Bryce Canyon National Park   |  Angie Payne

Bryce Canyon Under-the-Rim Trail

The premier backpacking route in Bryce Canyon National Park that follows the foot of the Pink Cliffs through the southern reaches of the park.

Distance: 23 miles (37 km) one way (return trip via shuttle)

Hiking time: About 12 hours

Best seasons: April–June, September–October

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous*

Water availability: The Right Fork of Yellow Creek and Ponderosa Canyon, Iron, and Birch Springs carry water except during drought conditions.

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

Finding the trailhead: From the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, drive south on the park road for 1.6 miles to reach the turnoff for Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Follow the paved road southeast for 0.5 mile, bearing left at the junction to reach Bryce Point. The trail begins from the east side of the parking lot.

Trailhead GPS of Bryce Point start: 37.604287, -112.156684

Trailhead GPS of Rainbow Point finish: 37.475223, -112.240475

The Hike

The Under the Rim Trail is the premier backpacking route in Bryce Canyon National Park. Although it seldom strays more than a few miles from the park road, its position below the rimrock lends it a backcountry-like solitude. The hoodoos and cliffs along this trail are less spectacular than those in the heavily traveled northern reaches of the park, but those who hike here will seldom run into other visitors. Several connecting trails link this route with the road, allowing backpackers to select a route of almost any conceivable length. For overnight trips travelers must register in advance for one of the designated campsites that appear on the map accompanying this description. Once set, you cannot change your itinerary (written on your permit).

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