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Bryce Canyon National Park is best known for its hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock. Needless to say, hoodoos are best experienced from the day-hikes! Bryce Canyon offers several easy day-hiking trails, which provide an up-close and intimate look at these intricately carved rock formations.

Here are my favorite, absolutely amazing 4 easy hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park where you are guaranteed to see breathtaking scenery.

Looking for longer and more challenging hikes? No problem! Check out my post 11 BEST HIKES in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon National Park At-A-Glance

Before diving into easy hikes in Bryce Canyon, here are a few highlights to help you plan your trip to Bryce:

  • Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park

Hands down, Bryce Canyon National Park is a great destination to visit at any time of the year.

I have visited Bryce Canyon so many times at different times of the year and I have to honestly say that it is an awesome place to see no matter what month you visit!

What you need to keep in mind is that Bryce Canyon National Park sits at a high elevation of 8,000 to 9,000 feet. With this being the case, the temperatures are much lower compared to any other National Parks in Utah.

So, no matter when you are visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, pack some warm clothes and dress in layers. Even in the summer, the evenings can be chilly.

  • Where to Stay in or near Bryce Canyon National Park

Nothing beats staying inside the park! However, there is only one lodge, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon, available inside the park and accommodations are very limited. You should make reservations well ahead of your visit.

I have stayed at Best Western Ruby’s Inn numerous times and it is comfortable and convenient located only 1 mile from the entrance to the park. Also, if you are heading to Escalante National Monument, then this is a good place to spend the night since it is next to Scenic Byway 12. If you are flying into Bryce Canyon Airport, then the hotel offers a free transfer service from the airport to the property.

Another place that I am recommending is Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. It is also conveniently located right next to the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. The rooms are spacious, clean, and comfortable.

And finally, if you are traveling from Zion to Bryce Canyon, then my recommendation is to check out Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge. It is conveniently located between Zion and Bryce in Mount Carmel. The rooms are a good size with comfy beds!

  • How to Get to Bryce Canyon National Park

The closest major airports to Bryce Canyon National Park are in Las Vegas (LAS), Nevada, and Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah. 

There are smaller airports in Cedar City (CDC), Utah, and St. George (SGU), Utah. I use Skyscanner to browse flights and find the best price.

If you fly into any of the airports around Bryce Canyon National Park, you will have to rent a car and then drive.

  • How to Get Around in Bryce Canyon National Park

If you are visiting Bryce Canyon National Park during the high season (summer), then the best way to get around the park is by using Bryce Canyon Shuttle System. Now, the shuttle is not mandatory, however, it is highly recommended, since finding a parking spot could be very challenging.

All in all, whenever I visited during the winter months, I have to honestly say, that I never had any problems driving in the park (no traffic jams) or finding a parking spot. However, summertime is a different story altogether!

  • Intrepid Scout’s Tip:

It costs $35 to enter the park. The entrance pass is good for 7 consecutive days. If you are visiting several national parks then make sure to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites!

  • Important: Always check for the latest road or trail closures and changes to shuttle routes or schedules. Check HERE.

4 Amazing Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon (Perfect for Beginners)

NUMBER 1

Queens Garden Trail - One of the Most Popular Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon to See Hoodoos Up-Close

Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon

Map of Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. Image Source: NPS / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon 

  • Roundtrip Distance: 1.8 miles (not a loop)
  • Trail Location: Sunrise Point
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Change: 320 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

Queens Garden Trail is the most popular easy day-hike in Bryce Canyon that will take you below the rim, and let you meander among the hoodoos and see up-close their intricate carvings.

A Quick Read: 

What are hoodoos and how are they formed?

Hoodoos are geological formations created over many centuries through a combination of physical and chemical weathering forces.

As the National Park Service explains, “in the winter, melting snow, in the form of water, seeps into the cracks and freezes at night. When water freezes it expands by almost 10 percent, bit by bit prying open cracks, making them ever wider, in the same way, a pothole forms in a paved road.”

How Hoodoos Are Formed

Photo credit Brian B. Roanhorse/National Park Service / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

How to Get to Queens Garden Trail

Queens Garden Trailhead is located at Sunrise Point. It is super easy to get to Sunrise Point.

Once you get to the Visitor Center, which is about 1 mile past the entrance to the park, continue south for no more than 0.5 miles until you reach a junction.

Be on the lookout for the sign pointing to Sunrise Point. At the junction, turn left and continue for about 0.5 miles until you reach another junction. Next, follow the sign pointing in the direction of Sunset Point/General Store.

Finally, turn left again and continue for about 0.2 miles until you reach the Sunrise Point parking area.

What You Need to Know About Queens Garden Trail

Queens Garden Trail starts at Sunrise Point.

However, before you hit the trail, make sure to take your time at Sunrise Point and admire the incredible views of thousands of chiseled pinnacles extending all the way to Fairyland Point.

View from Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon

Make sure to take your time at Sunrise Point and admire the incredible views of thousands of chiseled pinnacles extending all the way to Fairyland Point / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

First of all, the trail starts very gently and gradually descends along a sloping ridgeline.

Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon

The Queens Garden Trail starts very gently and gradually descends along a sloping ridgeline / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Soon enough, you will be passing by several groups of beautiful hoodoo formations protruding from the trail right in front of you. This is a perfect spot to take lots of pictures!

Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon

Soon enough, you will be passing by several groups of beautiful hoodoo formations / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

As you continue hiking along Queens Garden Trail the views of the hoodoos just get better. You will notice that they are all in different sizes and heights.

Queens Garden Trail in Bryce. Canyon

Hoodoos vary in size and height ranging from that of a human to heights exceeding a 10-story building / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

After about 0.5 miles from the trailhead, you will reach the junction with the Horse Trail. Follow the sign for Queens Garden Trail.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

When you reach the junction with the Horse Trail, follow the sign for Queens Garden Trail / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

At about 0.7 miles from the trailhead, the Queens Garden Trail passes through a short, artificial tunnel. It is another great spot to take a few pictures!

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

At about 0.7 miles from the trailhead, the Queens Garden Trail passes through a short, artificial tunnel. It is a great spot to take some pictures! / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Soon after, the trail starts to zig-zag down a small hillside, and at that point, you will get to see some great views of a pinnacle-filled ravine. Shortly after, the trail reaches the second tunnel, followed by the third tunnel. All of these spots are awesome for taking some great photos.

Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon

Shortly after, the trail reaches the second tunnel, followed by the third tunnel / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Finally, you will encounter a junction with a very short spur trail to a viewpoint of Queens Garden. Make a slight right turn at the junction and follow the signs for Queens Garden.

The Queens Garden is a beautiful semi-circular ridge of phantom-like rock spires. At the center of it, is a swirling, elevated rock formation thought to resemble Queen Victoria.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

The Queens Garden is a beautiful semi-circular ridge of phantom-like rock spires / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

The weathering can alter huge rocks / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Next, when you are ready, retrace your steps and get back to the main trail.

You have two options at this point. You can continue hiking or you can simply retrace your steps and get back to Sunrise Point where you started Queens Garden Trail.

If you decide to continue hiking, then right after you retrace your steps to the main trail, there will be a junction between Navajo Loop Trail and Peek-A-Boo Trail.

Navajo Loop Trail is an awesome trail that you should consider checking out. It is a moderate trail and has a steep incline at the end. Peek-A-Boo Trail is another one of my favorites, however, it is a fairly strenuous hike.

NUMBER 2

Rim Trail - The Best Easy Hike in Bryce Canyon to Catch Amazing Views of Bryce Amphitheater

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Map of Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. Image Source: NPS / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

This is important!  The entire Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park is 10.4 miles round trip (not a loop). However, you can shorten this hike and hit the best viewpoints! Here are my recommendations:

  • Roundtrip Distance: Start your hike along Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park at Sunrise Point, then continue to Sunset Point, and finish off your hike at Inspiration Point. The total distance is 1.2 miles from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point
  • Trail Location: Various Access Points between Sunrise and Inspiration Points
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Change: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

How to Get to Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park

The entire trail is 10.4 miles long. It starts at Fairyland Point and goes all the way to Bryce Point. The elevation change is 1,177 feet and starts to change as you approach Bryce Point.

However, if you are not up to it, then it is perfectly ok to shorten this hike and start it from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point. The distance is no more than 1.2 miles from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point with very little elevation change making it a perfect easy day-hike in the Bryce Canyon.

It is super easy to get to Sunrise Point!

Once you get to the Visitor Center, which is about 1 mile past the entrance to the park, continue south for no more than 0.5 miles until you reach a junction.

Be on the lookout for the sign pointing to Sunrise Point. At the junction, turn left and continue for about 0.5 miles until you reach another junction. Next, follow the sign pointing in the direction of Sunset Point/General Store.

Finally, turn left again and continue for about 0.2 miles until you reach the Sunrise Point parking area.

What You Need to Know About the Rim Trail In Bryce Canyon National Park

Hands down, I have to say, this is one of my favorite easy hikes in Bryce Canyon. You get to take a leisurely walk along the rim of the scenic Bryce Amphitheater and admire the fascinating views dotted for miles by hoodoos!

Sunrise Point will be your starting point. Take your time at Sunrise Point because the views of the Bryce Amphitheatre are off the charts here!

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

The views of the Bryce Amphitheatre from Sunrise Point are simply off the charts! / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Next, continue south along Rim Trail. After about 0.5 miles, you will reach Sunset Point. It is another awesome viewpoint to stop and take it all in. The views of Bryce Canyon are breathtaking.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

The views of the Bryce Amphitheatre from Sunset Point / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Moreover, most of the trail between Sunrise and Sunset points is paved and also so well worn that portions are wheelchair accessible. However, the rest of the sections have some uneven surfaces which may make wheelchair access to some areas difficult.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

The views of the Bryce Amphitheatre from  Sunset Point / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Next, continue south until you reach Inspiration Point, which offers some of the best views in the entire park. It will be about 0.7 miles from Sunset Point to Inspiration Point.

Inspiration Point is a great spot to watch a sunset. If your time allows, come back to Inspiration Point to see Bryce Canyon Amphitheater in completely different colors!

I need to mention that there are wooden benches at various points along Rim Trail so take your time, sit down, and enjoy this wondrous scenery.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

The views of the Bryce Canyon from Inspiration Point / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

If you like taking pictures, then please check out my post Best Photography Locations in Bryce Canyon for sunset, sunrise, or nighttime photography, plus a ton of useful photo tips for Bryce Canyon.

For example, I always feel compelled to capture the entire Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, however, it is ok to zoom in and photograph sections of hoodoos.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon hoodoos up close / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Now, you can continue along Rim Trail, or you can end your hike right at Inspiration Point and retrace your steps and get back to Sunrise Point where you started.

NUMBER 3

Bristlecone Pine Trail - The Best Easy Hike in Bryce Canyon to See the Oldest Living Things on Earth - the Bristlecone Pines

Bristlecone Pine Trail In Bryce Canyon

Map of Bristlecone Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. Image Source: NPS / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

  • Roundtrip Distance: 1 mile
  • Trail Location: Rainbow Point or Yovimpa Point
  • Time: 30 min – 1 hour
  • Elevation Change: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

Bristlecone Loop Trail is one of the easy hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park where you can see the oldest living things on Earth, the Bristlecone Pines!

The oldest living Bristlecone Pine tree is called “Methuselah” and is 4,765 years old. Apparently, it lives in a secret location in the White Mountain range of California and Nevada.

A Quick Read: 

  • You can see Bristlecone Pine trees on Fairyland Loop Trail, as well as Bristlecone Loop Trail at Rainbow Point.
  • They are also scattered about the park, on Peekaboo Trail, and in places along Rim Trail near Inspiration Point.
  • Usually, you won’t find them in the interior of the park, only near the rim.
  • The oldest bristlecone is found at Yovimpa Point on Bristlecone Loop Trail, and is estimated at over 1,600 years old–a mere youngster!

Source: NPS

Bristlecone Pine in Bryce Canyon

Bristlecone Pines are also scattered about the park, on Peekaboo Trail, and in places along Rim Trail near Inspiration Point / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

How to Get to Bristlecone Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park

You can start Bristlecone Pine Trail at either Yovimpa Point or Rainbow Point which are located at the very end of Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive.

To get to Yovimpa Point or Rainbow Point take the main road that runs through the park. The road starts at the entrance to the park and after about one mile passes by the Visitor Center. Continue for about 14 miles until you reach Yovimpa Point. Check out my post and make some stops along the way to catch some more great views of Bryce Canyon.

What You Need to Know About Bristlecone Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon

Bristlecone Loop Trail is one of the easy hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park. You can start hiking from either Rainbow Point or Yovimpa Point. My recommendation is to start at Yovimpa Point. Why? The views just get better as you hike.

First of all, the trail goes through the forest of white fir, Douglas fir, and blue spruce. Next, it meanders to several good viewpoints at the top of the cliffs.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Bristlecone Loop Trail meanders to several good viewpoints at the top of the cliffs / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Along the way, you get to catch some awesome views of the Promontory, an isolated pink-sided summit southeast of Rainbow Point.

Be on the lookout for several weather-beaten bristlecone pines.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

You get to catch some awesome views of the Promontory, an isolated pink-sided summit southeast of Rainbow Point / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

The views get better as you hike along the trail.

Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Bristlecone Pines are also scattered about the park, on Peekaboo Trail, and in places along Rim Trail near Inspiration Point / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

When you are ready to continue, follow the trail. The final quarter-mile of the path is through a pretty dense forest. It feels great to walk through this section in the summertime since it is cool and shady. You might be able to find some patches of snow as late as the middle of the summer.

In winter the snow accumulates to depths of 10 feet or more. Although the road to Rainbow Point is generally open, the trail may well be inaccessible.

NUMBER 4

Mossy Cave Trail - The Most Fun Easy Hike in Bryce Canyon to See Waterfall in Summer and Icicles in Winter

Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon

Map of Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon. Image Source: NPS / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

  • Roundtrip Distance: 0.8 miles (not a loop)
  • Trail Location: North end of the park – 4 miles east on Hwy 12
  • Time: 30 min – 1 hour
  • Elevation Change: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

Mossy Cave Trail is one of the most fun easy hikes in Bryce Canyon that is great for the entire family. You can see a waterfall in summer and icicles in winter!

How to Get to Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon

Mossy Cave Trailhead is located at the north end of the park, about 4 miles east on Hwy 12.

Once you leave the Visitor Center, drive about 4 miles north on UT 63 (main park road) north to its junction with Hwy 12.

At the junction turn right and drive 3.5 miles east until you reach a parking area for Mossy Cave Trail.

What You Need to Know About Mossy Cave Trail

Mossy Cave Trail is one of the fun hikes in Bryce Canyon. It meanders alongside a stream and takes you all the way to the waterfall and a cave.

Interestingly enough, the stream is not natural. It originates from Tropic Ditch, which is an irrigation channel constructed by Mormon settlers between 1890 and 1892 to supply water to Cannonville and Tropic in the dry season when the Paria River stops flowing.

Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon

Mossy Cave Trail meanders alongside a stream and takes you all the way to the waterfall and a cave / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

So let’s get started! From the parking lot, take the trail and start hiking alongside a stream. In about 0.4 miles you will reach a junction. Turn left at the junction and continue to a mossy cave.

In fact, this mossy cave is quite spectacular in the wintertime when the water freezes and forms ice pillars and icicles.

Mossy Cave in winter in Bryce Canyon

In fact, this mossy cave is quite spectacular in the wintertime when the water freezes and forms ice pillars and icicles / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon 

After visiting the cave retrace your steps to the junction and at the junction turn right and continue a bit upstream until you reach a waterfall tumbling down 15 feet over the ledge and forming a small pool. It feels wonderful to take a break here and soak your feet after a long day of hiking.

Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon

Eventually, you reach a waterfall tumbling down 15 feet over the ledge and forming a small pool / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon

It feels wonderful to take a break here and soak your feet after a long day of hiking / Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon

When you are ready to head back, simply retrace your steps and get back to the parking lot.

What to Pack for Hiking in Bryce Canyon

I have seen many people hiking in their flip-flops, without any sun protection, and above all with no water. So, here is a reminder to make sure to have the basic hiking gear if you are planning to do some hiking.

  • Appropriate footwear

Trail shoes are great; hiking boots are even better since they offer more support.

  • Plenty of water

Without enough water, your body’s muscles and organs simply cannot perform as well. Consuming too little water will not only make you thirsty but susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness. I have been using Yeti Rumbler 26 oz insulated, stainless steel bottle, and I am highly recommending it!

  • Food

Food will help keep up energy and morale. I like RXBAR. It is a high-protein bar, gluten-free, and it is super yummy! Make sure to get a variety pack to keep it interesting.

  • Rain gear and extra clothing

The weatherman is not always right. Be prepared for unannounced rain or a cold spell. Dress in layers. It will allow you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat. I have had my North Face Jacket for years, and I love it.

  • First aid kit

Prepackaged first-aid kits for hikers are available at any outfitter.

  • Knife

A knife or even better, a multi-purpose tool is always good to have. These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, etc.

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses

Especially in the summertime, you will need sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

  • Daypack/backpack

You need something you can carry comfortably and has features designed to keep you hiking smartly. Don’t forget the rain cover; some packs come with one built-in. I have Osprey Daylite Daypack and it is perfect for day hiking.

  • Trash Bag

This will make sure that the trail will stay beautiful for generations to come. A zip-lock bag is a great option as well for keeping the trash you pick up along the trail separate from the rest of your gear.

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Easy Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park

  • So what if you have time for just one hike in Bryce Canyon National Park? Then hands down, the number one must-do easy hike in Bryce Canyon National Park is Rim Trail. It is a classic that should not be missed! And, you can shorten it any way you like. My recommendation is to start it at Sunrise Point and then walk along the rim to Inspiration Point. The views are off the charts!
  • If your time allows, then make sure to include Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon along the best viewpoints.
  • A trip to Bryce Canyon National Park is perfect when combined with a visit to Zion National Park. If you are planning an ultimate road trip, then my recommendation is to check out Zion to Bryce Canyon in 3 days (Itinerary, Maps, Plus Useful Tips).

Read All the Posts about Utah in:

Utah Travel Guide

 

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Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process with your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park!

Comments:

2 thoughts on “4 Amazing EASY HIKES in Bryce Canyon (Perfect for Beginners)


Julia Parra
2024-04-28

Your guides are great. Thank you. Curious- if we wan to do both the scenic drive with stops and also the 4 easy hikes, how would you suggest use planning that?
Do the drive with stops first and then do the hikes or do the stops and include the hikes along the way ? We will have one full day on Bryce 🙂

    2024-04-30

    Hi Julia,
    I sent you an email with suggestions. Please let me know if you have questions.

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