewhat of a misnomer, as Bryce Canyon is actually shaped like an amphitheater, not a canyon.

    Map of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon

    The map below shows the trailheads for each of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon. Note that several trails may share the same trailhead – click on the trailhead marker on the map to see which hikes depart from each trailhead. The trailheads are also listed under the hike stats for each hike in the detailed sections below.

    • To email this map to yourself for future use, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
    • To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.

    Details | Best Hikes Bryce Canyon

    In this section, we’ll provide more detail about each of our 10 favorite hikes in Bryce Canyon. Many of the trails can be combined together easily to create a longer hike, so we’ll point out the sub-trails that make up each hike along the way.

    Note that the hikes are not ranked (i.e. the first hike isn’t necessarily our favorite), but are roughly grouped by location. Asking us to choose our favorite hike would be like asking us to choose a favorite ice cream flavor. It would be way too hard and we love them all!

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 1.5 miles
    Elevation gain | 500 feet
    Total time | 1 hour
    Epic-ness rating | 7
    Difficulty | moderate
    Trailhead | Sunset Point

    The Navajo Loop features perhaps the most iconic spot in Bryce Canyon, a steep trail of switchbacks winding through towering walls of hoodoos on either side, known as Wall Street.

    If you have limited time in Bryce Canyon, hiking down Wall Street into the Bryce Canyon amphitheater is an absolute must-do! Keep in mind that this is the most popular hike in Bryce Canyon, so expect the trail to be packed with other hikers (unless you arrive very early in the morning).

    The entire loop is only 1.5 miles in total, but the climb back up is steep, making this short hike easy to moderate in difficulty.

    The Peekaboo Loop

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 5.2 miles
    Elevation gain | 1450 feet
    Total time | 2 – 3 hours
    Epic-ness rating | 7
    Difficulty | moderate
    Trailhead | Bryce Point

    The Peekaboo Loop is one of our favorite sections of Bryce Canyon, offering some of the most unique views in the park. As the trail winds its way up, down, over and around the hoodoos and natural archways, you are guaranteed to be mesmerized for the entirety of the 5-mile loop.

    The Peekaboo Loop departs from Bryce Point, and since the trailhead is farther from the main area of the park (Sunrise and Sunset Point), it tends to get slightly less traffic than crowded trails like the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden.

    views from the Peekaboo Loop hike in Bryce Canyon

    Queens Garden Trail to Queen Victoria

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 2.1 miles
    Elevation gain | 400 feet
    Total time | 2 hours
    Epic-ness rating | 6
    Difficulty | easy
    Trailhead | Sunrise Point

    Descend into Bryce Canyon among a “garden” of spectacular Hoodoo sculptures until you reach the iconic Queen Victoria Hoodoo, thought to resemble her namesake (though we don’t really see it…). Regardless of her queen-like features, Queen Victoria is an impressive, massive rock formation that towers over the garden of hoodoos that surround her.

    Of the trails that descend into the Bryce Canyon amphitheater, Queen’s Garden is the most moderate with a more gradual elevation gain than the Navajo Loop, Peekaboo Loop, or Fairyland Loop. Clocking in at just over 2 miles, Queen’s Garden to Queen Victoria is the perfect way to hike into the amphitheater without too much effort.

    Bryce Canyon Rim Trail (Sunrise to Sunset Point)

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 1.1 miles
    Elevation gain | essentially flat
    Total time | 1 hour
    Epic-ness rating | 5
    Difficulty | easy
    Trailhead | Sunrise Point, Sunset Point

    To see the hoodoos from above, you can hike along the perimeter of the Bryce Canyon amphitheater on the Rim Trail from Sunrise to Sunset Point, or vice versa. While the entire Rim Trail goes from Bryce Point to Fairyland Point (see below for details), the most popular section connects Sunrise and Sunset Point, for a total of just over 1 mile of hiking along a nearly flat trail.

    If you are short on time or not looking to work up a sweat, the Rim Trail from Sunrise to Sunset point is a great option!

    Views from the Figure 8 Loop hike in Bryce Canyon

    Wall Street & Queens Garden Loop

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 3.2 miles
    Elevation gain | 650 feet
    Total time | 2 – 3 hours
    Epic-ness rating | 7
    Difficulty | moderate
    Trailhead | Sunrise Point, Sunset Point
    Includes | half of the Navajo Loop, Queen’s Garden, and the Rim Trail (Sunset to Sunrise Point)

    Combine Queens Garden Trail and part of the Navajo Loop into one longer loop hike totaling just over 3 miles. This hike includes two of the most iconic sites in Bryce Canyon: Wall Street and Queen Victoria. We recommend starting at Sunset Point, hiking down Wall Street, up Queen’s Garden to Sunrise Point, and then along the Rim Trail back to Sunset Point to complete the loop.

    If you are looking for a short hike, but want to see more of the park than the Navajo Loop, the Wall Street & Queen’s Garden loop is the perfect way to get into the amphitheater and explore the hoodoos up close!

    Views from the Figure 8 Loop hike in Bryce Canyon

    Bryce Canyon Rim Trail (Bryce Point to Fairyland Point)

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 10.4 miles roundtrip (Bryce Point to Fairyland Point)
    Elevation gain | 1600 feet
    Total time | 1 – 5 hours
    Epic-ness rating | 7
    Difficulty | easy – moderate
    Trailhead | Bryce Point, Fairyland Point, Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Bryce Point
    Includes | Rim Trail (Sunset to Sunrise Point)

    If you want a more complete tour of the Bryce Canyon Rim, you can extend your Rim Trail hike to Bryce Point and/or Fairyland Point. The entire Rim Trail is 5.2 miles one way or 10.4 miles roundtrip, and you can start the hike from Bryce Point, Fairyland Point, Sunrise Point, or Sunset Point, each for an equidistance hike. If you prefer to hike one way, catch the Bryce Canyon shuttle back to your car.

    One of our favorite sections of the Rim Trail is at the northeastern end near Fairyland Point, as seen in the photos below.

    views from the Rim Trail between Sunrise and Fairyland Point

    Figure 8 Loop Trail

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 6.3 miles
    Elevation gain | 1600 feet
    Total time | 3 – 4 hours
    Epic-ness rating | 9
    Difficulty | moderate
    Trailhead | Sunrise Point, Sunset Point
    Includes | half of the Navajo Loop, Queen’s Garden, Peekaboo Loop, Rim Trail (Sunrise to Sunset Point)

    Hiking the Figure 8 Loop in Bryce Canyon is a perfect way to explore many of the best sights in the park, combing Queen’s Garden, Navajo Loop, Peekaboo Loop, and the Rim Trail (between Sunrise and Sunset Point). At just over 6 miles and 1600 feet of elevation gain, this moderate hike gives you a full tour of the most unique landscapes in the park.

    In our opinion, the Figure 8 Loop is the absolute best way to explore Bryce Canyon on your first visit to the park. We did this hike on our first trip to Bryce and were completely in awe the entire time. If you have just one day in the park and want to see as much as possible, this is the hike we would recommend!

    We’ve put together a detailed guide to help you plan your Figure 8 Loop hike in Bryce Canyon.

    Views from the Figure 8 Loop hike in Bryce Canyon
    Figure 8 Loop hike Bryce Canyon

    Tower Bridge Trail

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 3.4 miles
    Elevation gain | 800 feet
    Total time | 1 – 2 hours
    Epic-ness rating | 6
    Difficulty | moderate
    Trailhead | Fairyland Point

    This unique rock formation was named due to its resemblance to the famous London Tower. Tower Bridge is located on a spur trail off the Fairyland Loop trail (see below), making for a quick and easy detour. Otherwise, Tower Bridge can be reached via a short 3.4-mile roundtrip out and back hike.

    If you start at Fairyland Point and go clockwise, you will reach the spur trail for Tower Bridge at 3.7 miles. If you start at Fairyland Loop and go counterclockwise, the spur trail is at roughly 4.1 miles. From Sunrise Point, going clockwise, the spur trail will be at mile 6 and if you go counter-clockwise, you will reach the spur trail at mile 1.8.

    If you’re interested in seeing the Tower Bridge, we’d recommend continuing for the full Fairyland Loop.

    Fairyland Loop

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 7.8 miles
    Elevation gain | 1550 feet
    Total time | 3 – 5 hours
    Epic-ness rating | 7
    Difficulty | hard
    Trailhead | Sunrise Point, Fairyland Point
    Includes | Tower Bridge, Rim Trail (Sunrise to Fairyland Point)

    This 7.8 mile loop provides sweeping views from the rim of Bryce Canyon and will get you up close and personal with the hoodoos.

    We love the Fairyland loop because it allows you to experience everything that Bryce Canyon has to offer. You will see expansive views of the canyon from the rim and meander among the hoodoos as you wind your way through the magical desert landscape.

    And most importantly, because this trail is one of the longest (and least crowded) hikes in the canyon, it provides your best chance for some alone time with your new hoodoo friends!

    Read more details about hiking the Fairyland Loop here:

    views from the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon
    views from the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon

    Under the Rim Trail

    Hike Stats

    Hiking distance | 22.5 miles
    Elevation gain | 4400 feet
    Total time | 1 night/2 days
    Epic-ness rating | 8
    Difficulty | hard
    Trailhead | Yovimpa Point, Bryce Point

    Bryce Canyon features only one backpacking trail, known as the Under the Rim Trail, a one-way route that connects Yovimpa Point to Bryce Point. To backpack the route one way, hikers must arrange their own transportation to Yovimpa Point, as the Bryce Canyon shuttle does not stop here.

    While the Under the Rim Trail does not contain the most dramatic hoodoos in the park, it’s a great way to escape the crowds, explore a more remote area of the park, and sleep under the stars in the backcountry. We haven’t done this backpacking trip yet but hope to do it soon. It is the last thing on our Bryce Canyon bucket list!

    Logistics | Planning your hikes in Bryce Canyon

    In the section below, we’ll help you plan when to visit, where to stay and what to pack for your Bryce Canyon hiking trip!

    Which trail should I hike in Bryce Canyon?

    Having a hard time deciding on the best hike for you in Bryce Canyon? Let us break down the selling points of each:

    • If you are short on time: Navajo Loop – the best bang for your buck and the most iconic Bryce Canyon views.
    • If you want to see the Bryce classics: Wall Street and Queen’s Garden – these two trails include the most iconic spots in Bryce.
    • If you want a full tour: Figure 8 Loop – if you want to spend a half to full day hiking and see as much of Bryce as you can, this trail combines the best three sub-trails into one epic hike.
    • If you want to avoid crowds: Fairyland Loop – also featuring incredible Bryce views, but with significantly fewer crowds than the Figure 8 Loop.
    • If you want an easy stroll: Bryce Canyon Rim Trail (Sunrise to Sunset Point) – if you’re looking for a hike that’s easy on the legs and lungs, the Rim Trail gives you views looking over the Bryce amphitheater, with little to no elevation gain

    When is the best time to hike in Bryce Canyon?

    The best time to hike in Bryce Canyon is in the late spring or early fall (April-May and September-October), when temperatures in southern Utah are typically mild and crowds are smaller. Expect the trails to be covered in snow for much of the winter. In the early spring and late fall, snowstorms are still possible which may cause trail closures.

    During the summer, temperatures can often reach 100°F and most trails do not provide much shade. Inside Bryce Canyon is typically several degrees warmer than at the rim, so prepare accordingly. Please be aware that during the summer, thunderstorms are frequent and very dangerous inside the canyon.

    Trail Conditions & Closures

    The Navajo Loop trail (one or both sides) is typically closed in the winter through late March due to icy trail conditions. The road to Fairyland Point and the Rim trail between Bryce Point and Inspiration Point also close down during the winter. You can find more information about current road and trail closures here.

    views from the Figure 8 Loop, one of the best hikes in Bryce canyon

    How to get to Bryce Canyon

    Bryce Canyon is located in southwestern Utah, just under 2 hours from Zion National Park, 2 hours from Capitol Reef National Park, 4 hours from Arches National Park, and 4.5 hours from the Grand Canyon. To visit Bryce Canyon, you will have to drive or fly in and rent a car.

    Closest airport to Bryce Canyon

    If you plan to fly in and rent a car to visit Bryce Canyon, the closest airports are located in Las Vegas, Nevada and Salt Lake City, Utah. The drive from both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City airports to Bryce Canyon will take just over 4 hours.

    If you plan to visit Zion National Park in addition to Bryce Canyon (which makes a great weekend trip!), Las Vegas is likely the best option, as it’s only a roughly 2.5 hour drive to the airport.

    Things to know before visiting Bryce Canyon

    • Entrance to the park is $35 per vehicle. You can also purchase an annual National Parks pass for $80, giving you entrance to all U.S. National Parks.
    • Pets are permitted only on paved surfaces in the park – they are not permitted on trails.
    • Bryce Canyon offers a free shuttle service that runs from 8:00am to 8:00pm during the summer (6:00pm fall – spring) and stops every 15 minutes.

    What to pack for hiking in Bryce Canyon

    No matter which of these hikes in Bryce Canyon you choose, make sure you are prepared with these essentials:

    • National Park Pass | If you already have an annual National Park pass, be sure to bring it. Otherwise, you can purchase a 1 week Bryce Canyon pass or annual National Park pass at the gate.
    • Microspikes (Kahtoola) | If you’re visiting Bryce Canyon in the early spring or late fall, there is likely to be snow and and ice on the trails, many of which are steep. We recommend packing microspikes to stay safe in possible snowy or icy conditions.
    • Hiking poles (Hers: Black Diamond Distance Z poles, His: Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles ) | There are several sections of hiking in Bryce Canyon that are very steep, most notably the famous Wall Street section. Hiking poles make the climb easier and take some of the weight off your knees.
    • Backpack with bladder (Hers: CamelBak Helena 20L, His: Camelback Rim Runner 22L) | We both use a similar Camelback backpack for day hiking – they’re comfortable, lightweight and just big enough to hold the essentials without weighing you down. Plus they both come with a 2L bladder.
    • Plenty of water| No matter which hikes you choose, make sure you pack plenty of water (at least 2 liters), as the desert sun is strong and there is little shade.
    • Hiking boots (Hers: Danner Mountain 600s, His: Salomon Ultra 4 Mid GTX) | In Bryce Canyon, the trails are steep and slick in sections, so a pair of hiking boots with good traction can make a world of difference!
    • Hiking pants (Hers: Athleta Headlands pants, His: PrAna Stretch Zion Pants) | These Athleta pants are Sarah’s absolute favorite! They’re comfortable and durable for hiking, and all the pockets make them more stylish, so they can double as normal pants.
    • Hiking socks (Darn Tough) | Darn Tough makes our favorite hiking socks – they’re thick, comfortable and durable. Everything you need in a good hiking sock.
    • Sunglasses (Goodr) | A necessity to protect your eyes from the desert sun! At only $25, Goodr sunglasses are perfect if you’re the type of person that tends to loose sunglasses, like me!
    • GPS Device (Garmin InReach Mini) | While most of the trails in Bryce Canyon are fairly easy to follow, its always good to carry a GPS device in case of emergency in areas without cell service.
    • Sunscreen and chapstick | The hikes in Bryce Canyon are very exposed, and the desert sun is strong no matter the time of year.

    Other useful resources

    Planning a trip to the southwest? We think you may enjoy the following articles about things to do in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona:

    For all things Utah: Utah Travel Guide

    Of the great hikes in Bryce Canyon, which one is your favorite?! Let us know in the comments below.

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