, so most trails are quite short. There is only one route that requires overnight camping - the 23 mile
, which links Bryce Point near the north of the park with Rainbow Point at the far south end. It has an elevation change of around 1,500 feet but is generally quite easy, and passes several back country campsites, but the scenery is not so special - mostly wooded, with only occasional hoodoos.
Free permits must be obtained for all overnight trips, either from the visitor center on the day of travel or by advance reservation. Off trail hiking in the national park is generally not allowed, and is in many places restricted due to the topography, though is possible in some areas. As this is a high elevation region - all trails are over 7,000 feet and some are up to 9,000 feet - some visitors might find the hikes more difficult than would otherwise be expected.
Elevation Change (feet)
||The southernmost of four connecting paths between the Under-the-Rim Trail and the park road is a fairly steep path that descends the south side of Agua Canyon, starting near Ponderosa Canyon overlook, and meets the main trail 17 miles from its northern trailhead at Bryce Point. The formations along the edge of the plateau occur in quite a narrow band hereabouts; most of the surroundings of the path are densely wooded.
||Bristlecone pines are the most ancient trees in the US; some specimens in California are well over 4,000 years old but those at Bryce Canyon have been growing for up to 1,600 years. They provide one attraction of a short loop trail that starts right at the southern end of the park scenic drive, at Rainbow Point (elevation 9,115 feet), and also passes many large Douglas fir trees while giving excellent views over quite extensive hoodoos and ravines to the south and west.
||The Fairyland Trail is a relatively strenuous route starting from the most northerly park overlook at Fairyland Point, winding down amongst the hoodoos, with a total elevation loss of nearly 1,000 feet, then turning southwest and climbing back to the rim at Sunrise Point. It passes various named features including Chinese Wall, Boat Mesa and Tower Bridge, while encountering varied scenery of canyons, ridges, pinnacles and woodland. The full 8.3 mile loop includes a return along part of the Rim Trail.
||Hat Shop is the name given to a group of unusual pinnacles formed by narrow columns of soft, light-colored sandstone topped by flat boulders of more resistant rock. The path is also the upper end of the Under-the-Rim Trail, starting at Bryce Point.
||Mossy Cave Trail is different to most in the Bryce Canyon area as it leads along a small stream (Tropic Ditch, flowing through Water Canyon) to a waterfall and a cool alcove fringed by curtains of moss. It is located not along the main scenic drive but a few miles east on UT 12, half way down Tropic Canyon, so can be seen without paying to enter the national park.
||This is a short, popular route that begins at Sunset Point and leads 520 feet downhill via a set of switchbacks into a narrow slot-like canyon known as Wall Street, returning by a parallel path alongside more formations. A continuation path further down the hill exits the park after 2 more miles, linking with a gravel road to the town of Tropic - the easiest-reached of a number of east-side entrances to the park.
||Starting from Bryce Point, the Peekaboo Loop Trail is one of the longer routes through the largest area of hoodoos in the national park, around the upper end of Bryce Canyon; it drops down very steeply from the plateau edge then winds amongst innumerable colorful formations. The path is shared by horses, which can sometimes cause delays for hikers. The route may also be accessed from Sunset Point via the Navajo Trail, or by a longer walk from Sunrise Point along the Queens Garden Trail.
||The shortest path into the best area of hoodoos, around Bryce Canyon, begins at Sunrise Point and descends into a side drainage, turning back west to the base of one tower thought to resemble Queen Victoria, surrounded by a semicircle of graceful formations. Past here the path continues another 0.7 miles to link with the south end of the Navajo Loop Trail, and the Peekaboo Trail.
||The path to Riggs Spring is one of the more difficult in Bryce Canyon National Park. It starts from Rainbow Point, the highest part of the plateau, and passes mostly through forested land, though with some eroded formations at intervals, en route to the spring, which has an elevation of 7,440 feet. From here the trail turns west then north, climbing back to the starting point. Although relatively short for a two day hike, some people camp for one night along the route, at one of three back country campsites.
||As its name suggests, this trail follows the edge of the rim, from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point, around the upper ends of Campbell Canyon and Bryce Canyon; a total distance of 11 miles but with various other entrances/exits so shorter walks are possible between different locations. The most popular part is the one mile section between Sunrise and Sunset points.
||The Sheep Creek Trail is the northernmost of 4 short paths that connect with the long distance Under-the-Rim Trail; starting from Swamp Canyon overlook, the path runs northwards through forest and meadows, turns east and drops over the rim of the plateau, past a few hoodoos and down a wooded valley to the junction.
||From Swamp Canyon overlook, a path descends into a wooded ravine between two small but pretty areas of sandstone pinnacles, and meets the Under-the-Rim Trail beside one of several back-country camp sites along this route. A loop hike can be made by walking north along the main path, then back to the rim via the Sheep Creek Trail.
||This is another short, well used path that starts from Sunrise Point, descends into Fairyland Canyon and leads to the Tower Bridge formation; it also forms part of the Fairyland Trail.
||Whiteman Trail is mostly used by backpackers, as it connects to the cross-country Under-the-Rim Trail, starting from a picnic area/overlook about half way along the park scenic drive and descending into a wooded ravine, meeting the other trail beside a primitive campground.