7 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon That You Need to Explore

Let me just start by saying that Arches and Bryce Canyon are my favorite national parks in Utah. There, I said it! By the time I completed my hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park, I had fallen utterly in love with all the hoodoos, pine trees, and orangy-red tones.

And although Canyonlands is my third favorite from Utah’s Mighty 5, the Bryce Canyon landscape just hits differently.

If you want to visit the five national parks in Utah, I will go more in-depth on a 9-day itinerary to Utah’s national parks in a future post.

bryce canyon amphitheater

[BTEN id=”2594″]

sunrise at bryce canyon amphitheater
The sunrise in Bryce Canyon is magical and breathtaking!

Where is Bryce Canyon National Park Located?

Bryce Canyon is a national park located in Bryce, on the Southwestern side of Utah. As a reference, from Bryce to Zion National Park, it’s a 1 hour and 17-minute drive via US 89 S.

The park is open year-round but some sections of the park are closed during the wintertime.

best hikes in bryce canyon

Is there a shuttle in Bryce Canyon?

Yes! There is a shuttle free of charge that takes visitors around the park from April to October. The shuttle takes you directly to some of the trails and most popular overlooks and helps to avoid having to deal with full parking lots.

hoodoos in bryce canyon national park

What is the Best Hike in Bryce Canyon?

The easy hikes in Bryce Canyon can take you from 1 to 7.5 hours to complete. While the moderate trails can each take you from 1 to 4 hours.

best hikes in bryce canyon national park

Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park

Most of these hiking trails are inside the Bryce Amphitheater, except for Mossy Cave Trail which is located on the north end of the park.

1. Amphitheater Rim Trail

The Rim Trail connects Bryce Point to Fairyland Point. This one you can actually do in one of two ways.

hoodoos at bryce canyon
Hoodoos at the Bryce Amphitheater

Option 1: Hike from Bryce Point down to Sunrise Point. This is roughly a 3-mile hike and it will be paved from Sunset to Sunrise Point. It will take you about 2 to 2.5 hours to complete.

Option 2: Hike from Bryce Point down to Fairyland Point. If you choose this route, you have to be prepared. This is a 5.5-mile moderate hike that will take you through many elevation changes. Additionally, this is an out-and-back trail.

best hikes in bryce canyon

Meaning, that once you get to Fairyland Point, you can either turn around and head back or take the Fairyland Loop Trail back up to the Bryce Amphitheater Rim.

Depending on which way you choose to go, plan on having anywhere from 5 to 7.5 hours to complete the Bryce Canyon Rim Trail.

2. Sunset to Sunrise Point

This is the paved portion of the Rim Trail and it’s also the most family-friendly hike in the park. On this hike, you will enjoy the scenic views of the Bryce Amphitheater.

Difficulty: Easy | Length: 1 mile (0.5 miles each way) | Approx. hiking time: 1 hour

sunset at bryce canyon amphitheater
Sunset at Bryce Canyon National Park.

I’m ‘Team Sunrise at Bryce‘!

Which one are you?

3. Mossy Cave

To get here, you’ll want to ask for directions from the park rangers or grab a map at the visitor’s center. Sometimes the GPS doesn’t work due to a bad signal, so physical maps are best. 

Difficulty: Easy | Length: 0.8 miles | Approx. hiking time: 1 hour

mossy cave and waterfall in bryce canyon
Mossy Cave Trail, Bryce Canyon

4. Queen’s Garden

Queen’s Garden is an out-and-back trail and not a loop. If you want to descend into the Bryce Amphitheater, this is the least difficult trail to do so.

Difficulty: Moderate | Length: 1.8 miles | Approx. hiking time: 1-2 hours

sunrise point to queen's garden trail
queen's garden trail best hikes in bryce canyon
Queen’s Garden Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park

More Hikes in Bryce Canyon

5. Navajo Loop

Although it’s technically a loop trail, you can only complete the loop during the summertime.

The reason for this is because the loop takes you through the Wallstreet section and this is mostly open in the summertime.

wallstreet in bryce canyon
Wallstreet, Bryce Canyon National Park

Besides Wallstreet, you’ll also see Thor’s Hammer and Two Bridges on the Navajo Loop Trail.

Difficulty: Moderate | Length: 1.3 miles | Approx. hiking time: 1-2 hours

thor's hammer in bryce canyon
Thor’s Hammer at Bryce Canyon National Park

6. Queen’s Garden / Navajo Combination Loop

The Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop Trail is the most popular hike in Bryce Canyon. Most of the people who come to Bryce, only complete this trail. Therefore, this turns out to be the most crowded trail in the park.

best hikes in bryce canyon

Just as the name suggests, this is a combination trail of the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop. During the winter, you will use Two Bridges to complete the loop.

I recommend starting this trail in the clockwise direction. This will make it easier to navigate the elevation changes.

Difficulty: Moderate | Length: 2.9 miles | Approx. hiking time: 2-3 hours

bryce canyon national park in utah

7. Fairyland Loop Trail- one of the hardest hikes in Bryce Canyon

The Fairyland Loop is a strenuous trail and one of the hardest hikes in Bryce Canyon. This is the only one in this list that is classified as a day hike.

fairyland loop
Fairyland Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon

In this loop, you will combine the plateau rim with long views of the Bryce Amphitheater. You’ll be surrounded by all the beauty of the hoodoos and an incomparable solitude since this is a less-crowded trail.

Difficulty: Strenuous | Length: 8 miles | Approx. hiking time: 4-5 hours

fairyland loop trail
Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon

Bonus: Natural Bridge Overlook

In Bryce Canyon National Park, you’ll find a total of seven natural bridges. This one, in particular, can be viewed through an overlook and not via a hiking trail.

bryce canyon natural bridge overlook
Bryce Canyon Natural Bridge

To get to the Natural Bridge Overlook, you will drive on the main road of the park up to Mile 12.5. It’s a spectacular view at an elevation of 8,627 ft and a great overlook for pictures!

natural bridge in bryce
View of the Natural Bridge from the overlook

Bonus: Dixie National Forest Red Canyon Tunnel

Either on your way to the park or on your way out, take the scenic route through the Dixie National Forest for some stunning views! Don’t forget to admire this beautiful red canyon tunnel along the way.

dixie national forest red canyon tunnel
Dixie National Forest Red Canyon Tunnel
driving in the dixie national forest scenic route
Driving around the Dixie National Forest

Which one of these hiking trails caught your attention the most? Let me know in the comments!


Like it? Pin it! Share it!

best hikes in bryce canyon national park in utah

 

Yanitza Ninett
 | Website

Yanitza is an avid adventurer with 15+ years of hiking experience and outdoor travel. As a PADI-certified scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Mallorca, Spain.

22 thoughts on “7 Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon That You Need to Explore”

  1. I believe that the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater is the single greatest site in my home state. Nice summary of the trails. I really need to hike Fairyland next time I’m down there. Haven’t done it yet – tend to run out of time when I’m in the area. So much to see!!!

    Reply

Leave a Comment