Photo by @andrewwmt
With the nation still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, various national parks around the nation have slowly begun to reopen. With social distancing and safety procedures in place, visitors can visit the amazing national parks that they are accustomed to. One of these parks is Bryce Canyon National Park. Located in Utah, Bryce Canyon provides visitors with pristine views of hoodoos and buttes that make the landscape almost alien-like. Since its opening on May 10th, visitors have flocked to the park to hike upon the once-closed trails. Here are some of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park that we believe are worth a mention.
Due to the effects in place, only certain parts of the park are open. Overnight camping within the park is currently closed as well as certain parts of the backcountry. An updated list of closures can be found here. Although camping within the park is off-limits, various campsites are open outside of the park and can be booked through sites such as Hipcamp. Once a site is secured, visitors can gather their gear and get ready to explore some of the best hikes in Bryce Canyon.
Best Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park:
Navajo Loop Trail (1.4-miles) - Easily the most popular hike in the park, the Navajo Loop Trail is a perfect way to see the essence of Bryce Canyon. Hikers will start their trip at the top of Sunset Point before descending through Wall Street and the Silent City. The hike finishes at the top of Peekaboo Loop Trail. For those looking to extend the hike, be sure to continue on the Queen’s Garden Loop Trail located at the bottom of the Navajo Loop.
Bristlecones Loop Trail (1-miles) - One of the many unique features of Bryce Canyon National Park is it’s Bristlecone Pine Trees. Starting at Rainbow Point, this kid-friendly hike takes hikers along the rim and provides great views of the trees. Hikers should be on the lookout for wildlife, as the trees provide the perfect habitat for species of birds and other creatures.
Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail (5.5-miles) - For hikers that want to get a great look at the mysterious hoodoo formations, this is the hike. This hike descends approximately 1,500 feet in elevation so be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes. This is the perfect day hike for those looking to hike along a less-crowded trail.
Riggs Spring Loop Trail (8.8-miles) - One of the longer routes available, Riggs Springs lets backpackers hike along the famous Pink Cliffs within the Southern side of the park. Done as a day-hike or a leisurely backpacking trip, this trail is a great way to see the backcountry of Bryce Canyon. The trail offers three different campsites along the way where hikers can camp overnight or hang out for lunch. This trail can typically be done in 4-5 hours and is often less crowded.
Hat Shop (4-miles) - One of the most strenuous hikes in the park, Hat Shop gives hikers a unique view of white rocks perches atop the hoodoo formations. The trail descends abruptly and is only recommended for those in excellent shape. Hikers should take their time while hiking this trail because the views are stunning. Hikers can expect to catch views over the Paria River Valley and Kaiparowits Plateau.
With the reopening of the parks, the foot-traffic in Bryce Canyon National Park is expected to jump drastically. For those visiting, be sure to plan your trip prior and pack properly. Although there are plenty more hikes in Bryce Canyon, we believe that these are some of the best.
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Written by @visualsbyry