Bryce Canyon is one of the best hiking parks in Utah. There are plenty of hikes for all abilities. We’ve collected our favorites on our Bryce Canyon Kid Hikes post. If you are looking for something slightly more demanding, you can try the Tower Bridge Hike in Bryce Canyon. This hike is just under 3.5 miles, but it runs steeply down into Bryce Canyon and steeply out. We made the trip with our boys in about two hours. We loved this hike, but it is definitely moderate for most families.
- Distance: 3.4 miles
- Elevation Change: 950 ft down to Tower Bridge (then you climb that on the way back)
- Rating: moderate
- Dog-friendly: No. Dogs are allowed on paved trails in Bryce Canyon, but this trail is not paved.
- Tips: Limited shade, so wear sunscreen and hats.
Tower Bridge Hike starts at Sunrise point. Park in the trailhead parking (if you can). Then after you finish looking over the point, turn right down the hill and away from the large Bryce Canyon amphitheater. It is just a few dozen yards to a split in the trail that turns down into the canyon. There is a sign announcing Tower Bridge as well as the Fairyland area.
The trail doesn’t descend so rapidly as to become uncomfortable on your knees or ankles, but it is a steady decline for the first half mile. The junipers are fairly thick, but there isn’t much shade, so make sure to wear a hat and sunscreen. You’ll also want plenty of water. At about two-thirds of a mile, the trail flattens out and approaches a large white wall that looks like crooked teeth, with just a few missing. The trail passes through the wall, and there are some great spots for pictures. Due to the nature of the rock, a second row of “teeth” with many cavities rises in front of you as you pass through the first.
The trail flattens out for a bit after the wall of teeth, but at the one mile mark, it starts to drop again. It will drop steadily down to a dry wash. You first cross the wash at 1.5 miles, and you’re nearly to the bridge. A quarter mile and a few crossings later, and you come to the turnoff for Tower Bridge There is a sign announcing 200 yards to the bridge. Turn right at the sign.
Tower Bridge is actually really pretty. It’s a long, red wall right against the skyline. There is a bridge on the right, which has been carved out of the rock. Though technically it is an arch (carved by wind), it looks exactly like a bridge from one tower to another. To the left of the bridge is a beautiful arch (also carved by wind) by the bridge. It is wide and round like a window. There is even a tiny hoodoo standing on the end of the wall under the arch. It is a very unique feature, unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Of course, the hike out of the bottom of Bryce Canyon is a doozy. It’s nearly two miles (1.7, to be exact) back to the canyon rim, and it is solidly uphill. We took our time, stopped repeatedly, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery on the way down and the way up. The Tower Bridge hike in Bryce Canyon was certainly worth it! It’s a new favorite. Check out our Bryce Canyon Family Guide for more information about this beautiful park.