Connector Trails to Under the Rim

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.

Sheep Creek Trail

A day hike from the Bryce Canyon rim down to the canyon bottoms and, if desired, outside the park into national forest

Distance: 3–5 miles (4.8–8 km) one way

Hiking time: About 1.5–2.5 hours

Best season: April–October

Difficulty: Easy heading east; moderate heading west

Hazards: Loose gravel

Topo maps: USGS Bryce Point; Trails Illustrated Bryce Canyon National Park

Finding the trailhead: Drive 5 miles south from the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center and park in a small parking area. A trailhead sign for the Sheep Creek and Swamp Creek Connecting Trails is located at the parking area.

Trailhead GPS: 37.587656, -112.213169

This 3- to 5-mile route encompasses the Sheep Creek Connecting Trail, a short stretch of the Under the Rim Trail, and the Sheep Creek Trail proper. The trail leaves from a small parking area 5 miles south of the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center. The first mile of the trail stays above the rim, traversing the uplands of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The trail then follows the Sheep Creek draw south as it descends below pink limestone cliffs to visit the canyon bottoms.

Sawmill Canyon Connecting Trail

A trail connecting the park road and the Under the Rim Trail near Swamp Canyon Butte to the Right Fork Swamp Canyon Campground

Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km) one way

Hiking time: About 0.5 hour

Best season: April–October

Difficulty: Easy heading south; moderate heading north

Topo maps: USGS Bryce Point; Trails Illustrated Bryce Canyon National Park

Finding the trailhead: From the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, drive south 5 miles to a small parking area with a trailhead sign for the Swamp Canyon and Sheep Creek Connecting Trails. The hike begins here.

Trailhead GPS: 37.587583, -112.213169

This 1-mile trail makes a quick descent of 500 feet to drop below the rim and connects with the Under the Rim Trail. Many confusing paths lead from the trailhead sign; follow the path that heads downhill to the left (north). Continue heading downhill to the left until you come to a second trail sign indicating the junction of the Sheep Creek and Swamp Canyon Connecting Trails.

From this junction the Swamp Canyon Connecting Trail turns right (south) and immediately descends along a draw between limestone cliffs to the east and west. Below the rim the trail winds southwest along the wash through an area vegetated with Gambel oak, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, juniper, and manzanita. The cliffs of the rim appear to the northeast and northwest of the trail. Once the path reaches the junction with the Under the Rim Trail, hikers will see Swamp Canyon Butte jutting up into the sky to the south.

Whiteman Connecting Trail

This trail connects the park road with the Under the Rim Trail near Swamp Canyon Campground and Noon Canyon Butte.

Distance: 0.9 mile (1.4 km) one way

Hiking time: About 0.5 hour

Best season: April–October

Difficulty: Easy heading west; moderate heading east

Topo maps: USGS Bryce Point; Trails Illustrated Bryce Canyon National Park

Finding the trailhead: From the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, drive along the park road to mile marker 9 and turn left into the small parking area on the east side of the road. The hike begins here.

Trailhead GPS: 37.564975, -112.238030

From the parking area the trail heads south, briefly paralleling the park road. The trail continues generally south through a juniper-pine forest until it reaches a dry wash. From here the path turns northeast and follows the wash downhill. The path follows the wash until it intersects with the Under the Rim Trail near the Swamp Canyon Campground.

Agua Canyon Connecting Trail

Overview: A trail connecting Ponderosa Point with the Under the Rim Trail

Distance: 1.8 miles (2.9 km) one way

Hiking time: About 1 hour

Best season: April–October

Difficulty: Moderate

Hazards: Steep pitches and loose rocks

Topo maps: USGS Tropic Reservoir and Bryce Point; Trails Illustrated Bryce Canyon National Park

Finding the trailhead: From the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, drive south on the park road for 13.7 miles to the Ponderosa Point parking area. The trail departs from a signpost on the northwest side of the parking area.

Trailhead GPS: 37.503635, -112.262456

This trail ultimately emerges onto an open slope below the rim and passes beneath pink limestone cliffs. From here hikers can gaze northward at the multicolored cliffs of Agua Canyon. Travelers with keen eyesight might spot Natural Bridge to the north across Agua Canyon and Bridge Canyon. The path continues down along this slope until it ends at a junction with the Under the Rim Trail. The junction commands northward views of the Pink Cliffs, Agua Canyon, and Natural Bridge. Rainbow Point rises above the horizon to the south.