You are currently viewing Mossy Cave Trail

Mossy Cave Trail

Click to rate this hike!
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

The Mossy Cave Trail features a waterfall and a grotto that has constant dripping from spring water seeping through the rocks. This is a great easy family-friendly trail a few minutes outside Bryce Canyon National Park.

Mossy Cave Trailhead

The trailhead is in Water Canyon, ten minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park. Near the parking lot there are restrooms and this sign. The full trail is about one mile, since you will probably want to go to the top and bottom of the waterfall.

There are many hoodoos you can see nearby as you follow the trail.

The trail crosses the first bridge and then continues on the opposite side of the stream.

Soon you will come to the second bridge. On the opposite side the trail splits. Take a very short detour to the left to get to the small cave.

Mossy Cave

This is not really a cave, but a big overhang that has water dripping inside. In the summer it fills with moss and in the winter with icicles.

You can’t go into the cave, since it is fenced off. Here is a blurry photo from a previous visit that shows the fence and the scale. This is actually not a cave, but a grotto with water dripping constantly through it, hence the moss.

Return back down the path and then head straight to go the waterfall overlook.

Tropic Ditch Waterfall

There is an informational panel that explains the waterfall was created when pioneers diverted water to create irrigation for the towns of Tropic and Cannonville. The water has created erosion in the canyon, which is different than the ice-wedging that created the rest of Bryce Canyon. During the day snow fell down in the cracks of the rock and then at night it would freeze and expand. That process created the hoodoos characteristic of the rest of the park and that can be seen along the Mossy Cave Trail.

Depending on the time of year you visit there may be more or less water in the falls and stream. These are from a previous late summer visit.

If you keep going beyond the panel there is a little bridge and you can go to the top of the waterfall. You can see for our mid-October visit the flow isn’t as strong.

Rock Windows

Be sure to look over on the opposite side of the waterfall at the windows in the rock.

If it’s a hot day the kids (or adults) might like walking in the stream or the waterfall.

Tropic Ditch

To get to the base of the waterfall, head back to the second bridge and just past it head down to the bank of the stream. It’s super easy this time of year since the water is so low.

The rocks in the riverbed are gorgeous with lots of pastel swirls!

The waterfall has only a bit of water right now.

This one with my daughter gives you an idea of the scale.

From here you can look up and see the windows again.

Stats: Distance – .08 miles round trip to cave and waterfall overlook (1.0 mile to include walking to base of the falls)

Approximate hiking time – 30-120 minutes
Elevation gain – 118 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – March-November (Sometimes open otherwise depending on weather, use micro-spikes if icy)
Permits needed – None (It is just outside of Bryce National Park)
Pets allowed – No!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d4256.357867074112!2d-112.1148605486691!3d37.66469652615801!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x87356ff66051a3e5%3A0xea8d48460b3dc33a!2sMossy%20Cave%20Trailhead!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1634666328967!5m2!1sen!2sus

Other trails nearby are Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, and Navajo Loop / Queen’s Garden Trail. and Pink Ledges in Red Canyon.


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

Leave a Reply