Hike 24 of my 52 Hike Challenge was one of the highlights of the trip so far, and is widely known as the “World’s Best 3-Mile Hike”. Welcome to the Queens-Navajo Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.
This hike begins at Sunrise Point (or you can start at Sunset Point and follow the Rim Trail to do a complete loop). From Sunrise Point the trail descends quickly into the canyon, offering incredible views.
This section of the loop was like being in a geology museum. We had an up close look at the hoodoos, windows, fins and other rock formations created by weather, erosion and frost wedging (the breaking of rock when water in cracks and joints expands as it freezes).
The canyon floor was surprisingly green after traveling through barren rock on the way down. I suspect this is because water flows down to this valleyed area to nourish the plants. We especially loved these twisted tree trunks that looked cool and provided a nice bench on which to take a shady break.
We were lucky to have a bright, sunny day with no threat of rain, even though we visited during monsoon season. The canyon can be an extremely dangerous flash flood zone when it rains. We got used to carefully scanning the weather before hiking in Utah due to this very dangerous occurrence.
We chose to return to the Rim via Wall Street on the Navajo Loop Trail. Wall Street is a famous slot canyon featuring a set of switchbacks winding through narrow rock fins.
Hiking up Wall Street was such an experience for me. I couldn’t help but think about how much things can change in just a few short years. Five years prior to this hike I was living and working on Wall Street in NYC. Fast forward to this hike and I was in a completely different Wall Street with much different goals and experiences behind me. Hiking is known as a great way to meditate and contemplate and the symbolism of this place’s name made it even more impactful.
As we emerged from the canyon and back onto the Rim we were treated to a nice view of the trail and Thor’s Hammer, one of the most famous hoodoos in the park.
Make sure to carry enough water when hiking this trails, especially on a hot day, as there is no water source available on this trail. And have a little rest and relaxation when you’re finished!
Have you hiked in Bryce Canyon? Tell me about it in the comments!