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

Swamp Canyon Loop hike

Bryce Canyon National Park
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Views of the canyon on Swamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkBeginning of trail on Swamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkBurnt section of trail on Swamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkWhite cliffs on Swamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkSwamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park has beautiful canyon viewsSwamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park has messa views below the canyon rimColourful on Swamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkBurnt out section of trail on Swamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National ParkRock formation visible from the ascent on Swamp Canyon trail hike in Bryce Canyon National Park

Swamp Canyon Loop hike

Distance: 4.5mi
Elevation: 719ft
Time: 1.5-2h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.5 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

This loop trail may be less popular than some others in the park – but still provides the chance to see some awesome rock formations. You’ll link up with the Under The Rim Trail for a short section.

Swamp Canyon Loop hike Map

Getting there

Enter Bryce Canyon National Park, just south of the town of Bryce. Enter the park and continue along the scenic drive, past the visitor’s centre and pay station. After paying at Bryce Point (along with other congested pullouts) you will have to look closely for the Swamp Canyon trailhead on your left hand side. It is poorly marked, and many people stop here just for the view. The parking area can fill quickly!

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About

When to do

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

Backcountry Campsites

Along the Under The Rim Trail, see visitors centre

Toilets

None

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Circuit


Swamp Canyon Loop
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Swamp Canyon Loop

Starting to the left of the main viewpoint find the trailhead. Continue down a short way until you reach a junction. You can complete this loop in either direction, however this write-up will discuss going left at the fork to complete the loop clockwise, heading along the Sheep Creek Connecting Trail.

After turning left you will hike through a stunning field lined with ponderosa pines. You will continue north paralleling the rim for a short ways, then the trail will veer left. Here it will start to descend down a wide, low graded gully.

You will descend down under the rim and be given sporadic views of the red and pink cliffs lining the canyon. Soon you will reach a junction, from which your next direction is poorly marked. Turn right here along the Under The Rim Trail. This path is flat and connects the Sheep Creek Connecting Trial to the Swamp Canyon Connecting Trail. This is approximately the halfway point of the trail.

Winding through under the rim you will be treated with beautiful views up to your right of the cliffs and several hoodoos. You will also hike through a partially burnt section of forest, which is especially beautiful!

Shortly after, you will reach another junction and turn right, heading along the Swamp Canyon Connecting trail. This path is well graded and will soon begin to ascend up the wide Swamp Canyon. Here you will get your best views, as the forest is typically quite sparse. Looking back you will be able to see the expansive plan below the Bryce Canyon rim, as well as colourful hills in the distance!

Shortly you will be able to see the viewpoint and the tourists that typically occupy its perch. Complete the final few switchbacks, turn left at the fork you began at, and find your vehicle!

Insider Hints

  • Both the Ship Creek and Right Fork Swamp Canyon campgrounds make excellent options for a really easy backpacking trip!

Comments

Tiffany Swift 11 months ago

Swamp Canyon is a scenic viewpoint and trail head on the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive with views of coral-colored hoodoo formations and pine forest. Pretty great views just from the parking lot here.

10.0 Overall Rating
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TwoBoots 12 months ago

Very pretty. Swamp Canyon is a scenic viewpoint

9.0 Overall Rating
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Anabelle Clyde 12 months ago

Excellent choice to get away from crowds. This was my favorite in Bryce.

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Mitch Reinwick 2 years ago

Decent hike. It's not easy and not too difficult either.

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Willy G. 2 years ago

This hike does not require you to start down the side of a cliff. The trail is different from the Bryce Amphitheater view of the park. Overall, it was a nice hiking experience.

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Washington H. 2 years ago

We are so satisfied with our adventure here. Still got pretty amazing views just from the parking lot. Best chill hike in the park.

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Jane L. 2 years ago

Beautiful surroundings. You can just enjoy the view area or take the Swamp Canyon trail downways.

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Annie Smith 2 years ago

Love to see the hoodos and Swamp Canyon Loop was not as crowded as other trails.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Naomi W 2 years ago

Great views!

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2h 00m Time Taken
SJ 2 years ago

Swamp Canyon Loop wasn't too crowded and I saw some really neat rock formations.

9.0 Overall Rating
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10 Comments

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