Bryce Canyon National Park, Under the Rim Trail

15 thoughts on “Bryce Canyon National Park, Under the Rim Trail

  1. Hi Kate, my daughter and I are hiking Under the Rim early June this year. What shuttle did you use to return to the starting point? We will only have one car, and the info I’ve read said the shuttle doesn’t serve the southern part of the park. Did this change since you were here? I’m wondering if we need to reserve a spot on the rainbow point tour and hike from rainbow to bryce. I’m still researching. Other bloggers say hikers hitch a ride back to the north end, but it’s illegal and I don’t want to rely on that unless it’s an emergency. Thanks for any additional info you can provide! Sarah

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Check out this page:
    I took 2 shuttles:
    – Bryce Canyon Shuttle- Park outside the Park at the Shuttle Station, across the road and a little bit down from Rubys. Ride this into the Visitor Center then to Bryce Point. There was a ticket office at the shuttle station and they run pretty frequently.
    – 2017 Rainbow Point Shuttle Tour- this one will get you from Rainbow Point at the south end of the park, back to the Visitor’s Center. You do need to plan in advance as there’s only 2 per day and it requires a reservation.

    The Bryce Canyon Shuttle is definitely the way to go to get into the Park.

    The Tour bus I had mixed feelings about. I landed up waiting over an hour to catch it because I got to Rainbow Point early. Although there’s a short loop hike with great views you can do to kill some time. Once on the tour bus, it’s literally a tour bus; the bus stops at every stop between Rainbow and the Visitor’s Center and gives a presentation about what there is to see from that observation point. While that was interesting, esp. since he was pointing out stuff i’d just walked through the past couple of days, it took a long time and I was really craving a burger and fries. If I were to do it again, i’d probably try to get a hitch. If I were to do it again for the first time, i’d probably do the tour so that I could learn about the Park and its sights.

    Let me know if you have any other qs as you prepare for the trip. I loved that hike. You guys will have a great time.

    Are you any relation to Kay Vogelsang by chance?


    1. Thanks for all the information! By far the most helpful resource I’ve found. I lost track of your blog after I left my reply for you, but fortunately my daughter ran across it today while looking for additional info, and said you had replied. We really appreciate the time you took to respond, it has made our trip so much easier to plan. If we have more questions, we’ll be sure to ask you 🙂
      I don’t know a Kay Vogelsang, but if she’s from the Denver area, she may be related to my in-laws.

  3. Hi Kate, Thanks for the information, fantastic resource. Looks like the most water you carried was only 2 liters? You mentioned it was warm even in May. Would you do this hike in early July? I’m not sure about the heat. Thanks.

    1. We just finished the hike yesterday, and the days were very warm already. As we hiked through, we commented that we would not hike later in the summer due to the heat, though it would be doable. There are stretches of shade and plentiful water along the entire trail currently, more so than the rangers told us when we picked up our permit. If heat doesn’t bother you, the hike won’t be an issue, but starting at Rainbow Point may be smarter, which is what most people do per the ranger who permitted us.

      1. I am thinking of doing this route in a couple weeks. Is this something that needs 2 nights or could it be done with one night to camp?We could probably carve out a 2nd night if needed. I’m glad I ran across this blog to help out my planning!

      2. Sarah-glad you did the hike! Starting at Rainbow Pt sounds like a good plan! I think because I wanted to start late in the afternoon I decided to hike the way I did. I don’t think there was a bus down to Rainbow Pt as late in the day as I went. Hitching would have been an option, but I think I was excited to hit the trail and get to camp before dark.

    2. Hi Mike,

      I’m not sure about July. It is pretty high elevation for the desert, so maybe? I’d find out what the average temps are and see how you feel about them. Perhaps call the backcountry office too and find out what they think about where your water sources will be, things might be very different in July vs when I was there. There was more water than I thought there would be along the trail. I seem to remember carrying 4 litres at one point, but it turned out to be unnecessary. Study the maps in advance, if your planned water sources don’t pan out as you’re expecting, there’s opportunities to bail back up to the top of the rim and hitch out.

      I’ve done a fair bit of desert hiking and there’s a few tricks you can use if you want to hike in the desert when it’s hot that will help you deal with the heat, as well as conserve water:
      – try to get your miles in early in the day, break camp pre-dawn and hike out at first light, take a long lunch in the shade during the heat of the day, say 2-5:30, then hike a few more hours in the late afternoon.
      – this is going to sound dorky, but I LOVE my hiking umbrella, it takes the temp down by about 10 degrees. I’ve got this umbrella with the reflective and UV treatment: I’ve rigged attachments to my backpack so that I can hike with it hands-free. If you’re interested in more info just let me know.

      Have fun! -Kate

  4. Hey Anthony,
    It depends on what mileage you’re comfortable with. It’s only 22 miles, so if you’re okay with 11 miles a day then you’re set. It’s really easy miles. I was still in physical therapy for an injury at the time and was needing to take my time. The only thing you’d want to look into is the backcountry permit, you have to stay in a designed site, so you’d want to make sure you can get one that matches your mileage goals.
    Have fun!

  5. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write the report and answer other readers’ questions. Very nice resource here. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ramon, you’re very welcome. I know when I’m heading somewhere new it’s always really helpful to read other hiker’s stories, so I’m happy to do the same for others. Happy hiking!

  6. Somehow we tend to think every bit of backpacking info should be on a silver platter waiting for us at every stop along the way…but reality says….NO. A simple Google, or two, would have told you that there are only 3 Rangers assigned to Bryce Canyon National Park…and their main duties do not include daily hikes of the back country trails to assess campsite conditions, available water or comfortable spots to sleep. Water…there can NEVER be too much…bad idea to ever give up water just to make hiking easier. Hanging your food from a tree….not every campsite will have a suitable tree…make sure the bears understand you need your food worse than they do…that should do it. It is against Park regulations..and the law….to tie a rope to any tree inside Bryce Canyon National Park…ho hammocks…NO BEAR BAGS. As for a good, cheap meal on your way out of the Park…..Salt Lake City was only 4 hours away…put on your boots and go for it. Happy Trails.

Leave a Reply

Previous post Great Western Trail, Zion National Park and 2016 Plans
Next post Stansbury Front Trail
%d bloggers like this: