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Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon

 

EASY HIKES IN BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
(WITH MAPS AND PHOTOS)

 

Bryce Canyon National Park is a hiker’s paradise.

Here are my favorite EASY HIKES in Bryce Canyon National Park where you are guaranteed to see breathtaking scenery.

Looking for longer and more challenging hikes? No problem!

Check out my post 11 BEST HIKES in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Bryce Canyon National Park  is best known for its hoodoos, which are tall, think spires of rock.

Needless to say, hoodoos are best experienced from the day-hikes!

Bryce Canyon offers several easy day-hiking trails, which provide an up-close and intimate look at these intricately carved rock formations.

 

 

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK HIKING TIPS 

 

  • Elevations in Bryce Canyon National Park Park reach over 9,000 feet. Even mild exertion may leave you feeling completely out of breath, light-headed and nauseated.
  • Keep in mind that all trails below the rim involve steep climbs out of the canyon.
  • Stay on maintained trails. Do not wander off.
  • If you are hiking in winter consider getting crampons and ski poles for extra grip and support.
  • Do not feed wildlife. First, they get used to being fed and consequently, they visit the campsites and parking lots looking for food. In addition, human food is not the best option for their diets. Lastly, they bite.

 

 

 

 

NUMBER 1

QUEENS GARDEN TRAIL – 

THE MOST POPULAR EASY HIKE TO SEE HOODOOS UP-CLOSE IN BRYCE CANYON

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Map of Gueens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Image Source: NPS 

 

  • Roundtrip Distance: 1.8 miles (not a loop)
  • Trail Location: Sunrise Point
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Change: 357 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

 

Queens Garden Trail is the most popular easy day-hike in Bryce Canyon that will take below the rim, and let you meander among the hoodoos and see up-close their intricate carvings.

 

NUMBER 1

 

WHAT ARE HOODOOS? 

Hoodoos are geological formations created over many centuries through a combination of physical and chemical weathering forces.

As the National Park Service explains, “in the winter, melting snow, in the form of water, seeps into the cracks and freezes at night. When water freezes it expands by almost 10 percent, bit by bit prying open cracks, making them ever wider, in the same way a pothole forms in a paved road.”

 

Bryce Canyon

Photo credit Brian B. Roanhorse/National Park Service

 

 

HOW TO GET TO QUEENS GARDEN TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

 

Queens Garden Trailhead is located at Sunrise Point.

It is super easy to get to Sunrise Point.

Once you get to the Visitor Center, which is about 1 mile past the entrance to the park, continue south for no more than 0.5 miles until you reach a junction.

Be on the lookout for the sign pointing to Sunrise Point. At the junction, turn left and continue for about 0.5 miles until you reach another junction. Next, follow the sign pointing in the direction of Sunset Point/General Store.

Finally, turn left again and continue for about 0.2 miles until you reach the Sunrise Point parking area.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT QUEENS GARDEN TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON

 

Queens Garden Trail starts at Sunrise Point.

However, before you hit the trail, make sure to take your time at Sunrise Point and admire the incredible views of thousands of chiseled pinnacles extending all the way to Fairyland Point.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
View from Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

First of all, the trail starts gradually descending along a sloping ridge-line.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Queens Garden Trailhead in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Soon enough, you will be passing by several groups of beautiful hoodoo formations. Take your time and snap a few pictures of the hoodoos.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Hoodoo formations along Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park

 

After about 0.5 mile, you will reach the junction with the horse trail.

At about 0.7 miles, the trail passes through a short, artificial tunnel. It is another great spot to take a few pictures.

By the way, if you like taking pictures, then make sure to check out my post: Best Photography Locations in Bryce Canyon (with Maps and Photos).

 



INTREPID SCOUT’S TIP:

READ: Best Photography Locations in Bryce Canyon (with Maps and Photos)

CLICK HERE



 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Artificial tunnel along Queens Garden Trail in the Bryce Canyon.

 

Soon after, it starts to zig-zag down a hillside.

However at this point, you get to see great views of a pinnacle-filled ravine.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Great views of a pinnacle-filled ravine along Queens Garden in the Bryce Canyon.

 

Shortly after, the trails reaches the second tunnel, followed by the third tunnel.

Finally, you encounter a junction with a very short spur trail to a viewpoint of Queens Garden. Make a slight right turn at the junction and follow the signs for Queens Garden.

The garden is a beautiful semi-circular ridge of phantom-like rock spires.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Queens Garden in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

More importantly, at the center of it all is a swirling, elevated rock formation thought to resemble Queen Victoria.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
The Queen Victoria Hoodoo in the Bryce Canyon.

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Hike the Hoodoos – Queens Garden.

 

Next, when you are ready, retrace your steps and get back to the main trail.

You have two options at this point.

You can continue hiking or you can simply retrace your steps and get back to Sunrise Point where you started Queens Garden Trail.

If you decide to continue hiking, then right after you retrace your steps to the main trail, there will be a junction to Navajo Loop Trail and Peek-A-Boo Trail.

Navajo Loop Trail is an awesome trail that you should consider checking out. It is a moderate trail and has a steep incline at the end.

Peek-A-Boo Trail is another one of my favorites, however it is a fairly strenuous hike.

 

 

Don’t have time to read it now?

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Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon

 

 

NUMBER 2

RIM TRAIL –

THE BEST EASY HIKE TO CATCH AMAZING VIEWS OF BRYCE AMPHITHEATER

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Map of Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Image Source: NPS 

 

  • Roundtrip Distance: The entire Rim Trail is 10.4 miles round trip (not a loop). However, you can easily shorten this hike and hit the best viewpoints!
  • Trail Location: Various Access Points
  • Time: It will take you about 5-6 hours to hike the entire trail (Remember, you can just do the main viewpoints)
  • Elevation Change: 1,177 feet (entire trail)
  • Difficulty: If you just do hike from Sunrise to Inspiration Point then it is an Easy Hike 

 

HOW TO GET TO RIM TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

 

The entire trail is 10.4 miles long. It starts at Fairyland Point and goes all the way to Bryce Point.

The elevation change is 1,177 feet and starts to change as you approach Bryce Point.

However, if you are not up to it, then it is perfectly ok to shorten this hike and start it from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point. The distance is no more than 1.2 miles from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point with very little elevation change making it a perfect easy day-hike in the Bryce Canyon.

It is super easy to get to Sunrise Point!

Once you get to the Visitor Center, which is about 1 mile past the entrance to the park, continue south for no more than 0.5 miles until you reach a junction.

Be on the lookout for the sign pointing to Sunrise Point. At the junction, turn left and continue for about 0.5 miles until you reach another junction. Next, follow the sign pointing in the direction of Sunset Point/General Store.

Finally, turn left again and continue for about 0.2 miles until you reach the Sunrise Point parking area.

Here is a detailed map of Rim Trail from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point: 

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point along Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon.

Image Source: NPS 

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RIM TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON 

 

I have to say, this is one of my favorite hikes in Bryce Canyon. You walk along the rim of the scenic Bryce Amphitheater and admire the fascinating views dotted for miles by hoodoos.

 

Sunrise Point will be your starting point. Take your time at Sunrise Point because the views of the Bryce Amphitheatre are off the charts here!

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Next, continue south along Rim Trail. After about 0.5 miles, you will reach Sunset Point. It is another awesome viewpoint to stop an take it all in. The views of the Bryce Canyon are breathtaking.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
There are benches along Rim Trail, so take your time, sit down, relax and enjoy the views!

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Views along Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Moreover, most of the trail between Sunrise and Sunset points is paved and also so well worn that portions are wheelchair accessible. However, the rest of the sections have some uneven surfaces and may make wheelchair access to some areas difficult.

Next, continue south until you reach Inspiration Point, which offers some of the best views in the entire park. It will be about 0.7 miles form Sunset Point to Inspiration Point.

 

 

It does get better! Inspiration Point is a place where you should come back again after you are done exploring Bryce Canyon National Park.

The picture below was taken right before sunset and shows off the Bryce Amphitheatre is completely different colors. So make sure to come back to some of these viewpoints at sunrise or sunset to see the Bryce Canyon in a different light.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
The view of Bryce Canyon National Park

 

I need to mention that there are wooden benches at various points along Rim Trail so take your time, sit down and enjoy this wondrous scenery.

If you like taking pictures like I do, then zoom in and catch some different views of the Bryce Canyon. Also, check out my post: How to Take Photos in Bryce Canyon.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Now, you can continue along Rim Trail, or you can end your hike right at Inspiration Point and retrace your steps and get back to Sunrise Point where you started.

 

 

NUMBER 3

BRISTLECONE LOOP TRAIL –

THE BEST EASY HIKE TO SEE THE OLDEST LIVING THINGS ON EARTH, THE BRISTLECONE PINES

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Map of Bristlecone Pine Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Image Source: NPS 

 

  • Roundtrip Distance: 1 mile
  • Trail Location: Rainbow Point or Yovimpa Point
  • Time: 30 min – 1 hour
  • Elevation Change: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

 

Bristlecone Loop Trail is one of the easy day-hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park where you can see the oldest living things on Earth, the Bristlecone Pines!

By the way, the oldest living tree is called “Methuselah” and is 4,765 years old. Apparently, it lives in a secret location in the White Mountain range of California and Nevada.

 

NUMBER 3

 

WHERE TO SEE BRISTLECONE PINES IN BRYCE CANYON?

  • You can see Bristlecone Pine trees on Fairyland Loop Trail, as well as Bristlecone Loop Trail at Rainbow Point.
  • They are also scattered about the park, on Peekaboo Trail and in places along Rim Trail near Inspiration Point.
  • Usually, you won’t find them in the interior of the park, only near the rim.
  • The oldest bristlecone is found at Yovimpa Point on Bristlecone Loop Trail, and is estimated at over 1,600 years old–a mere youngster!

 

Source: NPS

Best Photography Locations in Bryce Canyon
Bristlecone pine along Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

HOW TO GET TO BRISTLECONE PINE TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

 

You can start Bristlecone Pine Trail at either Yovimpa Point or Rainbow Point which are located at the very end of Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive.

 



INTREPID SCOUT’S TIP:

READ: Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park Along Epic Viewpoints

(with Maps and Photos)

CLICK HERE



 

To get to Yovimpa Point or Rainbow Point take the main road that runs thorough the park. The road starts at the entrance to the park and after about one mile passes by the Visitor Center. Continue for about 14 miles until you reach Yovimpa Point.

Check out my post and make some stops along the way to catch some more great views of the Bryce Canyon.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BRISTLECONE LOOP TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON

 

Bristlecone Loop Trail is one of the easy day-hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park.

You can start hiking from either Rainbow Point or Yovimpa Point.

My recommendation is to start at Yovimpa Point. Why? The views just get better as you hike.

First of all, the trail goes through the forest of white fir, Douglas fir and blue spruce. Next, it meanders to several good viewpoints at the top of the cliffs.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Views along Bristlecone Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Along the way you get to catch some awesome views of the Promontory, an isolated pink-sided summit southeast of Rainbow Point.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Bristlecone pines along the rim of Bristlecone Pine Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

Be on the lookout for several weather-beaten bristlecone pines.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Bristlecone Pine along Bristlecone Pine Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 

The final quarter mile of the path is through a pretty dense forest. It feels great to walk through this section in the summer time since it is cool and shady. You might be able to find some patches of snow as late as middle of the summer.

In winter the snow accumulates to depths of 10 feet or more. Although, the road to Rainbow Point is generally open, the trail may well be inaccessible.

 

 

NUMBER 4

MOSSY CAVE TRAIL – 

THE MOST FUN EASY HIKE IN BRYCE CANYON TO SEE A WATERFALL IN SUMMER AND ICICLES IN WINTER 

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Map of Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon.

Image Source: NPS 

 

  • Roundtrip Distance: 0.8 miles (not a loop)
  • Trail Location: North end of the park – 4 miles east on Hwy 12
  • Time: 30 min – 1 hour
  • Elevation Change: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

Mossy Cave Trail is one of the most fun easy day-hikes in Bryce Canyon that is great for the entire family. You can see a waterfall in summer and icicles in winter!

 

HOW TO GET TO MOSSY CAVE TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON 

 

Mossy Cave Trail is located at the north end of the park, about 4 miles east on Hwy 12.

Once you leave the Visitor Center, drive about 4 miles north on UT 63 (main park road) north to its junction with Hwy 12.

At the junction turn right and drive 3.5 miles east until you reach a parking area for Mossy Cave Trail.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Mossy Cave Trailhead in Bryce Canyon.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ANOUT MOSSY CAVE TRAIL IN BRYCE CANYON 

 

Mossy Cave Trail is one of the fun hikes in Bryce Canyon. It meanders alongside a lively stream and takes you all the way to the waterfall and a cave.

Interestingly enough, the stream is not natural. It originates from Tropic Ditch, which is an irrigation channel constructed by Mormon settlers between 1890 and 1892 to supply water to Cannonville and Tropic in the dry season when the Paria River stops flowing.

 

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon
Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon.

 

So lets get started! From the parking lot, take the trail and start hiking alongside a stream. In about 0.4 miles you will reach a junction. Turn left at the junction and continue to a mossy cave.

In fact, this mossy cave is quite spectacular in the wintertime when the water freezes and forms ice pillars and icicles.

After visiting the cave retrace your steps to the junction and at the junction turn right and continue a bit upstream until you reach a waterfall tumbling down 15 feet over the ledge and forming a small pool. It feels wonderful to take a break here and soak your feet after a long day of hiking.

When you are ready to head back, simply retrace your steps and get back to the parking lot.

 

 

ESSENTIAL HIKING GEAR

 

I know what you are thinking! Essential hiking gear… But, seriously, I have seen many people hiking in their flip flops, without any sun protection, and above all with no water.

So, here is reminder to make sure to have the basic hiking gear if you are planning to do some hiking.

 

  • Appropriate footwear – trail shoes are great; hiking boots are even better since they offer more support.
  • Plenty of water – without enough water your body’s muscles and organs simply cannot perform as well. Consuming too little water will not only make you thirsty, but susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness.
  • Food – food will help keep up energy and morale.
  • Rain gear and extra clothing – the weatherman is not always right. Be prepared for unannounced rain or a cold spell. Dress in layers. It will allow you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat.
  • First aid kit – prepackaged first-aid kits for hikers are available at any outfitter.
  • Knife or multi-purpose tool – these enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, etc.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses – especially in the summer time, you will need sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  • Daypack/backpack – you need something you can carry comfortably and has the features designed to keep you hiking smartly. Don’t forget the rain cover; some packs come with one built-in.
  • Trash Bag – this will make sure that the trail will stay beautiful for generations to come. A zip-lock bag is a great option as well for keeping the trash you pick up along the trail separate from the rest of your gear.

 

 

 

INTREPID SCOUT’S POINTERS FOR EASY HIKES IN BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK 

 

That is quite a list of easy day-hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park, right?

What if you only have time to do a couple of hikes?

No problem! Here are my absolute must-do 2 easy hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park:

  • Hands down, the number one must-do easy hike in Bryce Canyon National Park is Rim Trail. It is a classic that should not be missed! And, you can shorten it any way you like. My recommendation is to start it at Sunrise Point and then walk along the rim to Inspiration Point. The views are off the charts!

 

  • Second, my favorite easy hike in Bryce Canyon National Park is Queens Garden Trail. It offers unsurpassed views of the hoodoos!

 

 

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Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Easy Day-Hikes in Bryce Canyon

 

 

Now, it is your turn, I would like to hear back from you!

Are you planning your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process with your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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