Mossy Cave Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park
> Nature
> Mossy Cave

Mossy Cave

Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon is unusual as it follows the manmade stream known as Tropic Ditch through Water Canyon to a waterfall and a green mossy cave.

  • Best time to visit Mossy Cave is mid-spring to mid-autumn, although in summer the heat can be overpowering.
  • Look for the natural rock window at the waterfall, just above the waterline
  • Mossy Cave Trail is ideal for children, being easy to walk
  • Bring water shoes and towels to bathe in the stream


In the 1890s the pioneers dug out an irrigation ditch linking the Sevier River with Water Canyon to provide local communities with water. It has left a wide trail alongside the flowing stream and the canyon walls are lined with hoodoos. The right hand fork leads to a waterfall and the left fork leads to a shallow grotto. The dripping water creates lush green moss with frozen icicles in the winter.

Location and Information

Mossy Cave Trail is open dawn to dusk daily, weather permitting.

Mossy Cave is located on Hwy 12, four miles east of the intersection with Hwy 63. It is halfway down Tropic Canyon and, being outside the national park boundary, there is no fee. For more information, visit the national park website at


This 0.8 mile (1.3km) round trip is ideal for families as it is not too long or strenuous. It is possible to continue on a 9 mile hike beyond the waterfall.

Visitors exploring the small Mossy Cave will find it hanging with greenery around the entrance but dry inside and quite shallow.

The waterfall has a modest 15 foot drop into a circular pool with several potholes making it ideal for paddling and playing in the swirling water.

Nature Spotting
The stream attracts many animals to quench their thirst and leave their tracks. The Watson Bog Orchid and Mountain Death Camas may be seen here.

Fun Facts

This is the only stream found in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Other Mossy Cave Resources

Emerald Pools

Beautiful water feature in nearby Zion National Park.