Riggs Spring Loop

A peaceful day or overnight loop in the lesser-traveled reaches of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
14 km
Ascent
567 m
Descent
565 m
Low Point
2.3 km
High Point
2.8 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Riggs Spring Loop Map

Description

Riggs Spring is probably one of the least-traveled trails in Bryce Canyon. It’s not in the park’s most stunning area, but it offers somewhat subdued scenery in a more remote setting. It’s ideal for getting away from the crowds and finding a secluded campsite in the woods. Though it can be done as a day hike, this loop makes an easy overnight trip or an extension of a longer trek on Under-the-Rim Trail.

The best views are arguably at the beginning and end of the loop, on top of the plateau overlooking the hoodoos. On the rest of the hike, you’ll gaze up at the colorful cliffs through gaps in the trees, as the trail undulates through shady and sunny patches of forest. It’s mostly tall ponderosa pines, but other conifers and aspens add variety to the foliage. Much of the trail surface is firm and easy-going, but it has some sandy stretches where the walking is more difficult. You can choose whether to make the downhill longer or the uphill longer based on the direction you hike. Here the loop is mapped clockwise, taking a comparatively gradual descent from Rainbow Point and a quicker, steeper ascent to Yovimpa Point.

The trail has 3 campsites to choose from, and a permit is required to camp. Unlike many parks that issue them online, Bryce Canyon still does in-person permits only. You must show up at the visitor center within 48 hours of your trip to arrange your permit. Be sure to ask the rangers about water availability. There are natural springs along the route, but they aren’t always reliable.

Note that the park’s normal shuttle does not run all the way to Rainbow Point where this trail starts. Overnight parking is discouraged, so you can reserve a spot on the free Rainbow Point Tour instead.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/backcountryinfo.htm https://keithandlindsey.com/riggs-spring-loop-trail/

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly

Guidebooks in this area