How Hard is the Navajo Loop Trail?
The Navajo Loop Trail is one of Bryce Canyon’s most popular hikes, & since it’s less than 2 miles, it seems pretty accessible to most visitors. But the truth is: there’s a steep descent involved, which you’ll then need to climb back up (whether you’re doing the “Wall Street” section or not). So, if you’re traveling with kids, or older folks who may not have the best knees ~ here, we’ll answer the question: “How Hard is the Navajo Loop Trail?” And later in the post, I’ll show photos of pretty much every step of the journey so you can decide if this hike is for you.
Map of Navajo Loop Trail
The Navajo Loop Trail starts at “Sunset Point” inside Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s one of the shortest hikes Bryce has to offer!
Navajo Loop Trail
Quick Facts on Navajo Loop Trail
- Navajo Loop Trail Length: 1.2 to 1.5 miles (depending if you add “Wall Street”).
- Navajo Loop Elevation Gain: 500 feet, which is pretty steep for such a short hike.
- Where to Start Navajo Loop: Drive or shuttle to “Sunset Point” inside Bryce Canyon National Park, then you’ll find the “Navajo Loop Trail Head” right in the center of the lookout, near the bathrooms ~ at the rim of the canyon.
- Loop or Out-and-Back? It’s a loop if you do “Wall Street” & then come up the switchbacks ~ but if “Wall Street” is closed (as it was during our visit), then it’s an out-and-back: up & down the same switchbacks.
- Is There a Fee to Hike Navajo Loop? No, but you pay to enter the National Park.
- How Hard is Navajo Loop Trail? Who Should NOT Do this Hike? Because the trail is relatively short, I’d personally rate this as a “Moderate” hike, simply due to the steep terrain & fact that there are NO guard rails. If you have bad knees, hips, or ankles: I’d skip this hike. If you didn’t bring good shoes with you (i.e. with good soles & tread): I’d skip this hike. If heights really scare you & you prefer to have a railing to hold onto during steep descents: I’d skip this hike.
Now all that said: we saw a TON of kids on this hike, of all ages. And most of them were complaining! Ha….”Are we done? Are we there yet?!” Many versions of that. So if you’re a parent, I’d take a look at the photos below & make your own call. But if your kids have never hiked before: I would NOT make this their first hike ~ you might scare them off hiking.
Photos of the Navajo Loop Trail
The photos below are meant to give you an idea of what the Navajo Loop Trail is like from start to finish: I took photos at pretty much every major juncture. With the amount of kids we saw, I definitely wouldn’t call this a dangerous hike: but I would exercise caution & stay away from the canyon’s edge.
Top Tip for Hiking the Navajo Loop Trail: Wear comfortable hiking or running shoes with GOOD TREAD that you feel comfortable walking up & down steep terrain in (that can be slightly gravelly in spots).
Guide to Hiking the Navajo Loop Trail
Here are photos of the steeper “Switchbacks Section” of Navajo Loop….the “Wall Street” section was closed during our visit, so we went up & down the switchbacks instead of doing a full loop.
When you get to the “bottom” of the switchbacks, if you go left: you’ll be on the “Queen’s Garden” trail. To the right, you’ll connect to the “Wall Street” part of the loop.
Where We Stayed at Bryce Canyon: My friends & I stayed at the Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon, & I’m really glad we did. It’s much less of a ZOO than the across-the-street BW Ruby’s Inn, which is very touristy. Their breakfast buffet was good & gave us plenty of fuel for adventures, & the room fit 3 of us comfortably; bathrooms are large with two sinks & lots of counter space.
How Hard is the Navajo Loop Trail?
That’s a wrap on the Navajo Loop Trail ~ up next, I’ll be writing about the magical 8-mile Fairyland Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon, which was the second hike on our itinerary. If you’re looking for an overview of all of Utah’s amazing National Parks, read this article….& if you’re headed to nearby Zion, check out these incredible scenic drives…
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