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Peekaboo Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park
The Peekaboo Loop trail is one of the more difficult day hikes in Bryce Canyon, but if you have the time it is most definitely worth taking the trip deep down into Bryce Amphitheater. You’ll walk under the Wall of Windows, through some tunnels, and past some arches, with mixed views of bright orange hoodoos and the valley below.
- Trailhead: Bryce Point – Open in Google Maps.
- Length: 5.3 miles round trip; 2-4 hours.
- Difficulty: Strenuous. The climb back up to Bryce Point climbs 1,000 feet in the last 2 miles with other short steep climbs along the trail. 1,300 feet elevation gain.
- Usage: Hikers and horses. The entry fee into Bryce Canyon is $30 per car.
- Best Time for Photography: Morning when the shadows are softer and it’s a little cooler.
- Trail Info Current: October 31, 2016
- Further Reading: Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
Peekaboo Loop Trail Narrative
The Peekaboo Loop Trail is one of those day hikes that’s definitely worth doing and doesn’t see as much use as the other shorter, easier day hiking trails. It comes at a price, though – a few hours of your time and a good workout for your quads.
If you’re up to it and only in Bryce Canyon for a day, I’d definitely recommend this trail as one to do. Hit up the Navajo/Queen’s Garden trails first thing in the morning before the crowds show up. Then, make your way to Bryce Point for this hike. Alternatively, you can even get to the Peekaboo Loop Trail from the Navajo Loop Trail if you have some extra time and don’t mind hiking longer.
Parking at Bryce Point is very limited and is a big stop for the buses – another reason to get there early. Make your way down the concrete path on the east side of the parking lot and look for the signs for the Hat Shop. This is your trail.
As you start the trail you’ll get some great views of Tropic Valley, the town of Tropic, and the benches of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. You may look down at the trail below you and think, I have to come back up that at the end? Well, yeah, that’s how all hikes are at Bryce.
The switchbacks down aren’t too bad and provide some great views of Bryce Amphitheater, which you’ll shortly be in. The Wall of Windows will be to the northwest and you’ll walk through a small tunnel before ending the descent at the bottom of Bryce Amphitheater.
You’ll come to a junction towards the bottom of the descent. This is where the actual loop starts. The “conventional” way is to do this loop clockwise, so stay to the left, but I really don’t think it matters. If you didn’t use the restroom before starting this hike and are starting to regret it, clockwise will be the shorter direction to a pit toilet.
The rest of the trail undulates around hoodoos, through tunnels, stands of pines, and over old sand dunes. The connector to the Navajo Loop Trail is on the north side of the Peekaboo Loop.
Eventually you’ll get back to the junction that takes you back up the rim to Bryce Point. Take your time on the way back up (you’ll probably want to no matter what) and enjoy the views!
Tips for the Peekaboo Loop Trail
- An alternative start to this trail would be to make it a part of the Navajo/Queen’s Garden Loops. There’s a short connector trail, and you’ll avoid the steep ascent back up to Bryce Point. This would add an hour or so but you’d knock out three hikes with one.