Hi guys! Welcome to my article on the amazing Peekaboo Trail of Bryce Canyon National Park. I’m currently traveling the Western United States for eight months while working remotely as a website developer, visiting somewhere new just about every week and hiking all I can in my free time. I have been sharing my adventures on Instagram at @msquare91.
I grew up in Southern Illinois where there was a lot of farmland and very little nature. My family was more interested in going to the movies or to the mall than in hiking. But as a kid, I was always fascinated by the small nature preserve in town and I visited it every chance I could. It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I realized just how interested I was in spending time outdoors. I dove into the hobby of hiking very quickly without looking back.
Wonderful Trip to Bryce Canyon National Park
Before starting this incredible eight month trip, I didn’t really have a bucket list. Being somewhat new to hiking and not having traveled much before due to financial limitations, I had never even considered the idea of going to a US national park. I didn’t know anyone in my family or friend groups who visited these sorts of places, so the idea had never even crossed my mind. I find that a little sad. But I’m definitely making up for lost time now!
In planning this trip, I went state-by-state looking for the top trails on AllTrails. I entered the locations in a spreadsheet, pared it down to the spots I was most interested in, then made a visualization in Google Maps and figured out a route. I knew I had to see Bryce Canyon! I was there for a week, so I was able to do a good number of hikes, as it’s a pretty small park compared to some of the others. Naturally, Peekaboo was one of them.
My Experience Hiking Peekaboo Trail
I usually go pretty quickly through trails, but took my time on this one to take pictures and enjoy the incredible rock formations. I took the Navajo Trail to connect to Peekaboo Trail as the other connecting trail from Bryce Point was closed at the time due to ice. According to my AllTrails recording, it took me two and a half hours total, with two hours of moving time.
My favorite rock formation was the “Wall of Windows” where delicate gaps in the rocks have formed due to erosion. In these monoliths above you, you can see patches of sky through the rocks and the sunlight filtering down. I have been to a few places on this trip with incredible geological formations, but I have never seen anything like that. It felt like being in a cathedral!
Bryce Canyon made me feel like a kid again, like I was playing in a castle playground. That sense of childlike awe and joy was definitely present for me when I finished the hike. In addition to the windows, there were a number of other interesting rock formations, the likes of which I have never seen before. I felt by the end that I really had a full experience.
How Challenging is Peekaboo Trail?
Overall, Peekaboo Trail is not a very long or difficult hike. The hardest part for me was just climbing back up the steepness of Navajo after getting back from Peekaboo. Peekaboo itself was on the easier side, probably 3/10 in terms of difficulty, but with Navajo added in it’s a bit more like a 5/10.
The good news is that the Navajo section is pretty short and I think even for an inexperienced hiker, you should be fine if you take breaks to catch your breath. Some may find hiking poles helpful for the steepness of that section, especially if you have knee issues. But I didn’t find them necessary at all for the Peekaboo Trail itself and so I didn’t use them.
An Interesting Moment on Peekaboo Trail
I have a favorite moment from this hike but I’m not sure I would call it wonderful! A lot of the time when I’m hiking, it’s the people I encounter that fascinate me as much as nature. Early on in my hike, I heard some loud voices nearby but couldn’t tell where they were coming from.
I hurriedly walked on, hoping to outpace anyone noisy who might be behind me. When I got to the windows section, I spent a long time looking up and appreciating the view. This gave the folks behind me a chance to catch up. It quickly became apparent why they had seemed so loud.
It was a family of four: a mother and a teenage daughter locked in one of the fiercest arguments I had seen in a long time. Two younger boys were also walking ahead and pretending not to know them. The subject of the argument wasn’t anything personal like you would expect it to be with such a heated exchange. Of all the things they could be arguing about, it was a theoretical discussion about the morality of sex workers!
They were screaming at each other as if everything they each held dear was being threatened. Even God was invoked! We were in one of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable, and yet when I saw them turn the corner toward me, the mother’s face was one of pure anger and frustration. She showed no joy whatsoever, as if she was having the worst day of her life.
They took no time to pause and appreciate what was around them – they were just in their own little world. It was shocking and I don’t understand why this conversation couldn’t wait until they got back to the car.
To quote Paradise Lost: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” With the echoing of the canyon walls, it was another ten minutes before I finally couldn’t hear them anymore. So I sat and appreciated the scenery that they couldn’t in the meantime.
Staying Overnight at Bryce Country Cabins
I had a good experience staying at Bryce Country Cabins in Tropic, about a 20 minute drive from the park. It’s a sparsely populated area with few restaurants, so having a kitchen to make my own food was a big plus. I highly recommend these cabins if you are looking for accommodation.
Tips for Hiking Peekaboo Trail
If you are flying to Bryce Canyon, consider offsetting the carbon footprint of your flight by purchasing an offset from an airline or verified third party supplier. An offset is relatively cheap, but if enough people did it, it would make a considerable difference when it comes to climate change.
I hiked Peekaboo Trail in mid-April and the weather was changing drastically every other day, sometimes a perfect 70 degrees day and other times it was below freezing. The wind was particularly fierce on some days and was made even more intense by funneling through the canyon.
Although Peekaboo was clear, other trails in the area still had ice. Despite being a desert-like setting, it’s high elevation and tends to be colder. It can have more intense winter weather than you would expect. Come prepared with layers if you are visiting at any time of the year besides summer.
In terms of crowds, at least when I went, it was a bit crowded in the beginning near Navajo where a lot of people tend to clump up but much less crowded once I got to Peekaboo. I only saw a few people out there on a weekday afternoon. Going on a weekday certainly has its advantages!