Experience the solitude of Bryce's forested backcountry on the Under the Rim Trail. Descending from the rim, this 22.9 mile trail meanders through forests & meadows, offering stunning views of rainbow-hued cliffs in the distance. The Under the Rim Trail follows the base of the Paunsaugant Plateau and is largely forested. The hoodoos are part of the distant vistas to the west as you hike the valley floor. To preserve this experience, backcountry camping is permitted only in designated campsites. A backcountry permit must be obtained at the Visitor Center prior to any overnight trips.
$5/person, cash only, ages 16+ to obtain a permit
Backcountry Map and Brochure
Click here for Backcountry Brochure (The DATUM provided for each site was derived from a handheld GPS unit and does not represent NPS approved information.)
The Under-the-Rim Trail is approximately 22.9 miles (36.9 km) from Bryce Point to Rainbow Point. Connecting trails offer access from the park's Scenic Drive and intersect the Under-the-Rim Trail at Swamp Canyon, Whiteman Bench and Ponderosa Canyon trailheads. Agua Canyon Connector Trail at Ponderosa Point is closed until further notice due to storm damage.
The Riggs Spring Loop is 8.8-mile (14.2 km) beginning and ending at the Rainbow/Yovimpa Point parking lot at the south end of the Scenic Drive. Either the Yovimpa or Rainbow Point trailhead may be used to access this loop.
TH = Trailhead
Note: Hitchhiking is not allowed in Bryce Canyon National Park.
The Bryce Canyon Shuttle provides optional transportation to and from Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce Points April - October. It does not serve the southern end of the park.
Water in the Backcountry
We recommend you carry at least one gallon (4 liters) of water per person per day.
Please check at the Visitor Center for the most current information on water availability.
Depending on seasonal variations you find water at the following backcountry locations:
Developed area water filling station locations:
Bears and Other Wildlife
Bryce Canyon is home to many animals including mountain lions, coyotes and black bears. Squirrels, snakes and other small animals may also be present near your campsite.
Due to the presence of black bears within Bryce Canyon National Park, the use of bear-resistant food canisters on overnight backcountry hikes is highly recommended.
In the summer of 2010, a Black Bear had to be killed because it repeatedly exhibited aggressive behavior towards backcountry campers. Unfortunately, bears often lose their natural wariness towards humans when they become habituated to human food.
Brochure information about Black Bears and what you should and shouldn't do if you encounter one.
Information about other animals that may be encountered in Bryce Canyon can be viewed at the park's wildlife page.
Please report all bear and mountain lion sightings to the Visitor Center or a ranger
Backcountry Guidelines Recap
Last updated: June 30, 2020