At Bryce Canyon National Park, sand and time have created an unique maze of stone hoodoos, tall thin rock spires that rise from the canyon floor, inviting visitors to lose themselves in the strange beauty.
Located in Southern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park has a number of hiking and exploring opportunities for active families with children of any age. Though it's open year-round, the most popular time to visit is during the summer, when trails are open and mild temperatures make it easier to hike and explore.
Still, there are benefits to going in the winter, when white snow contrasts with the bright orange hoodoos: the park is less crowded and rangers offer unique seasonal programs. Regardless of when you go, here's a few ways families can enjoy their time at this unique national park.
The Rim Trail is one of the most scenic and flexible hikes for families. True to its name, this trail runs along the rim of the canyon, giving your family an opportunity to see the landscape from a variety of different angles.
- The entire trail is 5.5 miles one way, from Fairyland to Bryce Point, with several changes in elevation along the way. However, the trail has several entry points, so it's easier to choose the best section for your family. The paved half-mile stretch between Sunrise and Sunset Points is especially popular. It's fairly flat and wheelchair accessible. The rest of the trail is considered to be easy-to-moderate, making it easier for small children to trek.
The Navajo Loop begins and ends at Sunset Point and is one of the most popular trails because it packs a lot of scenery in just 1.3 miles. This trail descends 550 feet from the rim and winds through tall hoodoos to the floor of the canyon. Before going down, consider that hiking is the only way back to the top. The entire trail is considered moderate, but the second half is strenuous.
- The scenery is well worth the effort. One side of the trail is known as Wall Street because the dense, towering hoodoos resemble city skyscrapers. On the other side, visitors get a good look at one of the park's best-known formations, Thor's Hammer. A small arch can also be seen along the trail.
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