Eventually, after plenty more huffing and puffing, I arrived back at the bottom of the canyon. As much as I enjoyed the Peekaboo Loop portion of my hike, I was happy to get a break from the constant ups and downs of the trail and get some cover from the blistering sun. I was back beneath the comforting Douglas Firs and Ponderosa Pines.
After a short stroll through the woods I came to another trail intersection. I had reached the Navajo Loop, the third trail of my figure-eight loop. The Navajo Trail descends into Bryce Amphitheater from Sunset Point via two separate paths. They meet on the floor of the canyon, where I stood. So I had two options for my return up to Sunset Point and the canyon rim. The choice was easy.
Although I’m sure the Twin Bridges Trail would be a great half-mile option to the rim, I had to take door number two. The southern of the two options was the highly recommended Wall Street Trail. It is just two tenths of a mile longer than the other choice, but is absolutely stunning. It passes through a narrow slot canyon with huge steep walls. As great as my hike was so far, it was about to get even better.
I took the Wall Street fork and soon entered into the enchanted canyon. It is named after New York City’s Wall Street, lined by tall skyscrapers. While I haven’t walked down Wall Street in The Big Apple, I highly doubt it could rival Bryce Canyon’s version.
I followed the Navajo Trail farther into Wall Street’s deep, dark canyon. The temperature dropped noticeably as I entered the shadowy corridor. The crumbly walls had to be a couple hundred feet tall. They were coarse and covered with ridges, folds, and dimples. They were a hue between orange and pink, slightly darker than the canyon floor. The amazing slot canyon was very thin, sometimes only a few feet wide. Sadly, Wall Street is only a half-mile in length.
The best part of the Wall Street hike was near the middle of the canyon, where a handful of trees shot up through the slot. They were mammoth Douglas firs, some 500 years old. Enormous in size, they reached all the way to the top of the canyon walls. Very few branches extended out from their soaring trunks, but they were bushy at their tops where they could safely escape the shady canyon. I was fascinated and impressed that trees could grow so grand and proud in such a desolate landscape. It wasn’t quite desert, but these trees flourished in a mostly dry, incredibly rocky and sandy area amidst a steep dark canyon. I couldn’t imagine the scenic slot canyon could be conducive to growing.
Once I emerged from Wall Street it was time to start my climb back up to the rim. There was another cluster of Douglas firs just outside the canyon, and then the path began to snake its way up toward Sunset Point along a series of switchbacks. There had to be almost twenty relatively short, evenly sloped stretches of trail. It was like ascending out of a funnel, the switchbacks were close and tight at the bottom and slowly widened as the canyon walls grew farther apart, closer to the rim. It was an exhausting way to finish the hike. The climb wasn’t as bad as it looked though, because it was a consistent grade throughout the winding pathway. Instead of trying to hurry up to the rim, I took my time to exit the amphitheater, hiking at a slow deliberate pace. I actually made it up faster than most others, because I didn’t stop for many breaks. Within minutes I arrived at Sunset Point, over 500 feet higher than Wall Street, which was less than a mile down the trail.
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