Bryce Canyon Adventure Guide

Top Five Adventure Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park

In addition to its many short, easy day hikes suitable for families, Bryce Canyon National Park also boasts numerous longer, more challenging trails as well as overnight backpack trips. These hikes will take you away from the crowds and provide an intimate look at the amazing geology in Bryce, from the bizarre hoodoos to sharp rock fins to the striking Pink Cliffs.

Hikers who wish to take an overnight backcountry trip must obtain a backcountry permit for a fee from the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center. In efforts to minimize impact upon the backcountry ecosystem, the National Park Service has designated campgrounds along the Under the Rim Trail and Riggs Spring Loop. Backcountry campers must indicate which campgrounds they will be using on their trip and stick to their itinerary. While obtaining a permit, hikers can question the park rangers about water availability and seasonal conditions.

Before embarking on any long hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, hikers should make sure they carry several essential items. First and foremost is water. Bryce Canyon is extremely hot and dry during summer. Water sources below the rim are severely limited and must be treated prior to consumption. As a rule, always carry ample water to last the duration of the hike, and then some. Carry sunscreen, eye protection, and a hat to prevent overexposure to the sun’s rays. Since trails in Bryce Canyon traverse steep and rocky slopes, wear sturdy boots that provide ample support and protection.

The Hikes

1. Fairyland Loop Trail: 8 miles. An enjoyable day hike, this route loops through the Fairyland amphitheater just north of Bryce Canyon past many interesting rock formations.

2. Peek-a-boo Loop Trail: 5.5 miles. A hiker and horse trail that winds around hoodoo formations below Inspiration Point and Bryce Point, offering views of the popular Wall of Windows, the Three Wisemen, The Organ, and The Cathedral.

3. Riggs Spring Loop: 8.8 miles. A day hike or leisurely backpacking loop that traverses above and below the famous Pink Cliffs at the southern edge of Bryce Canyon National Park.

4. Under the Rim Trail: 23 miles one way (return trip via shuttle). The premier backpacking route in Bryce Canyon National Park that follows the foot of the Pink Cliffs through the southern reaches of the park.

5. Connector Trails: 2 to 4 miles. A series of short “connector” trails that take hikers from the canyon rim to various points along the Under the Rim Trail.