In early May, Drew and I spent a long weekend exploring southern Utah. We had previously spent time in Zion, but we were excited to check out new spots like Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Bryce Canyon doesn’t require a lot of time compared to other National Parks, which was perfect for the one day we had allotted for exploring the park. With one day, we were able to hike down through the hoodoos and explore multiple viewpoints and overlooks.
We opted to do the Figure 8 hike that includes the Navajo Loop Trail, Peek-A-Boo Loop, and Queen’s Garden Trail, which ended up being the best way to see the canyon. The full trail is 6.4 miles and is a strenuous hike with lots of ups and downs.
We started at Sunset Point before descending into the canyon. We had hoped to take the Wall Street route to the right, but the trail was closed, so we continued down the canyon wall to the left into a series of switchbacks.
Once we reached the bottom of the trail, we entered a lush area and followed a connector to the Peek-A-Boo Loop trail. Peek-A-Boo Loop is where the hiking and the hoodoos get good. There’s plenty to see from the Wall of Windows to interesting little tunnels and lesser known hoodoos. The trail goes up and down throughout the canyon allowing you to see the hoodoos from different vantage points. We appreciated the views and definitely got a good leg workout!
Once we looped back around to the start of Peek-A-Boo Loop, we took a connector over to Queen’s Garden. On the Queen’s Garden trail, you will see a hoodoo that resembles Queen Victoria, which was pretty neat. Finally, it’s time to venture up and out of the canyon. After several hours of hiking up and down throughout the canyon, it was tough to slog our way out to Sunrise Point.
After grabbing lunch and hitting the visitor center, our energy was renewed for more exploring. We made our way to Bryce Point and Inspiration Point for final views of the park.
Overall, we had a great time at Bryce Canyon, but we were thankful that we didn’t schedule more time in the park as it doesn’t really require more than one day. Below are a few tips to help you maximize your time at Bryce:
- Bring plenty of water. If you’re doing the Figure 8 hike like us, then be sure to bring 2-3 liters of water. The canyon can get hot and you’re at altitude, so be sure to hydrate so you can fully enjoy your time in Bryce.
- Get there early. Like most National Parks, Bryce is a hopping spot. You have a better chance of securing parking inside the park and having the trails to yourself if you start early.
- Use the park shuttle. Once inside Bryce, there’s an amazing 15-stop bus system that can help you easily navigate the park. We left our car at Sunset Point in the morning and then used the bus after our hike to get to the visitor center.
Bryce Canyon National Park is truly a unique sight and well worth the visit. Enjoy your time there!