Bryce Canyon

  • Sunrise! What a Glorious Sunrise! - © Mark Stevens flickr user
  • A Path in the Snow (Bryce Canyon National Park) - © Mark Stevens flickr user
  • Bryce Canyon National Park - © Bud flickr user
  • Bryce Canyon, Night  - © Tim Hamilton flickr user
  • Bryce Canyon - © Loic Largade flickr user
  • Bryce Switchbacks - © Tim Hamilton flickr user
  • Dawn at Bryce Canyon - © Tim Hamilton flickr user
  • Natural Bridge and a Utah Snowy Landscape (Bryce Canyon National Park) - © Mark Stevens flickr user
  • Natural Bridge Point - Bryce - © Tim Hamilton flickr user
  • Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon, Utah - © Diana Robinson flickr user
  • Sunset at Bryce Canyon - © Reto Fetz flickr user

Key information: Bryce Canyon

  • Utah's Bryce Canyon boasts some of the world's most extraordinary scenery: an extensive area of brightly hued sandstone carved by wind, water and ice into a series of deep and huge amphitheatres in which sit an unimaginable profusion of spires, towers and other excrescences, all visually enhanced by gorgeous colour and texture contrasts.
  • The forests (and, somehow surprisingly, meadows) in the canyon shelter a surprisingly diverse fauna, including bears and mountain lions.
  • There is a huge variety of walking options here, mainly day walks.
  • Water can be in very short supply.
  • ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating86
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest0
  • Charisma35
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating86

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: Around 2,000m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Bryce Canyon, Night  - © Tim Hamilton flickr user

WALK SUMMARY

Bryce Canyon boasts some of the world's most extraordinary scenery: an extensive area of brightly hued sandstone carved by wind, water and ice into a series of deep and huge amphitheatres in which sit an unimaginable profusion of spires, towers and other excrescences called hoodoos, arches and other formations.

The hoodoos can be 200ft (60m) high, and (unsurprisingly) have a fascinating and complicated geological history.

Visually, the thrilling weirdness of the scenery is enhanced by gorgeous colour and texture contrasts:  the greens of the prevalent ponderosa pines and spruce and the often-blue sky compliment the rocks' oranges-to-pinks beautifully. The forests (and, somehow surprisingly, meadows) in the canyon shelter a surprisingly diverse fauna, including bears and mountain lions.

Being actually quite high (the rim is at around 2,500-2,700m), the winters are hard here, indeed snowy. The summers remain relatively temperate, with thunderstorms in July and August.

A joy of Bryce is that, although the best-known grails can get busy in high season, other than a single road, its interior can only be enjoyed on foot, so no Grand Canyon clamour here. 

There is a huge variety of walking options here. The north and centered areas of the National park contain most spectacular scenery.

 

Multi day:

 

-          The Under the Rim Trail. 23 miles (but perhaps not as rich in splendors as some others). Winds along under the rim of the canyon. Beware lack of water. Youkan camp down here.

-          Riggs Spring Loop:  short (8 miles), but you are allowed to camp and it is full of fascination. In the less-extraordinary (but still extraordinary!) southern part of the park.

 

Longer day walks:  these mostly require joining together some shorter walks, for instance the Peekaboo Trail with The Navajo Loop, Queen's Garden Trail and Rim Trail.

 

Shorter day walks:

-          Peekaboo Trail: Terrible name, but probably the best known walk in the area. A 5 and a half mile (from Bryce point) rub-your-eyes overload of weirdness, really outstanding formations and atmosphere. It does involve a lot of ascent/descent. Can be combined with the Rim Trail.

-          Fairyland Loop: an absolute classic, an 8 mile loop between Fairyland and Sunset Points on the rim, descending into Fairyland Canyon, then Campbell Canyon, climbing back to the rim, then returning on the Rim Trail to Fairyland Point. Wind through extraordinary formations, in what will feel like a psychedelic - nay psychotropic - experience.

-          Navajo Loop: Superb shorter (1+mile) walk

-          Queen's Garden Trail: 1 mile of concentrated beauty and fascination.

-          Rim Trail: an easyish 5 and a half mile of visual superlatives on the ...er... rim of the canyon. Links other trails to help you create wonderful longer walks.

There are plenty of other walks to be done, so you could spend several rewarding days exploring different parts of the maze.

Practicalities:  No public transport, so you will need to hire a car. Las Vegas and Salt Lake City are the nearest major cities.

Often combined with Zion NP and The Grand Canyon.

You can lodge and camp within and near the park.

Best book: Cicerone's The Grand Canyon with Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Excellent in many ways, if perhaps a bit short on the feel of the place.

Have a look at the dreaded TripAdvisor. You should get good, current views on this area.

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by recommending your best walks/making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

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Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Bryce Canyon National Park - ©Bud flickr user

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Bryce Canyon - ©Loic Largade flickr user...
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