Riggs Spring Loop Trail
Though it has far fewer hoodoo views than other more popular trails in the park, this loop route gives you something the other trails simply can't – peace and solitude. Hiking through a stunning pine tree forest, this half day hike definitely separates you from the bustling view points along Bryce Canyon's main road.
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 its very end at Rainbow Point. Park here, but be advised – the lot fills quickly.
|When to do|
Spring, early summer and fall, avoid summer heat and winter snow.
Several along trail, go to Visitors Centre for permit
The description for completing the route counter clockwise is outlined here. Find the trailhead near the signs for Yovimpa Point. Continue along the trail as it heads towards this point, then quickly find a junction. Turn right here to head towards Yovimpa Pass Campground as well as the Riggs Spring Trail.
The trail will steeply descend and switchback down towards the obvious Yovimpa Pass. Around Yovimpa Pass the Paunsaugunt Plateau steepens as it approaches the rim, then drops completely off the vertical red cliffs. This impressive view is unlike most others in the park.
After reaching the pass the trail will veer left and continue descending down below the rim. Here you will enter a beautiful ponderosa pine forest and continue your descent. The sounds of traffic on the road are long gone, and the only things that fill your ears are the chirps of birds and buzzing of bees.
The trail will continue veering left and then descend towards Riggs Spring Campground. Here there is a seasonal stream – but do not drink the water. After the spring, turn sharply to the left and start ascending gradually. You will begin to have sporadic views of red cliffs through the trees. These views get better as you gain elevation.
After passing Coral Hollow Campground you will gain a ridgeline with more visibility, granting fantastic views down to the staircase plateau below. Your next climb is up to Promontory Mesa. From here you will get sweeping views out towards the plane, as well as up towards to pink cliffs lining Rainbow Point. Looking north you will also be able to see the greenish tin in many hills, giving Rainbow Point its name.
Finally you will make your way up a few more switchbacks to find yourself once again surrounded by people who make the quick jaunt from Rainbow Point in search of better photos. Pass by the junction for the Bristlecone Loop Trail and continue towards the parking lot. You will exit the trail at the opposite side of the parking lot than you started.
We recommend completing the route counter clockwise as it makes the ascent less steep.
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