Bristlecone Loop Trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bristlecone Loop Trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bristlecone Loop Trail hike

Bryce Canyon National Park
View Photos
Bristlecone Loop trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkCanyon walls on Bristlecone Loop trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkView towards the lower canyon basin on Bristlecone Loop trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkWhite cliffs on Bristlecone Loop trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkRed hoodoos on Bristlecone Loop trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park

Bristlecone Loop Trail hike

Distance: 1.1mi
Elevation: 141ft
Time: 0.5-0.75h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.7 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

This loop hike departs from the popular Rainbow Point at the very southern tip of the scenic drive through Bryce National Park. With the stunning surroundings of Bristlecone Pines on one leg of the loop, and scenic panoramic rim views along the other, the crowds in the parking lot start to really make sense.

Bristlecone Loop Trail hike Map

Getting there

Enter Bryce Canyon National Park just south of the town of Bryce. Pay your dues at the park gate, then drive along the main road until you see the signed turnoff for Bryce Lookout. Turn left here and follow to road to an unmarked junction, where you will turn left again to find the parking lot. This parking lot fills up very quickly, so get here early!

I’ve done this 37 people have done this
I want to do this 41 want to do this route

About

When to do

Spring, early summer and fall, avoid summer heat and winter snow

Backcountry Campsites

None

Toilets

At trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Circuit


Bristlecone Loop Trail
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Bristlecone Loop Trail

Find the trailhead at the tip of the parking lot, near the point. Continue along the trail and wind through stunning bristlecone pine trees. Soon you will reach a well signposted junction, head straight towards the Peak-A-Boo Loop and the Bristlecone Loop trails. Shortly you will reach another junction, follow signs straight for the Bristlecone Loop Trail.

After just under a 1.0mi of hiking you will reach the scenic gazebo. Here are the first real rim views. Looking down you’ll be able to see the stunning red cliffs dropping off at your feet, and making their way around to either side of you. Across the canyon a stunning rock formation called Promontory Mesa will be obvious.

Continue along the rim, veering right with the trail. You will gain a modicum of elevation as you traverse. Soon you will reenter the forest and veer right. You will reunite again with the access trail you came in on and turn left towards the parking area. Within no time you’ll be back in the parking area.

Insider Hints

  • Seriously, this parking lot fills up fast. Get here early to avoid the swarming tourists and motorcyclists. Luckily the trail is a lot less busy than the point!

Comments

Tiffany Swift 11 months ago

The easy walk takes you through managed forest. Several great views. Worth your time! This is a good hike to get away from the crowds of the parking lot and Rainbow Point.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
TwoBoots 12 months ago

This was our favorite winter trail. Great, shorter trail for everyone.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Anabelle Clyde 12 months ago

Glad I did this just to see the Bristlecone pines. beautiful views.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Mariah D. 2 years ago

Lovely hike. There are lots of great photo spots here.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Mitch Reinwick 2 years ago

Very easy hike that takes an hour to complete. It starts in a forested section of the park and works its' way to a cliff section where there are great mountain views.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Willy G. 2 years ago

A nice short hike that is good for small children. It has fewer people down at the far end.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Washington H. 2 years ago

Great place to hang out, relax, and enjoy the view.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Jane L. 2 years ago

Easy hike through the pines at the end of the scenic drive. We were surprised by the amazing view at the end.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Melinda J. 2 years ago

Incredible solitary vibes. It's truly one of a kind. Highly recommended hike.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Naomi W 2 years ago

Nice walk but a lot of people were gettin in my way for photos!

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
0h 45m Time Taken
13 Comments Show all

Similar hikes to the Bristlecone Loop Trail hike

Views from the Swamp Canyon Loop hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Swamp Canyon Loop

Difficulty:
4.5mi
719ft
1.5-2h

This loop trail may be less popular than some others in the park – but still provides the chance to…

Scenery from the Golden Wall hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Golden Wall / Castle Bridge Loop

Difficulty:
2.3mi
449ft
1-1.25h

This stunning hike in the "Little Bryce Canyon", also known as Red Canyon, leads up a gully to a spectacular…

Trail of the Queens Garden to Navajo Loop Trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Queens Garden to Navajo Loop Trail

Difficulty:
3.1mi
551ft
1-1.25h

This popular loop connects the Queen Garden Trail with one branch of the Navajo Loop Trail, returning along a section…