Pondering Thor's Hammer
The Navajo Loop Trailhead is located in the Sunset Point Observation area of Bryce Canyon National Park. Here you begin your descent into the canyon in a series of switchbacks. There are a lot of switchbacks. Once the switchbacks end, you will enter a narrower canyon called Wall Street that will most likely make you lose your GPS signal. Because of that, the distance of this hike is the same as the park publishes, and has not been verified by GPS.
On the way down, you will pass Wall Street, the aforementioned narrow canyon. Be sure to take some time to take some photos while you are there. After you exit Wall Street, you will have some of the best views that the Bryce Amphitheater has to offer.
Though only 1.5 miles, this hike can be hard for beginners. You do drop 520 feet over the course of one quarter mile. Once you are near the mid-point of the trail, you will see connections with the Queen's Garden Trail and the Peek-A-Boo Trail. You can hike all the way to the town of Tropic by using connecting trails of Navajo Loop.
On your way out, you will come upon the Twin Bridges. Do not mistake a rock feature that looks like two caves for these bridges. There is a sign pointing the way to the bridges, look for that. These natural bridges are worth the extra few steps to check them out. One is high and one is low making them a very unique feature.
Immediately following the bridges, you will begin your ascent. Say hello to more switchbacks! These are longer and steeper than the ones that you went down at the first part of the trail. But not to worry, the length provides you with ample opportunity for valuable photo opportunities, many of which will involve the feature called Thor's Hammer. You will recognize it when you see it on your ascent. You can also view this feature from the observation point, but the views from the trail are much more pleasant.
As always, be careful of your footing as the erosion in the park does not allow for sturdy edges of the trail. The trail is well-built and well-maintained, but you will need to use caution and pay attention nonetheless. In winter, the trail can be icy. After a snowstorm, you can pick out the trail pretty easily even if no one has been on it before you to make prints, but be careful and if you don't know which way to go, turn back and go back the way you came. Also, make sure that you bring enough water for the trek, and have fun!
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.