Mossy Cave

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6814 - 6943 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - No Dogs
Time: 30 mins.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: Mossy Cave
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic hoodoos, stream and cave
   


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The Mossy Cave trail is located in Bryce Canyon National Park. The trail is located in the northeast area of the park about 3.6 miles east of the turnoff to the main park near Bryce Canyon City. Since Mossy Cave can be accessed without passing through an entrance station there is no fee required at this location.


An appreciation of the beauty of this location comes before you even get out of your vehicle. The spires and hoodoos of various shades of white, pink and orangish red bordered with vegetation of different hues of green paints a scene of natural beauty for everyone who visits to behold.


The hard packed trail is broad and flat and probably suitable for a baby stroller but too steep in places for a wheelchair without adequate assistance.


The short trail leads up the picturesque Water Canyon crossing the stream twice along the way to Mossy Cave.


The cliffs stand out in brilliant contrast to the deep blue sky.


After crossing the second bridge the trail leads up a small hill where it comes to a fork.


The right fork leads to an observation point for a small waterfall. It is interesting to note that this branch of the canyon at one time only ran water during spring runoff and thunderstorms. In the late 1800's Mormon Pioneers constructed Tropic Ditch for irrigation purposes and made use of the natural watercourse of the canyon for the project. So perfect was the outcome that not too many people would look at this and see anything but a naturally flowing stream.


A short jaunt along the left branch of the trail brings you to Mossy Cave. The grotto was formed by a natural seep made by water that permeated the overlying sandstone until it found a path of escape slowly dissolving away the calcite that glues the rock together causing the cliff to recess into a cave. As moss grows better in locations where the sun doesn't reach than ferns and flowers it is the predominant plant found thriving on the back wall of the cave.


Neither the little waterfall or Mossy Cave are so wonderful by themselves, although they are both interesting, to make this trail a must see stop but once you hike the peaceful canyon and gaze at its beautiful cliffs you will be glad you took the time to pay it a visit.


The tour buses appear to pass right on by this location which makes it a good place to get away from the crowds. Mossy Cave is a nice short hike that might be just the right trail to fill in some of your extra time on your next visit to Bryce Canyon National Park. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.