The Mossy Cave Trail in the northern end of Bryce Canyon National Park offers hikers the chance to experience up close the hoodoos and spires of the park without having to descend 1,000 feet to the bottom of the amphitheatres. This trail follows a stream that leads to a natural grotto, a shelter cave that looms protectively over the trail, bearing ice sickles in the winter and lichen and moss in the warmer seasons.
Trail Head: 37.666277, -112.10997
Trail Type: Hiking
Length: 1 mile round trip
Unlike the majority of the hikes within Bryce Canyon, this trail is not reached by turning south onto Highway 63. Visitors coming in from the west will pass that highway, and the main park entrance, and will instead continue for 4 miles as if they were en route to Tropic.
The stream was artificially created by pioneers who needed to find an irrigation source for the towns of Tropic and Cannonville. The ‘Tropic Ditch’ has changed the geology along its course, creating an actual erosion-canyon, as opposed to the rest of the park’s canyons formed from frost-wedging.
The trail forks just over a quarter of a mile in.
This fork of the trail heads north, following the stream until it dead ends at a small waterfall.
The left fork of Mossy Cave Trail swings southwest until it reaches the cave.
Click here for more information about Bryce Canyon and the surrounding area.