|Elevation Gain||1,483 ft|
|My Time||2 hr 32 min|
|Closest Town||Bryce Canyon|
|Food Nearby||Sunset Inn|
The Peek-a-Boo loop is one half of a figure eight trail that pairs up with the Queen’s Garden to complete a long loop. It can also be done, along with the Navajo trail, as a separate loop that is enjoyable and takes you through some amazing rock formations.
There are a couple of ways to do hike the Peek-a-Boo loop. The Peek-a-Boo connector trail goes from Bryce Point and connects to the loop. You can also connect via the Wall Street Trail. Both Wall Street and the connector were closed for the season when I visited so I will be talking about doing the loop with the Navajo Loop from Sunset Point.
Navajo Loop Trail
The Navajo Loop trail from Sunset point is a steady descent into the floor of the canyon. It will drop you about 600 feet down to the connection to Peek-a-Boo over the course of one mile. The views from the top are pretty impressive.
While dropping down into the canyon is a nice walk, keep in mind that at the end of your hike you will need to climb back up these 600 feet to make it out. It will be important to keep some gas in the tank for the end!
After descending down to the canyon floor you will walk in a moderately wooded area and cross a small stream. This stream was dry while I was there but water could be running depending on what time that you go so keep that in mind.
After this river bed it is about a tenth of a mile until you will come to the junction of the loop. You can either take the trail to the west (counter-clockwise) or the east (clockwise). Its a loop so it doesn’t really matter which direction you head but I went to the west.
The West side of the loop is absolutely stunning. After a short walk in the woods the trail will turn into the rock that define Bryce Canyon. This first bit is pretty steep, almost 400 feet in just over a half mile, so keep that in mind. The views however keep the mind distracted!
Much like the Queen’s Garden, this trail looks like you are walking through an ancient city that was frozen in a single moment. The rock formations and hoodoo’s take on a life of their own. This giant square slab of sandstone might as well of had a convenient store in the lobby.
The west side of the loop lasts for about a mile and a half. It takes on a bit of a roller coaster feel to it with several up and downs. Each one is surrounded with amazing views. One of my favorite parts was walking through the doorways and narrow corridors between the rocks.
The rock also took on different shapes and colors. There were spires.
The walls of the canyon had amazing stripes of color.
And one of my favorite features was the steep and narrow switchbacks that felt like a street in San Fransisco from the movies.
This entire side of the trail was amazing to me. Maybe none as amazing as the small platform that is accessible that gives you 360 degree views of the entire canyon. It is is breathtaking!
The East Loop has some great views of the canyon as well but it seemed to me to spend more time at lower elevation and closer to the canyon floor. While doing the loop counter clockwise as I did you will both start and finish the east side of the loop at these lower elevations but they are really beautiful.
Having the trees and brush around the floor almost makes it feel like you are doing two seperate hikes. The arid bleak desert around the higher elevation and the lush forest of the bottom. It is really a nice balance.
As you continue, you will increase your elevation in the roller coaster pattern of ups and downs. The higher you go, the more rock and less trees. Still with fascinating views.
While I felt that the west section was a bit steeper and had more encompassing views, the east section didn’t miss out on some of those big views either.
One of my favorite views of the hike happened on the last elevation gain on the counter clockwise hike. The sun had come out a little more and filled the area with some great color.
From here it was another winding descent back down to the canyon floor to connect back to the Navajo trail. It is important to remember that you still have those 600 feet to climb up to get out of the canyon on Navajo. That climb was so hard after such a beautiful hike with amazing views!
Elevation and Distance
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 5.69 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 1,483 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 8,005 feet. That was at the parking area as then we moved down the canyon. I was also moving for a total of 2 hours and 32 minutes.
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The Navajo to Peekaboo loop trail keeps you on your toes from an effort standpoint. It starts with a walk down into the canyon and then a hike back up to about the middle of the canyon before doing some up and downs on hills. At the end you have to make it back up the top of the canyon by climbing up the Navajo trail that you came down on. This is a very steep switchbacked section of trail. The Wall Street trail was closed when I was there but that is another option to finish the loop.
This is a very well trafficked and well defined trail into the canyon. The trail is hard packed and easy to follow. The trail does get a little dusty at times and with all the ups and downs it is important to have shoes with decent grip on them.
There are a couple of access points to the Peekaboo loop. Unfortunately the only one open currently is to take the Navajo Loop. This will change with the weather so make sure you check signs or with a ranger for the safest path. The Navajo loop is available at the Sunset parking area. There is room for about 30 cars and there is a pit toilet available. Bryce Canyon is part of the National Park system and there is a $30 fee per private vehicle. Annual and Lifetime passes are accepted.
Wrapping up the Peek-A-Boo loop
The Peek-a-Boo loop was such an unbelievable hike. It is like a mirror image to the Queen’s Garden and could be done as a big figure 8 or on its own. The ups and downs of the trail continuously change the perspective and views and they are spectacular. If you enjoy rock formations this might just be the hike for you.
This was also the last hike I did in the four Utah National Parks I visited on this trip. It was a little bittersweet but I went early in the morning and had most of the hike to myself for a bit of reflection. I took my time and really soaked up this hike and enjoyed every step….except maybe hiking up and out of the canyon!
If you get a chance to visit Bryce Canyon I highly suggest it. It is a beautiful park with options for the whole family to enjoy.
I have added this hike and all of my hikes to the interactive map page you can find here. If you have any suggestions for hikes or comments feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!