Navajo Loop, Sunset Point Trailhead, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Navajo Loop - 3.0 miles
Sunset Point Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||3.0 miles (includes all landmarks)|
|Start-End Elevation:||8,010' - 7,525' (8,020' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-485' net elevation loss (+659' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Navajo Loop - 3.0 Miles Round-Trip
The Navajo Trail, Queens Garden Trail and Rim Trail combine to form a short loop through Bryce Amphitheater, the Park's most vivid collection of hoodoos, fins and rock formations.
The official 'Navajo Loop' is comprised of the Navajo Trail and Wall Street Trail. In 2006 the Wall Street segment experienced a major rockslide rendering it impassible. Reconstruction efforts are underway for new routing that will run over the rockslide (vs. removing it altogether) to preserve results of this natural occurrence. The trail should re-open by Fall 2007. In the meantime it remains closed, and the following route is your best option for a shorter hike through the Bryce Amphitheater:
From the trailhead you'll enjoy commanding views of the amphitheater's intricate complexion before abruptly dropping - nearly 485' in just .6 miles - to the canyon floor on a series of well-designed switchbacks. Take note of Thors Hammer, The Temple of Osiris and distant Sinking Ship on the descent.
A short spur at the .4 mile mark (off to your left) leads a few dozen yards up a narrow slot to Twin Bridges, where a natural rock formation spans the slot (see photo gallery). At .6 miles (7,525') the trail reaches a junction for the Wall Street segment, Peekaboo Trail and Queens Garden Trail. Turn left towards Queens Garden.
Traveling beneath pinnacle groups you only moments ago stood above, the path now runs along a heavily vegetated canyon floor. Ponderosa and fir stands grow tall in the cool nooks of a geologic labyrinth. Verdant and widespread ground vegetation, most notably manzanita, accent this more intimate setting.
The trail rolls along with ease to the Queens Garden Trail junction (1.4 miles : 7,635'). A spur at this point (marked only by 'End of Trail') leads to the Queen Victoria viewing area - a rock formation resembling its namesake. The similarities are subjective, but nevertheless an interesting excursion if time permits.
Follow signs from the Queens Garden Trail junction to Sunrise Point (other connections at this junction are for horse travel only). The steepening trail squeezes through several man-made rock arches on a steep but colorful climb to the canyon rim. The trail levels out upon reaching Sunrise Point (2.45 miles, 8,020'). Bear left for an easy .5 mile jaunt along the Rim Trail back to Sunset Point.
- N37 37.398 W112 10.050 — Sunrise Point Trailhead
- Avoid the inevitable crowds by getting an early start.
- For a longer trek through the Bryce Amphitheater, consider combining the Navajo Loop with the Peekaboo Loop (known as the 'Figure 8') - see related trail links above for detailed information on each.
- While accessible from several points along the canyon rim, Sunset Point offers the easiest and most sensible access to the route (others access locations include spur trails beginning at the Sunrise Point Parking Lot, Bryce Canyon Lodge and The High Plateaus Institute, all of which add unnecessary mileage).
- Statistically, Bryce Canyon National Park is the highest lightning strike hazard in the state of Utah. Take approaching weather very seriously and plan travel time and routing accordingly.
- This trail is highly exposed to sun and wind; sunscreen, sunglasses and a broad-rim hat are recommended throughout the year.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips in Bryce Canyon National Park. Permits can be acquired at the Visitor Center the day of or day before your trip. Advance reservations are not accepted.
- There's a $5 per person fee to backcountry camp in Bryce Canyon National Park.
- Camp only in designated sites.
- Fires are not permitted at backcountry campsites or within the backcountry in Bryce Canyon National Park.
- Desert water sources are scarce and fragile. Do not bathe or wash dishes in creeks or pools.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $30 fee per vehicle to enter Bryce Canyon National Park (defined as private passenger cars with 15 people or less). Passes are good for 7 consecutive days.
- $25 per motorcycle.
- $15 per person (walk or bike).
- Dogs are not permitted on trails in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Directions to Trailhead
The Sunset Point Trailhead is located approximately 2 miles from the Park Visitor Center and Entrance Station. Follow Highway 63 1.75 miles south of the Entrance Station to the Sunset Point access road. Make a left and park in the cul-de-sac. The Navajo Trail is accessed from the south side of the cul-de-sac.
Bryce Canyon National Park
PO Box 640201
Bryce Canyon UT 84764-0201
Visitor Center Operating Hours
Summer 8am - 8pm (May - September)
Fall (October) 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Winter (November - March) 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Spring (April) 8:00 am - 6:00 pm