Bryce to Bears Ears Hike Trip Report

In spring of 2021 I hiked nearly 500 miles from Bryce Canyon to Bears Ears*! It was a really great hike and I was happy that I accomplished most of what I set out to do including going through several “new-to-me” spots. It felt awesome to be back backpacking in Utah after a dismal 2020! I took a break from posting for a while, but now the written trip report is finally done. Similar to the Video Trip Report, I’m splitting the written report into multiple sections to make it easier to focus on each part of the hike. Read the overview of each section below, and then if you want more details click the link/photo to see the daily journal and photo gallery for that section. Be sure to check out the Hike Highlights Gallery if you haven’t already.

Some Random Stats:

  • 496 miles (“all miles walked” as opposed to “trail miles”)
  • 32 days
  • 20 days without seeing another hiker
  • 4 caches/re-supplies
  • 34 pounds lost
  • 2 days with snow and/or hail. 1 rainy night. Numerous windy days.
  • 0 rattlesnakes encountered (below average)
  • 0 band-aids used (also below average)
  • 2 National Parks, 3 National Monuments, 1 National Recreational Area

See the Bryce to Bears Ears Interactive Map for route details.

Part 1: Under the Rim in Bryce
3 days, 43 miles

I actually began my journey in the small town of Tropic, but after a short stretch of roadwalking I was in Bryce Canyon National Park and surrounded by its orange hoodoos. I climbed up to Bryce Point to connect with the Under-the-Rim Trail headed south. For the next few days I’d follow this and the Grand View Trail toward Rainbow Point. After a brief snowstorm and a fun cross-country route near Horse Mountain I made my way into upper Bull Valley Gorge and by some cool striped hills I’d wanted to explore.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Part 2: Bull Valley Gorge and the Upper Paria
3 days, 44 miles

I continued down Bull Valley Gorge and eventually into the slot canyon itself. For the first time ever I walked the length of the canyon to Sheep Creek and then continued down toward the Paria. From there I went downriver a ways before climbing out to the ridge and over to Snake Creek before connecting over to the Stone Donkey and into Hackberry Canyon.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Part 3: Round Valley Draw & The Kaiparowits
5 days, 75 miles

Continuing up the sandy slog that is Hackberry Canyon I finally made it into the awesome slot canyon of Round Valley Draw. After some climbing I made it out the top and then went cross-country over to Grosvernor Arch before continuing east onto the Kaiparowits Plateau. More cross-country exploration took me over Paradise Peak and down Escalante Ridge/Canyon before going down Long Canyon into Right Hand Collet Canyon and eventually emerging near Hole-in-the-Rock Road along Twentymile Wash.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Part 4: Canyons of the Escalante
3 days, 42 miles

Headed down the dry upper section of Twentymile Wash and soon Twentyfive Mile Wash (weird spellings I know!) I enjoyed the lower end of Egypt 3 slot canyon and then back in the main canyon a few pools along the way before battling the brush in the lower end of the canyon and arriving at the junction with the Escalante River. Walking down the Escalante was glorious before exiting at Moody Canyon and heading up to Middle Moody and on toward Capitol Reef.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Part 5: Capitol Reef and Around Lake Powell
4 days, 67 miles

My trek continued up and over the Waterpocket Fold into Capitol Reef National Park. I went south down the valley along Halls Creek and enjoyed a side-jaunt into its amazing Narrows. From there I took a less-than-ideal route to Bullfrog Marina where I got a re-supply and a ride across Lake Powell.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Part 6: The Mysterious Moqui Canyon
3 days, 49 miles

Continued south of Lake Powell by “skiing” down a massive sand dune and into Moqui Canyon — a place I’d never visited and knew very little about. After fighting my way past some initial beaver ponds the canyon opened up and progress was quicker and I enjoyed the solitude and an unexpected archeological site. Progress slowed again in the upper canyon where I couldn’t initially find a way out. I eventually did and after another cross-country section found myself back at a road and headed east toward the Grand Gulch.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Part 7: Into the Grand Gulch
4 days, 65 miles

After another stretch of walking the road, I made my way cross-country to Collins Spring Trailhead where I descended into the Grand Gulch — another canyon which I’d never visited. Though the ancestral sites in the lower end of the canyon were good,  it was a lot of work slogging up the mostly dry brush-filled canyon. It wasn’t until Green Mask Site that I got plenty of water and the canyon began to widen and I really began enjoying all that this canyon system had to offer.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Part 8: Upper Grand Gulch to The Bears Ears
2.5 days, 44 miles

Continuing up through the Grand Gulch the canyon steadily got better with less brush and more-easily accessed archeological sites — though water was still limited though. I climbed out of Kane Gulch and followed the road for a bit before taking a pioneer trail over toward Natural Bridges National Monument. After a short diversion for a re-supply, I continued up to Maverick Point and then on over to THE Bears Ears.
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


*Part 9: Woodenshoe Canyon and Dark Canyon to Hite
4.5 days, 64 miles

Yes, the * on the title is because my Bryce to Bears Ears Hike actually continued BEYOND the Bears Ears! I kept walking across Elk Ridge and into Woodenshoe Canyon. It was my first time walking the length of this canyon and I enjoyed it. From the  junction with Dark Canyon I headed downstream enjoying many of the awesome pools along the way as it’s one of my favorite canyons. Then the weather turned and made for a soggy final stretch to Hite — where I ended my hike. (well… kind of.)
📖📷 daily journal & photo gallery…


Thanks for following along! Until next time…


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  1. I have watched and enjoyed all of your videos from this long hike. I’m glad to see your Trip Report now, and I had fun with the Interactive Map. Very cool.

  2. This is great…….Thanks, Jamal, I’m looking forward to read-hiking!!

    • Thanks, Don. Much of it will be a repeat for those who watched the video series, but I know some of my followers actually prefer to read vs watch. I tried to add some new tidbits and photos as well. Cheers!