Are you visiting Utah and thinking how many days you need to visit Bryce Canyon National Park? Is one day enough to hike the best of the trails in Bryce Canyon National Park? Which are the best hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park. You are about to get the answers to all.
We recently visited Utah in Spring vacation 2021. We had 6 days for our vacation all jammed pack with exploration from day 1 when we landed in Las Vegas. We were left with only a day for Bryce Canyon National Park. To our surprise and our smart planning, we were able to do hike the best of Bryce Canyon trails in one day. We are an adventurous hiking family of 3 with a Kid.
We started early in morning for Bryce Canyon NP from Kanab where we stayed in a Hotel for 5 days. Kanab is best location to stay if you are planning to visit Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Escalante, Grand Canyon National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Dam, Glen Canyon Recreation Area and other south western Utah famous places.
Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park
There are many trails in Bryce Canyon National Park to chose from that give ample view of the orange and white color hoodoos. But when you only have a day to explore the National Park there isn’t much option to accommodate most hikes and also sightseeing other scenic vistas in the Bryce Canyon. After researching we decided and planned for the Navajo Loop Trail and the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail.
It seems our decision was the best to accomplish most of the Bryce Canyon National Park in one day. We felt the Navajo Loop and Peekaboo Loop trail are the best with stunning views of the Wall of Windows, the Pockets, The fins, Pine trees, and desert vibes.
Navajo Loop Trail
TrailHead – Sunset Point
Round Trip – 1.5 Miles
Time Duration – 1-2 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss – 800 feet
Features – Hoodoos, Switchbacks in middle of limestone walls
Points to See – Famous Hoodoos -Thor’s Hammer, The Queen, Two Bridges, the only Tree in the middle of Canyon floor at end of switchbacks.
The most iconic trail of Bryce Canyon National Park that every visitor should do. Never mind the heavy traffic on the trail because of the stunning landscape and views of hoodoos. Navajo Loop Trail is a 1.5-mile round trip hike rated as moderate and popular among visitors and hikers.
The trail begins and ends at Sunset Point. Navajo Loop Trail is a must-do hike. The switchbacks take you down between narrow walls of colorful limestone with views of Douglas fir trees and the most famous hoodoos – The Thor’s Hammer.
The Trail descends 800 feet down from the Bryce Rim and then loops back up climbing the slopy switchbacks. There are two sides of the Navajo Loop Trail, the one takes you to the “Two Bridges “which is open all year round, and the other side “The Wall Street” which is seasonally closed due to precipitation combining with freezing temperatures. On our visit, the “Wall Street” side was closed so we hiked Two Bridges side down and back up combined with Peekaboo Loop Trail.
On proceeding ahead on the Navajo Loop trail, there is a junction where hikers can choose either to continue for Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail or the Queens Garden Trail. We chose to hike the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail.
Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail
Trailhead – Sunset Point/ Bryce Point.
Round Trip – 3 Miles (3 miles to Navajo Loop Benchmark, Total 4.5 miles back to Sunset Point Parking Lot)
Time Duration – 4 to 5 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss – 1550 feet
Features – Hoodoos, Switchbacks in middle of limestone walls, Desert vibes, Pine trees, Pit Toilet
Points to See – Bryce Amphitheater, Wall of Windows, Tunnels, More Switchbacks, Fins, Pockets, Desert vibes, White/Orange Hoodoos
Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail is the most scenic hiking trail rated as strenuous with 3 miles round trip. We did this trail in combination with Navajo Loop Trail starting at Sunset Point. The interesting point is there are more than 0.5 miles odd distance connectors between the Navajo Loop trail benchmark and the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail starting point.
At the start of the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail, you need to decide either to go clockwise or anticlockwise. After asking many hikers coming back from Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail, which direction is worth the views. We decided to go in an anticlockwise direction and that was the best decision.
Peekaboo Loop Trail is worth the strenuous climb up and downs in Bryce canyon as one gets to see the stunning views of Wall of Windows, Fins, Pockets, Liberty Castle, few tunnels, sets of switchbacks, a mix of Orange and white rock formations, different structures of Hoodoos that run your imagination to the wildest.
The main feature of the Peek-A-Boo Loop trail is the Wall of Windows where arches and cracks in the upper portion of hoodoos frame the beautiful blue sky through it. The hike has rapid elevation gain and switchbacks that make it strenuous. There are some cool tunnels to pass through beneath it. We recommend doing the Peek-A-Boo Loop trail as one gets the feeling of being indifferent world with Desert vibes. Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail can also be started from Bryce Point.
Do carry plenty of water, salted snacks, sun protection shades. Hiking shoes or boots are recommended as many leg injuries have been seen on this trail. There are plenty of other hikes that can be done but need another day or two.
The other famous hikes are Queen’s Garden Loop and the Navajo Loop in combination. For hikers or visitors looking for paved trail, then Rim Trail connecting Sunset Point to Sunrise point is great option.
After almost spending 5-6 hours hiking at Sunset Point doing the loop trails of Navajo and Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail, we had 2 more hours to spend in the park before returning to the Hotel. So, we drove straight to the last viewpoint in the park – Yovimpa Point. Do check my blog post on Things To Do in Bryce Canyon National Park.
If you have only a half day for Bryce Canyon National Park, then Driving through the park is the best thing to do and seeing the views from the scenic vista points.
Don’t Forget to Carry your Hiking Essentials
- 2 liters of water (3litres or more during Summer)
- Wear Sun Protection T-Shirt or Long Sleeves
- Hiking Boots or Shoes
- Hat or Cap
- Bandana to have as face-covering as some portion will be very dusty and horse poop
- Salty snacks
- Protein or Energy Bars
- Sun Shades
- First-aid Kit
- Extra layer.
FAQ – Bryce Canyon National Park
Question 1 – How Many Entrance Does Bryce Canyon Have?
Bryce Canyon National Park have only one entrance along UT 12, 14 miles from US 89 in West and 110 miles from UT 24 in East.
Question 2 – How many days are required for Bryce Canyon National Park?
One day is sufficient if you are planning to do 1-2 hikes and driving through and visiting all the scenic viewpoints in the park. If you are planning for 2 or more strenuous hike along with visiting the points, then 1.5 – 2 days are recommended.
Question 3 – What are Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon?
The Hoodoos are rock formations that can range in size of a human to a height of 10 floor building. The hoodoos are carved in Claron formation. Limestone, Dolomite, Mudstone, siltstone make up the four different rock types that form Claron Formation. Each Hoodoos structure erodes at different rates depending on the exposure to wind, snow, rain and temperatures. The rock’s resistance to erosion is what causes the undulating shapes of the hoodoos.
Question 4 – How Old are the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon?
Hoodoos are believed to be 50 million years old.
Question 5 – Which are best places to see in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, Rainbow Point, Natural Bridge, Sunrise Point are the best places not to be missed.
Question 6 – Is there Shuttle service in Bryce Canyon National Park?
Yes, There are shuttle buses that operate in the park and takes you to all the scenic vista points. One can park the vehicle in the parking lot at the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park and hop on the shuttle. If you have the luxury of time, then a shuttle is a good option.
Question 7 – Are there Stroller friendly or wheelchair friendly trails
The Rim Trail connecting Sunset Point and Sunrise Point is a paved trail. All hiking trails are pure red mud, a mixture of sandstone. Trails are not stroller/wheelchair friendly, but the viewpoints are wheelchair/stroller friendly.
Question 8 – When is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park
Early Spring till May and Later Fall is a good time to visit. It gets very hot during Summer starting from June. We visited in the first week of April, we got to see some patches of snow on the Peek-A-Boo Loop Trail.
Question 9 – Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon City is the nearest city to Bryce Canyon National Park and many options to stay in this beautiful small town.
Best Western PLUS Ruby’s Inn – Located just 1 mile from Bryce Canyon National Park, This Utah hotel offers convenient amenities and comfortable accommodations just minutes from Scenic Byway 12 and the Escalante national Monument.
Best Western PLUS Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel – Nestled among the red rock cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park. Pink Cliffs Village is 1.3 mi from Best Western PLUS Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, while Three Wisemen is 2.2 mi away. Scenic hiking and cycling trails are also easily accessible
Luxe Bryce Canyon Home with Fireplace, Patio, and Grill – Perfect for a group of Families, This holiday home has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
Pin It for Later…
Connect with me on Instagram- @travelandhikewithpcos