Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Video of Thor’s Hammer at Bryce Canyon

Thor's Hammer on Navajo Loop Trail.
Where does the superhero and Norse god Thor leaves his hammer when not fighting evil?

Some day hikers swear it’s to the northwest of the Navajo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Topo map for Navajo Loop Trail. Map courtesy of NPS.

The 1.3-mile trail heads past several hoodoos as it descends from Sunset Point into Bryce Canyon. It often is done in conjunction with the Queens Garden Trail.

The totem pole-like hoodoos form at Bryce Canyon thanks to frost wedging –water first seeps into fissures of the sandstone rock, then when freezing expands, causing erosion. Bryce Canyon experiences about 200 freeze/thaw cycles annually.

Among the hoodoos visible on the Navajo Loop Trail is the aptly named Thor’s Hammer and the set of hoodoos known as the Amphitheater to the hammer’s east:

Though a short trail, the steep descent into the canyon means a steep walk back up – about 550 feet, in fact – and it’s at a high altitude at that. Be aware that rock slides also sometimes close sections of the trail.

Also see:
Hike fantasyland in Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park
Best day trails for seeing Bryce Canyon's wonders

Learn about other great national park day hiking trails in my Best Sights to See at America’s National Parks guidebook.