Hiking Navajo Loop Trail // Bryce Canyon National Park

December 15, 2019

One of the highlights of my Bachelorette Road Trip was definitely spending the day at Bryce Canyon National Park, hiking a few of their beautiful trails. After an amazing time at Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, the girls and I drove to our Airbnb in Alton, Utah. It was about a two hour drive from Page, Arizona to Alton, but the house is conveniently located about 50 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park (our shortest drive of the entire trip).

We woke up pretty early the next morning and made our way to the national park from our Airbnb. The drive from Alton was scenic in itself, driving through Red Canyon and under the Red Canyon Arch. Utah is such a beautiful state, I have no doubt that the drive to Bryce Canyon from any direction would be aesthetically pleasing.

Bryce Canyon is open 24/7 with the Visitor Center opening at 8:00 a.m. 7 days as week except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Bryce Canyon is surprisingly located at an elevation of 8,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level (Denver is around 5,000 feet). It makes hiking in the summer enjoyable with highs in the 70's and 80's but the high altitude really does take your breath away (literally). 

Bryce Canyon National Park is much smaller than nearby Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park and receives about half the visitors as Zion and a third of the visitors as the Grand Canyon. The remote location is to blame but to the 2.5 million visitors that make the trek every year, the spectacular views of the brightly colored hoodoos is worth the drive. 

Bryce Canyon's hoodoos are created by erosion and weathering, and the main forces responsible are ice and rain. What started off as plateaus are now unique, beautiful hoodoos.   


Parking and getting around Bryce Canyon is a lot easier than Zion, no shuttle buses and you can start hiking from pretty much anywhere. We wanted to park at Sunset Point but that parking lot was full by the time we arrived, so we made our way down to Inspiration Point which had plenty of parking spaces left. 

There are so many awesome hikes at Bryce Canyon but I knew I wanted to hike Navajo Loop Trail to see Wall Street and Thor's Hammer. Wall Street is a narrow slot towards the bottom of the amphitheater surrounded by soaring fir trees and seer cliffs. This section is unique to the rest of the park and a must see while at Bryce Canyon. 

If hiking Navajo Loop Trail counterclockwise like we did, you will descend towards Wall Street through a series of steep switchbacks. Don't be fooled, there are switchbacks on the other side of the trail as well. They aren't as steep but my quads were still burning. We came back in the afternoon and hiked a different trail (a later post), but we came up through Wall Street and those steep switchbacks and I never felt so out of shape. Be prepared for a killer leg workout. Take breaks and take lots of pictures like I did! 

Thor's Hammer is probably the most famous hoodoo in the world. The infamous tall formation with a narrow neck supporting a hammer like rock is one of the most photographed landmarks at Bryce Canyon, if not the most photographed.


Navajo Loop Trail gives you the most bang for your buck while at Bryce Canyon National Park. You get to see Wall Street, Thor's Hammer, and Silent City in the distance. It's probably one of the most popular hikes at Bryce Canyon, and totally worth it especially if you only have time to hike one trail. It can get pretty crowded up top around the lookouts but once you get down in the amphitheater, it starts to thin out and you're just surrounded by nature. 

THE RUNDOWN:

Navajo Loop Trail
Bryce Canyon National Park
Highway 63
Bryce, Utah 84764

Start/Ends: Sunset Point
Distance: 1.3 miles
Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Entrance fee is $35.00 per private vehicle (up to 15 people) or $20.00 per person if you decide to hike or bike there.

Parking was fairly easy for us. We park at Inspiration Point in the morning and at Sunrise Point in the afternoon.

Wall Street and parts of the Rim Trail routinely closes during winter months, so check out the Current Conditions page on their website if you plan on going between December and February. There are other great trails to hike if Wall Street is closed.

Hiking down into the amphitheater is great, hiking back up is a workout. Take lots of breaks, drink lots of water. I had to stop a lot and I wasn't the only one. In the corners of all the switchbacks, you will find other people trying to catch their breath.

Bryce Canyon National Park definitely didn't disappoint, and I can't wait to head back one day! 


Don't forget to follow along on social media!

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