DISTANCE
22.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,366 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wildlife

blowdown

washed out

no dogs

17 days ago

Me and my 2 brothers (ages 22, 26, and 27) just completed this in 2 days/1 night. We started at Rainbow point. Caught the shuttle at 9 from the visitors center and arrived at rainbow point th after the scenic shuttle ride. The bus driver gave a tour through a mic on the way. Views of beauty begin instantly and never end. Difficult mostly downhill hike to our first rest at iron springs. We were fresh so the difficulty was no problem. Iron springs had plenty of water. We were warned of E. coli to be present at all water sources and advised to filter and boil or filter and treat with tablets or drops. I used a Sawyer squeeze only and have not felt any issues as of this review (will edit if the bugs catch up to me). We then hiked to natural bridge which is were we reserved to camp but had plenty of gas left so we had a lunch and kept hiking. Natural bridge campsite had flies that bothered us. They didn’t bite but were pretty annoying. The campsites itself was in a lower wooded area. Right past the campsite there was some puddles of water but we did not fill up. We kept on hiking to swamp canyon campsite where we decided to set up camp. My brothers hiked down the trail a little bit past to find water (they found cloudy still water in a creek bed about 1000 ft down the trail from camp) while I secured camp against heavy winds. A heavy rainstorm fell on us thru the night. It was epic. We woke up to the sunrise, had coffee, and tore down camp to start day 2. We hiked past the creek where my brothers found water the night before to find clear flowing water due the night’s rain. Filled up here water here which was our last time to take water from a water source on the trail. Long hard day of hiking led us past the last half of the epic trail. Breaks along the way. Water was plentiful at yellow creek but there were E. coli warning signs posted that were not at the previous water sources so we were scared to drink it. I wish I would have anyways because we were low on water and ran out 2 miles to the end. There was flowing water up to the right fork yellow creek campsite which we also didn’t test. The last few miles were hard and constant elevation gain. Lots of breaks due to fatigue but we made it to Bryce point to catch the shuttle back to the visitors center. No water on the bus which I was praying for but at one of the stops on the way to the vc I spotted a water fountain so we all ran off the bus to quench our megathirst while passengers were getting on. We jumped right back on the bus and got dropped off at the visitors center where we started this long, hard, hot, beautiful, amazing journey.

7/28/2018: Day 1 ~11 miles
7/29/2018: Day 2 ~12 miles

Be mindful not to completely rely on backcountry water sources. We got lucky and found flowing water at 3 or 4 different sources.

Trail is pretty easy to follow except a few parts where we had to back track due to dried creeks looking like trails. But cairns (rock stacks) guided most of the tricky parts.

Lots of downed trees to dodge, dip, dive, duck, and dodge

Mosquitoes non existent from my experience, but annoying flies would buzz in your ear at some spots if you sat too long to rest.

Heavier than necessary packs, low water, and 2/3 of us live at sea level played apart in my difficulty rating.

10/10 would do again
10/10 would bring more water or secondary purification method for ease of mind
And always remember: dehydration will kill you a hell of a lot faster than E. coli.

Hopes this helps.