Say it with me now, Hoodoos! Probably the funnest word in all of geology, Hoodoos (or earth pyramids), are tall thin spires of rock that make up a majority of Bryce Canyon National Park. Just North of Zion National Park, Bryce is unlike any other park in Utah. With the largest collection of Hoodoos in the world Bryce is definitely worth adding to your National Park bucket list.
We camped outside the park but if you are lucky enough to get there early there are two beautiful campgrounds actually in Bryce along with the Bryce Canyon lodge. There are plenty of gorgeous views to be seen in Bryce but because it is one of the smaller national parks it get a little crowded in the middle of the day. I would suggest getting up early to beat the crowds and taking the shuttle service so that you can avoid fighting for a parking spot. You have a lot of hiking options in Bryce, so whether you are looking to just stroll to a view point or walk amongst the hoodoos, there is a hike for you.
We decided to do the Fairy Land Trail first, a 8 mile loop scaling up and down canyons and in-between hoodoos. The trail is listed as strenuous but with a couple of granola bars and plenty of water it’s nothing we couldn’t do. It was actually one of my favorite hikes I have ever done in a National Park. You wind through the hoodoos, up and down ridges and get some amazing views of the land bridges in the park. I think it truly earns it’s name of Fairy Land because of how diverse and whimsical the landscape is. We started early and it took us about 4 hours to complete the whole hike.
We also hiked the Navajo Loop Trail, an easy 3 mile hike that begins at the famous Sunset Point. You get to see a really different side of the park hiking down into the amphitheater and winding your way back up the gorge called Wall Street. Its a really popular loop and would be a great option for kids.
The park also completely changes in the winter when you can go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or sledding. Or if you are not interested in the whole walking-up-large-hills-thing you can take a guided horseback ride up the canyon.
If you have more time to adventure in the park here are a couple other hikes and view points that would be sure to give you a great view.
- Mossy Cave (0.8 Mile, easy)
- Rim Trail (11 Miles, easy)
- Bristlecone Loop (1 Mile, easy)
- Queens Garden (1.8 Miles, easy)
- Tower Bridge (3 Miles, moderate)
- Hat Shop (4 Miles, moderate)
- Swamp Canyon (4.3 Miles, moderate)
- Fairland Loop (8 miles, strenuous)
- Riggs Spring Loop (8.5 miles, strenuous)