2015  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

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   BRYCE CANYON NATL. PARK TRAILS:
  BRYCE POINT TO THE PEEKABOO LOOP

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8

 
"From Bryce Point, one of the most scenic vistas of the 
full [Bryce] amphitheater and all its wonders amaze the visitor."
 
~ Bryce Canyon NP webpage about Bryce Point
 
 

In a previous entry I showed photos of and from the major overlooks above Bryce Canyon, including Bryce Point.

This overlook above the main Bryce amphitheater is the farthest one to the south on the shuttle bus route and it has several trailheads -- to the Rim Trail going north all the way to Fairyland Point, to the Under-the-Rim Trail that runs 23 miles to the south, and to the Bryce Point Trail that switchbacks down into the canyon from the overlook and connects to the Peekaboo Trail:

I've already written about the Rim Trail. This entry focuses on the 1.1-mile Bryce Point Trail, which I marked in yellow on the map above. I'll show photos from the Under-the-Rim Trail to the Hat Shop rock formations in the next entry.

TRAIL LOGISTICS

I really like the views into and beyond the main amphitheater from the Bryce Point Trail.

I hiked it twice this fall as part of longer hikes to or from the Peekaboo Loop, and several more times in spring and fall 2016. These photos are ones that I took on two different days in September, 2015 and show views in both directions (up and down).


Expansive view of the Bryce Amphitheater from Bryce Point Trail

I was hiking solo the first time, going up to Bryce Point from the canyon after hiking the Rim, Queen's Garden, Navajo, and Peekaboo trails.

The second time, when I wanted to hike the shortest route to show Jim the Peekaboo Loop, we went down the Bryce Point Trail, hiked around the loop, and returned back up to Bryce Point, where we were parked. We hiked a total distance of 6.2 miles that day, including a little bonus distance to see the views from Bryce Point.

A shorter way to enjoy the expansive views along this trail is to simply park your own vehicle at -- or ride a shuttle bus to -- Bryce Point, go down the Bryce Point Trail as far as you want, and come back up without doing the Peekaboo Loop.

The Bryce Point Trail has an elevation gain or loss of about 500 feet over one-plus mile.

That's a moderately easy elevation gain/loss but feels harder if you aren't acclimated to the higher altitudes in this park. The elevation at the overlook trailhead is about 8,300 feet and about 7,800 feet where the trail intersects with the Peekaboo Loop.


Looking down on the Bryce Point-Peekaboo Loop trail intersection
(marked with red dot) from higher up on the Bryce Point Trail

Switchbacks at the beginning and end of the Bryce Point Trail where there is the most elevation gain and loss make those slopes more gentle, and the middle part of the trail is rather flat.

TRAIL CONDITIONS

The trails and connectors through and above the main amphitheater -- Rim, Queen's Garden, Navajo, Peekaboo, and Bryce Point -- are all generally wider and smoother than the trails in the wilderness areas within the park, like Fairyland and Hat Shop.

Although most of the Bryce Point Trail dries out rather quickly, some of it can get quite muddy and/or sticky when soaked with rain or melting snow. If people walk over it when it's wet their footprints, sometimes two or three inches deep, can harden and make walking difficult for a few days until the surface is smoothed down again by more hikers.


Nice, smooth, dry surface on the Bryce Point Trail

Neither mud nor hard, gouged-out surfaces were a problem the two times I hiked the trail this fall but I encountered mud so sticky the next spring that I turned around after about 100 feet from the upper trailhead. It was like walking in wet cement so I found another drier trail to hike that day.

Rain can also precipitate -- no pun intended! -- mud and rock slides. Even in dry periods you can usually see small bulldozers or other equipment parked along this trail and the Peekaboo Loop so they are convenient when the trails need to be smoothed out or cleared of debris:


Jim inspects several pieces of trail equipment on the Bryce Point Trail.

Unlike other trails in the park that I've hiked, this one has several small, continually-seeping springs on the hillside above it that leave wet spots even if it hasn't been raining:

MORE SCENIC PHOTOS OF THIS TRAIL

There are great views not only from the upper trailhead and nearby Bryce Point itself, but also all along the trail down into the amphitheater. You can see many miles north and east over the Bryce Amphitheater into Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument from the higher parts of the trail,

as well as closer details like a delicate flower near the edge,

colorful carved rock walls below (someday some of those will be individual hoodoos),

and a large archway where the trail passes through a rock fin:

 

You can also see the arch and fin as you look down from the Bryce Point overlook (see next two pictures) but it's more fun to get down there and walk through it:

Above and below:  a very different perspective of the archway on the Bryce Point Trail

Here are some other interesting views from this trail, roughly in order from the upper to the lower levels but looking in either direction:


Zoomed in on people at overlook on Bryce Point


There are narrow switchbacks on the initial descent from Bryce Point, then these broad ones.


A little national pride on the trail above a gorgeous display of colorful rock walls and spires


Closer view of some of those pretty sculptured rocks


There's a tiny window in that rock fin.

 

 

The remaining pictures are on the other side of a small pass on the descent to the intersection with the Peekaboo Loop:

Above and below:  views of the "grottoes" in the white rocks below the rim;
also visible from the path to Bryce Point overlook and the Rim Trail

 

 

 


Windows, windows eveerywhere


You can see the Window Wall on Peekaboo Trail from parts of the Bryce Point Trail.

 

 

 


Jim passes a sign warning hikers about potential rockslides.

If you have just a short time at Bryce Canyon and want to find a scenic trail that's relatively short, not too steep, isn't crowded with other visitors, and has a variety of colorful rock formations and great views, consider going out and back on the Bryce Point Trail from Bryce Point.

Hiking only one mile down and one mile back up will reward you with as many features that make  Bryce Canyon unique as any other trail in the park -- for less time and effort. 


You can even see the Wall of Windows above and near the intersection of
the Bryce Point and Peekaboo Loop trails -- without having to hike Peekaboo.

It's also a good way to connect to the Peekaboo Loop and other trails through the main Bryce Amphitheater.

Next entryanother trail from Bryce Point -- Under-the-Rim to the Hat Shop rock formations

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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