Length: ~3 miles loop
Elevation change: 630 ft
Time: 2-3 hours
If you have a few hours to spend in the Bryce Canyon, you have to take Navajo Loop trail to reach the bottom of the Canyon. While both, the Sunrise and the Sunset point provide pretty good bird-eye views of this unique canyon, this hike is probably the best way to see and `feel’ the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. Looking up the spirals from the base of the canyon is the best way to experience them in my opinion.
Since we reached there by mid-afternoon, we decided to hike down Wall Street. By doing the loop this way, we would arrive back at Sunset Point which was the best option for us, because we expected to finish the hike around Sunset time.
By hiking down the Wall Street, we entered the narrow canyon with high rock walls on either side. About half an hour in, we reached the flat canyon floor.
From here, you have an option to continue along the Queens Garden Trail to see more of the canyon. we headed to the Queen’s Garden to see some more of the spectacular formations. The name Queen’s Garden came from a group of hoodoos that look like they have been planted in a garden. One of those hoodoos is supposed to look like Queen Victoria as a standing guard looking over her garden.
From here, we entered a small tunnel to get on the other side of the canyon, and from there the trail ascends to the Sunset point.
The sun was quite low on the horizon at this point sending a soft orange glow to the canyon making its crimson color more prominent. This was the best time to witness the beauty of the hoodoos. We took our own time enjoying the trail and finally made it back up right at the Sunset time!
The erosion patterns of Bryce’s hoodoos come 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.
Beauty-wise, Bryce is my personal favorite of all the big 3 (Grand, Zion, and Bryce) in the area. I would love to know which one is your favorite?