Explore Bryce Canyon

Hike of the Week — Queens Garden

Things to Do, What's New — By julietrevelyan on February 18, 2011 at 3:07 am

Perhaps the easiest hike into the Bryce Canyon amphitheater, the whimsically-named Queens Garden is  a hoodoo-filled “garden” of stone. In the wintertime, snow may blanket the ground, which provides a stunning contrast against the orange-red rocks and typically blue Utah sky. Spring and summer are also excellent times of year for this hike. If you arrive in the summer, beware the hordes of visitors who had the same idea.

the Queens Garden Trail

image: Alaskan Dude/Flickr

How to do this hike:

1. Drive to the Sunrise Point parking lot. Start your descent into the amphitheater from the trailhead here.

2. Travel just less than a mile and voila–you’re at the Queens Garden.

3. Look out right from the end of the trail and see if you can find the hoodoo that many think resembles Queen Victoria.

a stony queen

image: brewbooks/Flickr

4. To extend this hike, keep going along the Navajo Loop Trail (this would be a three-mile loop if you connect both), which will end at Sunset Point. Otherwise, just turn back the same way you came in for a 1.8 mile jaunt.

Limber Pine near Sunrise Point

image: National Park Service

Tips on doing this hike:

1. Bring traction for your boots if you arrive in the winter; even if there isn’t a great deal of snow, the ground will be slippery on the hilly parts. The Bryce Canyon visitor center and the bookstore sell traction devices for only $27.

2. Right after a serious snow storm, you might need snowshoes for this hike.

3. If you plan to extend the Queens Garden trail by hiking the Navajo Loop Trail, you will exit at a point south of your car. You easily can walk this fairly short distance between end of trail and your vehicle.

hoodoos in the Queens Garden

image: Alaskan Dude/Flickr

Random facts about this hike:

1. Water, ice, and gravity are the natural forces that formed the geological “hoodoos” that make Bryce Canyon unique.

2. Paiute Indian history says the colorful hoodoos were “Legend People” who were turned into stone by the trickster god Coyote. Perhaps this explains how Queen Victoria ended up in Utah.

Tags: fall hike, hike, Hike of the Week, Navajo Loop, Queens Garden, spring hike, Sunrise Point, winter hiking

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