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Tropic, Utah, United States

Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail

Hike into the canyon to experience Bryce Canyon's famous hoodoos; the best way to see the amazing hoodoos up close

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 (8 votes, 3 reviews)
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.5 miles / 5.6 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
 
Overview: This hike is hands down the best way to see the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. The views from sunrise point and sunset point on the rim area stunning, but you will experience an entirely different bryce canyon from the canyon floor while looking up at the hoodoos.

You start by hiking down Wall street a narrow canyon with high rock walls on either side. Soon after you will reach the flat canyon floor with the option to finish the Navajo Loop or continue on along the Queens Garden Trail to see more of the canyon. If you have time, hike on to Queens Garden where you will see some of the most spectacular formations in the park.

After you final ascent up to the rim you will arrive at sunrise point with a final view of the canyon.

Hoodoos go through several stages:
First they start as plateaus and water erodes away the sides until they become fins. Once the things become fairly skinny, holes will erode in the middle of them, creating a window. Finally, after more erosion, the top of the windows will break away leaving a hoodoo in its place.

In Bryce, most erosion occurs from "frost wedging". Rain seeps into cracks of the rocks, and when the temperature drops the water freezes and expands, which creates larger cracks in the rocks.


Tips: Bryce Canyon can be hot, especially the climb back out at the end. Bring plenty of water for the hike.

There are restrooms and water fountains near the parking lot.

Points of Interest

Parking
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Parking

There is a parking lot near Sunset point with restrooms and water fountains nearby. Park your car and walk towards sunset point.
Viewpoint
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Sunset Point

Sunset point offers some of the best views of the canyon's famous hoodoos. Below you will see the many hoodoos, fins, and other rock formations known as the "Silent City". As the name suggests, this is a great place to watch the sun set, during which the hoodoos will turn orange and red, colors that look almost too magical for it to be natural.
Landmark
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Thor's Hammer

From the rim you can see one of the more famous hoodoos in this part of the park: Thor's Hammer. Thor's Hammer stands alone in the canyon, and looks as if it is about to fall over at any second, so take your pictures now!
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Wall Street

Soon after you begin your descent you will arrive at Wall Street, where you will hike down several switchbacks down into the canyon. On either side you will see brightly colored canyon walls as you climb deeper in to the cave, while the canyon walls get more narrow.
Junction
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Queens Garden Trail

After about 0.8 miles from the start you will reach the flat section of the trail, with a fork in the road. To your left you can complete the Navajo loop, about a half of a mile further, or you can continue straight and join up with the Queen's Garden trail to add a little over 2 miles to your hike.

If you have the time, take a left at the fork and go as far as the Two Bridges (about half the way) and then come back and continue along the Queen's Garden trail. Queens Garden has some of the more spectacular hoodoos in the park and you will not want to miss them.
Landmark
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Two Bridges

Just like the name suggests, you will find 2 natural bridges here, one above the other. While they may look like they are going to fall at any moment they are surprisingly strong. Many years in the future, after many rain storms the bridges will erode away and will leave 2 hoodoos in their place.
Landmark
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Queen Victoria

Once in Queens Garden you will see queen victorian and her court of hoodoos standing high above you. This hoodoo is one of the more famous hoodoos in Bryce along with Thor's Hammer and The Hunter.
Viewpoint
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Queens Garden

Queens Garden is one of the more spectacular areas of this hike. You will be surrounded by hoodoos on all sides, looking up from their base. The different colors of white, red, and orange make them appear as if they were man-made.

The trail winds through several clusters of hoods and you will even walk through a few arches and tunnels carved out of the rocks as you start your final ascent up to Sunrise Point and the end of the hike.
Viewpoint
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Sunrise Point

Finish your hike with a stop at sunrise point to get a final view of all that Bryce Canyon has to offer. Here you can see such formations as "Boat Mesa", the "Sinking Ship", and the "Aquarius Plateau". Just like sunset point, this is a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset (the views from the two points aren't too different).

Walk on the paved path along the rim of the canyon back towards sunset point to find your car. There are restrooms and water fountains near the parking lot as well.
Pictures in this guide taken by: chris, msouphy, tonyfarley
Reviews
woosailor
No question that you should do the trail in reverse going down the much steeper Navajo Trail from Sunset Point and finish by doing Queen's Garden Trail back up to Sunrise Point ( I think). After some serious hiking you would not want to finish by hiking the steep switchbacks up to Sunset Point. Yaktrax are an excellent suggestion. There were ice patches I could have skated on in Feb and I fell on one of them. Wall St is closed until spring and you need to be aware of this. They cite a federal code or law that prohibits passage and it looked dangerous.
Visited on Feb 05, 2013

by woosailor on Feb 06, 2013
drnantu
I did the trail in reverse early Feb. 2012. I saw nobody for the whole 2 hours. They put a sign and said the Wall street section is closed for the winter. But I went through anyway. The trail on Wallstreet is covered with ice and snow. So going up is a lot easier than going down. Hiking boots are required. YakTrax is recommended. The snow melted on Queen's garden trail. It is muddy. Warm when the sun is out.
Visited on Feb 10, 2012

by drnantu on Feb 19, 2012
avalanche256
I've always done the loop in the reverse direction as this, but either way it's one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. I like having the big views on the way down, instead of having those to my back on the way up.

by avalanche256 on Oct 03, 2011

Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail Trail Map


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About the Author

chris
chris
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When I'm not spending all of my work time and free time working on cool new products for EveryTrail,...

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