Under the Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park is a long—the longest trail in the park—backpacking trail. At 23 miles one way, it will require all but the hardiest of hikers to camp along the way, and permits are required for all overnight stays. Even for those who are physically fit enough to make the hike in one day, it would be a tragedy to fly through the trail without taking the time to enjoy the solitude and the natural beauty of the park.
Trail Head: 37.475019, -112.240623
Trail Type: Hiking
Length: 23 miles one way
The entire length of the Under the Rim Trail is separated into shorter segments, each connected to the highway by small access trails. Following these routes, hikers can make the trail as long or as short as they desire.
Rainbow Point serves as the trailhead for the Under the Rim Trail, or the end of the trail for those who start up at Bryce Point. Rainbow Point also serves as the trailhead for Riggs Springs Trail and the Bristlecone Pine Loop Trail.
From Bryce Point, hikers will descend the rim of the amphitheatre and into the canyons below, passing through the Hat Shop, a formation of hoodoos that claims an exaggerated case of differential erosion, which is what creates the white ‘hats’ on the tops of the hoodoos. Just south of the Hat Shop, and around the bend in the trail, hikers will encounter Yellow Creek and its two campgrounds. Yellow Creek, at its farthest western end, sits almost below Paria View up on the rim. The campgrounds at Yellow Creek offer hikers the chance to purify water, and to take a break. The area is heavily wooded, and quite peaceful.
There is a campground here at the Right Fork, along with the Swamp Canyon Connecting Trail that comes down from the highway. At the bottom of the canyon, along the Under the Rim Trail, marshlands reign. There is a high concentration of runoff that pools within this area, and the vegetation is as lush and thick as an oasis.
Up on the rim, the Natural Bridge sits majestic and beautiful. Below the arch, to the side of the Under the Rim Trail, the Natural Bridge Campground offers a spot to rest, either overnight, or for just a little while, to those who are trekking across the long reach of the trail.
Bryce Point serves as the lower end of the Rim Trail, and as the upper end of the Under the Rim Trail, coming in all the way from Rainbow Point to the south. Bryce Point also serves as the trailhead to the Peekaboo Loop Trail, which meanders down the side of the amphitheatre, among the Cathedral, the Alligator, and below the Wall of Windows.
Click here for more information about Bryce Canyon and the surrounding area.