Even though this is the steepest descent from the rim into the canyon
and ascent back out, the impressive Navajo Trail Loop is undoubtedly the
most popular hike in the park.
Why? Because the 550-foot drop into what I'd describe as two slot
canyons is a lot of fun, the loop is relatively short, and it's Bryce's
most iconic hike.
Unless you have vertigo or are acrophobic, it's
a rush to look down into the narrow canyons from the top of either Wall
Street or the Two Bridges side of the loop and see people winding back
and forth along the switchbacks:
Looking down from the top of
You can go either clockwise or counter-clockwise on the 1.3-mile
loop and use it to access the Peekaboo and Queen's Garden trails.
Here's a map section from the park
website that shows the Navajo Loop:
The Hoodoo newspaper trail guide recommends going CCW on the Navajo
Loop but either direction gives you a memorable hike.
I've done it both ways. The Wall Street side is a little steeper,
so the Park Service recommends going down that side and up the Two
Bridges side. But with my bum knees it's a bit easier for me to go
the opposite way. YMMV.
Access to the Navajo Loop is from the Sunset Point parking area. A
wide trail descends gently for several hundred feet past views of Thor's Hammer and
other interesting rock formations to a fenced overlook where you can
look down the Wall Street (southwest) side of the loop.
This is where you'll choose whether to go down Wall Street or the Two
Bridges (northeast) side of the loop. I've observed many people with limited
time or mobility turn around here and go back up.
Because so many people hike this trail it can be hard to find a
parking spot at Sunset Point between 9 AM and 3 PM (or at sunset!)
during the spring, summer, or fall. You
can avoid that by getting there earlier or later, taking the shuttle bus
in season, riding your bike and locking it up, or parking elsewhere
(Sunrise Point?) and hiking to the trailhead.
The disadvantage of going down either side early in the morning or
late in the afternoon is that the rock walls are more in the shade and
it's harder to take good pictures, as evidenced in the photo directly
above. At mid-day the sun lights up the rocks better, especially in the summer.
PHOTOS FROM THE "WALL STREET" SECTION
Here are some photos I took from three different times I've hiked up
or down Wall Street this fall.
These pictures start at the top and go down into the canyon, with
some views looking down and some looking back up:
Looking over at the Wall Street
slot from Sunset Point overlook
Jim's in the white sun shirt in
some of these pictures.
Maybe not the best place to hike
if you get claustrophobic . . .
"Atlas" holds up the rock
The slot gets even more narrow at
This big tree in such an
unexpected place is a surprise to everyone.
Looking back up the steps at the
bottom of the slot canyon.
Above and below: emerging
from bottom of Wall Street slot canyon
LOWER SECTION OF THE NAVAJO LOOP
The lower part of the Wall Street side of the loop follows a wash with
scenic views of spires and carved canyon walls in every direction:
Halfway through the loop you come to an intersection and have more
decisions to make -- continue up the other (Two Bridges) side of the Navajo
Loop to Sunset Point, follow the Queen's Garden Trail up to Sunrise Point, or take the
spur trail to the Peekaboo Loop:
If you can't decide right away, there are two log benches in the
shade so you can take your time and watch lots of people go by!
Continued on the
next page: lots more photos
the Navajo Loop
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil