Though not one of Bryce Canyon’s most famous trails, the Hat Shop Trail is certainly worth exploring if you find yourself in Bryce Canyon National Park. This trail takes you into Utah’s wilderness, where you can see some interesting hoodoos formed by rock erosion. How long is the Hat Shop trail in Bryce Canyon, you might ask?
The Hat Shop trail is a short, two-mile-long out and back trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a moderately difficult climb due to the uneven terrain and steep descent and ascend on the way back. The Hat Shop trail hike should take between two and three hours to complete.
- Distance: 2 miles
- Estimated Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
- Elevation Change: 980 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
How Long Does The Hat Shop Trail In Bryce Canyon Take?
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah state has many excellent hiking trails. One of the lesser-known but undoubtedly worth visiting trails is the Hat Shop trail. This trail is a 2-mile long out and back trail that should take between two and three hours to complete.
Although the Hat Shop trail isn’t as popular as some other trails in Bryce Canyon National Park, it is still quite an experience to witness the Hoodoos that gave this trail its name. These rock formations, which can be seen all across Bryce Canyon, have formed due to erosion. However, what’s interesting about the Hat Shop hoodoos, is that the top part of these hoodoos is made of a stronger rock type, known as dolomite.
The dolomite takes longer to erode than the limestone below it. Therefore, these hoodoos have developed an interesting appearance, with narrow pillars and larger tops. They are said to look like hats displayed in a hat shop, hence the name Hat Shop trail.
Although Hat Shop trial is a fairly short hiking trail, it is quite challenging. You descend into the canyon to reach the Hat Shop hoodoos. The descent is steep, and so is the ascend on the way back. There is no loop to hike from Hat Shop Trail, and you must therefore walk back the same way you came.
From previous hikers’ reviews, it seems wise to wear proper hiking shoes and get hiking poles to help ease the strain on your knees during the steep sections of the hike. The Hat Shop Trail hike is rated as a moderately difficult hiking trail. Although this trail is family-friendly, it is generally more suitable for older children with some hiking experience.
How To Get To The Hat Shop Trail In Bryce Canyon?
To hike the Hat Shop Trail, head to the Bryce Canyon visitors’ center. Follow the directions to the Bryce Point, which is also the trailhead of the Hat Shop Trail. From the trailhead, the route descends, then forks. You can go south from here to the Peekaboo trail. Follow the marked path to the Hat Shop Trail.
The trail from here is mostly a descent between the Canyons wooded area to the hoodoos. The trail descends for 980 feet to where the Hat Shop Trail’s hoodoos can be viewed. Unfortunately, you cannot walk on the hoodoos or explore them other than from the trail. However, this is a great place to stop for a picnic and take some pictures.
Then, turn around and follow the trail back up to Bryce Point’s parking lot. Unfortunately, heading back up the trail means a sharp and steep ascend. The Bryce Canyon National Park is open 24-hours a day. Many hikers recommend the Hat Shop Trail as a sunrise or sunset trail, especially if you want to get some breathtaking pictures.
Although the Bryce Canyon National Park is open year-round, it’s best to visit the Hat Shop trail in spring, summer, or fall. The snow and ice can make this a much more dangerous and challenging hike during the winter. In addition, the trail is sometimes closed because of avalanche warnings. Be sure to check on the Bryce Canyon National Park for the trail conditions ahead of time.
Preparing For Hat Shop Trail In Bryce Canyon National Park
Although the Hat Shop Trail is only a short trail that shouldn’t take more than three hours to complete, there are still certain things you must do to prepare for this trail. The first thing is getting your permits ready.
You will need a recreational visitor’s permit to enter Bryce National Park. You can buy this permit online or at the Bryce Canyon National Park’s visitors center. In addition to the license, you must also pay an entry fee to Bryce Canyon National Park.
The entry fee is $35 for a private vehicle, $30 for a motorcycle, and $20 per person walking into the park. Children under the age of 15 enter the park for free. If you wish to, you can use the free shuttle service offered by Bryce Canyon National Park to move around between the different areas of the park.
Tips For Hiking Hat Shop Trail In Bryce Canyon National Park
When preparing to hike the Hat Shop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park, there are a few things you must pack and wear for the hike to be successful and enjoyable.
As mentioned before, wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring hiking poles for the steep sections of the Hat Shop Trail. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t chafe or bother you. Also, bring a jacket in case it gets cold.
Here is a list of things to pack for the Hat Shop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Water and snacks
- Torch and spare batteries if you are hiking in the dark
There aren’t any bathrooms along the trail. Therefore, use the restrooms located at the visitors center before the start of the hike. There also aren’t any trash cans along the trail. Always take your trash with you and follow the “pack it in, pack it out” hiking principle.
Frequently Asked Questions
People often have some questions about the Hat Shop Trail and Bryce Canyon National Park in general. So we thought we’d save you the trouble of researching those questions and answering them here.
1. Are Dogs Allowed On The Hat Shop Trail?
Unfortunately, dogs are only allowed on paved areas in Bryce Canyon National Park. This excludes all hiking trails, including the Hat Shop Trail. Always keep dogs on a leash and pick up and discard any dog poop.
2. Can You Camp on The Hat Shop Trail?
Camping is prohibited on the Hat Shop Trail. However, Bryce Canyon National Park has beautiful camping grounds to offer. In addition, there are many other great camping spots around Bryce Canyon National Park worth visiting.
The Hat Shop Trail, located in Bryce Canyon National Park, is a 2 mile out and back trail in the heart of Utah. This trail has steep sections and uneven paths and is rated as moderately difficult. The Hat Shop Trail should take between two and three hours to complete, and the best time to hike this trail is in spring, summer, and fall.