DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,329 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
14 days ago

I hiked the Riggs Spring Loop Trail with my brother in November 2017, except we did it the hard way: We started at Lower Podunk Trailhead in the Dixie National Forest to the southeast of Bryce Canyon. The hiking was easy, and the drive in on BLM roads was the hard part! It is an easy 1 mile hike from the Lower Podunk trailhead to the Riggs Spring Loop at the Riggs Spring Campground.

We hiked the loop trail clockwise: This allows an ascent of the steeper portion of the trail leading up to Yovimpa Pass, and a descent on the shallower slopes on the east side of the loop. There is nothing technical about the hike, and trekking poles aren't needed unless you descend the steeper part of the loop. The majority of the hike is though spruce-pine forest, limiting broad scenic vistas. However the portion above Yovimpa Pass will give you spectacular views of the Pink Cliffs from a close-up perspective few will ever experience! There are also sporadic Bristlecone Pines in this area.

Starting at the base of the plateau, the climax of the hike is achieving the summits within Bryce Canyon: the Yovimpa Point and Rainbow Point overlooks. Both are excellent, but in my opinion they pale in comparison to the view from above Yovimpa Pass. Total elevation differential from Lower Podunk to Rainbow Point (elev 9,115?) was right at 2,000 feet.

This is a great hike doable by anyone in decent shape, with great scenery and providing a good workout. Bonus: If you access the trail from Lower Podunk Trailhead outside Bryce Canyon, you won't have to pay the entrance fee to the national park!