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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Bristlecone Loop, UT

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Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southwest
3.4 of 5 by 5
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 1.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,073 feet
Elevation Gain 352 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 30 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 2.86
Backpack TBD
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
28  2017-09-05
Bryce Canyon National Park Trails
10  2016-08-16 Jim_H
7  2016-06-20 cw50must
217  2014-05-31
Utah/Arizona Strip Trek - May/June 2014
27  2010-08-25 Jim_H
16  2010-08-04 slegal
Author slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 101
Photos 2,962
Trips 56 map ( 351 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Aug, Sep, Jul → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:16am - 6:28pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Bristlecone or bust!
by slegal

Likely In-Season!
The Bristlecone Loop is a hike for the whole family. It's short at only 1 mile round trip. It's relatively flat with just over 350 feet of elevation change. Most importantly, the loop offers some fantastic views. Located at the southern end of highway 63 you are starting out near the high point of Bryce Canyon National Park, at about 9,100 feet above sea level. So if you're out of shape and/or not acclimated to the elevation, you may find this hike challenging.

The loop can be hiked either clockwise or counterclockwise. The trail wraps around the southern rim of Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos are not as plentiful here, but the views are still great. The absence of abundant hoodoos has allowed for many more trees to grow in their place. Lots of fir and pine including occasional blue spruce are all quite abundant. Near the midpoint of the trail are bristlecone pines, the namesake of the trail. Bristlecone pines are the oldest trees on earth. There are bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California that are several thousand years old and still alive.

Whether heading clockwise or counterclockwise on the trail a worthwhile detour from the trail that will only add a tenth of a mile to your hike is a trip to Yovimpa Point. This is one of the few viewpoints within the park of the western side of Bryce Canyon. The view is of a similar cliff lined rim as the north and east facing slopes that line much of highway 63.

Of course, you'll also want to spend time at Rainbow Point which shares the parking area with the Bristlecone Loop and Yovimpa Point.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-03-05 slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Bristlecone Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I started my trip off at Bryce Canyon. I scored a campsite in the North Campground and got myself situated. I would hike a variety of trails over two days in the park and then move on towards Zion. This is my first time in Bryce.

    Navajo Loop / Peakaboo Loop
    It was late morning by the time I started this multi-loop hike. I headed down the narrow wall section which I really enjoyed. The trail is in excellent condition as it switches down. All of the trails in the park were in amazing condition. I headed down and then detoured to the Peakaboo Loop. The trail makes a respectable climb and then loops around under Bryce Point. The views are just breathtaking. The formations are incredible and the hoodoos are plentiful. I continued on and took a variety of pics as I completed the loop and started heading for Sunrise Point. I made a quick stop at the Queens Garden and then made the final climb out.

    Viewpoints & Misc
    I spent the evening with a couple of quick stops at Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. There were lots of people out but it wasn't overly crowded. I also took a shower at the General Store ($3 for 8 minutes and then settled in for the evening in my camp.

    Fairyland Loop
    On day two, I walked right out of my camp and headed for the Fairlyland Loop. I was planning on doing a counter-clockwise loop and wanted to be done around noon. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this trail. I didn’t do any research. I just had GPS routes to follow. So I headed down and cruised to magnificent views that only got better. I continued down and took the short detour over to Tower Bridge which is an impressive formation. From there the trail makes a solid climb as it wraps its way to the NE towards Fairyland Canyon. This section blew me away. The formations are stunning and the colors are vibrant. Every turn brought a new perspective and I was in heaven. This stretch goes on for several miles and then I started my ascent back to the rim. Once up top I admired the section I just hiked through. It’s one of the most visually stunning sections of trail I’ve ever hiked! I would highly recommend! The rest of the hike along the rim was easy going as I looked down on the area I just hiked. A short time later I walked back into my camp to relax. I have a couple more hikes planned for the afternoon.

    Mossy Cave
    After taking my lunch in camp, I headed north and drove over to the Mossy Cave Trailhead. This is a short hike with a nice waterfall. There were several cars at the TH when I started hiking. The trail parallels a creek in Water Canyon. I walked over to the Mossy Cave which had a steady trickle of water pouring out. After that I headed over to the waterfall which is solid. It’s roughly 20 ft high and had a solid flow of water coming over. After admiring the waterfall I continued a bit up canyon and then turned around and made the hike out. I wanted to drive to the south end of the park and that would take some time.

    Bristlecone Pine Loop
    The drive to the south end of the park is very pleasant. It’s just under 20 miles with a variety of viewpoints along the way. I arrived and made a loop around the Bristlecone Pine Loop trail. The going is very easy and there are several viewpoints that look down on the valleys below. I was really glad I spent the time driving down here.

    I would return to camp and spend one final night and then move on to NW Zion. I greatly enjoyed my time in Bryce and made good use of the time. This park is stunning and the hiking is easy going with incredible views. I highly recommend Bryce!
    Bristlecone Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Paid a visit to this excellent view point. Great distance views, as always. Remarkably chilly, and super crowded. They probably need to extend the shuttle to the end of the road. After I ate my lunch, a light rain moved in, and I was off, back to the main amphitheater.

    Went out to a point beyond the trail, for the views.
    Bristlecone Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This was part of Mighty Five trip 2016. We completed 5 parks in 5 days in Utah.

    Day 2 Bryce Canyon National Park. The drive out to Rainbow point is nice. The Bristlecone loop hike up there is good as well. It provides an easy going loop through a different type of woods from the lower part of the park. It was windy up here.
    Bristlecone Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Utah/Arizona Strip Trek - May/June 2014
    Utah/Arizona Strip Trek – May/June 2014

    Bryce Canyon NP (BRCA) & Zion (ZION) NP
    Kodachrome Basin SP & Coral Pink Sands SP
    Pipe Springs (PISP) NM & North Rim Grand Canyon (GRCA) NP

    Utah/Arizona Strip Trek - Three National Parks, Two State Parks, One National Monument, Four Days, Three Nights, almost 1000 images, and 24 HAZ trails...

    Prelude: Believe it or not but I’ve never been to Bryce Canyon or Zion. With 2 strikes already against me having previously attempted a trip in April (snowed out) and October (snowed out again), Lynn, the dogs and I made a late May attempt battling off strike three!

    DAY 1 - Saturday May 31st
    7.44 miles hiking and 390 AEG (39 floors) on FitBit
    442 miles on F-150

    With business visitors Friday evening, we couldn’t hit the road until early Saturday morning. Made good time and stopped for lunch at the Page AZ Burger King before crossing the Glen Canyon Dam into Utah :next: . Once in Utah, we passed some familiar sights in the Paria River Valley. Sad to hear the movie set from Clint Eastwood’s “The Outlaw - Josie Wales” was vandalized and burned to the ground :next: . Don’t know if I was one of the last to capture images before the set was burned to the ground :next: and

    Eventually drove past Moqui Cave just north of Kanab UT :next: . I’ve always wondered if this was a structure incorporating original Anasazi ruins. A little online research says definitely not…

    We turned off SR89 and onto Utah Scenic Highway 12 :next: . This was a treat for the first time (finally). Red Canyon gave us a hint of the “eye-candy” yet to come. Stopped at one of the pull-outs along SR12 and hiked the Red Canyon Loop :next: and a section of Golden Wall Trail :next: plus some connector trails (Red Canyon Tunnel Trail and Photographers Trail) :next: and ... orn-Trails

    We eventually wandered into our “pet friendly” basecamp at the Best Western Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyon City located just north of the park entrance :next: and ... hotos.html . This certainly was an international gathering of German, French, and Japanese tourist! After fixing a quick dinner at our basecamp hotel room, needed to stretch those legs around the Lake Loop :next: .

    Sunday June 1st
    10.71 miles and 780 AEG (78 floors) on FitBit
    84 miles on F-150

    Bryce Canyon NP :next: ... 14-web.pdf

    Pets in Bryce Canyon NP :next:
    "Pets are only permitted in campgrounds, parking lots, paved roads, paved viewpoint areas, and on the paved trail between Sunrise Point and Sunset Point"

    We knew the limited hiking with dog options within the national parks before we left for Bryce and Zion. Undeterred, the Bryce “eye-candy” made up for any missed opportunities :next: . The Sunrise Point to Sunset Point Rim Trail :next: offered our first glimpse of the Amphitheater Region. Lynn and I then took turns minding the dogs up on top of the rim to give us each a chance to hike the Navajo and/or Queen’s Garden Loops. See :next: and .

    Bryce Amphitheater Region map :next: ... er-web.pdf
    Fairyland Point
    Sunrise Point
    Sunrise to Sunset Point paved connector trail is dog friendly Sunset Point Inspiration Point Bryce Point

    Bryce Southern Scenic Drive viewpoint map :next: Swamp Canyon, Whiteman Bench, Natural Bridge, Agua Canyon, Ponderosa Canyon, Black Birch Canyon, Rainbow Point & Yovimpa Points

    I had scouted up the Bristlecone Loop :next: that connects Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Points as a “photo op”. Unfortunately the trail was closed…

    On the drive back from the southern reaches of Bryce Canyon, we stopped at Fairyland Point. Lynn and the dogs stayed at the rim top while I ventured down the Fairyland Loop Trail :next:

    With the hour approaching 6pm and knowing we still had a couple of hours daylight left, we agreed to head the F-150 over to Kodachrome Basin SP :next: ... state-park located 7 miles off Highway 12 near Cannonville on Cottonwood Canyon Road :next: ... erview.png . I had previously viewed Kodachrome Basin from the south on an approach heading north up Cottonwood Canyon Road. On that occasion we had to abort our trip due to slick mud. This time I had an opportunity to view Kodachrome Basin from within the basin – nice! Pre-trip suggestions indicated Angels Palace or Shakespeare's Arch as highly recommended destinations :next: ... ochure.pdf and ... le-UT-5584 . Hiked Angel’s Palace Trail :next: followed by an aborted attempt of Shakespeare’s Arch :next: prior to a sundown picnic dinner at TH parking lot. Arrived back at Ruby's Inn basecamp to catch Hawks-Kings game and Game of Thrones...

    Monday June 2nd
    6.61 miles and 150 AEG (15 floors) on FitBit
    245 miles on F-150

    Zion NP :next:
    1hr 44min drive per Google Maps from Ruby's Inn to Zion Lodge
    Zion 2014 park map and guide :next: ... MG2014.pdf

    Once again we knew the limited hiking with dog options within the national parks before we left for Bryce and Zion. Dogs are allowed on Pa'rus Trail :next:
    Trail connects Canyon Junction and Zion Visitor Center. Prior to entering the 1.1 mile long Zion – Mt Carmel tunnel on SR9, it was recommended to us to make a stop at the Canyon Overlook Trail :next: ... -trail.htm and ... erlook.htm and Once near the Zion Visitor Center, I managed to grab the last available parking spot and we headed out along the Pa’rus trail as mid-morning temperatures hit the mid-80’s. With the scene reminding us too much of Sedona (the bad, not the good), we agreed to head up into the mountains and cooler climate along a back road I had scouted up as “Plan B”. Kolob Terrace Road was identified as an alternative since Zion Canyon can only be accessed by shuttle vehicles (no dogs allowed) :next: .
    We had a pleasant lunch up at Lava Point :next: ... ground.htm and before checking out the West Rim TH :next: ... -trail.htm and Kolob Reservoir :next: ... 1154730183 and .

    Tuesday June 3rd
    8.25 miles and 500 AEG (50 floors) on FitBit
    572 miles on F-150

    “Getaway Home Day” via a natural curiosity, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park :next: ... state-park and ... alpink.jpg and and . We discovered colonies of rare Tiger Beetles (only 600-3000 total population of beetles) while hiking the dunes :next: ... ochure.pdf and were also treated to a fascinating display of late spring flowers while hiking the Nature Trail :next: . South Fork Indian Canyon Pictographs - Located 4 miles northeast of the dunes in the Mosquith Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA) :next: . From Hancock Road – Yellow Jacket Road intersection, drive 3.5 miles passing the Ponderosa Campground until you reach the intersection of Hancock Road and the 4WD Sand Spring Road on the right. A 4WD vehicle allows travel within .5 mile of the pictographs. If your vehicle will not make it on the soft sandy roads, walk from the "T" in Hancock Road and Sand Dune Spring Road. It is 4 miles, one way, to the pictographs. Take Sand Springs Route to first intersection. Then a little less than 2 miles the trail ends and hiking trail to pictographs and petroglyphs begins. From the parking area, walk northeast to locate a path of use through the sand. Continue the gradual descent down the obvious trail. The trail soon becomes obvious as it continues east and then switches direction after a small drop down through the rocks. Continue descending and then traversing the hillside beneath the cliff band on hikers left. Shortly you will arrive at the (chain-link fence protected) South Fork Indian Canyon Pictographs. The distance from the parking lot to the pictographs is about .5 mile and the descent is about 150'. The pictographs sit at the back of a large alcove and pictures must be taken from behind the fence 30' away :next: and ... ndex32.htm . This area is a unique hidden gem – highly recommended (and no HAZer has visited this place before?)!

    Pipe Springs National Monument :next: and .

    North Rim of Grand Canyon :next: and ... im-Map.pdf

    Prior to our visit we knew about limited options hiking with dogs at the Grand Canyon North Rim; “Dogs on the North Rim; are not allowed other than the Bridle Trail (Greenway) that connects the lodge with the North Kaibab Trail and the portion of the Arizona Trail that continues north from there to the park entrance.”

    Bridle Trail on HAZ :next:
    Bright Angel Point Trail on HAZ :next:
    Transept Trail on HAZ :next:

    Made a stop at the Marble Canyon Navajo Bridge and found “condor city” :next: before stopping in Flagstaff for a late dinner. Arrived back home just before midnight…

    7.44 miles, 390 AEG Saturday
    10.71 miles, 780 AEG Sunday
    6.61 miles, 150 AEG Monday
    8.25 miles, 500 AEG Tuesday

    TOTAL = 33.01 miles, 1820 AEG, 24 HAZ trails

    141 images on iPhone
    310 images on Canon Rebel XT
    438 images on Canon 6D
    61 images on Canon 7D

    TOTAL = 950 images on 4 cameras...

    F-150 SUMMARY
    442 miles driving Saturday
    84 miles driving Sunday
    245 miles driving Monday
    572 miles driving Tuesday

    TOTAL = 1343 miles on F-150 (20.8 mpg). Assuming $3.80 per gallon average, that’s 64.5 gallons consumed for a trip cost of $245.35…

    EDITORIAL COMMENT; Coffee in Utah sucks. Maybe that’s too rash since I didn't stop and try the Cafe Adobe/Expresso Rock Shop in Hatch UT... Took a Starbucks “fix” in Flagstaff to return me to equilibrium!

    That NPS annual pass comes thru again for $25 entry into Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, plus $8 for Pipe Spring...

    Aiming for Fall colour redux at Bryce Canyon Lodge the 1st week of October (looks like only Oct 4-6 or Oct 18-21 availability)? Cabin rentals are $212 per night plus multiple convenience fees and surcharges. Want to get some sunrise/sunset "golden hour" images...

    PS - I see this trip tripped me over the 3K distance line for miles logged on HAZ :y:


    Glen Canyon Dam :next:
    Paria Movie Set :next:
    Red Canyon Loop :next:
    Golden Wall :next:
    Ruby’s Inn Lake Loop :next:

    Bryce Canyon NP Trails :next:
    Sunrise Point to Sunset Point Rim Trail :next:
    Navajo Loop :next:
    Queen’s Garden Loop :next:
    Bristlecone Loop :next:
    Fairyland Loop Trail :next:
    Angel’s Palace Trail :next:
    Shakespeare Arch Trail :next:

    Canyon Overlook Trail, Zion NP :next:
    Pa’rus Trail :next:
    Lava Point Overlook, Zion NP :next:
    Kolob Reservoir Loop :next:

    Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park :next:
    South Fork Indian Canyon Pictographs :next:
    Pipe Springs NP Trails :next:
    Bridle Trail, Grand Canyon North Rim :next:
    Bright Angel Point Trail :next:
    Transept Trail, Grand Canyon North Rim :next:
    Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon :next:

    Sent from my iPad

    Concentrated around Bryce Canyon NP and Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP
    Bristlecone Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I recall very little about this hike, but thought it might be nice to log it as I see someone else wrote a description. I hiked this during the day I went for a drive in Bryce. I hiked it and enjoyed the early afternoon views to the south and east, which are quite nice. When I would travel to Page, AZ from Kayenta, I often wondered if I was seeing Bryce from Page, and I think one can. Rob?
    The pictures, are about the best part.

    Permit $$

    Bryce Canyon National Park
    Per vehicle good for 7 days Entrance Fee Information

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Highway 12 take Highway 63 south to the end of the highway. The total distance from highway 12 is 20.7 miles. You will enter Bryce Canyon National Park (fee required) early Highway 63. You will also pass all of the other view points and hikes within the park boundary on the way to this hike.
    page created by slegal on Mar 05 2011 10:47 am
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