Hiking Southern Utah: Navajo Loop Trail – The Independent | News Events Opinion More

Hiking Southern Utah: Navajo Loop Trail – The Independent | News Events Opinion More

Hiking Southern Utah: Navajo Loop Trail

Trail name: Navajo Loop Trail

Location: Bryce Canyon National Park

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 1.3 miles

Bryce Canyon National Park is known for the tall spires of red and orange rock known as hoodoos that spread across the canyon floor reaching upward, and towering above those beneath them. It is a sight I think everyone should see at least once. One of the best trails to take you among these hoodoos and see them in all their glory is the Navajo Loop Trail.  Navajo Loop is a moderate hike of 1.3 miles. It allows you to see the best of Bryce Canyon, without taking too much time, but connects to other trails along the way for those wanting a longer hike.

The trail begins and ends at Sunset point. If you’re considering extending the hike then I suggest you begin on the right to make sure you see Wall Street, a narrow slot canyon that you won’t see anywhere else in Bryce.  The trail descends about 550 ft into the canyon in a series of switchbacks.  As you make your way down you will see the towering red walls grow closer and closer as the trail narrows. My favorite spot is the small archway you walk Navajo loopthrough about halfway down the switchbacks. After you clear the slot canyon you will eventually come to the junction point that allows you to continue on Navajo Loop or switch over to the Queen’s Garden or Peek-a-Boo Loop. If you want to make sure you see as much as possible, consider hiking what is called the Figure Eight trail, which includes the Peek-a-boo loop and then finishes with Queen’s Garden.  Continuing on Navajo Loop, the next landmark you’ll see is the Twin Bridges. Two natural stone bridges stretch across the small alcove along the side of the trail. After this you’ll make your way into the area known as the Silent City. This is the area with the tall spires and towering hoodoos that reach to the sky. Among them is one of the most famous hoodoos in Bryce, Thor’s Hammer. As you make your way through the city you’ll begin your upward climb back to Sunset Point.

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Navajo Loop Trail is the most popular hike in Bryce Canyon National Park because it is short, fun, and lets you immediately delve into the towering hoodoos Bryce Canyon is known for.  I’ve done it by itself and in conjunction with the other trails. Keep in mind the climbs in and out of the canyon are steep and difficult and may be slick. You will definitely want shoes that can handle hiking on sandstone. The rest of the trail is fairly easy hiking, but remember that the canyon is still hot during the summer and you’ll need to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. The parking lot next to Sunset Point contains restrooms and water stations. The entrance fee into Bryce is $30.

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