The Navajo Loop in Bryce Canyon is the most popular trail in the park. It is short, steep, beautiful, and very busy!
If you have the stamina to make this 1.3 mile loop, you should definitely do it, as this is the best hike in the park. The distance may not be daunting, but the climb can be fairly strenuous. Remember: At Bryce Canyon every hike starts overlooking a large amphitheater and hikes down. They all have to come back up out of the canyon!
The best way to do the Navajo Loop hike is by starting down Wall Street slot canyon. The hike is actually a lollipop, so you start at Sunset Point. The trail leads down and splits after less than 100 yards. You will see Thor’s Hammer to the left, but go to the right down Wall Street. It switches back and travels nearly straight down to the valley floor. This canyon is not nearly so narrow as many of the other slots in southern Utah, but it is nicely shaded and there are some cool features.
First, there is a short side trail (50 yards) that leads to a window overlooking an adjacent canyon. As you walk down the switchbacks, you will walk through a small tunnel/archway. This was one of our boys’ favorite things. Once you reach the bottom of the canyon, there is also a massive tree that towers above the trail straight up along the rock walls.
After you reach the bottom of the canyon, the trail loops around and climbs up the Navajo Trail. To complete the loop, you must make a left turn and climb back out of the canyon. Again, this isn’t very long, but it is a climb, a VERY steep climb. This hike is amazing though because you are walking right among the Hoodoos. You will also pass under the Two Bridges on your way back to Sunset Point and Thor’s Hammer.
As an alternate to climbing back up the Navajo Trail, you can also turn left, but then right. This will take you through the Queen’s Garden. This adds a significant distance to the trail (3.0 miles round trip), and it brings you up at Sunrise Point. From there, you can make the easy walk along the Rim Trail back to your starting point at Sunset Point. This is the way we hiked the Navajo Trail & Queen’s Garden.