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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.

Mossy Cave, UT

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Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southwest
2.7 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,823 feet
Elevation Gain 25 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 0.83
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2018-10-18
100 Hands - EPFSP - Mossy Cave
28  2017-09-05
Bryce Canyon National Park Trails
4  2017-01-14 arizona_water
6  2013-09-25 AZWanderingBear
4  2013-06-09 AZLOT69
10  2012-06-30 Al_HikesAZ
8  2010-08-05 slegal
5  2010-07-04 lP14
Page 1,  2
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 137
Routes 111
Photos 5,253
Trips 942 map ( 2,097 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Apr → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:33pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Lesser seen side of Bryce Canyon.
by PaleoRob

Likely In-Season!
When most people think of Bryce Canyon National Park, they think of deep canyons studded with hoodoos and wild Technicolor cliffs. Mossy Cave, located north and east of the main visitor's area, provides a slightly more intimate look at this section of Bryce Canyon. Mossy Cave is an easy hike within Bryce Canyon National Park, a relatively flat stroll up a wash-bottom on the eastern slope of the plateau. While the steep canyons in the main section are eroded by streams, it is the change in topography that makes the canyons so dramatic. Here, on the northeastern fringe of the park, the creeks and washes don't drop down to the Paria River in nearly such a steep fashion. Instead they meander slowly, merging with other streams, before cross the Tropic plain before dumping into the Paria. The canyons in this section are lower-walled, and narrower. The same Clarion formation underlays this section of the park as well, so the same hoodoos and wild rock colors pervade the area where they are exposed, but they peek out, as though hiding a secret, as opposed the the brazen exposure of the Bryce Amphitheater.

The trail starts at a parking area off of Utah Route 12, and drops into a wash. There is not really a trail here, but it is impossible to get lost. Head upcanyon, along the wash bottom. On the north side, several hoodoos top a ridge, and a couple small keyhole arches as well. The wash bends to the south slowly, and then turns sharply north. From this bend you can see a small pourover, about 6 feet high. Mossy Cave is on the west side of the canyon, easily seen from the wash bottom. An improvised trail heads out of the wash bottom to the mouth of the cave, more of an alcove with dripping springs and moss. Here water percolating down through the overlaying rock hits an impermeable layer, forcing the water out. The escaping water has eroded out the surrounding soft rock, creating the alcove. It is often cool, even chilly in the alcove, even in the summer. After checking out the Mossy Cave, head on over to the pourover - its pretty neat. Note: this hike is in a wash bottom. If there is a chance of heavy rain, you should not attempt this hike do to the danger of a flash flood. There is no drinking water along the trail, fill your water bottles at Ruby's, near the main entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, or Tropic, just south of the trail on Utah Route 12.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-01-27 PaleoRob
    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
    Mossy Cave
    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!
    Mossy Cave
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After skiing at Bryce, we continued east on UT15 to the Mossy Trail. The "creek" along this trail is the Tropic Irrigation Ditch, which is a pipeline that siphons water from the East Sevier River into a historically dry wash. So the waterfall flows perennially and by anthropogenic causes. However, it's still beautiful. And even more so when it is frozen.
    Mossy Cave
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hubbie and I hiked up to Mossy Cave and then over to the waterfall and then back out. The cave is super cool and filled with ice stalactites and stalagmites. It's a really quick hike... we made it a lot longer by taking a lot of pictures. The trailhead is right off of UT-12.

    Only difficulty we experienced was that a steeper part of the trail was frozen over and slippery ice. We got around the slippery parts and it was fine.

    Permit $$

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

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Tropic, Utah, drive north from town on Utah Route 12. After leaving town, the road bends to the west, approaches the plateau and begins to climb. There is a large parking area on the west side of the road, though it is not signed, just before crossing a wash. This is the parking area for the Mossy Cave trail.
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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