Bryce Canyon National Park – Rim Trail Hike


What? :

Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah, is known for it amazing beauty of the red-orange-pink-crimson-colored hoodoos.

The countless spire-shaped rock formations are forming the “heart” of the park: Bryce Amphitheater.

The large Bryce Amphitheater has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. The stunning view of the red-pink towering Hoodoos rock formations. Perfectly located below the high rim-line you will be amazed by the natural huge amphitheater-like landscape below.


Prime viewing times are around sunup and sundown.




Bryce Canyon National Park forms the eastern edge of a high plateau.

Over the years the Paria River system to the east erode the edge of the plateau and created this landscape. The upper resistant layers sediment cap the lower less resistant sandstone layers, this protects the underlying layers from further erosion, resulting in the spectacular hoodoos and spires that tower above the canyon floor.




Where? :

Located in the southern part of Utah on highway 12, not so far north from Zion National Park.

The nearest town is Bryce Canyon City (that is more an hotels location near the park entrance), 30 minutes’ drive to the west there is the small town of Panguitch (on highway 89).


Google Map Link



When? :

This park can be visit year-round, it can be hot at summer, but it is not as hot because it high altitude.

During winter, because its high altitude (8,000-9,000 ft of elevation), you can experience very cooled weather and snowstorms.

Most of the viewpoints and relatively the short/medium hikes are open also during snowstorm, but visibility can be limited, and visibility is what bring you to this place.

We visit here several time during the summer and even during a winter storm.

Additional Destinations is south of Utah:

Due Note 1: The park is open 24 hours a day throughout the year. There are no advanced reservations required to enter Bryce Canyon National Park. You will need to pay the park entrance fee.

Due Note 2: Visitor Center hours: Winter hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spring - Fall hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Summer hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Due Note 3: You can sleep in the Bryce Canyon Lodge, or you can find many hotel options just at the park entrance, or along highway 12 leading to the park. There is gas station, general stores, and restaurants near the park entrance.


Due Note 4: There are two large campgrounds within the park, and you can find other private location outside.


Due Note 5: Although not mandatory, because you can drive your car in all roads and viewing points, there is a free of charge shuttle service in Bryce Canyon. The shuttle provide transportation to the park's most popular overlooks, amenities, and trails. The shuttle travels throughout the iconic Bryce Amphitheater area of the park from April through mid-October. You can combine the shuttle with your long hikes. Buses typically arrive at each stop every 15 minutes.

Due Note 6: You will not be the only one here.... over two million visitors come to Bryce Canyon National Park each year. I visit here several times and unlike Zion National Park that can fill really crowded here it felt more relaxed. 


Due Note 7: If you’re planning on a summer hike, bringing plenty of water with you, sunscreen, and a heat.


Due Note 8: For winter hiking, snowshoes or spikes for your shoos are highly recommended to avoid slipping on the ice, this with a walking pools will help you to overcome the ice conditions going down.




My thoughts:

This is one of the best US National Parks we visit.

You can enjoy your visit here just walking to one of the amazing viewpoints over the amphitheater, hike sections of the Rim Trail, or take 3 hours walk down and "into" the landscape.

This is a must visit park for people that travel to south of Utah.

I highly recommend visiting at the rim viewpoints during sunset or sunrise, the light "paint" the hoodoos in strong color.


26 years ago, I visited the far south-end of the park, at the end of the road.

It was nice drive and overlooking viewpoint to the lower plains to the south, I do not remember this is as a "must".

I recommend staying near the entrance and explore the main park section.



The Visit:

Bryce canyon is a large park, but most of the recommendations are referring to the north section of Bryce Amphitheatre, not so far from the park entrance.


A short visit to the park can include driving to one of the rim viewpoints where you can see the amazing Bryce “Hoodoos Amphitheatre”.

Recommended viewpoints are Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration and Bryce point.

There are parking lots not so far from each viewing point so you can dive, walk to the nearest viewing point, and walk back to your car.


Another option is to park near one of the viewing points and walk along the Rim Trail.

you can walk as long as you want and enjoy the different landscape perspectives from each location.


It is highly recommended to hike down into the Amphitheatre where you get completely different perspective, interment and closeup interaction with the Hoodoos, Spires and Sandstone-fins, landscape.

An extensive interconnected network of trails covering the inner amphitheater makes it easy to combine trails and hiking all day or half of it.


Hiking the Rim Trail:


The Rim Trail hike follow along the rim of the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, giving you the best views of the hoodoos below.


The full length of the Rim Trail, from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point is 5 miles (10 miles out and back) with elevation gain of 1,587 ft.

Most people are only hiking a section of the trail, mainly near the main section of the park.



You can start your hike at Fairyland Point (the first road on your left when entering the park) but most people start there visit in Sunrise or Sunset viewing points.


You can hike from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point and back or keep hiking to the high Upper Inspiration Point or even walk all the way to the end of this trail at Bryce Point on the far east side of the park.


The section between Sunrise and Sunset Points is paved section, the rest of the trail is also not challenging and relatively leveled.


As you walk along the rim you can enjoy the beauty of this park and can see how the landscape change as you walk and the sun angle.


Based on the amount of time you have you can walk until you want to come back, do not rush, and give you some time to just seat and enjoy the view below you…


From Sunrise Point it is flat 1 mile walk along the Rim Trail to Sunset Point. Pets are allowed on this trail but must remain on the paved surfaces.

Additional mile of hiking will bring you to Inspiration Point and soon after to a higher overlook platform at the edge of the cliff.


From Inspiration Point to Bryce Point it is additional of 1.5-mile hike.


Once you are done, hike back to your starting point or you can use the shuttle system to drive back to your starting point.


The best time of the day to visit here is at sunrise or at sunset.





Additional Pictures: