I have a soft spot for old Indian legends. Which might explain why I have a soft spot for Bryce Canyon. You see Bryce Canyon used to be the place where the Legend People, ancestors to the Paiute Indians lived. According to a Paiute story, the Legend People were skin changers who did something evil. To punish them, the almighty Coyote spirit turned them into stone. The Paiute therefore call the hoodoo rock formations in Bryce Canyon, Anka-ku-was-a-wits or red-painted faces.

This 6km hike takes you through the ancient Indian lands and along the highlights of Bryce Canyon.

The hike starts at Sunset point which is one of the lookout points from which you can see the Bryce amphitheater. Take the path to the right which is called the Navajo Loop Trail and descend down a narrow canyon with switchbacks called Wall Street. At the bottom of the canyon you will find the Pondarosa pine. This remarkable tree grows in between the high rock walls.

Bryce Canyon Sunset Point

Sunset Point

Bryce Canyon Wall Street

Wall Street

Wall Street Bryce Canyon view from below

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon Pondarosa Pine

After 1.1km you will come to a crossroad where you need to follow the Peekaboo Loop by the Wall of Windows (2.7km). Most of the crowds except for the occasional horseback-riders will have disappeared by the time you have reached this part of the trail. For me, it was the most intriguing part of the park. I walked among these rock formations, admiring their bright orange color contrasting the blue sky while hearing nothing but the sound of the wind.

Bryce Canyon Peekaboo Loop

Bryce Canyon Hiking Trail

Bryce Canyon Cowboy

Wall of Windows Bryce Canyon

Wall of Windows

Where the Peekaboo loop returns you need to leave the trail and hike in the direction of Bryce Point. After a steep climb (1.8km) you will be rewarded with another fantastic view on the Bryce amphitheater with its strange rock formations.

Bryce Point

Take the free shuttle bus back to Sunset point from here.

Do it Yourself

There is a $25 entrance fee per vehicle to the park. (You can use an America the beautiful card here).
Use the map below and follow the yellow hiking trail to do it yourself.
Bryce Canyon Hiking map