Bristlecone Loop Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.8 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
43 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.3
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Bristlecone Loop Trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

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.

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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 1.6 km 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 for Bristlecone Loop Trail

  • 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!

Getting to the Bristlecone Loop Trail Trailhead

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!

Route Information

  • 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

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Bristlecone Loop Trail Reviews

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