Hiking the Navajo Loop Trail - Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is all about the hoodoos. If you only have time to do one trail in Bryce, the Navajo Loop trail should be it.
It is such a fun, action packed, family friendly hike that the kiddos will love.....except for the uphill climb at the end. My five year old was not a fan (see pic of tantrum below...haha).
At the beginning of this hike you will make a rapid descent along a series of long and short switchbacks down to the canyon floor. The most difficult part of the hike will be the switchbacks at the end of the hike that return you to the rim. These switchbacks are very short, so this hike is still very doable with kids, just take your time.
This trail starts at Sunset Point along the rim of Bryce Canyon just a little bit south of the lodge. Click here to see map.
From Sunset Point the trail descends along a paved path with safety rails. After about 100 feet the railing ends, and the path splits. You can take the trail to your left(east) or right.(south). I suggest you go to your right (it gives you the most bang for your buck right in the beginning). A series of long and short switchbacks will take you to Wall Street and the canyon floor. Wall Street is the only slot canyon in Bryce and is probably the most famous and magnetic attraction in the park and for good reason. It is awesome! The tall tree to your right as you exit wall street is such an amazing site to behold. Hiking along the canyon floor is full of up close hoodoos and beautiful views. The hike back up to the rim is steep and windy but so so beautiful. Going slow never looked so good. Scroll through for tips and additional info.
TIPS AND ADDITIONAL INFO
To lengthen your hike, you can take the Queens Garden Loop Trail that connects to Navajo Loop. I hear it has some of the most amazing desert hiking around.
We did this hike in the evening (4:50 pm the end of September). It started out very busy and crowded, but as we got down to the canyon floor the crowds thinned out, and by the time we were headed up we had the place to ourselves.
The trail took 1 1/2 hours to complete with plenty of time for breaks to play and explore.
In September the weather was quite cold (35 degrees). Bring warm jackets, gloves, and hats.
If you are going in the summer, this trail is known to get very hot so bring hats for shade and plenty of water.
Even though this is a short hike, I still recommend bringing snacks for the kiddos. They will come in handy on the last leg of the trail.
Sunset Point, where the trail begins, is an easy and short walk south of the Bryce Lodge.
Good comfy hiking shoes with lots of traction will be your friend.