Bryce Canyon Backpacking
Permits for Backpacking in Bryce Canyon - Permits are required for backpacking trips and are available at the Bryce Canyon Visitors Center from 8:00 am until two hours before sunset. Bryce Canyon does not accept phone or email reservations, but in person reservations can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Permits are required for all overnight stays. Permits may be purchased at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center from 8 a.m. until one hour before closing. They do not accept advance reservations via the internet or mail. Reservations may be made up to 48 hours in advance, in person, at the visitor center.
Under the Rim Trail - 23 mile round trip. This is the longest trail in Bryce Canyon. It is a moderately strenuous (elevation change about 1500') and remote backpack from Bryce Point, through forested areas below the rim, to Rainbow Point. There are 8 designated campsites along the trail.
Fairyland Loop Trail - 8.5 mile round trip. Begin this strenuous hike at Fairyland Point or north of Sunrise Point. This trail descends quickly, losing more than 900' and then joining the Rim Trail to make a loop. This is a great hike to take showing a variety of hoodoo formations, passing some of Bryce Canyons favorite landmarks, Boat Mesa and the Chinese Wall. Tower Bridge is only .2 miles. From there it is a 1.5 mile climb, gaining 770' to arrive back at the rim. The hike up the trail passes Campbell Canyon and the Chinese Wall. Allow 5-6 hours. A section of the Fairyland Loop Trail is used by cross country skiers. Skiers may take the path up to the Fairyland Point Overlook. There are two options from here. Take the one mile Forest Trail. Follow the path north along the rim to the park boundary. 1.2 miles
Riggs Spring Loop - Strenuous - 8.8 miles round trip. Many of the Bryce Canyon trails begin at Rainbow Point and the Riggs Spring Loop is among them. Rainbow Point at 9115' is the highest point in the park. It is located 17 miles south of the Bryce Canyon Visitors Center. Although this trail can be completed in one day, it is often enjoyed as an overnight hike. To start, follow the Bristlecone Loop Trail but turn left at the first spur. A four way junction is just ahead. Follow the sign pointing to the Under the Rim Trail. At the next junction, you will finally see a sign pointing to Riggs Spring. Most of the trail winds through the forest but there are some nice views of the hoodoos as the trail winds above and below the Pink Cliffs at the southern edge of the park. Keep your eyes peeled at the higher elevations for a glimpse of the ancient Bristlecone Pines, usually found away from the abundant White Firs, Douglas Firs and Spruce. At the bottom is Riggs Springs and it can be pretty hot down there, the elevation is 7443'. From here it is an uphill climb to Yovimpa Point. If you are not camping, bypass the Riggs Spring Campground (3.4 miles from the trailhead) which will save about .75 mile of walking. Yovimpa Pass is on the crest of the Pink Cliffs where the elevation is 8360'. From this point you have about 2 miles left and a climb, gaining about 600', to the trailhead from the Yovimpa Pass junction. The route gains about 600' along this stretch. It is only a short walk back to Rainbow Point from Yovimpa Point. Allow 5-7 hours for the round-trip.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
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