Visiting Bryce Canyon is a once in a lifetime experience. You will be amazed at the sheer brilliance of the red rock. When you arrive in Bryce Canyon, it may be a bit confusing as to where you are supposed to find the best hike. So I’m here to help narrow it down and show you the best hikes in Bryce Canyon.
A trip to Bryce Canyon is no doubt one of the most memorable trips you will ever take in your life. But don’t go without a little planning. You may find yourself accidentally on a 3-hour hike through the hoodoos without water or sunscreen.
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How To Get To Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is located in Southern Utah. The canyon is off UT Highway 63. If you are coming from I-15, you will take UT Highway 20 and head east.
If you are coming from I-70, take UT Highway 89 south to UT 20.
Also read: Epic Yellowstone Road Trip
What To Pack for Bryce Canyon
- A water bottle that keeps your water cold all day, you will love this hydro cell stainless steel bottle that comes in any color you want.
- Trail mix, cheese, and protein bars. Make sure to pack snacks, it’s best to sit at the bottom of the hoodoos and have a quick snack.
- A hat for sun protection in the summer (I love this simple baseball hat on Amazon). Or if you are traveling in the winter you will most definitely want a hat to keep your head warm while you hike, a beanie like this one is perfect.
- A hiking backpack or fanny pack. This is a great backpack on Amazon, it comes in tons of colors and it’s own tiny bag that is easy to pack.
- Wear layers, Bryce Canyon can be freezing in the morning but hot by the afternoon. So make sure to wear layers.
- Sun protection, winter, or summer the sun will be shining. Make sure to put on sunscreen before you head out on a hike. You will LOVE this spray on one from Nivea, it goes on super easy and gives great coverage.
- Good hiking shoes that will keep the red dirt out.
Also Read: What to pack on a road trip
Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Enough talk about packing (that’s the worst part anyway). Let’s dive into the best hikes of Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon is much larger than expected so make sure to plan where you want to go before you leave. Here is a map of the entire park. Don’t be overwhelmed, I’ll break it down and show the best hikes in Bryce Canyon.
*If you’d prefer to have someone else do the planning check out this great tour through Get Your Guide, it is about a 3-hour tour that will take you to all the top sites around the park.
- Length: 1.4 miles
- Elevation gain: 460 feet
- Level: Moderate to Difficult
- Where to park: Sunset Point parking lot, just off Highway 63
- Where to start: Sunset Point
The Navajo Loop is by far one of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon. It is a moderate hike that will take you about an hour to complete. I loved this hike because it takes you straight down into hoodoos. You can get up close and personal for some great photos!
This hike is a loop so you can start at either Sunrise or Sunset point. You will see the sign like above pointing you in the correct direction. The beginning of the hike is straight down into the canyon.
Warning: It is quite steep going down into the canyon, be careful on your way down. You may want to take hiking poles like these from Amazon to steady yourself down the hill.
The trail winds you down into the beautiful hoodoos. The loop has an ever-changing landscape from the hoodoos you will also wind through a forest of ancient pine trees.
My favorite part of this loop is going through the red rock archways. I also love hikes that are loops so I don’t have to walk back through the same way.
Wall Street Hike
- Length: 3.2 miles
- Elevation gain: 643 feet
- Where To Start: Sunset Point
- Where To Park: Sunset Point parking list
If you only have time for one hike in Bryce, this is it! On this hike, you will see the beautiful hoodoos and hike down into some of the narrows (or slot canyon) in Bryce Canyon. It is a shorter hike the Navajo Loop which is good if you want a quick stop on your road trip.
Let me start off by saying, make sure you start at Sunset Point, this is the best and quickest way to Wall Street. It is a short hike down a large hill, then you will see the sign for Wall Street, follow the sign and you’ll be dropped right into the slot canyon.
The total distance of this hike is 3.2 miles if you do the entire loop (Queens Garden Loop). You do not have to do the whole loop to take advantage of this incredible slot canyon. This hike is a loop so you can continue through the slot canyon and around the hoodoos or just choose to walk as far as you’d like and then turn back.
It’s up to you how long you’d like to hike. But no doubt you will see some amazing sights on Wall Street.
Mossy Cave Hike
- Length: 1 mile
- Elevation gain: 118 feet
- Where to start: On highway 12
- Where to park: Small parking lot right after you cross a small bridge
This is by far one of the easiest hikes in Bryce Canyon. You will hike along a little river that you can let your kids play in or dip your feet in to cool off. This trail is located on Highway 12 about 4 miles east of the intersection of Highway 63 and 12.
This hike is only about half a mile and then you will arrive at the cave and stunning waterfall. The powerful waterfall is quite a sight to see. During the winter this cave is especially spectacular because long beautiful icicles dangle from the ceiling.
This is one of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon because of the stunning ending and also because it is a hike that any skill level can do. No matter what time of year you are hiking, this cave will amaze you.
Where To Stay Near Bryce Canyon
The closest hotel to Bryce Canyon is in Bryce Canyon City. You will most likely drive through this small town on your way into Bryce Canyon. There is a large Best Western Hotel that is very nice. If you are going to spend multiple days going in and out of Bryce Canyon, this is the closest hotel and the best place for you to stay.
My favorite place to stay is near Bryce Canyon in Kanab, Utah. This tiny little town is a hidden gem. There are many local restaurants and a few local hotels that will add to your adventure. Kanab is located about 1.5 miles away from Bryce Canyon.
If you are bringing your dog with you, Kanab is very dog friendly. One of my favorite hotels in Kanab is dog friendly as well. Check out the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile hotel. It is centrally located, the rooms are large and very clean. You will love this hotel.
Kanab is also the closest place where you will find major hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton hotels. Make sure to check out some other incredible hikes that are near Kanab as well. There are stunning slot canyons and the infamous wave hike (pictured above) all near Kanab.
Also Read: Best USA Road Trips
Wrap up on the best hikes in Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is one of the most unique landscapes that I have seen in the whole world. The drive may seem a little out of the way but it is well worth it. Take at least one hike during your stay in Bryce Canyon so you can experience the hoodoos up close.
Don’t miss Wall Street hike to experience the spectacular slot canyons. Also, don’t forget your hat and water bottle! Enjoy the amazing sights all over this one of a kind park.